Posted: February 11, 2019
By Melissa Ruggieri, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
LOS ANGELES —
In her elegant aqua and pink head wrap – and still makeup free – Alicia Keys immediately set the tone for this year’s Grammy Awards with a simple statement: “Music is so powerful.”
The first-time host, an artist whose soul is clearly and genuinely consumed with music, also unveiled the second theme of the 61st annual Grammy Awards in its opening minutes: This was going to be a ladies’ night.
Or, as best new artist winner Dua Lipa cheekily commented, “I guess this year we really stepped up,” a nod to a controversial comment made backstage last year by outgoing Recording Academy President Neil Portnow.
Country darling Kacey Musgraves swept her four categories, including the prestigious album of the year, for her lauded “Golden Hour.”
“Life is pretty tumultuous right now for all of us, and because of that, art is really thriving and it’s been beautiful to see that,” she said from the stage.
Lady Gaga, who slayed her performance of “Shallow” by tweaking it into a sequined-studded rock anthem, won a trio of awards, while H.E.R. picked up a pair for best R&B album (“H.E.R.”) and best R&B performance (“Best Part”).
Brandi Carlile received long overdue accolades by earning three awards during the earlier Premiere Ceremony – and later unleashed a striking rendition of “The Joke,” her powerful defense of the under-represented.
Backstage, she credited Janelle Monae – who went home empty-handed, but presented one of the most scintillating performances of the ceremony with her saucy “Make Me Feel” – with helping her overcome some stage fright.
“I got out there and was so freaking nervous. I looked out and saw one person with total peace on her face and it was Janelle Monae,” she said. “I lost my nervousness and I sang it to her. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.”
And Cardi B, accompanied by husband Offset of Migos, was visibly overwhelmed by her first-ever Grammy win (best rap album) for “Invasion of Privacy.” She’s also the first solo female to score the award.
“Ooh, the nerves are so bad,” she said.
Donald Glover's alter ego, Childish Gambino, earned four more trophies to add to last year’s inaugural Grammy, including the marquee record and song of the year categories for “This Is America.” It’s the first time a rap song has won record and song of the year.
Gambino was conspicuously absent at this year’s ceremony (he performed last year), so his awards were accepted by co-writer and producer Ludwig Göransson, engineer/mixer Derek Ali and mastering engineer Mike Bozzi.
Göransson gave a shout-out to rapper 21 Savage – nominated for two awards with Post Malone – who remains in jail after being arrested Super Bowl Sunday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for allegedly living in the U.S. illegally.
“21 Savage should be here tonight,” Göransson said.
The rapper also received support backstage from England’s Dua Lipa.
“It’s quite upsetting that he hasn’t done anything and he’s given so much to American culture, even being a Brit,” she said.
At the start of the 3 ½-hour telecast from the Staples Center, Keys introduced her “sisters” – Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, former first lady Michelle Obama (who received an enthusiastic standing ovation) and Jennifer Lopez – who flanked her to share their valentines to music.
“Music took my ears, took my hands, my voice and my soul and it led me to all of you,” said Gaga.
“Music is the one place we can all feel truly free,” said Lopez, who would later silence critics with a fiery exhibition of Motown hits with Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo and Keys.
“Every voice we hear deserves to be honored and respected,” added Smith.
And from Obama: “Music helps us share ourselves. Our dignity, sorrows, hopes and joys. Music shows us that all of it matters.”
While at times the show felt a bit overstuffed, its determination to please multiple generations signaled a refreshing representation of veterans to upstarts. A pleasant tribute to Dolly Parton (her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Musgraves, Little Big Town and Katy Perry); Diana Ross (celebrating her 75th birthday a month early); and a potent memorial to Aretha Franklin (Fantasia, Yolanda Adams and Andra Day singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”) melded styles and big names.
Performance highlights were numerous, with H.E.R. impressing with a fizzy electric guitar melded with a gospel choir on “Hard Place” and Keys’ dual-piano medley of songs she wished she’d written (Roberta Flack, Kings of Leon) resurrecting the familiar.
One of the only light controversies of the show came when Drake, making a rare Grammy appearance, was cut off during his speech after winning best rap song (“God’s Plan”).
“This is a business,” he said from the stage. “You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs; if you’re a hero in your hometown; if there’s people who have regular jobs who come out to see you in the rain in the snow – you don’t need this,” he said, holding up his Grammy.
Producers then cut to a commercial.
The explanation backstage was that Drake had taken a “natural pause,” and producers didn’t realize he was still talking. He was given the opportunity to return to the stage to finish his speech, but, “Drake said he was happy with what he said.”
