12 Winners and Losers from the Grammy Awards

Portrait of an industry in disarray

Do people still buy music?

In an attempt to prove its continued relevance, the Grammy Awards packed nearly everyone in pop music into the Staples Center last night to support of an industry that still can’t figure out where it wants to go next.

The results were…mixed, but here’s our amateur take on who got the best and worst press.


Imagine Dragons/Target:

Target still buys music.

The company dropped a cool $8 million on an entire four-minute commercial break during the show and air…a live performance by Imagine Dragons.

Everyone seems to agree that the money was well-spent, but journalists and PR execs can’t agree on how to classify the work:

Was it native advertising or content marketing? And who cares?

Pharrell and Arby’s:

Everyone was talking about the fact that Phareell was NOT wearing “the hat” — he was wearing an even more ridiculous one instead. This all inevitably led back to Arby’s:

The company didn’t do any promos during the event because they didn’t need to.

President Obama:

Obama looked a little worn out in this PSA, but his message wasn’t quite like any other delivered last night.


A lot of people were perplexed by Beck’s win, but the man knows how to improvise a humble response to both his underdog victory and Kanye’s objection:

“I thought [Beyonce] was going to win. Come on, she’s Beyonce!

I was just so excited [Kanye] was coming up. He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?

You can’t please everybody, man. I still love [Kanye] and think he’s genius. I aspire to do what he does.”


The purple legend captured the event’s (ir)relevance with one look:


We didn’t see the Music Box in action, and we didn’t use Bing’s interactive guide to learn all we needed to know about the nominees.

But Microsoft did call the Beck win…and Ted Nguyen was impressed.

Annie Lennox:

No better way to prove your relevance than to surprise everyone in attendance. (The video for Lennox’s performance is no longer available, but you’ve probably seen it already.) annie lennox Pic via Rolling Stone/Larry Busacca/Getty


Costume changes:

New York Times fashion editor Vanessa Friedman has had about enough: pick an outfit and stick with it, already!

“…if I were a brand, I might start figuring out a way to keep a star in my clothes for an entire night, so the red carpet dress felt less like a duty and more like a choice. Then other people might actually want to make it.”



Kanye seems increasingly self-aware at this point. Even his wife doesn’t take him seriously:

He also performed at the show, but tantrums win headlines.

Iggy Azalea:

Iggy got shut out and all the mean girls (and boys) made fun of her hair.

Her only defense was to show that she takes brands on social media more seriously than awards shows.


Pizza Hut:

Not a loss, really, but we wonder how long they’d been saving this one up.


How hard does one have to try to prove one’s relevance? See below:


Pic via Getty / Jason Merritt

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