Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the best and worst performances from the 2021 Grammy Awards — from Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa to Taylor Swift, Lil Baby, Cardi B and more — starting with one of our favorites of the evening… Harry Styles opened music's biggest night with a joyful rendition of his hit "Watermelon Sugar." The former One Direction singer rocked a leather suit (sans shirt!) and a green feather boa — which he eventually shed, delighting fans in the process! — while grooving out with a full band and two backup singers. Now keep reading for more…
BEST: Billie Eilish and Finneas
Billie Eilish and Finneas delivered a by-the-book rendition of their hit "everything i wanted" that was elevated by their staging: The 19-year-old chart-topper stood atop a black sports car that appeared to be partially submerged in water as her big brother played the keyboards behind her.
It was a major Girl Power moment for Haim during the 2021 Grammy Awards. The trio rocked out to a lively rendition of "The Steps" that saw Este and Alana stomping and headbanging in combat boots and minidresses as Danielle beat the drums behind them.
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BEST: Black Pumas
The Black Pumas pulled off a practically flawless performance of their Grammy-nominated single "Colors." From Eric Burton's vocals and impressive dance moves to Adrian Quesada's guitar shredding, they knocked it out of the park!
BEST: DaBaby with Roddy Ricch, Anthony Hamilton and Mapy
DaBaby delivered a version of his hit "Rockstar" that was unlike anything we've ever heard before! Accompanied by Roddy Ricch, Anthony Hamilton, violinist Mapy and backup singers clad in choir robes — whom host Trevor Noah hilariously referred to as "DaBaby Boomers" — the rapper pulled off the kind of unexpected performance we can only hope for during the Grammys.
WORST: Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez
Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez disappointed with a low-energy rendition of their hit collaboration "Dakiti." The duo somehow seemed out of sync while bouncing around amid a tunnel of light poles — later revealed to be the shape of an eyeball. Sadly, something seemed missing. Host Trevor Noah said the performance left him feeling like he was back in the club, but we felt like we were exactly where we were … on the sofa in front of the television.
BEST: Dua Lipa with DaBaby
Dua Lipa brought it during the 2021 Grammys! Her performance had everything: a medley of two of our favorite songs ("Levitating" and "Don't Start Now"), killer dance moves, multiple wardrobe changes (she started in a voluminous long-sleeve ballgown, changed into a dazzling blazer-inspired minidress and then closed out her set in sequined briefs and a matching crop-top) and an assist from collaborator DaBaby, who returned to the stage to rap his verse from "Levitating" while surrounded by pink-clad backup dancers.
BEST: Taylor Swift
Like something out of a dream! Taylor Swift's vocals were totally on point as she performed an emotional rendition of her ethereal hit single "Cardigan" while reclined in what at first appeared to be grass but was soon revealed to be the mossy roof of a cabin in the woods. She then climbed down to join Jack Antonoff inside the cabin, where they played guitar as she sang her song "August." After that, they stood in the grass — now sparkling with twinkling lights — to perform "Willow."
BEST: Silk Sonic
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak made their official debut as Silk Sonic during the 2021 Grammy Awards. The new supergroup — accompanied by two backup singers — transported us to the '70s with a soulful rendition of their groovy debut single "Leave the Door Open." The Grammy winners sported matching suits with bellbottoms and shades while showing off their enviable dance moves and vocal chops. Later in the show, they performed two of Little Richard's biggest hits during the Grammys' "In Memoriam" segment. Bruno showed off his impressive range taking lead vocals on "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly," while Anderson rocked out on the drums.
WORST: Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie was clearly feeling extremely emotional while honoring his late friend Kenny Rogers during the Grammys' "In Memoriam" segment. Sadly, that left his vocals lacking during his rendition of his pal's hit "Lady."
BEST: Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile had us in tears while delivering an understated yet beautiful rendition of the late John Prine's hit "I Remember Everything" during the Grammys' "In Memoriam" segment.
BEST: Brittany Howard with Chris Martin
Brittany Howard closed out the Grammys' "In Memoriam" segment with a cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel." The performance featured an unexpected guest: Coldplay frontman Chris Martin accompanied the Alabama Shakes frontwoman on piano. His surprise appearance really elevated the number!
