Music’s biggest night may have been based in from Los Angeles, but the Windy City also served as a major music industry hub when the Chicago Chapter’s 57th GRAMMY Telecast Viewing Party visited Lincoln Hall. Hosted by Chicago Board member Miss Alex White (also front woman for White Mystery), voting members representing every conceivable artistic medium had their chance to hit the red carpet, watch a warm-up set by jazz/rap/hip-hop rockers Zaramela, grab swag and compete for high-end headphones from Shure, all while sampling the latest from Goose Island Beer Company, Deep Eddy Vodka, Gnarly Head Wines and Black Dog Gelato.
Though Sam Smith was the talk of the town as he sang his smash “Stay With Me” alongside Mary J. Blige and brought home no less than four trophies, an even more surprising collaboration between Hozier and Annie Lennox took the prize as the runaway performance highlight.
While the noshing and networking was a major point of attraction, the big screen broadcast served as the main event and once again delivered a star-studded line-up like no other. Though Sam Smith was the talk of the town as he sang “Stay With Me” alongside Mary J. Blige and brought home no less than four trophies (including “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”), an even more surprising collaboration between Hozier and Annie Lennox for his “Take Me To Church” and a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” took the prize as the runaway highlight.
The bridging of generations continued as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga crooned “Cheek To Cheek,” while a fiercely fit Madonna further defied age during “Living For Love,” which stayed right on top of today’s pop trends. And in upholding the GRAMMY’s unpredictable tradition, somewhat under the radar alt-rocker Beck swooped in to win “Album of the Year,” which sent ripples of surprise and celebration through Lincoln Hall to cap off a variety-filled show that blended the best of the present with many who paved its way.