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Grammys 2016: Andra Day and Ellie Goulding had the night’s first standout performance

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

The Grammys got off to a good but unremarkable start. Taylor Swift opened the show with a solid performance of "Out of the Woods," Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt performed a fine duet, and the Weeknd showed off his dazzling voice.

But the night didn't officially begin until about 30 minutes into the telecast, when Andra Day took the stage. Day, armed with crackling talent, a dusty voice, and her hit song "Rise Up," grabbed the night and never let go.

Day set the stage for Ellie Goulding to come out and duet on Goulding's Oscar-nominated tune "Love Me Like You Do." Goulding's airy voice cut a brilliant contrast to Day's tone and texture. The performance really got going as Day lent her voice to Goulding's song — and then eclipsed Goulding altogether. I almost felt a little bad for Goulding, but there's no shame in being upstaged by Day.