The 56th Annual Grammy Awards aired on CBS Sunday night and showcased some of music's biggest legends as well as many of today's mainstream artists. Among the shocking performances and surprise collaborations was pop singer Katy Perry's performance of "Dark Horse," which left critics confused as to what her performance meant.
Sunday night was packed with shocking performances: a Beatles reunion, Pink's acrobatic skills while fully singing her hit song, and dozens of gay marriages taking place on live TV during Ryan Lewis and Macklemore's performance of "Same Love."
Pop singer Perry took a break from her normal bright color whimsical performances to present a much darker side.
On the red carpet, Perry hinted to Ryan Seacrest on E!'s pre-Grammy show that her performance was "kind of inspired" by Stevie Nicks. "Let's just say, one of my favorite lines: 'Which witch is which?'" she revealed about what to expect from her act. "It's very spooky. It's very dark." Nicks recently told Rolling Stone that she and Perry recently met up in London for a three-hour talk that encompassed "everything."
Perry performed "Dark Horse" with her collaborator, rapper Juicy J. Perry started the performance inside a crystal ball as demons circled her while dancing on every side. She then began pole dancing for the audience on an upside-down wooden broom. By the end, she was standing in front of a fire.
The former Christian singer had a Knights of Templar cross lit across her chest, similar to the one Madonna had pinned on her scarf during the Grammy's red carpet walk. Perry recently told Marie Claire during and interview that she no longer identifies with any religion, completely removing the star from her Christian upbringing.
"Dark Horse" is a song from Perry's fourth studio album, Prism. She was nominated for two Grammy's this year but walked away empty-handed.
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Despite Niki Minaj's comparably "dark" performance at the 2012 awards show, many of the singer's fans and observers were shocked with Perry's performance.
E! Online tweeted, "Um, did we just witness actual witchcraft during Katy Perry's #Grammys performance?"
"Katy Perry Dresses Like Witch, Gets Burned at the Stake During 'Dark Hors' Grammys 2014 Performance," said US Weekly.
Christian gospel singer Natalie Grant, who was nominated twice for her hit song, "Hurricane," left the show early perhaps because of her convictions.
"We left the Grammy's early. I've many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I'll say this: I've never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I've never been more sure of the path I've chosen," she posted on her Facebook.