It was a weekend filled with tears, joy and laughter as the music industry honored the year’s finest.
It kicked off with iconic folk singer Joni Mitchell being named Person of the Year at the MusiCares gala and wrapped up with a blow-out extravaganza at the Grammy Awards in Vegas.
One of the most touching moments came from Malibu’s Lady Gaga. She made her two-song set a tribute to her dear friend Tony Bennett. Tony, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year, could not be there on music’s biggest night. But the legendary crooner was there in spirit, even going so far as introducing his partner via video.
She delivered sentimental renditions from their nominated duet album “Love for Sale.” That album went onto Grammy history as the winner of “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.”
She took a seat on top of the piano in a bewitching baby blue strapless gown with a big satin bow that seemed like the size of Texas. You could feel their deep friendship all around. Like the iconic crooner LG so admires, she sang “Love for Sale.”
“I am so blessed to be a member of this amazing group of musicians,” she told the A-list audience.
Next came “Do I Love You,” with photos of Tony in the background. She wrapped up saying “I love you, Tony. We miss you.” The crowd rose to its feet for a heartfelt standing ovation.
At 95, the “I Left my Heart in San Francisco” standards singer became the second-oldest winner of a Grammy. His and Gaga’s collaboration “Love for Sale” is a soothing and jazzy collection of the Cole Porter classic. Afterwards, Gaga summed it up this way: “Tony gave the world the gift of knowing that things can change, and you can still be magnificent.”
When the program shifted to high energy, Jon Batiste stole the show.
Steven Colbert’s bandleader has come a long way and was nominated for 11 Grammys. In his light-catching metallic suit, he pulled out his best moves and it was impressive indeed. He walked away with five gramophone trophies, including the big one “Album of the Year” for his get-up-and-dance creation called “We Are.”
There was also a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with pleas for help for his battered, war-torn country. His speech was warmly received and brought the audience to its feet. Jon Legend teamed up with a Ukrainian singer and artists from the country for a performance of “Free.”
Silk Sonic also pulled off an outstanding show and snagged “Record of the Year.” Keith Urban took the stage and announced, “The Grammy goes to … ‘Leave the Door Open.'”
The Foo Fighters grabbed some Grammy gold despite the recent loss of one of its band members. But from beginning to end, everyone was talking about the high-octane performances on Sunday night.
Even 78-year-old Joni Mitchell, who has looked at both sides now said, “That was such an incredible evening, I can retire now.”
Then: “Don’t count on it. There is much more music still to come.”