With the unfortunate death of Whitney Houston, I tuned into the Grammy Awards for the first time in years. I have to admit that I was curious about how they would deal with this tragic event but I was treated to a stellar show for the most part, with highlights that gave me hope about the direction of popular music. Adele was incredible and her six awards for her “21” album was topped off by a live performance that removed all doubts that she is fully recovered from vocal cord nodules. There was no auto-tune or lip-synching needed here! Jennifer Hudson gave a moving and emotional tribute to Whitney, “I will always love you”. Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney gave first-rate performances to kick off and end the evening, but I was sad at how much the music geniuses that I listened to growing up had aged. This was even further hammered home with poignant performances by the Beach Boys and Glen Campbell. I even enjoyed Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars far more than I had expected. My hope for the music industry was elucidated very clearly by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters who said “… the human element of making music is what is most important. Singing into a microphone, learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft… it’s not about sounding absolutely correct. It’s not about what goes on in a computer… it’s about what goes on [in your heart] and what goes on in [your head]”. It is sentiments like that which give me hope that pop music will rise out of the quagmire of autotuned pseudo-art that was sadly demonstrated by Nicki Minaj in her blasphemous stab at Catholicism called “The Exorcism of Roman”. Although she is arguably the most talented female rapper at the moment, this sacrilege-disguised-as-art was inexplicably allowed to be shown on television. If this had been an attack on Islam, it would never have been shown, yet it appears that anti-Catholicism is the last form of discrimination that is allowed and even encouraged. In an evening that showcased the best in pop music, Minaj demonstrated lack of respect, lack of taste and an extreme lack of talent.