It’s no secret that we all have a love-hate relationship with the Grammys. One moment, it leaves us with audible snubs, and the next, we get effortless additions to those Pop Culture Moments That Never Get Old compilations on YouTube. Sometimes, the stage also evolves into a cradle of iconic performances.
To relive a chunk of 2022 music history that happened just a few hours ago, we’re revisiting our favorites. Out of all the performances in the 64th annual Grammy Awards held in Las Vegas, here’s a list of the best performances of the night, at least in our book.
Lady Gaga – “Love For Sale,” “Do I Love You”
The 13-time Grammy winner time-traveled with the crowd to old Hollywood-esque territory with her top-tier vocal range, stunning stage presence, and quirky (but still beguiling) dance moves. While some might be taken aback by Lady Gaga’s unpredictable treatment of each lyric, it would eventually lean towards a smoothly theatrical take with emotion oozing out of her—especially as it serves as a tribute to her collaborator, Tony Bennett. Even Billie Eilish approves.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) April 4, 2022
H.E.R. feat. Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Travis Barker, and Lenny Kravitz – “Damage,” “We Made It,” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way”
We love performances that peel off an artist’s unfamiliar layers, and this medley production starring the 24-year-old Filipino-American singer and best traditional R&B performance winner does the job. H.E.R. walks us through her long roster of musical talents starting with her soulful—and undeniably groovy—collaboration with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. She then jumps right into the drums (like it’s an everyday thing) before proceeding with a heartstopping mini rock show with Travis Barker and Lenny Kravitz. Now that’s versatility.
— InStyle (@InStyle) April 4, 2022
Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers License”
Look, it’s definitely not the first (and not even the 50th) time we’ve heard this song. But Olivia Rodrigo’s magic just transforms everything into a new experience to just feel through, especially in that emotionally charged bridge. The set design’s straightforwardness (a car parked in the suburbs, of course) is a helpful rather than off-putting detail, as it reminds us of how honest this ballad’s intention is right from the start in January 2021. That, as well as the instrumentation, doesn’t overshadow the best new artist’s clear-cut vocal performance—which definitely improved a whole lot throughout her “Sour” era. We can’t wait for what’s next.
— MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS) April 4, 2022
Billie Eilish – “Happier Than Ever”
The music video for “Happier Than Ever” is a peep into Billie Eilish’s creative vision, and witnessing its explosive live performance version, alongside her brother Finneas, is nothing short of satisfying. In a flood-filled hotel space, the two-year Grammy sweeper—dressed in a Taylor Hawkins tee—exhibits her insanely hypnotizing vocal prowess, making the song feel more like a one-on-one confession than an indirect shoutout.
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) April 4, 2022
BTS – “Butter”
Who wouldn’t stop and stare when the lights are on them? The two-time Grammy-nominated superstars from South Korea role-played the heck out of their mega-hit single “Butter” with a smooth world-building agenda straight out of “Mission Impossible.” Jungkook gliding from the ceiling? V brewing a meme template-worthy skit with Olivia Rodrigo? All of them trying to convince us they’re dodging lasers when they’re just hypnotizing us with that dance break? RM, Jin, Jimin, Suga, J-hope, Jungkook, and V are easily the night’s top history-makers, and they don’t need a gramophone to prove it.
— E! News (@enews) April 4, 2022
Photos of Billie Eilish, FINNEAS, and BTS by Matt Winkelmeyer/GI
Photo of Lady Gaga by Christopher Polk for Variety
Photo of Olivia Rodrigo by Rich Fury/GI
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