It was a good Grammys show. True, there were hiccups. A technical difficulty here and there (In Memoriams never seem to go off without a hitch.)
It would have been nice if Lionel Richie had mentioned Finneas when presenting the Song of the Year Award (though in fairness to Richie, almost every print account I read about the award saved Finneas’ name for somewhere around the sixth paragraph.) It also would have been even nicer if Killer Mike hadn’t been led away in handcuffs after winning three statuettes prior to the televised awards. (due to a still-unspecified “altercation.”)
Still, overall, there was a lot to like. It began with the pre-show. Some people were born into jobs, and Laverne Cox was born to work the red carpet. Any red carpet poses extreme challenges. The Grammys are the hardest. The breadth of styles and backgrounds is overwhelming. They come fast and giddy and the host has to be ready with three quick questions designed to draw out compelling answers from celebrities as different as Billy Joel and Miley Cyrus. Cox nails it as well as anyone ever has.
Ranking the performances from the 2024 Grammy Awards
And in the wake of Jo Koy’s unfortunate performance at the Golden Globes, Trevor Noah showed how you host a show like this. He was sharp, funny, enthusiastic, and never went for the cheap putdown. I don’t know if he wants more of these gigs, but he put himself on the shortlist of awards show hosts with his performance.
There were nice moments throughout, but the Grammys as a television program is better than other award shows for one simple reason – the live performances. I counted fifteen over the three-and-a-half-hour show and I want to make clear that none of them were bad. I’m about to rank them from worst to best, but even the ones that I found least compelling were pretty good.
All right, with that disclaimer out of the way, here were the 2024 Grammy performances, from the merely OK to glorious.