Women, rap big win­ners at the Gram­mys

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Mes­fin Fekadu The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.”

Matt Sayles The As­so­ci­ated Press

Kacey Mus­graves ac­cepts the award for best coun­try album for “Golden Hour” at the 61st an­nual Grammy Awards on Sun­day in Los An­ge­les.

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