Gram­mys honor coun­try, rap

Kacey Mus­graves, Child­ish Gam­bino lead night’s win­ners.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - Front Page - MESFIN FEKADU

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 speak- ing 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.

AP/Invision/MATT SAYLES

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.

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