The 64th Grammy Awards had everything from comic relief to exhilarating performances and heartfelt speeches. Trevor Noah started the night with a comedic tone, joking "We’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths," in a blatant reference to the Oscars. The comedic tone was interspersed with heartfelt moments, with the Ukrainian President Zelensky's moving speech and John Legend's subsequent performance of his new song "Free," and Lady Gaga's tribute to Tony Bennett.
A Plea from Ukraine
"Our musicians wear body armors instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can't hear them. But the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound."
President Zelensky made a surprise appearance during the Grammys with a pre-
recorded video speech. He started his speech with a striking question: "The war. What is more opposite to music?" He continued by describing the dire situation in the Ukraine,
highlighting the number of civilian casualties and the constant bombings. He ended his speech with, "But I have a dream of ... living, and free—free like you on the Grammy stage." The idea of freedom was the perfect transition for John Legend to perform his new song "Free," accompanied by Ukrainian musicians Mika Newton and Siuzanna Iglidan and the poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
A Tribute to Tony
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga have made a dynamic jazz duo and cultivated a loving friendship since they started collaborating for their 2014 album, Cheek to Cheek. Their
album, Love for Sale, won the Grammy for traditional vocal pop album. This album is especially meaningful for Gaga and Bennett, as it is expected to be Bennett's last album since he officially retired last year. He did not attend the awards show and instead taped a message introducing Lady Gaga. She performed the album's title song, "Love for Sale," in addition to "Do I Love You," solo, as a video of her time with Bennett played in the background. She gave him a shoutout mid-performance and ended with a personal message to him. Her Instagram post from last November, after the Grammy nominations were announced, sums their relationship up best: “Thank you to the public for loving us, we surely love each other, and you. Believe in love and partnership, even with 60 years between us, and Alzheimer’s, there is nothing like the magic of music.”