CBS is now officially the official network of the live f-bomb.
One week ago, the quarterback for the Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco, was caught using the world's most common expletive live on CBS in the minutes after winning the big game.
And now Jack White, performing live at the Grammys, has managed to catch the network off-guard again, slipping the dreaded word into the lyrics of Love Interruption. It was so fast and unexpected, no one seemed to notice at first.
The Parents Television Council criticized CBS for letting Flacco's profanity through, so the "family-oriented" watchdog organization will likely be up in arms again. But CBS was unapologetic last time. "It’s unfortunate, but in the heat of battle sometimes it happens,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told the Hollywood Reporter. “We try to avoid it, but sometimes it happens in live television."
Dirty word aside, White's all-out performance was considered a highlight of the night by many following the show on social media.
Performances to swear by
Taylor Swift, in top hat and hot pants, opened the Grammy broadcast with a fanciful, Lewis Carroll-inspired rendition of her nominated We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, but that was just the first of many attractive performances over the course of the evening.
Justin Timberlake, looking clean-cut and dapper like Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, performed his comeback-announcing single Suit & Tie through a lens that rendered the singer and his retro-styled orchestra in black and white. Colour came back for the premiere of Pusher Love Girl, a soulful number (with rap help from Jay-Z) from his upcoming album The 20/20 Experience.
Rihanna, the Barbadian bombshell who lost in the two categories in which she was nominated, likely served notice that she will be back next year. The Unapologetic hit-maker’s rendition of the ballad Stay was a classy, riveting moment.
The big-voiced Kelly Clarkson went home with one statuette (for Stronger, the best pop vocal album) and acquitted herself well with a tribute to a pair of icons, Pattie Page and Carole King. Clarkson followed Page’s mid-century hit Tennessee Waltz with (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, written by Gerry Goffin, Jerry Wexler and King (who was given a lifetime achievement award). Clarkson lost three major awards for her hit (What Doesn't Kill You) Stronger, but, as the song goes…
Did Taylor Swift take a shot at one of her ex-boyfriends?
After Swift broke into a faux British accent during her Grammy-opening performance, fans of the British boy band One Direction took to Twitter to voice their disdain at the apparent dig at one of the singer's former flames, One Direction member (and native Brit) Harry Styles.
The English-accented flourish came when Swift started speaking in the middle of an Alice in Wonderland-like performance of her Grammy-nominated song We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.
Reaction was swift. “Did Taylor Swift just do an English accent?” director Judd Apatow tweeted immediately after it happened.
Back together? Rihanna and Chris Brown make cute
Twitter was aflame Sunday night about Rihanna and Chris Brown cuddling up together in the audience at the Grammys. You can see them looking loving here.
Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna in 2009, back when they were going out for the first time. Photos of her bruised face outraged the public, and Brown did himself no favours when he had an image similar to the photo tattooed on his neck.
The couple has reportedly gotten back together this year, however, and their appearance at the Grammys seems to be a very public confirmation of their renewed relationship.
Put the weight right on them
After a memorial roll call for those the music industry lost this past year (including David Brubeck, Andy Williams, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb, Patti Page, Earl Scruggs, Davy Jones, Dick Clark, Hal David, Marvin Hamlisch, Kitty Wells, Doc Watson, Ravi Shankar, Donald (Duck) Dunn, Adam Yauch and Bob Welch), an all-star band paid tribute to Levon Helm, the Band’s singer and drummer who succumbed to cancer on April 19, 2012.
Elton John led a version of the Band’s signature song, The Weight, that featured the team of T-Bone Burnett, Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown, Brittany Howard (the Alabama Shakes’ soul-shouter) and Mavis Staples, the gospel singer closely associated with the Robbie Robertson-penned song.
“You put the load right on me,” the chorus goes, a fitting acknowledgment not only to Helm, but also to all players and songwriters – they give (and take on) so much for music lovers.
Could this be Marley?
Introduced as a tribute to Bob Marley, a live segment began with Bruno Mars singing his own song Locked Out of Heaven, which, really, is more of a tribute to Sting than anything else. Fittingly, the Stingster himself then popped out to render his ska-influenced Police hit Walking on the Moon.
Would anyone actually sing a Bob Marley song? The salute to old Tuff Gong finally happened for real when Rihanna and scion Ziggy Marley joined for a soulful rendition of Could You Be Loved that answered its own titular question.
