After the first hour of the Grammy Awards broadcast, it looked as though Arlington native Maren Morris would suffer a shutout on her big night. After losing out on trophies for the first three awards she was up for -- Country Album, Best Country Song and Best New Artist -- the evening carried a nice-to-be-nominated feeling.
As the second hour began after Beyonce delivered a strange, stunning performance, the short-lived but dramatic drought came to an end when Morris finally snagged her first gold-plated gramophone trophy for Best Country Solo Performance.
Maren Morris' "My Church" beat out tunes from Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and critical darling Brandy Clark.
Then, Morris teamed up with the fantastic Alicia Keys for a lush, sexy take on "Once," one of the standout tracks from her well-received major label debut record Hero. With an elegant orchestra backing them up, the duo was seamless in the collaboration. We already knew Morris was a force; now we know she has sticking power.
Morris's award capped an impressive run from a host of artists with North Texas ties. One country award Morris wasn't up for, Best Country Duo/Group Performance, was won by everyone's favorite local a cappella group Pentatonix, for their duet with Dolly Parton on Parton's legendary "Jolene."
Though Fort Worth's Gospel king Kirk Franklin lost where he was nominated for his collaboration on Kanye West's "Ultralight Beam" in Best Rap Song, he came out triumphant in the Best Gospel Album category for his album Losing My Religion. And he joined in the fun with Fort Worth's Tamela Mann, who took home the Best Gospel Song trophy for "God Provides," written by Franklin.
The Denton-born, Brooklyn-based jazz outfit Snarky Puppy won another Grammy, while Leon Bridges lost out on the Video of the Year to Beyonce.
Kelly Clarkson, up for Best Pop Solo Performance, and Demi Lovato, up for Best Pop album, both lost to Adele -- which pretty much everyone did at some point or another.
Other interesting items of note:
- Host James Corden was a great choice and brought his A game.
- Adele, after opening show with an inoffensive take on "Hello" kept it super real when she stopped mid-song during her tribute to George Michael in order to get the words right before starting over and nailing it. Then she won a lot of awards, including Album of the Year.
- Chance the Rapper winning Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap was deserved and validation for an artist doing things his own way.
- Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban were wildly boring and not a great representation of modern country music, primarily because their song sounded more like the Weeknd with Daft Punk than the previous performance of the night ... by the Weeknd and Daft Punk.
- Ed Sheeran and his whole pseudo one-man-band act isn't fun anymore, if it ever was to begin with.
- Sturgill Simpson's performance of "All Around You" featuring the Dap-Kings horns was a clear-eyed punch to the gut that can't be synthetically produced by fancy sets, lights or manufactured duets.
- Speaking of manufactured duets, ageless metal wonders Metallica and Lady Gaga didn't set the world on fire, thanks in large part of James Hetfield's microphone not working. But it was a cool attempt, even if it missed the mark a bit.
- Demi Lovato paid fine tribute to the Bee Gees as she belted out "Staying Alive" with bold swagger. But Little Big Town drenched Demi's fire with a sleepy, wet blanket of a performance.
- Seeing A Tribe Called Quest perform with Anderson.Paak was every bit as moving and impressive as it sounds like it would be. When the group busted through a wall as Busta Rhymes spoke out against President Trump's ("Agent Orange") recent travel ban, the night had the political wallop it had lacked before then.