The Grammy Awards is one of the biggest nights of the year for the music industry and this year was no different.
The star-studded show, hosted by artist Alicia Keyes, in Los Angeles at the Staples Center Sunday night featured performances by Diana Ross, Cardi B, Miley Cyrus, Little Big Town and Dolly Parton, Post Malone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, St. Vincent and Dua Lipa and many more.
Here are the winners and losers of the 61st annual Grammy Awards:
Record Of The Year
“I Like It” — Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin “The Joke” — Brandi Carlile “This Is America” — Childish Gambino WINNER “God’s Plan” — Drake “Shallow” — Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper “All The Stars” — Kendrick Lamar & SZA “Rockstar” — Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage “The Middle” — Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey
Album Of The Year
“Invasion Of Privacy” — Cardi B “By The Way, I Forgive You” — Brandi Carlile “Scorpion” — Drake “H.E.R.” — H.E.R. “Beerbongs & Bentleys” — Post Malone “Dirty Computer” — Janelle Monáe “Golden Hour” — Kacey Musgraves WINNER “Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By” (Various Artists)
Song Of The Year
“All The Stars” — Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears & Anthony Tiffith, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar & SZA) “Boo’d Up” — Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Ella Mai) “God’s Plan” — Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake) “In My Blood” — Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes & Geoffrey Warburton, songwriters (Shawn Mendes) “The Joke” — Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile) “The Middle” — Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha & Anton Zaslavski, songwriters (Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey) “Shallow” — Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper) “This Is America” — Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino) WINNER
Best New Artist
Chloe x Halle Luke Combs Greta Van Fleet H.E.R. Dua Lipa WINNER Margo Price Bebe Rexha Jorja Smith
Best Pop Solo Performance “Colors” — Beck “Havana (Live)” — Camila Cabello “God Is A Woman” — Ariana Grande “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)” — Lady Gaga WINNER
“Better Now” — Post Malone
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance “Fall In Line” — Christina Aguilera Featuring Demi Lovato “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” — Backstreet Boys “‘S Wonderful” — Tony Bennett & Diana Krall “Shallow” — Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper WINNER “Girls Like You” — Maroon 5 Featuring Cardi B “Say Something” — Justin Timberlake Featuring Chris Stapleton “The Middle” — Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album “Love Is Here To Stay” —Tony Bennett & Diana Krall “My Way” — Willie Nelson WINNER
“Nat “King” Cole & Me” — Gregory Porter “Standards” (DELUXE) — Seal “THE MUSIC…THE MEM’RIES…THE MAGIC!” — Barbra Streisand
Best Pop Vocal Album “Camila” — Camila Cabello “Meaning Of Life” — Kelly Clarkson “Sweetener” — Ariana Grande WINNER
“Shawn Mendes” — Shawn Mendes “Beautiful Trauma” — P!nk “Reputation” — Taylor Swift
Best Dance Recording “Northern Soul” — Above & Beyond Featuring Richard Bedford “Ultimatum” — Disclosure (Featuring Fatoumata Diawara) “Losing It” — Fisher “Electricity” — Silk City & Dua Lipa Featuring Diplo & Mark Ronson WINNER “Ghost Voices” — Virtual Self
Best Dance/Electronic Album “Singularity” —Jon Hopkins “Woman Worldwide” — Justice WINNER “Treehouse” — Sofi Tukker “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides” — SOPHIE “Lune Rouge” — TOKiMONSTA
Contemporary Instrumental Field
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album “The Emancipation Procrastination” — Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
“Steve Gadd Band” — Steve Gadd Band WINNER
“Modern Lore” — Julian Lage “Laid Black” — Marcus Miller “Protocol 4” — Simon Phillips
Best Rock Performance “Four Out Of Five” —Arctic Monkeys “When Bad Does Good” — Chris Cornell WINNER
“Made An America” — The Fever 333 “Highway Tune” — Greta Van Fleet “Uncomfortable” — Halestorm
Best Metal Performance “Condemned To The Gallows “— Between The Buried And Me “Honeycomb” — Deafheaven “Electric Messiah” — High On Fire WINNER “Betrayer” — Trivium “On My Teeth — Underoath
Best Rock Song “Black Smoke Rising” — Jacob Thomas Kiszka, Joshua Michael Kiszka, Samuel Francis Kiszka & Daniel Robert Wagner, songwriters (Greta Van Fleet) “Jumpsuit” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots) “MANTRA” — Jordan Fish, Matthew Kean, Lee Malia, Matthew Nicholls & Oliver Sykes, songwriters (Bring Me The Horizon) “Masseduction” — Jack Antonoff & Annie Clark, songwriters (St. Vincent) WINNER “Rats” — Tom Dalgety & A Ghoul Writer, songwriters(Ghost)
