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Grammy Awards 2012: Best Performances

Sarah Parvini |
February 12, 2012 | 9:59 p.m. PST

Senior Entertainment Editor

(Jaclyn Wu/Neon Tommy)
(Jaclyn Wu/Neon Tommy)
The Grammy Awards are hailed as music's biggest night. Tonight proved no different, as comebacks, reunions, and unforgettable tributes took the stage and gave something to talk--or Tweet--about. The top performances of the night included the following:

Bruno Mars, "Runaway Baby": Bruno Mars is arguably better live than he his on a record. That's not to say his music isn't catchy on the radio, it's just that he exudes so much energy on stage with his Hooligans that he is genuinely fun to watch; you can't help but be drawn in--and maybe dance a little. His retro Motown performance and James Brown impression were cute without being too precious, and he nailed those synchronized dance moves. Plus, he did the splits.

The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations": I'm sorry, but you can't top the originals. They may be old men, and they may be grey, but they are legends for a reason. Their chart-topping 1966 hit was just as fun tonight as it was on the original recording. And while they had back-up singers in Adam Levine and Mark Foster, they gave a memorable performance that showed what music is all about.

The Foo Fighters, "Walk": Dave Grohl's husky voice was working it in tonight's outdoor performance. In true rock fashion, he sported that shaggy hair and scruffy beard and belted every line of that song like he meant it. Kudos to The Foo Fighters for staying relevant and eduring through the years. And congratulations to them for their big wins tonight. 

Coldplay, "Paradise": Great song, great rendition. Chris Martin has such a soulful voice that just hearing him croon the opening notes (you know the ones I'm talking about) transports the listener. The neon graffiti background was visually appealing and in true Coldplay form, and made for an out-there perfomance worthy of the Grammys. Not to mention it looked like a piece out of a concert, not an isolated show performance. Needless to say, the band delivered and made up for the awkward duet with Rihanna.

Katy Perry, "Part of Me": Debuting a new single, Katy Perry belted out some strong, girl-power-inspired lyrics tonight (a potential stab at Russell Brand?). I was glad to see her dance to her latest hit and actually sing. Her performance was energetic and full of spunk, and I can respect that she used the music as a background when she needed to dance, but didn't rely on mouthing the words on a night celebrating musical success. To be honest, she was a lot better than I thought she was going to be. 

Jennifer Hudson, "I Will Always Love You": Hudson brought down the house in her tribute to the late Whitney Houston. With a lone light shining down on her, she belted those highs and lows with ease, albeit emotionally. At times, it even looked as if she was fighting back tears. A singer who is clearly influenced by Houston's voice and school of music, Hudson truly did justice to such a difficult song and her performance will be remembered in the years to come.

Adele, "Rolling In The Deep": Adele's triumphant return. Although I was surprised by her choice of song (I thought she would go with one of her newer singles), she definitely showed no signs of surgery and hit every note I wish I could. She deserved her standing ovation, after recovering from a procedure that could have taken her powerful voice. Way to go Adele, tonight's Grammy Awards were yours, and the night belongs to you.


Honorable mentions: Willie Nelson's cover of "The Scientist" in the commercial that followed Coldplay's set. That better be on iTunes. Foster the People also gave a great performance in their Beach Boys cover, but it's hard to top the original band, especially when they close out the tribute.

Not so honorable: While Chris Brown can dance and do flips, he doesn't get a vote for best performance. I'm sorry, but you can't recover from anger issues and physically abusing your girlfriend, no matter how fancy your footwork is. And please don't insult the viewers' intelligence by pretending to sing. That wasn't a musical performance, that was a lengthy excuse for Brown to dance, and I am not amused. 

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