The boardroom attire she wore while singing "Beautiful" made listeners actually pay attention to her voice.
It turns out she has one.
So many "hip" artists showed up in pinstripes - including Justin "OK, CBS, I Apologized, Now Where Are My Awards?" Timberlake - that it looked like bankers on parade. Except musicians make more money than bankers.
Pinstripes are tasteful and flattering and always correct except when worn by musicians at what is supposed to be a fun party, and then it seems absolutely wrong. They look all business, which is precisely what the Grammys shouldn't be, yet are.
Musicians can wear anything. They should. Most of them need to attend the Bootsy Collins Funky Fashion Academy, pronto.
Though not Andre 3000, who exposed both breasts in his raucous apple-green Indian attire and a belt that looked like the Little Mermaid's top. Mr. "Give me some sugar, I am your neighbor" could do no wrong, nor could partner Big Boi in a green Nehru jacket.
Grammy fashion was intensely green - Outkast's influence is everywhere - and absurdly retro. Virtually every decade was retreaded while avoiding the call of the now.
Snoop Dogg wore a Sherlock Holmes cape, again green, while bearing a personalized go cup. Alicia Keys and Aguilera appeared in 1920s Marcel waves. Later, Aguilera was up to her old tricks, channeling Jean Harlow in a severe white decolletage, causing viewers to be more preoccupied with "wardrobe malfunction" (now there's a dictionary entry) than acceptance speeches.
Keys, who has a talent for tragic clothing decisions, chose an aqua and silver-sequined ballgown more suitable for Miss Missouri, circa 1962.
No one should wear aqua. Ever.
Now we come to Miss Beyonc, first appearing in a Pepto-Bismol pink Gold Digger frock with peekaboo holes and marabou trim while appearing with the divine, diminutive Prince. Like Dylan, the mighty Prince can wear anything because genius is the ultimate fashion statement.
Beyonc is too beautiful for this Earth, but when a woman has her mother for a costumer, she loses her best critic. And she is asking for trouble.
Many of her ensembles were odd '60s throwbacks: too much fabric in unflattering colors with too much hair, when she already has plenty. It was too, too much, and not necessarily in a good way.
For lovers of high camp, nothing rivaled Beyonc's rendition of "Dangerously in Love," complete with dove, supernumeraries and - yes! - a balletic pas de deux that was supposed to be lusty or exotic or something but only succeeded in dredging up fond memories of Rob Lowe and Snow White at the 1989 Oscars.
Poor Beyonc - if one can feel sorry for a 22-year-old who has everything, including five Grammys. For most of the program, she looked stiff and uncomfortable, when the opening number, with loose hair and a fun dress, proved that she's a seismic performer when not weighed down by stylistic trappings.
Mary J. Blige, however, looked Gucci-fabulous in canary-yellow sequins and matching fur wrap. Queen Latifah looks better by the day, but the apple-green top - the color of the night - is hard to wear.
Madonna chose a ruffled pink knee-length Versace with black boots and pulled off the middle-of-the-face hair part, which has a 3.7 degree of difficulty on anyone over the age of 16. Her pal, Sting, was tantric in a black jacket, skirt and sheer knee-highs.
Kudos to the White Stripes for being precisely who they are, Jack White looking Clockwork Orange in a bowler with wiggy pants, one leg red, the other black. Or Amy Lee of Evanescence doing the Japanese bandage S&M goth thing to a fare-thee-well. Also to the Robert Randolph Family Band and the nod to the Sixers and Dr. J.
And no problem with the eternally odd Billy Bob Thornton wearing a "Fashion Stinks" T-shirt. At least someone took a political stand, other than 50 Cent thinking he deserved best new artist.
In between CoverGirl commercials and two plugs for Barbershop 2, Queen Latifah - once a political rapper - offered this hollow platitude as if it had been written on a cue card: "No matter what you've heard, music is a powerful force for good in this world."
Oh, the damage Janet Jackson has done to this planet.
Contact Karen Heller at 215-854-2586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.