Musgraves a surprise winner of best album at Grammys.
H.E.R., Fantastic Negrito pick up prizes — female artists dominate
It was a big night for two Bay Area artists at the 61st annual Grammy Awards.
Five-time nominee H.E.R., the rising R&B singer from Vallejo whose real name is Gabriella “Gabi” Wilson, won the prize for best R&B album of the year for “H.E.R.,” a compilation of her first two EPs; and best R&B performance for her song “Best Part,” a duet with Daniel Caesar.
“I’m speechless right now,” she said at the ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10. “I’m holding back tears.”
Oakland singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito also picked up a prize for best contemporary blues album in a pre-telecast ceremony, for his 2018 release, “Please Don’t Be Dead.”
“I knew I made a great record,” the Oakland singer-songwriter, whose real name is Xavier Dphrepaulezz, told The Chronicle on the phone Sunday. “I was sitting right there in the auditorium, and as soon as they said, ‘Please,’ I knew it was me.”
Negrito, a music industry veteran, won his first Grammy two years ago, picking up the prize for best contemporary blues album for his 2016 release, “The Last Days of Oakland.”
The rest of the night belonged to women. Female acts won album of the year and best
new artist, while rap also triumphed, with Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” becoming the first rap-based song to win record and song of the year.
Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” picked up album of the year, and Dua Lipa won best new artist.
Gambino was the night’s big winner, picking up four honors, including best music video and best rap/sung performance.
Drake, who rarely attends awards shows, surprised the music world when he emerged onstage to accept the best rap song trophy for his huge hit “God’s Plan.”
Cardi B made history as the first solo female to win best rap album.
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. Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez also spoke and stood in solidarity with Obama, Gaga and Alicia Keys, who hosted the show on CBS.
Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves each won multiple Grammys. Carlile took three honors: best Americana album, best American roots performance and best American roots song.
Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper. Now a nine-time Grammy winner, she won best pop solo performance for “Joanne,” while the hit “Shallow,” from “A Star is Born,” was named best song written for visual media. The song is nominated for an Oscar and also won at the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.
Musgraves picked up best country album for “Golden Hour,” best country solo performance for “Butterflies” and best country song for “Space Cowboy.”
There was a tie for best rap performance. Drake’s “Nice for What” lost to Anderson Paak’s “Bubblin’ ” and Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake’s “King’s Dead,” from the “Black Panther” soundtrack.
Beck was a double winner during the pre-telecast, taking home best alternative music album and best engineered album (non-classical) for “Colors.” Emily Lazar, one of the engineers who worked on the album and won alongside Beck, was the first female mastering engineer to win in the latter category.
Other Bay Area nominees included Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio and Charlie Musselwhite, who was nominated for his work with Ben Harper, in the best traditional blues album category; Joan Baez for best folk album; Deafheaven for best metal performance.
In the classical field, Michael Tilson Thomas was nominated for best orchestral performance; Mason Bates for best opera recording, best contemporary classical composition, best engineered album and producer of the year; and John Adams for best opera recording and best classical compendium.
Reporting by Chronicle Pop Music Critic Aidin Vaziri
and the Associated Press.
Vallejo singer H.E.R. performs at the 61st annual Grammy Awards, where she won best R&B album and best R&B performance of the year.
Kacey Musgraves accepts the album of the year award for “Golden Hour,” one of four Grammys she took home at the 61st annual awards ceremony, held at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Cardi B, shown onstage with Offset, becomes the first solo female honored for best rap album, for “Invasion of Privacy.”