Despite a no-show by A-listers like Rihanna, Migos, Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino, the 61st Grammy’s put on a ton of musicians under one roof at the Staples Center in LA, to celebrate music’s biggest night. In case you missed the live broadcast, we’ve got you covered with all the highlights from the ceremony.
Latin medley sets the tone for Grammy’s
As the ceremony kicked off, Latin pop stars J Balvin, Ricky Martin and RedFestDXB headliner Camila Cabello set the tone with a high-spirited Latin medley, performing some of 2018’s hottest pop songs, “Mi Gente,” “Havana” and “Pegate.” The opening acts were accompanied by a live jazz performance by renowned trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval.
Alicia Keys hits the right notes as Grammy’s host
Hosting music’s biggest night in front of a cavalcade of stars can be a tough task, but not in the case of Alicia Keys. The 15-time Grammy-winning artist and Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival headliner graced the stage with help from Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, and performed a cover of classics like Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody”, Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing),” Juice WRLD’s 2018 hit, “Lucid Dreams” and her hit single, “New York.” Check it out:
Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” makes history
No hip-hop or rap single has ever won the ‘Song of the Year’ in the 61-year history of Grammy’s, until last night. Childish Gambino’s provocative protest rap anthem, “This is America” bagged the prestigious award as well as the “Record of the Year” and “Best New Video” Although the Atlanta rapper wasn’t present at the ceremony, his awards were accepted by his co-writers and mixers.
Cardi B becomes the first female to win best rap album
With a slew of hits and A-list collaborations such as “I Like It,” Bartier Cardi” and “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B won the award for the Best Rap Album. The award makes the Bronx-born rapper the first (solo) female to win the esteemed accolade, beating Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld,’ Mac Miller’s ‘Swimming’, Nipsey Hussle’s ‘Victory Lap’ and Pusha T’s ‘Daytona.’
Post Malone and Red Hot Chili Peppers team up for rap-rock medley
Anthony Kiedis and his band joined forces with Post Malone for a surreal joint rap-rock performance. They collaborated on a medley of hits, such as “Rockstar,” “Dream On,” “Stay” and “Dark Necessities.” In fact, this isn’t the first time Posty has delivered a surprise dual performance. The 23-year-old rapper closed last year’s VMAs with a live performance with rock icons Aerosmith.
Drake’s acceptance speech gets cut off
It was apparent that rap mostly ignored the Grammy’s, without the presence of multi-nominated stars Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z and Childish Gambino, and Drake’s acceptance speech being overlooked continued to reflect on the state of rap, after winning the Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan”. He took the acceptance speech as an opportunity to take a dig at the controversy, saying “I want to let you know we play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport. It is not the NBA, where at the end of year you’re holding a trophy because you made the right decisions or won the games. This is a business where sometimes it is up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say … or a fly Spanish girl from New York or anyone else.”
Jennifer Lopez defends her Motown label tribute
To celebrate 60 years of the label Motown, Grammy’s announced a tribute performance by Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo and Smokey Robinson. However, the performance wasn’t well received. Simply explained, the record label had a history of soul-pop, boasting iconic African American artists like Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Lionel Richie, while Jennifer Lopez, as we all know, comes from a Latin pop background. After her performance, she defended the criticism saying, “The thing about music is that it inspires all. Any type of music can inspire any type of artist. You can’t tell people what to love. You can’t tell people what they can and can’t do, what they should sing or not sing. You gotta do what’s in your heart.”
Fitting tribute to honour Aretha Franklin
Three of the most prominent artists in soul music, Fantasia, Yolanda Adams and Andra Day delivered an emotional performance to honour the late Aretha Franklin, regarded as the ‘Queen of Soul.’ The trio performed a soulful rendition of Franklin’s ‘68 hit single, “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like).”