- Last Updated: 12:27 AM, February 14, 2012
- Posted: 3:01 AM, February 13, 2012
The Grammys are usually about the latest and the loudest voices in music, but this year, the ceremony was in many ways owned by Whitney Houston.
The night should be remembered for the very sharp performances by multiple Grammy winner Adele, who, late in the broadcast, proved her voice is back after throat surgery.
She sang with soul and precision, nailing her “Rolling in the Deep,” 2011’s top-charting song. It was a simple, yet stylish production.
The evening was also notable for Bruce Springsteen, who premiered new material from his “Wrecking Ball” album, set for release next month.
And for music-history buffs, the Beach Boys reunited after more than 20 years, with founder Brian Wilson.
After a low-key, almost sedate opening by Springsteen and the E Street Band, the Grammys took on a solemn, churchlike atmosphere when rap legend LL Cool J addressed the elephant in the room.
“We had a death in our family and the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer,” he said.
“We’ve been blessed to have been touched by [Whitney’s] musical spirit,’’ he went on, then reminded the audience of her greatness with a dusty Grammy clip of Houston singing a pristine “I Will Always Love You.”
It was a song that set the singing standard impossibly high.
The show really took off when rock act The Foo Fighters performed their hit “Walk” in a tent outside the arena.
The set topper was, of course, the legendary Beach Boys themselves, doing a pop-psychedelic version of the band classic “Good Vibrations.”