An hour before music’s biggest night kicked off at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Chicago chapter members and invited guests began celebrating at Pilsen’s historic Thalia Hall for the annual GRAMMY Telecast Viewing Party. Local R&B/gospel newcomer Sir the Baptist got some horn heavy praise brewing as attendees sampled hook-ups from Lagunitas Brewing Company, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine and Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn.
Yet this year’s most touching GRAMMY triumphs didn’t come from celebrations of today, but rather remembrances of yesterday, including tributes to B.B. King, the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White, Motorhead’s Lemmy, and of course, David Bowie.
From there, event hostess/fellow gospel singer Anita Wilson introduced the 58th annual event and also gave away the first of several prizes (such as Second City tickets and a GRAMMY swag bag). Across the next three-and-a-half hours, winners came as expectedly as Taylor Swift’s “1989” trifecta (including “Album of the Year”) and Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” earning “Record of the Year,” through the slightly less expected “Song of the Year” score for first time winner Ed Sheeran via “Thinking Out Loud.”
Naturally, each envelope unsealing came with its own excitement, but the performances captured even more of everyone’s attention, starting with Taylor Swift’s assertive opener “Out of the Woods.” From there, it was a who’s who of pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B and country hitmakers with varying degrees of success, including solid showings from The Weeknd and Little Big Town, a theatrical statement from Kendrick Lamar, a sound-plagued and struggling Adele, plus a scene stealing Demi Lovato during a multi-artist salute to MusiCares Person of the Year Lionel Richie.
Yet this year’s most touching GRAMMY triumphs didn’t come from celebrations of today, but rather remembrances of yesterday, including tributes to B.B. King, the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White and Motorhead’s Lemmy. And if the music world hadn’t lost enough legends this past year, Lady Gaga sent a potent reminder to the masses of David Bowie’s many monumental contributions during a massive, costume-changing medley, which was likely go down as the most moving from a night filled with far too many goodbyes.
Click here for more GRAMMY Telecast Viewing Party photos from Thalia Hall.