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MUSIC'S BIGGEST NIGHT: NOT QUITE

A move to Monday and what observers are calling a rather slow-paced show pushed the Grammy Awards to a viewership level below the last two years, despite (or perhaps because of) a live coast-to-coast broadcast.

An average of 24.95m viewers watched the broadcast, according to Nielsen ratings, down from last year’s 25.3m viewers and the 28.5m who tuned in in 2014. Both of those broadcasts were on Sundays, but did not benefit from promotions during the Super Bowl, which CBS broadcast this year.

CBS is touting it as the best Monday program performance in viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 since the May 16, 2005, Everybody Loves Raymond series finale.

Handing out eight awards on air resulted in the night’s biggest winners being split. Sony Music had two of the big four, New Artist winner Meghan Trainor and Record of the Year honoree “Uptown Funk!” by RCA’s Mark Ronson. Meanwhile, Universal Music Group took the lion’s share of on-camera awards

Not only did Big Machine’s Taylor Swift, ATO’s Alabama Shakes, Mercury Nashville’s Chris Stapleton and TDE/Interscope’s Kendrick Lamar receive their awards on-air, but they also delivered some of the night’s most enthusiastically received performances.

See the complete list of Grammy winners here.

The biggest sales beneficiaries thus far include Republic’s James Bay, Alabama Shakes, Capitol Nashville’s Little Big Town and Warner Bros.Andra Day, Capitol’s Tori Kelly, Lamar, Swift, Stapleton and tribute beneficiary Lionel Richie. Adele’s “All I Ask,” despite a performance marred by technical problems, got a 900%+ boost. The combination of awards and wins continues to be the magic bullet for sales bumps.

Lamar’s electrifying performance of “Blacker the Berry,” “Alright” and a new song contained some of the telecast’s most arresting imagery and set design; Stapleton joined Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt in the night’s most passionate tribute, a salute to B.B. King on his biggest hit, “The Thrill is Gone.” Alabama Shakes performed “Don’t Wanna Fight,” which won Best Rock Song in the pre-telecast ceremony.

The show’s biggest problem was in its pacing, as the first several performances emphasized one ballad after another, often in forced “Grammy moment” duets. The tribute to Richie, which included a dazzling vocal run from Demi Lovato on “Hello,” added sparkle to the first half of the show.

Lady Gaga and Nile Rogers created an ambitious medley of David Bowie songs—she sang bits of nine of his hits and the band threw in the bass line from “Under Pressure” for fun—that was enjoyable to watch despite its quick run through many songs. Oh, if she could have kept going on “Heroes,” she would be queen.

A large number of attendees had streamed out well before the finale.

 

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