Best Rock Album “Rainier Fog” — Alice In Chains “M A N I A” — Fall Out Boy “Prequelle — Ghost “From The Fires” — Greta Van Fleet WINNER “Pacific Daydream” — Weezer
Best Alternative Music Album “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino” —Arctic Monkeys “Colors” — Beck WINNER
“Utopia” — Björk “American Utopia” — David Byrne “Masseduction” — St. Vincent
Best R&B Performance
“Long As I Live” — Toni Braxton
“Summer” — The Carters “Y O Y” — Lalah Hathaway “Best Part” — H.E.R. Featuring Daniel Caesar WINNER“First Began” — PJ Morton
Best Traditional R&B Performance (TIE)
“Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand” — Leon Bridges WINNER “Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight” — Bettye LaVette “Honest” — MAJOR. “How Deep Is Your Love” — PJ Morton Featuring Yebba WINNER “Made For Love” — Charlie Wilson Featuring Lalah Hathaway
Best R&B Song
“Boo’d Up” — Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Ella Mai) WINNER
“Come Through And Chill” — Jermaine Cole, Miguel Pimentel & Salaam Remi, songwriters (Miguel Featuring J. Cole & Salaam Remi) “Feels Like Summer” — Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino) “Focus” — Darhyl Camper Jr, H.E.R. & Justin Love, songwriters (H.E.R.) “Long As I Live” — Paul Boutin, Toni Braxton & Antonio Dixon, songwriters (Toni Braxton)
Best Urban Contemporary Album “Everything Is Love” — The Carters WINNER
“The Kids Are Alright “— Chloe x Halle “Chris Dave And The Drumhedz” — Chris Dave And The Drumhedz “War & Leisure” — Miguel “Ventriloquism” — Meshell Ndegeocello
Best R&B Album “Sex & Cigarettes” — Toni Braxton “Good Thing” — Leon Bridges “Honestly” — Lalah Hathaway “H.E.R.” — H.E.R. WINNER “Gumbo Unplugged (Live)” — PJ Morton
Best Rap Performance (TIED) “Be Careful” — Cardi B “Nice For What” — Drake “King’s Dead” — Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake WINNER
“Bubblin” — Anderson Paak WINNER“Sicko Mode” — Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee
Best Rap/Sung Performance “Like I Do” — Christina Aguilera Featuring Goldlink“Pretty Little Fears” — 6LACK Featuring J. Cole“This Is America” — Childish Gambino WINNER“All The Stars” — Kendrick Lamar & SZA“Rockstar” — Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage
Best Rap Song
“God’s Plan” — Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake) WINNER “King’s Dead” — Kendrick Duckworth, Samuel Gloade, James Litherland, Johnny McKinzie, Mark Spears, Travis Walton, Nayvadius Wilburn & Michael Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake) “Lucky You” — R. Fraser, G. Lucas, M. Mathers, M. Samuels & J. Sweet, songwriters (Eminem Featuring Joyner Lucas) “Sicko Mode” — Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean, Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, John Edward Hawkins, Chauncey Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young, songwriters (Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee) “Win” — K. Duckworth, A. Hernandez, J. McKinzie, M. Samuels & C. Thompson, songwriters (Jay Rock)
Best Rap Album
“Invasion Of Privacy” — Cardi B WINNER “Swimming” — Mac Miller “Victory Lap” — Nipsey Hussle “Daytona” — Pusha T “Astroworld” — Travis Scott
Best Country Solo Performance “Wouldn’t It Be Great?” — Loretta Lynn “Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters” — Maren Morris “Butterflies” — Kacey Musgraves WINNER “Millionaire” — Chris Stapleton “Parallel Line” — Keith Urban
Best Country Duo/Group Performance “Shoot Me Straight” — Brothers Osborne“Tequila” — Dan + Shay WINNER” When Someone Stops Loving You” — Little Big Town“Dear Hate” — Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill“Meant To Be” — Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
Best Country Song “Break Up In The End” — Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill & Jon Nite, songwriters (Cole Swindell)“Dear Hate” — Tom Douglas, David Hodges & Maren Morris, Songwriters (Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill)“I Lived It” — Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley & Ben Hayslip, songwriters (Blake Shelton)“Space Cowboy” — Luke Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves) WINNER“Tequila” — Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds & Dan Smyers, songwriters (Dan + Shay)“When Someone Stops Loving You” — Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill & Lori McKenna, songwriters (Little Big Town)
Best Country Album “Unapologetically” — Kelsea Ballerini“Port Saint Joe” — Brothers Osborne“Girl Going Nowhere” — Ashley McBryde“Golden Hour” — Kacey Musgraves WINNER“From A Room: Volume 2” — Chris Stapleton
