Did you watch the 2011 Grammy Awards last night, bellas? I did, and I really enjoyed parts of the show! Unlike in years past where performances have dragged on and winners left me scratching my head, I thought the 2011 awards got it right in many ways. These were my favorite Grammy award moments!

1 – Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist!

If you’ve never heard of her before, clearly you haven’t been reading Afrobella long enough! Esperanza Spalding has been one of my favorite artists — and best interviews — since 2008. Last night I loved seeing her beautiful natural coif in the audience, and when she won, I screamed in happiness. The gorgeous, natural haired musician made musical history by becoming the first jazz artist to ever win the Best New Artist category. YAY Esperanza!! You made us SO proud last night!

2 — The Aretha Franklin tribute gave me CHILLS. Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera, Florence Welch, Martina McBride, and Yolanda Adams turned it OUT. Click to watch before the powers that be take it off YouTube!

AND did you notice how much weight Aretha has lost? GO ‘HEAD Re-Re!!!! Your fans are rooting for you!!

3 — The old timers. Mick Jagger proved to everyone watching that the “It Factor” isn’t something you age out of. At 67, the man was still strutting and rockin the crowd. Bob Dylan’s voice has evolved into a full throated Tom Waits kind of experience now. And Barbra Streisand graced the stage in her first Grammy performance since 1980. WOW. Ageless and evergreen indeed.

4 — Cee Lo Green is a soul machine and he proved it last night in a colorful and SUPER FUN performance with a wacky feathered costume reminiscent of old school Elton John, Muppets on backup, and um…Gwyneth Paltrow? Definitely a highlight of the night!

5 — the newcomers you may not have heard of before. Last summer, I was lucky enough to catch Mumford and Sons at Lollapalooza, and they were amazing! I was thrilled to see them rock out on banjo during the Grammys last night. This is the song they performed, The Cave.

And according to my Twitter timeline, they made an impact and possibly won some new fans last night. Which is awesome. And from the minute Rihanna stopped singing during her performance with Eminem, I was like who is THAT singing now?? Her name is Skylar Grey and from what I hear, she wrote the hook on Love The Way You Lie and we’re going to hearing a LOT from her this year. Which I’m happy about because homegirl can SING.

Those were my fave moments of last night’s Grammy Awards. I don’t think anyone topped my favorite performance is 2010 – Pink remains in a class all by herself! – but the show was pretty entertaining, start to finish. What were your favorite moments?


aquababie says:
February 14, 2011, 8:48 am
I loved, loved, loved that Esperanza Spalding won! I've been a fan of hers for a while. I have her music. I've seen her perform live. She is truly an amazing and gifted musician. I also love the Janelle Monae performance. She is truly a talent a well. It's awesome to see artists who I love finally getting mainstream love.
bella says:
February 14, 2011, 9:38 am
I missed Janelle Monae's performance!!! Let me go to YouTube and check her out!
shana janelle says:
February 14, 2011, 9:45 am
I enjoyed most of the performances listed but the two standouts that surprised me was the tribute to Dolly Parton with Norah Jones, John Maher and I think it was Keith Urban and the performance Lady Antebellum did. I am going to download both.
shana janelle says:
February 14, 2011, 9:47 am
Oh yes I loved b.o.b, bruno mars and janelle monae also! I tweeted about how they each have so much talent-all in all it was a great show
PeaceImages says:
February 14, 2011, 9:50 am
uhmm.. Gwyneth was WEARING that catsuit. I simply must have it.... if you find it Bella, holla! great post. Yay Esperanza!!
nichole says:
February 14, 2011, 3:25 pm
Overall, it was much better than many in the recent past. I too love that Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist. I remember being truly mesmerized by her from Prince's Tribute at the BET awards. She is truly an artist and a talented one at that. Yea Esperanza and jazz! Cee Lo's song was the highlight of my summer last year. I just like being able to see people sing with soul and he does that. No pomp & circumstance, just musicianship. And thanks to Aretha letting people know that prayers are just as important as cards and flowers. Be well Queen.
Ms. Iman says:
February 14, 2011, 8:54 pm
That wasn't healthy weight that Aretha lost. That's weight loss from being sick for so long. In the Detroit Free Press they had a picture of her at a recent Piston's game. She does not look as well as that video of her would have you believe.
Jellytea says:
February 15, 2011, 12:54 am
My favorite moment will always be Eminem no matter what else is going on. He is amazingly talented and I was surprised he didn't take more awards. Other than that, the Aretha tribute and Mick Jagger had me jumping and yelling at the tv. All those powerhouse voiced women on one stage was incredible. Mick was great and looked great. I hope more women take note that aging is a process, not a curse. Wrinkles and a little sagging looks natural and dignified. The only thing that bothered me about this year's show was the omission of Guru in the memorandum.
Nikki says:
February 15, 2011, 8:47 am
Ms. Iman, the weight loss is from some form of weight loss surgery, or so they say. My favorite moments: the ReeRee tribute, Cee Lo (but where was the Electric Mayhem?? CeeLo AND Animal?? and I kept waiting for Gwenyth to fall down those stairs, they both looked like they were having fun), Justin's performance (thought it was cute, and did you see Will and Jada's faces as they watched their baby onstage?!), annd the look on everyone's faces as Esperanza's name was called. Kudos to my ex-crush, Drake, for standing and applauding. I was Facebooking and Tweeting my butt off. So much so, that I am determined to have a Grammy party next year at soemone's house!!
Poohie says:
March 8, 2011, 6:06 am
Hi Bella, I love everything about your site and indeed my latest fascination is with Janelle Monae and Esperanza Spalding...a beautiful and welcome difference in the music industry...
Dorothy says:
March 10, 2011, 2:28 pm
Really, i loved the norah jones, keith urban and john mayer bit. It seemed endearingly casual and simple to me, almost as if they'd decided to do it at the last minute before they got on stage. Also, b.o.b., bruno mars and janelle were impressive. I really liked the retro feel.