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Saturday, Aug 18, 2018
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Grammys 2018: Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Little Big Town among winners coming to Tampa Bay

Grammys gonna Grammy. What are you gonna do?

In a year that featured record diversity in the Grammys' four biggest categories, rap and hip hop once again took a backseat to pop, as Bruno Mars swept Album, Record and Song of the Year, and Alessia Cara won Best New Artist. Too bad, so sad, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Logic and Lil Uzi Vert. There's always next year — unless you're a rapper, in which case next year will never come.

Year after year, you wonder how the Grammys are going to screw things up; in 2018, we got a familiar answer. Mars' 24K Magic is a fun and fine album, but it was the safest choice in every category. Cara's win proved that even if you've been around a few years, you can still win Best New Artist — as long as you're a young pop ingenue.

There were a few deserving winners up and down the list, including the National, Portugal. the Man, Childish Gambino and the War on Drugs. Lamar took home an armload of consolation Grammys. Leonard Cohen and Carrie Fisher both won Grammys, and so did Kraftwerk, and it's hard to complain about all that.

As for the show itself? A self-serious snooze, with way too many downtempo ballads (looking at you, Pink, Sam Smith, Kesha and the country stars who sang Tears In Heaven); unfunny bits by too many comics (including show-slowing Subway Carpool Karaoke and Fire and Fury bits from host James Corden); and, for some reason, a performance by Sting of Englishman in New York. Only a few performances truly stood out, including Lamar, Logic, Childish Gambino and Mars and Cardi B.

There was bad news for Grammy-watchers in Tampa, too, as University of South Florida jazz professor Chuck Owen's album Whispers on the Wind didn't win any of the four Grammys for which it was nominated. And while several Florida artists made it into In Memoriam segment — Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, Mel Tillis, Charles Bradley — a couple with Tampa Bay roots did not. Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Paul O'Neill, who lived in Tampa, and Dunedin native Lari White, who died just last week, were left out.

If we can hang our hat on anything from the 2018 Grammys, it's that a bundle of the night's biggest winners and performers have concerts booked in Tampa Bay this year:

Tony Bennett: His album Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 won Best Traditional Vocal Album, he presented a Grammy to Kendrick Lamar, and he's performing at the Mahaffey Theatre on Feb. 9. Click here.

Rhonda Vincent: Here's one you don't hear every day: A Grammy winner is coming to the Florida State Fair. Vincent, who won Best Bluegrass Album, will perform as part of the Country Gold tour on Feb. 14 at the fair. Click here.

Father John Misty: While he didn't win for Best Alternative Album, he did win for Best Recording Package for Pure Comedy. He'll perform at the Gasparilla Music Festival, March 10-11 in Curtis Hixon Park. Click here.

Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley: He won Best Reggae Album for Stony Hill, and will perform at the Reggae Rise Up festival in Vinoy Park on March 17. Click here.

DJ Khaled: He performed Wild Thoughts with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, and he'll open for Demi Lovato at Amalie Arena on March 31. Click here.

Jason Isbell: He racked up two more Grammys, including Best Americana Album for The Nashville Sound, and he'll be at Ruth Eckerd Hall on April 17. Click here.

Kendrick Lamar: He swept the rap field, including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance (HUMBLE.), and he's coming to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on May 22. Click here.

Sam Smith: The British crooner, who performed Pray in a big ol' white coat, will be at Amalie Arena on July 13. Click here.

Little Big Town: They won Best Country Duo/Group Performance for Better Man, which they performed on the show. They'll perform at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Aug. 3. Click here.

Maren Morris: She teamed up with Eric Church and Brothers Osborne to sing a tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and she'll open for Niall Horan at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 22. Click here. (Also, Brothers Osborne will be coming to Tampa with Dierks Bentley, but they haven't announced a date yet.)

Ed Sheeran: The winner of Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance (Shape Of You) will perform at Raymond James Stadium on Nov. 7. Click here.

Elton John: He performed with Miley Cyrus, and he'll be bringing his farewell tour to Amalie Arena on Nov. 28. Click here.

— Jay Cridlin

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