Grammys 2019: Ladies within the highlight, hip hop makes historical past and tributes galore

Feminine artists dominated on the Grammy awards Sunday evening, with the highlight of “music’s largest evening” firmly centered on powerhouse performances by ladies.   

The Recording Academy — which has been making an attempt to address criticism round the shortage of variety at its annual celebration of music — has made some strides in the case of nominating extra numerous musicians. That was on show Sunday, because the Grammys registered a number of historic wins for rap artists and noticed feminine acts triumphing with two of the evening’s high trophies (album of the yr, greatest new artist), in addition to in classes together with rap album, nation album, R&B album and pop vocal album.

Producers of this yr’s Grammy telecast selected to, for probably the most half, flip the present over to feminine artists, highlighting the expertise of host Alicia Keys and honouring musical icons like Dolly Parton, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin.

Then there was the noticeable enhance in top-nominated feminine acts (together with Kacey Musgraves, Janelle Monae, Cardi B, H.E.R., Dua Lipa and Brandi Carlile) performing — and commanding consideration with their time onstage.

“I simply wished to say how honoured I’m to be nominated alongside so many unimaginable feminine artists this yr, as a result of I assume this yr we actually stepped up,” Dua Lipa quipped upon profitable greatest new artist, a transparent retort to outgoing academy head Neil Portnow’s infamous comments backstage at last year’s telecast.

That stated, the present wasn’t with out mishap. This is a round-up of some memorable moments from the evening.

Musical matchmaking

Grammy telecast producer Ken Ehrlich is solely hooked on star-studded matchups and duets. Typically it actually works, as with Camila Cabello’s high-energy opening efficiency of Havana, that includes J. Balvin, Ricky Martin, Younger Thug and Arturo Sandoval.

The star-studded Parton tribute had even BTS bopping. Late within the present, St. Vincent and Dua Lipa supplied a seductive efficiency of Masseduction.

However slamming collectively musical notables of various genres and generations or just signing large names to carry out one more tribute would not all the time repay (extra on J. Lo later).

Obama in the home

To assist kick issues off, Keys shared her time onstage with some main names, inviting “sisters” Girl Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez and — seemingly garnering one of many evening’s largest and longest ovations — Michelle Obama.

“Music has all the time helped me inform my story,” Obama stated. “Whether or not we like nation or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It permits us to listen to each other.”

Drake’s actual speak

In one of many evening’s shock appearances, Grammy-and-Juno-snubbing hip hop star Drake was really in the home to simply accept the Grammy when God’s Plan received the trophy for greatest rap track.

“If there’s individuals who have common jobs who’re popping out within the rain and snow, spending their hard-earned cash to come back to your reveals, you do not want this proper right here, I promise you, you already received,” Drake informed fellow artists from the stage after his win.

However simply once we thought maybe his beef with award reveals had ended, producers bluntly reduce off his real-talk speech, sending the present to industrial at what they subsequently called a “natural pause” (with Drake apparently declining the supply to come back again and end his thought).

Effectively Grammys, that is seemingly the final time you will see Champagne Papi at your present.

Historic hip hop wins

Cardi B, seen performing Cash through the ceremony, is the primary solo feminine winner of the most effective rap album Grammy. (Matt Sayles/Invision/Related Press)

And talking of no-shows, Infantile Gambino (aka Donald Glover) made historical past along with his blistering monitor That is America profitable each track of the yr and document of the yr.

It is the primary time in Grammy historical past a rap track has received both class. It was an embarrassing second for Grammy organizers that such a significant winner did not really feel compelled to attend. (The track additionally received greatest rap/sung efficiency and greatest music video)

One other historic win got here when rapper Cardi B grew to become the primary solo feminine rapper ever to win greatest rap album (for Invasion of Privateness).

Motown by means of Sin Metropolis

Jennifer Lopez carried out with Smokey Robinson in a tribute to Motown. The selection was controversial earlier than the present even occurred, and much more so after her efficiency. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

A choice that was maligned by many from the second it was revealed was the Grammys’ resolution to have Jennifer Lopez lead a tribute to Motown. A serious grievance was that the tribute to the label that introduced the world artists like Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Glady Knight and Stevie Surprise, ought to come from a black artist.

After which there was the efficiency query.

Although broadly acknowledged for her phenomenal dancing, J.Lo has by no means been thought of an extremely sturdy vocalist, so constructing a multi-song tribute round her (even with the help of Motown legend Smokey Robinson, Grammy host Keys and R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo) felt inexplicable to many within the viewers.

It isn’t stunning that the set, which appeared to channel her Las Vegas residency, earned a big backlash on social media — particularly when a tribute to Aretha Franklin later within the present appeared to get truncated to only one of many Queen of Soul’s songs.

Host with probably the most

Host Alicia Keys was a significant a part of the present, placing on her personal performances as she carried viewers via the star-studded evening. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

If you land a 15-time Grammy-winner as host, you need to benefit from it — and Grammy producers positively showcased Keys as a lot as they might.

She shared personal stories, supplied upbeat optimism in regards to the music business and, delivered a terrific two-piano bit that confirmed that prolonged musical medleys do not must be full of cameos to really be pleasant.

Coming collectively on the pink carpet

And lest you suppose main moments solely occur onstage, Canadian nominees Younger Spirit introduced the roar of the pink carpet to a momentary halt and drew everybody’s consideration with a Cree spherical dance.

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