Ranking all the performances from the 2024 Grammy Awards

The performances ranged from meh to marvelous.

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The pretty good 2024 Grammy performances

BILLY JOEL

As if getting a pretty solid new song from Billy Joel wasn’t enough, he stayed on stage to close the entire show with a rollicking “You May Be Right,” which was the most relaxed performance of the entire evening. “Turn the Lights Back On” is Joel’s first new song in 30 years – a fact that was mentioned – by my count – 246 times during the course of the program.

OLIVIA RODRIGO

“Vampire” was my choice for Record of the Year. Having to slightly alter the lyrics for television hurt a bit, but she delivered it as expected.

JONI MITCHELL

This was clearly one of the most emotional moments of the evening. Joni Mitchell is 80 years old and recovering from a brain aneurysm that caused her to relearn everything. Earlier this year, I saw Lucinda Williams performing a few years after a stroke threatened her career and it became clear to me that any issues I might have with her performance originated with me and not with her.

Once I got past comparing how she used to sound to what she sounds like today, I could enjoy the privilege of hearing her sing. That applies to Joni Mitchell even more. “Both Sides Now” was a perfect choice because it doesn’t tax her vocally and it serves as a poignant comment on the passage of time. It was a privilege to hear.