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The 5 best performances at the 2024 Grammys — and 1 they should've cut

The 5 best performances at the 2024 Grammys — and 1 they should've cut
  • The 2024 Grammys took place in Los Angeles on Sunday.

  • Artists such as Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, and Joni Mitchell delivered standout live performances.

  • But Travis Scott gave an insensitive performance that should've been cut from the show.

The 66th annual Grammy Awards welcomed an array of artists to the stage on Sunday, from superstars such as Billie Eilish and SZA to industry icons such as Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder.

A small handful of performances were highlights of the evening — while one stood out as a glaring misstep.

BEST: Dua Lipa opened the show with a skillful medley of new music.

dua lipa 2024 grammys
Dua Lipa performing "Training Season" at the 2024 Grammys.Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty Images

Much has been made about Dua Lipa's improved stage presence over the years, but still, it bears repeating.

When the Grammys kicked off on Sunday, Lipa took her rightful place at the center of it all, delivering all the elements of a classic performance: fashion, choreography, sultry eye contact, and new music.

Instead of the song she was nominated for, "Dance the Night," Lipa opted to perform a medley that included two new singles, "Houdini" and the unreleased "Training Season" — a power move befitting a true pop star.

BEST: Tracy Chapman made a rare appearance to sing "Fast Car" with Luke Combs.

tracy chapman luke combs
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs performing "Fast Car" at the 2024 Grammys.John Shearer/Getty Images

Luke Combs scored a surprise country hit last year with "Fast Car," a cover of Tracy Chapman's 1988 single. The song reached No. 1 on Billboard's country charts and earned a Grammy nomination for best country solo performance.

Combs has been eager to praise Chapman's original version and its heartfelt effect on his fans. "That's the gift of a supernatural songwriter," he told Billboard.

On Sunday, Combs got the chance to witness her gift in real time. Chapman joined the country star onstage for her first live performance in nine years. Their duet was poignant, inspiring a standing ovation at Crypto.com Arena and fawning reactions on social media.

"I can't explain it but God is in her face and in this song," one post on X with more than 80,000 likes said.

BEST: Miley Cyrus celebrated herself while singing her smash hit "Flowers."

miley cyrus 2024 grammys
Miley Cyrus performs at the 2024 Grammys.Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Miley Cyrus won her first-ever Grammy on Sunday — best pop solo performance for "Flowers" — a long-overdue honor that some fans have been awaiting since her "Hannah Montana" days.

Cyrus' pride and excitement were palpable, especially while singing the award-winning hit.

The whole performance was deliciously unpolished. Cyrus eschewed backup dancers or a fancy setup, letting her raw vocals and innate star power do the talking — literally. She teased the audience for not singing along ("Why are you acting like you don't know this song?") and interrupted her own lyrics to shout, "I just won my first Grammy!"

BEST: Olivia Rodrigo spilled her guts.

olivia rodrigo grammys 2024
Olivia Rodrigo performs "Vampire" at the 2024 Grammys.Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Olivia Rodrigo gave one of the night's best vocal performances with her No. 1 hit "Vampire," nominated for best pop solo performance, song of the year, and record of the year.

But Rodrigo didn't just deliver on vocals — she gave us theatrics and streaks of blood across her arms and face. When she reached the song's climactic bridge, blood began to gush from the wall behind her. It was the perfect amount of drama and gore.

BEST: Joni Mitchell made her debut Grammy performance at 80 years old.

joni mitchell grammys 2024
Joni Mitchell, center, performs at the 2024 Grammys.Timothy Norris/FilmMagic

Joni Mitchell's mesmeric rendition of "Both Sides Now" — her first-ever performance at the Grammys, more than 50 years after winning her first award — was the highlight of a ceremony defined by women's accomplishments.

As Spencer Kornhaber wrote for The Atlantic, Mitchell's Grammy debut was even more poignant in the wake of the Jann Wenner controversy; last year, the Rolling Stone cofounder said he didn't include Mitchell in his book "The Masters" because "Joni was not a philosopher of rock 'n' roll."

"She performed what might be one of the greatest awards-show sets ever — one that suggested that she is the philosopher for an ascendant generation of musicians, both in rock and roll and outside of it," Kornhaber wrote.

"Camera shots of the audience showed Beyoncé, Olivia Rodrigo, and other indomitable cultural figures appearing on the verge of tears," Kornhaber continued. "They were taking in the power of the song, and the human drama onstage, but also, possibly, their own place in a tradition."

WORST: Travis Scott was probably hoping we forgot about Astroworld

travis scott grammys 2024
Travis Scott's "Utopia" was nominated for best rap album at the 2024 Grammys.Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

During the ceremony, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. paid tribute to people who had died at live shows. He explicitly mentioned several tragedies, such as the deadly attack at Ariana Grande's Manchester concert and the mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival.

"Music must always be our safe space — when that is violated, it strikes at the very core of who we are," Mason Jr. said during his speech.

But he didn't mention Astroworld, the music festival hosted by Travis Scott in 2021 that led to the deaths of 10 people.

Instead, Scott took the stage shortly after to perform songs from his latest album, "Utopia." Paired with Scott's pyrotechnics and prop destruction, the timing felt truly dystopian — uncomfortable at best and offensive at worse.

Read the original article on Business Insider