Women, rap big winners at the Grammys
LOS ANGELES — Women and rap triumphed at the Grammys on Sunday as female acts took home top prizes including album of the year and best new artist, and Childish Gambino made history when his hit “This Is America” became the first rap-based track to win record and song of the year.
Kacey Musgraves’ country-pop release “Golden Hour” won album of the year, and British singer Dua Lipa won best new artist, a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony and the Grammys were criticized for the low number of female nominees.
“I think women have a really necessary perspective, to art, to music,” Musgraves said backstage.
Musgraves and Gambino were the night’s top winners, taking home four awards each. Musgraves also won best country
album, best country song and best country solo performance. Gambino’s “This Is America” also won best music video and best rap/sung performance.
Gambino’s historic win comes years after rappers have struggled to win in the top categories, including Jay-z, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. Drake, who has lost in the big four categories over the years, told the room of musicians that winning awards isn’t necessary if you have real fans attending your concerts and singing your songs.
“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,” said Drake, who won best rap song for “God’s Plan.”
He tried to continue speaking but was cut off as the ceremony suddenly went to a commercial.
The last time a rapper won album of the year was in 2004 with Outkast. Cardi B also made history as the first solo female to win best rap album (Lauryn Hill won as a member of the Fugees at the 1997 Grammys).
At the 2018 Grammys, male acts dominated in nominations, and the only woman competing for the top award, Lorde, did not get a chance to perform onstage.
Lady Gaga won three Grammys Sunday, including best pop duo/ group performance for Oscar-nominated hit “Shallow,” a win she shared with Bradley Cooper. Gaga performed the song solo since Cooper was in London for the British Academy Film Awards.
The Grammys kicked off with a group of powerful women, including Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, describing the role of music in their lives — a display that came a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony.
“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 told the crowd: “They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn’t work. But music told me not to listen to them.”
Kacey Musgraves accepts the award for best country album for “Golden Hour” at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.