New Age Field
Best New Age Album “Hiraeth” — Lisa Gerrard & David Kuckhemann “Beloved” — Snatam Kaur “Opium Moon” — Opium Moon WINNER“Molecules Of Motion” — Steve Roach “Moku Maluhia – Peaceful Island” — Jim Kimo West
Best Improvised Jazz Solo “Some Of That Sunshine” — Regina Carter, soloist “Don’t Fence Me In” — John Daversa, soloist WINNER“We See” — Fred Hersch, soloists “De-dah” — Brad Mehldau, soloist “Cadenas” — Miguel Zenón, soloist
Best Jazz Vocal Album “My Mood Is You” — Freddy Cole “The Questions” — Kurt Elling “The Subject Tonight Is Love” — Kate McGarry With Keith Ganz & Gary Versace “If You Really Want” — Raul Midón With The Metropole Orkest Conducted By Vince Mendoza “The Window” — Cécile McLorin Salvant WINNER
Best Jazz Instrumental Album “Diamond Cut” — Tia Fuller “Live In Europe” — Fred Hersch Trio “Seymour Reads The Constitution!” — Brad Mehldau Trio “Still Dreaming” — Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley & Brian Blade “Emanon” — The Wayne Shorter Quartet WINNER
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album “All About That Basie” — The Count Basie Orchestra Directed By Scotty Barnhart “American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom” — John Daversa Big Band Featuring DACA Artists WINNER “Presence” — Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big Band “All Can Work” — John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble “Barefoot Dances And Other Visions” — Jim McNeely & The Frankfurt Radio Big Band
Best Latin Jazz Album “Heart Of Brazil”— Eddie Daniels“Back To The Sunset”— Dafnis Prieto Big Band WINNER“West Side Story Reimagined”— Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band“Cinque”— Elio Villafranca“Yo Soy La Tradición” — Miguel Zenón Featuring Spektral Quartet
Gospel/ Contemporary Christian Music
Best Gospel Performance/Song “You Will Win” — Jekalyn Carr; Allen Carr & Jekalyn Carr, Songwriters “Won’t He Do It” — Koryn Hawthorne “Never Alone” — Tori Kelly Featuring Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin & Victoria Kelly, Songwriters WINNER“Cycles” Jonathan Mcreynolds Featuring Doe; Jonathan McReynolds, Songwriter “A Great Work” — Brian Courtney Wilson; Aaron W. Lindsey, Alvin Richardson & Brian Courtney Wilson, Songwriters
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song “Reckless Love” — Cory Asbury; Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver & Ran Jackson, songwriters“You Say” — Lauren Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram & Paul Mabury, songwriters WINNER“Joy” — for King & Country; Ben Glover, Matt Hales, Stephen Blake Kanicka, Seth Moslely, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters“Grace Got You” — MercyMe Featuring John Reuben; David Garcia, Ben Glover, MercyMe, Solomon Olds & John Reuben, songwriters“Known”— Tauren Wells; Ethan Hulse, Jordan Sapp & Tauren Wells, songwriters
In a surprise appearance, Michelle Obama helped kick off the Grammy Awards on Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The popular former first lady, alongside show host Alicia Keyes, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez, was part of a special segment on the meaning of music.
The crowd went wild as Obama tried to talk about the importance of singular and varied voices in the music industry.
“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side (of Chicago) to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” she said to the cheering crowd.
“Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in.”
Each of the women spoke a few words about the importance of music in their lives, but it was Obama’s appearance that thrilled the audience.
“A big part of friendship is showing up for your girls – that’s why I was thrilled to be there for the one and only Alicia Keyes at the Grammys,” Obama tweeted a short time after her appearance. She is one of the most genuine and thoughtful people I know – there’s no one better to help us all celebrate the unifying power of music.”
Disney unveiled a trailer for its latest reboot of “Aladdin” during the Grammy Awards Sunday night featuring a blue Will Smith as the genie.
“I told y’all I was gon’ be Blue!!” Smith posted on Instagram, along with a video of the new trailer.
The trailer for the new take on the animated classic features Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud, and Jasmine, played by Naomi Scott.
The cast also includes Marwan Kenzari as Jafar and Billy Magnussen and Nasim Pedrad.
Disney released the first trailer for the film last fall, but it only showed Aladdin and his iconic lamp.
“Aladdin” will debut on May 24.
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