Music’s biggest stars came out to celebrate the Grammys, and, this year, religion played an astonishingly large role in the night’s festivities.
The Grammys have now come and gone after some electrifying performances and awards given for incredible work. With all of the different awards and attendees, there is always bound to be some personal influence within the Grammy awards. This year, like many before it, was rife with religious symbolism that deeply impacted the show and made it more than a ceremony about music. We will take a look back at some of these religious moments that reverberated throughout the ceremony.
One of the most astounding performances of the night was given by Beyonce, who sang a beautiful rendition of “Take My hand, Precious Lord.” Her voice and her gorgeous white outfit stunned the crowd as she sang the hymn, an apparent favorite of her mother as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Katy Perry also performed a song that had significant religious overtones from her Prism album. She sang “By The Grace Of God,” using the song as a means of introducing none other than President Obama who had a prepared speech about changing our culture to prevent violence against women and girls. While at the Grammys, the singer also admitted that God spoke to her as she prepared for her Super Bowl performance.
However, not all of the performances were geared towards Christianity. In a rather confusing moment, several audience members were seen with glowing horns. These were used for the “Highway to Hell” introduction by AC/DC, and while most people put them away shortly after being asked to do so, some people kept them on, prompting some to say that it was a purposeful Satanic theme.
Religious Grammy Awards
During the Grammys there was powerful competition for the awards given out for gospel songs and albums. The Best Gospel Performance/Song was especially hard-fought with “No Greater Love” by Smokie Norful taking home the win after having to compete with “Help” (Erica Campbell featuring Lecrae), “Sunday A.M.” (Karen Clark Sheard), “I Believe” (Mali Music), and “Love on the Radio” (The Walls Group).
The award for the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song was won by “Messengers,” which was composed by Lecrae Featuring For King & Country. They had to compete with the chart-climbing “Write Your Story” (Francesca Battistelli) as well as “Come As You Are” (Crowder), “Shake” (MercyMe), and “Multiplied” (Needtobreathe).
The overall Best Gospel Album went to Help by Erica Campbell. This was seen as one of the closest album races in the entire Grammy awards. “Help” had to compete against “Forever Yours” (Smokie Norful), “Amazing” (Ricky Dillard & New G), “Withholding Nothing” (William McDowell), and “Vintage Worship” (Anita Wilson) to come away with the win that night.
The Best Contemporary Christian Music Album Award went to “Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.” by For King & Country, besting “If We’re Honest” (Francesca Battistelli), “Hurricane” (Natalie Grant), “Welcome To The New” (MercyMe), and “Royal Tailor” (Royal Tailor). “Shine For All The People” by Mike Farris beat “Forever Changed” (T. Graham Brown), “Hymns” (Gaither Vocal Band), “A Cappella” (The Martins), and “His Way Of Loving Me” (Tim Menzies) for the Best Roots Gospel Album Grammy.
While it seems to have fallen out of the acceptance speeches for many mainstream Pop performers, several Gospel artists were quick to give their thanks to God for giving them the inspiration to win. One noteworthy example of this giving of thanks was Lecrae, who won the award for the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ Song for “Messengers”. He said “You can’t celebrate gifts without celebrating the giver of all gifts” while accepting his award His award acceptance speech reverberated throughout the internet, causing many people to celebrate him as a class act.
Beyonce was another winner of the evening that took time to thank God for her award. Beyonce and Jay Z won for their song “Drunk in Love,” which was a critical and commercial success for the duo. They were up against seasoned performers such as Usher, Chris Brown and R. Kelly. Among the others that she thanked for empowering her to win the award were her fans and her living husband, Jay Z.
Scientology Wins Big
Two Scientologist performers also took home Grammys this week. Chick Corea won an award for the Best Improved Jazz Solo for his song “Fingerprints” and Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Trilogy. His long career began almost five decades ago, and he is a proud member of the methods and materials of the Church of Scientology.
Beck was another big winner during the Grammys, coming away with the Album of the Year award that so many have wanted. Beck also won an award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for Morning Phase. However, Beck’s success was not without controversy as Kanye West took to the stage in protest of him winning over Beyonce. Still, Beck handled the encounter with class and competence, appearing to invite Kanye back on stage after he left before speaking. Even after the awards show was over, Beck took to social media to say that he cannot please everyone and still believes that Kanye is “a genius”. The success of these two artists led to many people discussing the positive aspects of scientology online based solely on the poise and abilities of Beck and Chick Corea.
This was another great ceremony that will go down as one of the most memorable Grammys awards to date. While there were plenty of great performances and awards, this year’s Grammys will be known for their religious material as well as the music.