Each year the Grammy Awards honor the music industries most talented and successful. The 53rd annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday, February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles and featured many explosive performances and memorable moments. The first shocking moment occurred when Lady Gaga arrived on the red carpet in a pod, representing the womb, and was carried down the carpet by a bevy of tan, half-naked people. The official show kicked off with a tribute to Aretha Franklin featuring five talented ladies including Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams and Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine. The performance was a rousing homage and all involved sounded amazing, however Aguilera is starting to resemble Snooki in a blonde wig and stumbled a bit at the very end of the performance. Early in the show Lady Gaga “hatched” from her pod to perform her empowering new single, “Born This Way.” By Gaga standards her outfit was basic and, as my friend put it, she looked a bit like a noodle. The performance itself was fairly tame and dare I say a little boring, however the new song is quite great even if it does bear a resemblance to Madonna’s 1989 hit, “Express Yourself”. Justin Beiber’s much hyped act proved the teen a talented performer and featured a guest spot by a nimble Jaden Smith but when Usher took the stage immediately after he proved that the two have a long way to go before they can truly be compared to the best in the game. Lady Gaga won “Best Pop Vocal Album” and accepted her Grammy in a black leather get-up complete with horns on her forehead and shoulders. She also thanked all her “little monsters” a.k.a. her fans and Whitney Houston whom she envisioned singing “Born This Way” when she wrote it. Later in the show Bob Dylan performed and I respect Dylan and his immense talent but it might be time to retire, as his gravelly chanting was hardly pleasing, but maybe it was just an off night. The true standout performance came in the middle of the show from Cee-Lo Green and Gwyneth Paltrow featuring the Muppets. The duo sang Green’s song “Forget You” wearing costumes that I’m sure left Gaga green with envy. They sounded great and the performance was a shining moment in an otherwise fairly bleak show. Another well-received performance came from Bruno Mars, who sang a medley of his recent hits, with B.O.B. and Janelle Monae. Katy Perry, Rihanna and Eminem also all brought energy to the stage and solidified their superstar status. Mick Jagger, at 67 years old, took to the Grammy stage for the first time and proved that he can still keep up with the best of the best with an electric and energetic performance that riled up the crowd of celebrities and fans. The sex appeal of the night was brought by Rihanna during her “What’s My Name” performance with Drake when she strutted and posed her way across the stage looking absolutely stunning. When it comes to the actual awards it was a night of upsets with several relatively unknowns winning some of the main categories. Best New Artist went to Esperanza Spalding, beating Justin Beiber and Florence and the Machine and Album of the Year went to Arcade Fire who beat Eminem and Lady Gaga. Country group, Lady Antebellum took home Record of the Year for their smash hit “Need You Now” and Lady Gaga, Usher, Rihanna and Train all took home awards for their music as well. Arcade Fire closed the show and proved that they are indeed talented and perhaps worthy of the prestigious award bestowed upon them. The show featured some high points and some low points but overall it was an enjoyable event.