Grammy’s Gayest Moments
Last night’s Grammy Awards offered a few shockers (congratulations to those adorable French-Canadian darlings Arcade Fire for winning album of the year) as well as some camp moments, bloopers and a genuinely gay old time. Does anyone else think Bieber looks like a baby lesbian? And while we’re disappointed that anti-gay reggae artist Buju Banton won best reggae album (the Jamaican musician is going on trial today for federal drug trafficking charges) and that Lady Gaga didn’t thank Madonna, there were plenty of moments to celebrate (like brilliant artistry from Mumford & Sons). Here are 10 of G Philly‘s favorite highlights.
1. Lady Gaga arrives in an egg. Just when we thought the meat dress was about as ridiculous as it gets, this year’s getup trumped all. Sure, Gaga may be a bit derivative musically (her new tune sounds suspiciously like Madonna’s “Express Yourself”) but her artful vision (however Mork from Ork) is appreciated compared to the throngs of overly manicured artists who scarcely hum a bar without their publicist’s approval. Gaga theatre is refreshing, even if it’s mostly homage to homage itself. Her message (and her new gay anthem “Born This Way”) is always on point with gay fans. She also won for best pop vocal album for The Fame Monster and female pop vocal performance for “Bad Romance.” Our question is: Will she fashion herself after all of the major food groups?
2. Barbra Streisand looked radiant, like she stepped out of 1976 when she sang her hit song “Evergreen” from that year. She also appeared with one-time co-star Kris Kristofferson (they shared the spotlight in A Star is Born) to announce the album of the year. We’re not sure how Babs stays looking so fresh (must be all that herbal tea she drinks on stage) but we were thrilled to see this diva away from the Fockers and back behind the mic where she belongs.
3. Mick Jagger has been a pop culture fixture ever since Liza took a twirl at Studio 54 and Warhol painted his soup cans. The gay-friendly artist (rumored to have had an affair with David Bowie back in the day) paid soulful tribute to Solomon Burke who passed away late last year. The Rolling Stones originally covered Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” on a 1965 album. He reprised the performance as only Jagger could last night: all lips and hips.
4. Before Gaga, there was Dolly. Parton, that is. Even if the all-star tribute to this country queen featured snoozers like Keith Urban and John Mayer (with a welcomed jazzy touch by Norah Jones) doing “Jolene,” they paled in comparison to the high-energy performances the pint-size diva – beloved among gay fans – consistently delivers. We prefer seeing Dolly do Dolly any time, y’all.
5. Muse won best rock album. The alt Brit rockers are popular among the gays thanks to poignant lyrics and danceable riffs about love, angst and, well, looking good.
6. Cee Lo appeared with the Muppets (and honorary Muppet Gywenth Paltrow) during a flamboyant, Liberace-like performance of “Forget You” (nee “F- -k You”) that would make even Elton John proud.
7. One may not always associate gospel with the gays. But Patty Griffin – who won for traditional gospel album – has long been a gay and lesbian favorite. She even penned a song about gay suicide called “Tony” in 1998 long before it became a current events discussion.
8. La Roux‘s Elly Jackson may deny she’s queer (despite the faux hawk, androgyny and vintage 80s fashion sense) but whatever her “Bulletproof” sexuality, this LGBT favorite won for best electronic dance album. Another gayish non-gay, Philly native Pink, was praised for her pop collaboration with vocals on Imagine.
9. Madonna may have sadly been missing from this award’s show, but a remix of her Revolver was given a non-classical nod thanks to Afrojack’s fancy studio work. It’s worth Googling a few of her past Grammy performances that – while memorable – are often usurped by the scenes she made at MTV’s Video Music Awards ever since the 80s. Haus of Gaga fans may see some striking similarities.
10. Christina Aguilera is not having a good month. After tripping up the lyrics to the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, she almost slipped off the stage at the Grammy’s last night during a tribute to Aretha Franklin alongside Florence Welch (of the fabulous Florence + the Machine) among others. And while we know it’s not polite to point and laugh, it was definitely one for the Grammy blooper reel.