This year's Grammy awards took a few right and a few wrong turns. Music’s biggest names, including British songstress Adele who took home six gold trophies, and talented newcomers gathered in Los Angeles, Calif., to celebrate the year’s best on Sunday.
Music’s biggest night paid homage to a loss in "the family". The news that Whitney Houston died on Saturday in California was, to say the least, a shock to the music community and her fans around the world. R&B star Jennifer Hudson covered Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” as the Recording Academy honored music greats who left us this past year.
As with most music award shows, this year's Grammys had its share of “what?!” moments. The most jaw-dropping was rapper Nicki Minaj’s bizarre performance as alter ego – Roman. The sexually-charged routine set to her new song “Roman Holiday” was complete with mock prayers, exorcisms and levitation.
The faith came first though, in the show's beginning moments, just after a performance by Bruce Springsteen. For me, the faith of rapper LL Cool J, this year's Grammy host, set the right tone for the show as singers, bands, songwriters and producers alike remembered Whitney Houston.
"There is no way around this," host LL Cool J remarked. "We've had a death in our family."
After the show, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow shared with the press backstage that the show’s producers didn’t script the prayer. They wanted the first moments to be heartfelt,and let LL Cool J address Houston's death as he saw fit. For him, it called for a prayer. His words to "our Heavenly Father", as some in the audience bowed their heads, show that faith is not dead in Hollywood. Though public prayers are few these days, it's nice to see that this rapper-turned-actor and the show’s producers had no qualms about offering up a prayer on an internationally-televised event.
A possible indication of Houston's personal faith came in the form of a report on her final song this week. CBN News reports that her last recorded performance showed her singing “Jesus Loves Me” with singer Kelly Price.
This year's Grammys and Houston's death make the fleeting moments we have even more precious.
Please pray for Whitney Houston’s family as they mourn. Also lift up those in the music industry, that these men and women of influence would make music that rightly shapes our generation.