When CBS issues a memo, the stars listen
CBS, the host broadcaster of the Grammy Awards, caused a stir when it issued a memo ordering nominees to dress conservatively at this year’s show. "Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered," CBS said. "Please avoid exposing bare flesh under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic."
Well, musicians being independent thinkers and rebels who live to express themselves freely and all that ... they completely acquiesced to the network’s demands. From Adele’s long-sleeve dress to Beyoncé’s trousers, there was nary a body part or bit of lingerie in sight. Katy Perry, who can usually be relied on to wear something at least a bit shocking, wore a body-covering gown in a shade of minty green.
Jennifer Lopez, who once wore this to the Grammys, had on a black gown with one leg and one arm showing. “As you can see, I read the memo,” she joked when she came out to hand out the first award of the evening.
Drake finally wins a Grammy in pre-show ceremony
The Los Angeles-based Canadian rapper Drake finally got off his Grammy schneid, winning in the best rap album category for Take Care, his lavishly produced hip-hop classic to be.
At the pre-telecast trophy giving session, where 70 of the 81 awards were given out, Drake lost out to throne-watching kingpins Jay-Z & Kanye West for top rap song and best rap performance, but was able to prevail in the album category after failing to convert his previous 10 nominations (2010-12) into hardware.
Now Drake has a real reason to light one of those cigars he’s so fond of.
Carly Rae Jepsen not called
In the acceptance speech for the best-song win, Nate Ruess of fun. pointed out that the New York band wasn’t all that young, despite the euphoric declaration of its mammoth anthem, We Are Young. “I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that song,” Ruess said. Same thing goes for Carly Rae Jepsen, whose crazy-catchy Call Me Maybe lost out in the category. The twirpy British Columbian appears younger than her 27 years, but her hit (just like fun.’s trophy taker) appeals to the young in all of us.
Jepsen, the best Canadian hope at the 55th-annual gala, also lost out to Adele in the best pop solo performance (a live version of Set Fire to the Rain). There is no crime in losing out in her two categories, but Jepsen was robbed when Call Me Maybe didn’t even receive a nomination for record of the year.
Thanks for playing – we have some lovely parting gifts for you
Rosie O’Donnell still doesn’t know who Arcade Fire is. The Montreal indie-rockers perplexed many with their album-of-the-year stunner in 2011 for The Suburbs, but lost out this year when their nominated song Abraham's Daughter (from The Hunger Games) went unawarded.
Other true-north nominees leaving the pre-telecast without hardware include Tamia, Melanie Fiona, Michael Bublé, Deadmau5, Loreena McKennitt, Howard Shore and popster-twins Tegan and Sara.
It’s cool – he’s Canadian
Though many lists of Canadian nominees don’t include him, the late jazz arranger Gil Evans was born in Toronto. The album Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans, a newly recorded collection of previously unheard scores, won a golden gramophone for best instrumental arrangement, while losing out in a couple of other categories. And so the Godfather of Cool Jazz swags anew in his grave.
McCartney’s Krall space
Michael Bublé lost out in the contest for the top traditional pop vocal, but there was some Canadian representation in the winning album. Backing up Paul McCartney on his Kisses on the Bottom was Diana Krall and her band.
Everybody loves Bonnie Raitt, but it is hard to fathom her 10th Grammy win, this year for her bluesy album Slipstream in the relatively new Americana category. It’s a fine comeback record, but how does it beat rootsier records by Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, the Lumineers and John Fullbright? Even Raitt seemed a little surprised. "I was up against all these guys who had much bigger records and a bigger splash. It makes an old girl feel good," she said afterwards.
The artist forever known as cool
After seeing a behooded, cane-carrying Prince present the award for record of the year to Gotye (For Somebody I Used to Know), master of ceremonies LL Cool J needs a new name. No one compares to His Purpleness in the category of cool.
Brian Wilson says no more Beach Boy reunions
Beach Boy founder Brian Wilson won a Grammy on Sunday, but said the iconic 60s band would probably not get back together again, after last year’s 50th anniversary reunion. “I doubt it, no, I don’t think so,” the frail-looking veteran star told reporters backstage after winning the Grammy for best historical album for The Smile Sessions.
The 70-year-old, who has long suffered with health problems, looked extremely weak as he was helped on stage during the Grammys pre-show to receive his award. He had to sit down during the backstage interview, and did so again in a corridor between media appearances. A Grammys source told reporters that Wilson recently had back surgery.
The legendary California surf band reunited to sing Good Vibrations at last year’s Grammys show, the first time they had played together live for over two decades. (AFP)