Michelle Obama and the Biggest Surprises at the 2019 Grammys

The Grammys were full of surprises. Some albums and songs that people thought were sure winners lost, while some unsuspecting artists took home the awards.

But what was perhaps the most shocking aspect of the night was an appearance by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Obama graced the stage with Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Alicia Keys to talk about the power of music.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the south side to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fuelled me through this last decade — music has always helped me tell my story,” the First Lady said.

“And I know that’s true for everybody here. Whether we like country, or rap, or rock, music helps us share ourselves —- our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another… to invite each other in.”

“Music shows us that all of it matters. Every story within every voice, every note within every song. Is that right ladies?” she said.

Obviously the crowd went wild to see Obama on the stage. But how did this surprise appearance come to be?

Apparently, it was Grammys host Keys’ idea.

“That was Alicia’s brainchild,” Lopez told Kevin Frazier of ET. “She wanted to show unity, and she wanted to give good energy and great vibes to the night, and it was a great way to do it.”

The appearance wasn’t the easiest thing to pull off. Pinkett Smith said that one of their primary concerns was Obama’s safety.

“We had to keep it on the low, especially because our forever first lady was here,” she said. “So for security purposes, we had to keep it low.”

Obama wanted to come to the Grammys to promote unity and felt that this speech was a great way to do it.

“It’s beautiful, because that’s what art is about. Listen, that’s what humanity is about, coming together,” Pinket-Smith continued. “We all need each other, right? And so it’s just about us treating everybody with respect and coming together and celebrating all the blessings we all have. No matter what, right? So it was really nice to be able to see old friends on the stage. You know? All of them. We’ve all known each other a long time, so it’s good.”

Other Surprises

The rest of the night’s surprises had more to do with losses and wins than presidential appearances.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar who was a fan favorite to win Album of the Year for the Black Panther soundtrack and was nominated for eight awards only took home one. And he, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake had to share that award for Best Rap Performance with Anderson Paak who tied for the title.


What’s even more surprising than Lamar’s snub, is that Drake actually showed up to the event to accept his award for Best Rap Song. Drake has had a long-standing animosity with the award show and even accused them of putting him in a box. Maybe his beef with the Recording Academy is over now, but he still doesn’t seem too impressed with the award.

“You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word,” he said to other artists last night. “If you are a hero in your hometown, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this [ trophy] right here, I promise you, you already won.”

Lady Gaga

After A Star is Born came out, everyone had Lady Gaga on their list to win either Record or Song of the Year. But she didn’t take home either award. Instead, the awards went to Childish Gambino.

Read more: Which Celebrities Have Won the Most Grammys?

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