So the rumours turned out to be largely true. The Grammys gave us their first Radiohead performance (complete with a marching band), Coldplay doing the iPod ad on the big stage (jibe), U2’s first public performance of their new single, a very very pregnant M.I.A joining Jay-Z, T.I, Kanye West and Lil Wayne who also performed a song for New-Orleans with some other famous musicians from the area, a moving rendition from Jennifer Hudson who was visibly moved herself, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake dueting with Al Green and more.
U2 kicked it all off with the first live performance of ‘Get On Your Boots’.
Gwyneth Paltrow introduced Radiohead who were joined by the USC Marching Band for their first ever Grammys performance with ’15 Step’. The band also won Best Alternative Music Album for In Rainbows.
Lil Wayne was joined by the unfortunately-named Robin Thicke for the song ‘Tie My Hands’ which is dedicated to New Orleans and then segued into songs from musicians from the city including Allen Toussaint playing ‘Big Chief’ and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band playing ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me Now’.
Kid Rock’s performance was a far-cry from his rap-metal days and featured him playing old-fashioned rock and roll. It’s a big improvement from his crotch-grabbing, rap-metal past.
Perhaps the biggest performance of the night featured a heavily-pregnant (due) M.I.A performing ‘Paper Planes’ before “Swagga Like Us” kicks in and the rap rat pack consisting of T.I., Jay-Z, Lil Wayne & Kanye West appear. There’s a lot of shouting and a bit of rapping too.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin was joined by Jay-Z on a piano-only ‘Lost’ and the band joined in for ‘Viva la Vida’.
After Boys II Men and Keith Urban, Justin Timberlake joined Al Green and did an admirable job on ‘Let’s Stay Together’. This performance only happened because of Chris Brown’s arrest for domestic violence which allegedly involved Rihanna.
Katy Perry. Nuff said.
The future of nice pop – Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift performed acoustically together.
Kanye (with head shaved like Thriller era MJ) was joined by Estelle for the infectious ‘American Boy’.
Jennifer Hudson continued her move back into the spotlight with a moving performance of ‘You Pulled Me Through’ after suffering from a family tragedy that left her brother, mother and nephew dead late last year.