BEST: Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton performed a powerful rendition of her hit "Black Like Me" that featured an unexpected addition: a choir that really took the performance to the next level!
WORST: Miranda Lambert
Snooze! Miranda Lambert disappointed during the 2021 Grammy Awards with a downright boring performance of "Bluebird" that featured some awkward dance moves and not especially strong vocals from the country music queen. We loved the flower-adorned platform from which she performed, at least!
WORST: Maren Morris with John Mayer
Not even an assist from John Mayer on guitar and backing vocals could save Maren Morris's low-energy rendition of her hit single "The Bones." (Could you even hear him?) Like fellow country music queen Miranda Lambert, Maren's vocals were weaker than what we expect to hear from her. Overall, it felt like a wasted opportunity.
BEST: Megan Thee Stallion
A true entertainer! Megan Thee Stallion delivered an unforgettable mashup of two of her biggest hits during the 2021 Grammys. She started off with "Body," during which she showed off her impressive dance moves in a sequined bodysuit, which she wore with a feathered showgirl-inspired headpiece. After a wardrobe change (into another sequined bodysuit), she took on her breakthrough hit "Savage," which featured plenty of high kicks, as well as tap-dancing backup performers.
BEST: Cardi B with Megan Thee Stallion
Cardi B also delivered an impressive, high-energy performance during the 2021 Grammys. She started off with her newest single "Up" and was then joined on stage by Megan Thee Stallion for a rendition of their hit collaboration "WAP." The performance had it all: cool costumes that had both rappers looking like futuristic warrior women, incredible backup dancers (did you catch the male dancer in full blue body paint?), eye-catching background graphics and massive set pieces. That giant shoe with a pole for a heel and a dancer with dollar bills in the platform? We're obsessed!
WORST: Post Malone
Well, that was weird. Post Malone channeled Blade during his rendition of "Hollywood's Bleeding," the opening track from his 2019 album of the same name. The performance started strong, with a vampiric choir surrounding the "Sunflower" chart-topper as he sang in the dark, smoke billowing around him as the lights flashed overhead like lightning. Unfortunately, the song didn't seem to match the rest of the vibe, leaving us slightly confused and wanting more.
BEST: Lil Baby with Killer Mike, Kendrick Sampson and Tamika Mallory
Wow. Lil Baby delivered arguably the most important performance of the 2021 Grammy Awards. His rendition of "The Bigger Picture" opened with "Insecure" and "How to Get Away with Murder" actor Kendrick Sampson portraying a man who's fallen asleep behind the wheel of a car in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant and is then gunned down by police — a tragic scene referencing the 2020 killing of another unarmed Black man, Rayshard Brooks, outside a Wendy's in Atlanta. As the song went on, a protestor set the faux restaurant ablaze. Lil Baby's beats continued as activist Tamika Mallory delivered a moving, poetic speech directly addressing President Joe Biden from the steps of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Killer Mike then dropped a verse while surrounded by microphones — as if he were at a press conference. After that, Lil Baby was joined by dancers wielding flares as part of a protest that saw them facing off against performers dressed as police. The rapper concluded his outdoor performance by climbing atop the same car from the beginning of the number as fireworks exploded overhead.
BEST: Doja Cat
Best moves of the night? Doja Cat! Her dancing just keeps getting better with time. (Yes, we caught her doing the robot!) The singer showed off her impressive moves in a futuristic bodysuit while performing her hit "Say So" while accompanied by equally skilled backup dancers sporting oversized cat heads. Meow!
BTS proved that when you have pure talent, you don't need much else to keep people entertained! Their virtual performance of "Dynamite" featured strong vocals, flawless choreography and just a touch of pyrotechnics as the boys traveled to different locations throughout a building in Seoul, South Korea, ultimately concluding on the roof. Epic!
BEST: Roddy Ricch
Roddy Ricch opened his performance by debuting his new song "Heartless," which he sang while playing piano and accompanied by a harpist. It was totally unexpected, and we loved every second of it! He then launched into a rendition of his hit single "The Box," which he rapped in front of a giant fallen statue illuminated from within.