Texas was well-represented at the Grammys on Sunday night in terms of hardware and jaw-dropping performances. Beyoncé, as she is wont to do, made magic on the stage with a performance so epic that it required a preamble and a prelude. Beyoncé may have missed out on the coveted Album of the Year to Adele, but even the winner conceded that Queen Bey is her hero. Things were a little less groundbreaking for Gary Clark Jr. and Maren Morris—and literally every other artist on the stage that night, sure—but they were no less potent. Check out the highlight performances below:
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Last night, of course, was not the first time Beyoncé has performed at a nationally televised awards show while visibly pregnant. Bey announced her first pregnancy at the 2011 MTV Music Awards after an athletic performance in six-inch heels. But Blue Ivy was only one baby, and now Beyoncé carries two, which makes last night the first time in recent memory that we have seen a Bey performance in which she didn’t dance.
Limited as she was, our Queen relied on what have become the other staples of her live shows: heavily edited videos, an army of background dancers, ethereal costumes, coded visual imagery, and cryptic hints that invite us to speculate on current health of her marriage. (They’re doing great, by the way. We think.) As always, she looked like a goddess and she hit every mark and every note. This may not have been the most physically demanding routine Beyonce has done on a chair at the Grammys, but it met the Bey standard, which is to say, it went above and beyond any other performance we saw on that stage last night. Also, can we talk about those hologram Blue Ivies?
Gary Clark Jr. and William Bell
Austin blues hero Gary Clark Jr. more or less has a standing invitation to perform at the Grammys. In 2016, he teamed up with Chris Stapleton and Bonnie Raitt for his performance; in 2015, it was Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran, and the year before that, he was onstage alongside Keith Urban. It’s rare for Clark to be the main attraction rather than the sideman to a superstar on the Grammys stage, but this time around, he stepped into the spotlight with 77-year-old Stax Records songwriter William Bell, as the two tore through Bell’s “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which Bell co-wrote with Booker T. Jones in 1967. The Grammys are a celebration of pop music in all its forms, and sometimes that means giving the audience the blues, too.
Maren Morris and Alicia Keys
Maren Morris had a heck of a night—she may have lost Best New Artist to Grammys darling Chance The Rapper (which in and of itself is a feat worth including in your own Wikipedia page, honestly), but she took home Best Country Solo Performance over heavyweights like Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban, and her performance of the bluesy, soulful “Once” ratcheted up in intensity after Alicia Keys—a well-placed, if unexpected duet partner for a country act—joined her to make it a duet.