Chancellor Bennett, known better by his stage name Chance the Rapper, won his first ever Grammy for Best New Artist on Sunday night. What makes his award so special? He is the first artist to ever win a Grammy who is not signed with a record label. Chance has his own way of doing things; his music is free. He does not want to put a cage around his creativity, he refuses to sell his name and sound, and let a record label profit from it. He does not release physical CDs or vinyl; instead, his latest mix tape (he doesn’t refer to his compositions as albums) was posted on his own website, on YouTube, and on Sound Cloud for anyone who wanted to listen. He makes his money by selling concert tickets and merchandise at his shows. He made history by becoming the first streaming only artist to win a Grammy. Additionally, according to Rolling Stone, he is the first black hip- hop artist to win Best New Artist since 1999.
In addition to his gospel inspired versus, Chance the Rapper is well known for his work with 21 time Grammy winning Kanye West. In fact, in his featured verse of Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam”, the intro to Life of Pablo, his lyric is, “He said let’s do a good job with Chance three, I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy.” Chance three is the nickname for his mixtape Coloring Book, as it was Chance’s third solo mixtape. Maybe three is his lucky number, because Chance managed to snatch three Grammy awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance for “No Problem” (a song about record labels not having a problem with him not signing with them), and for Best Rap Album with Coloring Book.
Other winners include Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun of the band Twenty One Pilots. They accepted a Grammy on Sunday night for Best Pop Duo/ Group Performance for their song “Stressed Out” but they did it pantsless. As they walked up to the stage to accept their award, they removed their pants. They did not leave the audience curious for long though, in their acceptance speech they shared their story. According to Tyler Joseph years ago before they were popular the duo were watching the Grammys at his house both pantsless, there they made a promise to each other that if they ever won a Grammy they should do it the same fashion. Their message was inspiring, noting that “anyone, from anywhere, can do anything.”
Many stellar performances took place Sunday night, among which includes Beyoncé’s goddess like performance that was too perfect for words. She wore a halo and proudly displayed her baby bump, pregnant with twins in an almost Virgin Mary-esque manner. She accepted two Grammys for Best Music Video for Formation and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade. Beyoncé’s acceptance speech was touching, the pregnant mother of Blue Ivy talked about how it is important to her to show her children images that reflect their own beauty, and that is something she wants for children of all races. Although Beyoncé was nominated for Album of the Year, the award went to Adele.
Adele also gave a performance at the Grammys; she opened the entire show singing Hello, which won her three awards including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. She left the 59th annual awards with a total of five Grammys, but not before stopping the entire show. During a tribute to the late George Michael, she not only dropped the f word on live broadcast, she broke down and asked for a redo and they started the song all over. It should be noted that Adele also performed at the Grammys in 2016 and there was a technical glitch with one of the microphones, making the whole song sound a bit off. She went on Ellen not long after her performance and joked that if that ever happened again she would just ask for a redo, well, she got it.
Much to no one’s surprise, it did not take long for the Grammys to get political. Non-nominated artist Joy Villa made things political before the show even began by arriving to the red carpet in a huge white cape and removing it to reveal a blue sequin dress saying “Make America Great Again” down the entire side, and “Trump” around the train. A Tribe Called Quest preformed with Anderson .Paak and were very vocal about their feelings, using their platform they called out “president agent orange” and then had backup dances enter the stage by breaking down a fake brick wall. Katy Perry also sang “Chained to the Rhythm” with Bob Marley’s grandson Skip, with “We the People” a picture of the beginning of the Constitution, as their backdrop.
The night was eventful filled with lots of amazing music, inspirational speeches, bad dresses, and British host James Corden’s jokes. A total of 84 Grammy awards were given out, and Chance won! Artists have provided enough inspiration and wisdom to make anyone believe they can succeed if they try; who knows who will be at the award show next year.