This year’s Grammy Awards was, as ever, full of performances from unlikely pairings: Jessie J and Tom Jones, Maddie Ziegler and Kristen Wiig, Pharrell and his bellhop uniform. But the greatest combo of all turned out to be the one we already knew was coming: The highly anticipated live debut of newfound collaborators Kanye West, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney.
On paper this one never should have worked: A 72-year-old British rocker, a Barbadian pop and R&B singer, and a rapper who can hardly sing at all, all forging one weird three-headed monster of a supergroup. But Rihanna sounded great, McCartney could be heard more clearly than on the “FourFiveSeconds” single, and West (with assistance from some heavy, 808s-style autotune) managed to hold it together. The Grammys loves to force these so-called “GRAMMY® Moments,” but they often come away with only oil and water. This one came to them ready-made and showed itself, in its live incarnation, to be even better than expected.