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Grammy grab bag: Remembering the greats, absurd fashion, and political hot topics

Sarah Hanlon, Special to 24 Hours

They say music soothes the soul.

And last night, the industry’s biggest and brightest artists reminded us that a tune can still unite the world.

While the 59th Annual Grammy Awards celebrated the year’s most impactful artists and music, it was also a sobering time to remember the myriad legends we lost in 2016 like Prince, George Michael and David Bowie.

But that didn’t stop stars from getting political and dishing fashion on the red carpet. 

Here are our favourite moments:

Demi Lovato’s  evolving sound

First-time nominee Demi Lovato confirmed she’s moving away from pop music to embrace a more soulful sound. The 24-year-old pop star is focused on a more mature sound on her latest album and promised her fans she’s going to keep evolving and “trying new things.”

John Legend’s Oscar scoop

John Legend, voice to the new Beauty and the Beast single opposite Ariana Grande, admitted to Ryan Seacrest he felt honoured to perform a cover of The Beach Boys, God Only Knows, during the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment. The Grammy winner also revealed he will perform a La La Land medley at the Oscars this year, joking that “for some reason Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone don’t want  to sing and they told me to sing for them.” 

Best dressed

No one took a moment from shining bright like a diamond thanks to beaded gems and embroidery. Everyone from Adele, in a gem-toned green Givenchy beaded gown, to Lea Michele, in a beautifully embroidered Roberto Cavalli dress, to Paris Jackson, in her Balmain 70s inspired rainbow pantsuit sparkling in colourful beadwork. Not to be outdone, Carrie Underwood stole the show with her stunning ruby red dress, complete with crystals, a high neckline and slit up the centre. Also turning heads? Jennifer Lopez in a beautiful pink gown, letting it be known a movie star was in the house.

Trail blazers 

Donald Trump wouldn’t approve, especially after his White House dress memo, but there were a lot of striking jackets on both sexes, from masculine plush neutrals like Ryan Seacreast’s suit from his own collection Distinction to Jill Scott’s tailored and sexy patterned grey power blazer. Presenter Nick Jonas wowed with a studded Balmain jacket that harkened a Micheal Jackson vibe. Fellow boy bander Zayn Malik brought the sexy too with a similar look at a pre-Grammy party last night. Host James Corden wore a dusty rose satin jacket on the red carpet that matched his wife’s sparkling dress of the same colour. Singer Mya killed the jacket vibe in a striking vibrant red pantsuit with a peek-a-boo cage bra underneath a secretary bow. Red was a big colour of the night. But it was Lady Gaga who won for jacket of the night with her backless, leather and feather cropped look that was both futuristic and retro.

Cox: Bey’s biggest fan

Laverne Cox felt like a fan during her first Grammy appearance. Mainly because she was excited to see the very pregnant Beyoncé perform. The Orange is the New Black and Doubt star hoped to meet her idol — an encounter she said would send her into uncontrollable tears. 

Cox rocked an edgy Bryan Hearns leather dress with cut-outs down the entire thigh.

 Worst dressed

“I woke up like this,” said CeeLo Green, who definitely earned worst dressed honours. Swallowed up in a shiny gold costume with a strange facial mask, Green looked like he was auditioning for a superhero movie. (Memes had a blast on Twitter, natch.) Meanwhile, Joy Villa dazzled spectators  in all the wrong ways — sporting a visually and arguably offensive Make America Great Again red, white and blue sparkle dress complete with a blue bouffant train with the word “Trump” blazed across the bottom in silver.

Drake news

Southern rapper 2 Chainz’s new album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, will have a sound on it familiar to most Torontonians. Drake will be featured on the new project, which comes out April 7th. 2 Chainz 

(who walked away a winner last night) told E! that the two worked on the musical collaboration together for both their new albums. He said, “I’ve known Drake for maybe 9 years now. It’s always good vibes, always good conversation and always good music.” Drake had another fan at the Grammy’s: Despite reports that their flirtation is now over, Jennifer Lopez giggled that creative sparks were definitely flying when she and the rapper worked together recently, adding that she “has so much love for that boy.”

Opening review:  Did James Corden hit the right notes as host?

While most expected host James Corden to open with a hilarious monologue, the Grammys played it safe by having Adele walk out singing last year’s most revered and overplayed single, Hello. Given the political state of the world, it was a sweet if mediocre decision. I’d have preferred a Carpool Karaoke opening but that’s just me. When Corden did pop up, he played out a clumsy bit that, well, felt clumsy. Prior to the kudofest airing, Corden swore he wouldn’t sing during the ceremony. He was half right: The Late Late Show host chose to rap instead. He nailed a pretty impressive rap bit, which not only poked fun at himself but at the spectacle that is the music industry, shouting out to Queen Bey and her unborn children and Lopez’s and Drake’s rumoured failed relationship. We’re not sure if Corden will be asked to host the Oscars just yet — so Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel shouldn’t be too worried yet. But overall, given Corden’s love of music, he was definitely a much more exciting choice than previous host LL Cool J.