There is perhaps no other trade that values collaboration and camaraderie more than music-making –– it’s a happy necessity to have good connections with artist comrades. And actors ain’t got nothing on musicians when it comes to having a good time — which is just us saying if you thought the Golden Globes was a pretty kickback, relaxed awards affair, the Grammys is a straight-up party.
That’s how it was supposed to feel, at least. But this year, the ceremony was markedly much heavier.
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Days before the show, Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan voiced out a laundry list of her own company’s misdeeds: from discrimination to voting manipulation. Her subsequent ousting did nothing to quell the commotion she had caused. The whole ceremony was cast in an even darker shadow with the untimely death of Kobe Bryant. With all the stars gathered at the Staples Center, affectionately called “the house that Kobe built,” it felt like a well-attended funeral service with guests who didn’t get the memo.
Call it a bad show, or simply bad timing, there was nothing that could stop the celebration at Music’s Greatest Night. The Grammys have always been known to be the wildcard of the awards season, and given all the sudden events, this time was no different. An already chaotic show was spurned by even more chaotic dresses — to say nothing of the pack of sparkly cowboys in attendance.
The looks featured below go from crazy good to just plain crazy, and we’re just here to enjoy the spectacle.
BTS: The first Korean act in the world to perform at the Grammys stage made an outstanding debut all clad in Bottega Veneta, with particular attention to “Worldwide Handsome” Jin.
Common: Looking finer with age in a burgundy Dolce & Gabbana suit.
Trevor Noah: If Common can be compared to wine, then the late night host was his champagne chaser.
James Blake: If there’s any event that calls for experimentation, it’s the Grammys, and the English musician’s romp with androgyny is the perfect fit.
Steve Lacy: Billy Porter isn’t the only guy allowed to rock an evening gown, and the Californian producer beats him to a punch in Comme des Garcon.
Iggy Pop: The Godfather of Punk managed to be both overdressed and underdressed wearing a three-piece suit and some bedazzled Gucci slides.
Tyler, The Creator: Ringing in the new year with a Grammy win and a Wes Anderson schtick.
Beck: The 90s star made a dazzling return to the charts with Hyperspace, and a similar red carpet romp in Celine.
The Jonas Brothers: No gold gramophones for the siblings, only their Ermenegildo Zegna gilded suits and trophy wives.
Usher: Athleisure, but with rhinestones. Lots of them.
Flavor Flav: We cover some iconic timepieces, but this jewel-encrusted clock-on-a-chain borders on overkill.
Lil Nas X, Diplo, Orville Peck, and Billy Ray Cyrus: The 20-year-old Grammy winner and his collaborators made country cool with their variations of the revived Old Town Road, and ensured cowboy hats aren’t going away anytime soon.
Billy Porter: At this point, anything the actor wears is sure to make headlines. He just caught on to the trend as it happened.
Photograph of Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil' Nas X by REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Remaining photographs by REUTERS/Mike Blake