The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were held Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened the show with a gritty down-home performance of Bruce's new single "We Take Care of Our Own," proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that The Boss has still got it.
The only thing missing was the signature saxophone stylings of his beloved friend and band-mate Clarence Clemens, who passed away in June of last year.
What would otherwise be an over-the-top night of festivity turned out to be more of a mixed bag of emotions during this year's Grammys. How do you handle the tragic death of a musical icon like Whitney Houston, after all? Everyone is still reeling from the news of her death, and many found it difficult to separate their grief from the promise of a celebratory evening.
Host LL Cool J actually did a decent job of addressing it right up front. "There's no way around this. We've had a death in our family," he said. The rapper/actor then led the audience in a prayer for "our fallen sister." It felt like the right thing to do.