×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Grammys 2019: Everything You Didn’t See on TV

With all the cameras in action at a major awards show like the Grammys, there are still many things that happen offstage or during commercial breaks that aren’t seen by the millions watching the telecast — but are spied by certain eagle-eyed reporters from their seats in the auditorium.

Here are a few highlights that didn’t make it to primetime:

Sweet sisterhood: In an evening full of surprises, the biggest was definitely the sisterhood moment when Alicia Keys brought out Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett and, of course, Michelle Obama. Many people in the audience didn’t at first realize it was the former first lady, and the shrieks of recognition were deafening when she began speaking. The entire audience was on its feet at the end of that moment.

Lady Gaga Jada Pinkett Smith Alicia Keys Michelle Obama Jennifer Lopez

Drake makes an appearance, then bounces: The other biggest “ooooh!” of the night came when awards-show-shy Drake made his surprise appearance to accept his award for best rap song (for “God’s Plan”). The Grammys cut short his acceptance speech — not intentionally, they said — which left him speaking into a dead mic and then doing a little dance as a way of laughing it off. A few minutes later, Drake was escorted to his third-row seat by a very heavy security contingent. He watched Travis Scott’s set and then bounced.

Women ‘stepped up’: A very different kind of exclamation arose from the crowd — more like an “Oooooo!!” — when Dua Lipa made a very public dig at outgoing Grammy chief Neil Portnow in her acceptance speech for best new artist. After saying what an honor it was to be nominated “alongside so many incredible female artists.  I guess this year we really stepped up” — a reference, of course to Portnow’s clumsily worded comment last year that female artists and executives needed to “step up” to get ahead in the industry. There may have been a directive that anyone saying those words onstage would be quickly cut off, because walk-off music started up unusually quickly, even for late in the show, and Lipa’s mic was cut off soon after.

Dispatches from the front row: As always, the front rows featured a bevy of top-shelf talent: Country music royalty old and new were in the front rows at the top of the show, with Dolly Parton seated near Kelsea Ballerini and Chris Stapleton and his wife, Morgane; Lady Gaga and her co-songwriter/producer Mark Ronson sitting next to each other; and Tony Bennett beside with his wife. The BTS boys rocked out during Shawn Mendes and Miley Cyrus’ performance, and Bebe Rexha standing up to dance when Alicia Keys sang “Empire State of Mind.”

Flea gets physical: Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers warms up for performances like a hyperactive basketball player (see below).

Miss Dolly: After the group finale of the Dolly Parton tribute — featuring Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Maren Morris and Little Big Town — the assembled performers didn’t seem to want to leave the stage, chatting and embracing and basically hanging around, in front of an audience of around 18,000 people, until stagehands gently encouraged them to continue socializing backstage.

The birthday queen: After Diana Ross’ performance, she spent a couple of minutes greeting fans in the pit next to the stage, with the extremities of her giant red gown occasionally spilling onto fans’ heads.

Diana Ross61st Annual Grammy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Feb 2019
CREDIT: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

A scary situation: Toward the end of the show, a fan in the pit passed out and was pulled onto the stage during a commercial break, prompting a flurry of alarmed texts throughout the arena. However, a Grammy rep assured us several minutes later that the fan had become dehydrated, was taken backstage and was fine.

Wakanda forever: But perhaps the greatest non-TV moment was when, in mid-interview with Variety’s Marc Malkin, “Black Panther” composer Ludwig Goransson found out he’d won a Grammy. Watch the full clip below:

More Music

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Attorney for Universal Music Artists Impacted by 2008 Fire Requests Inventory

    Following on its statements last week that it will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of several Universal Music recording artists impacted by a 2008 fire that destroyed a huge number of master recordings, a Los Angeles law firm has requested a “complete inventory” from the company. Addressed to UMG CEO and chairman Lucian Grainge, [...]

  • Charles Caldas To Step Down as

    Charles Caldas To Step Down as Merlin CEO

    Charles Caldas, the only CEO that the independent-label collective Merlin has ever known, announced today that he will step down from his post at the end of 2019, after more than 12 years at the helm of the global rights organization. He will continue his current duties until then and work with the Merlin board to [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • Editorial Use OnlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Ed Sheeran Adds Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Khalid, Eminem, H.E.R. to 'Collaborations' List

    With less than a month to go, Ed Sheeran has uncensored his list of duet partners on the “No.6 Collaborations Project” album that’s due out July 12 and, not surprisingly, Justin Bieber is far from the only superstar in the bunch. It’s heavy on urban music giants, with Travis Scott, Khalid, Eminem, Cardi B, Chance [...]

  • Meek Mill, Future to Co-Headline on

    Meek Mill, Future to Co-Headline Late Summer Amphitheater Tour

    Hip-hop stars Meek Mill and Future have announced what they’re billing as a fall tour — even though, technically, most of the dates fall in the final weeks of summer — that will bring them to 24 cities across the country, mostly in outdoor amphitheaters. The co-headlining outing starts August 28 in St. Louis at [...]

  • Merlin Reports Record Distributions for 2019

    Merlin Reports Record Distributions for 2019

    Global indie-label collective Merlin reported record distributions in its 2019 membership report, paying $845 million to label and distributor members between April 2018 and March of this year. That figure, a 63% year-over-year increase, includes more than $130 million paid out this year from non-royalty income — and included in that figure is the estimated [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content