Women returned at the 61st Annual Grammys Awards on Sunday as 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 the album of the year, and Dua Lipa won best new artist.
The ceremony 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,” Obama said at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “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.”
The opening contrasted with last year’s Grammys, where male acts dominated in nominations and the only woman competing for the top award, Lorde, didn’t get a chance to perform onstage.
But this year, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves won multiple Grammys.
Carlile won three honors in the Americana category and will compete for the three biggest awards during the live show: album, song, and record of the year.
Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.
A tearful Gaga accepted the award Sunday night, thanking Cooper, who she noted was in England from the British film academy awards known as the BAFTAs.
“Thank you so much. I got to thank God, thank you for looking out for me. Thank you for my family,” she said. “I wish Bradley was here with me right now.”
Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy winner, won best pop solo performance for “Joanne,” while hit “Shallow,” from “A Star is Born,” was named best song was written for visual media. The song is nominated for an Oscar and also won at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.
“I just wanted to say, if I don’t get a chance to again, that I’m so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues,” Gaga said Sunday.
Several big stars are not attending the Grammys, including Grande, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the top nominee with eight, and Drake, nominated for seven awards.
Ariana Grande won her first Grammy in the same week that she publicly blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.
“I know I’m not there tonight (trust, I tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and I know I said I try not to put too much weight into these things …. but (expletive) ……. this is wild and beautiful. thank you so much,” she tweeted after learning about her win.
Childish Gambino, Tori Kelly, and Lauren Daigle won two awards each. Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ella Mai, H.E.R., 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.
Also, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” has won the Grammy Award for song of the year.
Donald Glover, whose alter ego is Childish Gambino, got the award Sunday night along with his fellow songwriter Ludwig Goransson and Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams.
The trap gospel song packed with social commentary nabbed one of the top awards of the night over heavyweights Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga.
However, Glover reportedly declined an invitation to perform at the Grammys, and he also wasn’t in the house tonight to pick up his award.
Although Gambino didn’t show, according to CNN’s report, the song of the year award goes to the song’s writers, unlike record of the year, which goes to the artist.
The artist’s win is his first in a major Grammy category and fourth overall after his hit “Redbone” won the prize for Best Traditional R&B Performance last year. Childish Gambino has notched 12 career Grammy nominations.
As an actor and producer, the California-born performer has garnered critical acclaim for his surrealist comedy-drama television series “Atlanta,” in which he stars.
Camila Cabello kicked off the show with a performance featuring J Balvin, Ricky Martin and Young Thug.
Others included Cardi B, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga, Travis Scott, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diana Ross, Dan + Shay, H.E.R., Little Big Town, Post Malone, and Chloe x Halle, also gave their wonderful performance.
After Kacey Musgraves has won her best country album, Drake has been announced be the winner of the Grammy Award for best rap song for “God’s Plan.”
During the Canadian rapper’s acceptance speech, he told nominees that awards don’t matter.
After that, there was some quick backlash online to Drake’s acceptance speech getting cut short.
The Best New Artist, another remarkable award in Grammys went to British pop star Dua Lipa.
The pop star beat fellow Londoner Jorja Smith along with rising pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and the enigmatic R&B performer H.E.R.
Lipa’s breakthrough came in 2016 with her first global hit “Hotter than Hell,” which she followed with “Blow Your Mind (Mwah),” which hit the top 10 in the US Billboard Hot 100.
Her sixth single “New Rules,” which came off her self-titled debut studio album, was her first number one in Britain — and the first by a female solo artist to top the UK charts since 2015’s “Hello” by Adele.
She has said her second album will likely come out later this year and cites shape-shifting pop icon Prince and southern hip-hop pioneers Outkast as major influences.
After that, Childish Gambino welcomed his fourth Grammy of the night, the coveted Record of the Year prize for the best overall song, for his politically charged hit “This Is America.”
The trap gospel song packed with social commentary from Childish Gambino — the alter ego of actor and recording artist Donald Glover — beat fellow category heavyweights Drake, Cardi B, and Lady Gaga to nab the award.
Earlier, he won Grammys for Song of the Year (best songwriting), Best Music Video and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Kacey Musgraves, one of country music’s most critically praised artists, took home the Grammy for Album of the Year, also, it is her fourth Grammys this night — the others were for Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song and Best Country Album.
According to the AP, Album of the Year is the night’s top honor.
Except for Kendrick Lamar and Drake, she also bested fellow female artists including Cardi B, Janelle Monae and Brandi Carlile to snare the coveted prize, in a year that saw women recognized across the top categories, after largely being snubbed in 2018.
Rolling Stone Magazine has dubbed her “one of the loudest symbols of young country musicians embracing progressive values.”