Performing underneath a marquee emblazoned with his name, Mars was backed by a full band, complete with a horn section, that paid homage to his love of music from the ’60s. Mars lifted the mood in the room, which was mourning the loss of Whitney Houston , with his dazzling performance of his Doo-Wops & Hooligans track “Runaway.”
While his performance focused on the party, he also showed Houston some love when he gave her a shout-out mid-song. “Yo, tonight we celebrate. We celebrate the beautiful Miss Whitney Houston. Get off your rich asses and let’s have fun!”
As he shimmied his way through the track, he gave props to another legend of the music industry when he shouted, “Can I have my James Brown?” bringing the energy of the show up to full volume.
Mars is a four-time Grammy nominee this year. He’s up for Album of the Year for Hooligans, as well as three awards for “Grenade”: Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
Mars isn’t the only performer and nominee with Houston in his heart. Jennifer Hudson is also set to take the stage at the Grammy Awards to pay tribute to Houston , who died suddenly in Los Angeles on Saturday.
“We were up all night, and we just wanted to figure out [and] show Whitney Houston the love, the appreciation, the love, the respect she deserves based on her as a human being and the career that she had and give her that love and make sure that people know we care,” Grammy host LL Cool J explained. “And we are connected to her in that way.
“At the same time, there are so many other artists here that are nominated. This is a new Grammy experience for some of them, some are back again, and they deserve to have a good time and enjoy themselves and not be weighed down by the burden,” he added, noting that it was “about finding a balance. I think we got it right. We’re gonna find out.”
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