Grammys honor country, rap
Kacey Musgraves, Childish Gambino lead night’s winners.
LOS ANGELES — Women returned at the Grammys on Sunday as Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour picked up album of the year, and Dua Lipa won best new artist.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Musgraves, who tied for the night’s most Grammys with four. “I am very thankful. Winning doesn’t make my album any better than anybody else in that category.”
Musgraves also picked up best country album for Golden Hour, best country solo performance for “Butterflies” and best country song for “Space Cowboy.”
“I never dreamed that this record would be met with such love,” she said onstage.
She also gave a shout-out to her husband in the audience, saying she wouldn’t have been able to make the album if he “didn’t open my heart like you did.”
Rap also triumphed, with Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” becoming the first rap-based song to win record and song of the year. Gambino also picked up four honors, including best music video and best rap/sung performance. Gambino, the alter ego of singer-actor Donald Glover, did not attend the ceremony.
Drake surprised the music world when he emerged on stage to accept the best rap song trophy for his hit “God’s Plan.” He then told the room of musicians that fans are more important than awards.
“You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here. I promise you. You already won,” he said at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
He tried to continue speaking but was cut off as the ceremony went to a commercial.
Cardi B made history as the first solo female to win best rap album. She was shaking onstage as she tried to give a thank-you speech with her rapper-husband Offset holding her arm.
“The nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed,” she said as the audience laughed. “I just want to say thank you everybody that was involved … I want to thank my daughter.”
The Grammys kicked off with a group of women, including former first lady Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, describing the role of music in their lives.
“Music has always helped me tell my story,” said Obama, who surprised the audience with her appearance. “Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It allows us to hear one another.”
Gaga and Brandi Carlile won three Grammys each. Carlile took three honors in the Americana category and competed for album, song and record of the year. Gaga’s three included best pop duo/ group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.
Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy winner, won best pop solo performance for “Joanne,” while her hit “Shallow,” from A Star is Born, was named best song written for visual media. The song is also nominated for an Oscar.
Musgraves performed “Rainbow” from Golden Hour during the show, and hit the stage for a second time to honor Dolly Parton. Musgraves and Katy Perry joined forces for “Here You Come Again,” later joined by Parton. Parton also sang a duet version of “Jolene” with Miley Cyrus, and “Red Shoes” with country foursome Little Big Town.
Diana Ross earned a standing ovation when she emerged onstage to perform “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “The Best Years of My Life.” She celebrated her 75th birthday early with the performance, saying afterward, “Happy birthday to me!” Her actual birthday is March 26.
Ariana Grande won her first Grammy after a week in which she publicly blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.
Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle won two awards each. Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ella Mai, Pharrell Williams, Hugh Jackman, Stingy, Shaggy, Dave Chappelle, “Weird Al” Yankovic, the late Chris Cornell, Greta Van Fleet and even former President Jimmy Carter also picked up early awards ahead of the live show.
Kacey Musgraves accepts the award for album of the year Sunday at the 61st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. The award was the fourth of the night for Musgraves, who took Grammys in three country-music categories.