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Kacey Musgraves, Childish Gambino And Brandi Carlile Rule At Wide-Ranging 61st Grammy Awards

 Kacey Musgraves
(Lev Radin-Shutterstock)
The Recording Academy learned its lesson after last year’s “Step Up” controversy, delivering an awards ceremony dominated by women, from ALBUM OF THE YEAR and four-time winner Kacey Musgraves to tributes for Dolly Parton and Aretha Franklin. Apart from Musgraves, the night’s big winners turned out to be no-show Childish Gambino, who took home both Record and Song Of The Year for his powerful “This Is America,” and Brandi Carlile, who collected her three in the pre-telecast, but scored a huge look with her performance of “The Joke” on the show itself. Dua Lipa was a surprise winner for Best New Artist.

Cardi B also became the first solo female to ever win BEST RAP ALBUM, taking home the prize for “Invasion Of Privacy.”

Lady Gaga garnered three awards, including the televised Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Shallow,” giving a fiery take on the OSCAR-nominated song.

Donald Glover’s classic piece also took home Best Music Video, while Musgraves won BEST COUNTRY ALBUM on air, along with BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE (“Butterfly”) and BEST COUNTRY SONG (“Space Cowboy”) for her field-leading four.  

The show got underway with a bang, a sizzling performance by Camila Cabello of "Havana," with Ricky Martin, J Balvin and trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval on a multi-tiered set that included a full tenement apartment building dance scene.

Alicia Keys hosted the evening, playing up the evening's themes of music, inclusion and, yep, female power, as she brought up a quartet of Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jennifer Lopez, and none other than scene-stealer Michelle Obama to deliver the message.

Then it was time for the first duet of the evening, Shawn Mendes singing his two-time GRAMMY nominated song, "In My Blood," with Miley Cyrus joining mid-song.

Musgraves’ soaring "Rainbow” was a harbinger of things to come, while Janelle Monae was superb on a very Prince-like "Make Me Feel," which did just that with its tic-toc funk rhythms. 

Rock n' roll with Post Malone following up renditions of his smashe hits "Stay" and "Rockstar" by joining the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their "Dark Necessities," hinting at future collaborations to come.

The Parton tribute found Dolly joining Katy Perry and Musgraves ("Here You Come Again"), Cyrus ("Jolene"), and Maren Morris (for a great three-part a cappella harmony on Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" from the "TRIO" album), Little Big Town ("Red Shoes"), and the hot, all-hands-on-deck finale, "9 to 5." 

H.E.R., winner of BEST R&B ALBUM and BEST R&B PERFORMANCE GRAMMYS, followed with perhaps the night's breakout performance, dazzling with "Hard Place," while BEST RAP ALBUM winner Cardi B was a close runner-up on a raucous, peacock-feather twirling "Money".

Alisha Keys  took center stage, sitting in the middle of two pianos for what was dubbed, "Songs I Wish I'd Written,", a medley which included such GRAMMY-related songs as "Killing Me Softly," "Unforgettable," "Use Somebody," Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop" and her own JAY-Z collaboration, "Empire State Of Mind").

Up next were, Dan & Shay, with a "Tequila" that ended in an impressive operatic finish from the Country duo's Shay Mooney.
Surprise attendee Drake won the GRAMMY for BEST RAP SONG for "God's Plan," only to launch into a speech encouraging artists to follow their own vision and the awards will come. Due to time limits he was cut off in midstream when CBS went to commercial.

The night’s most emotional centerpiece had to be Diana Ross, introduced by her adorable grandson, regal in a red gown, as she went with the retrospective "The Best Years of My Life" and "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)," as she went out into the audience where she brushed past UMG head Lucian Grainge in one of those strange GRAMMY moments.

Even with Bradley Cooper at the British Awards, Lady Gaga didn't disappoint with a really rocking performance of "Shallow," featuring Mark Ronson and collaborators, Downtown Music signees Andrew Wyatt and Anthony Rossomando backing her up.

Travis Scott
followed up his Super Bowl performance with "Sicko Mode," accompanied by James Blake and Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey and Verdine White for "Stop Trying to Be God" and "No Bystanders."

Jennifer Lopez starred in a Motown tribute proving to be a crowd-pleaser, as she had boyfriend Alex Rodriguez's Jaw dropping after being joined by Smokey Robinson for "My Girl," Keys for "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," and NE-YO for a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Another Star."
Carlile's rousing performance of "The Joke," with lyrics scrolled on a screen in back of her, generated the most enthusiastic crowd response, while BEST NEW ARTIST nominees Chloe X Halle paid tribute to the late Donny Hathaway with a version of "Where Is The
Love."

The prize for the night's most provocative appearance was St. Vincent and Dua Lipa's erotic push-pull on a medley that included "Masseduction," an interpolation of "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" and Lipa's "One Kiss," a kinky prelude to Dua's unexpected BEST NEW ARTIST win.

Outgoing RECORDING ACADEMY Pres./CEO NEIL PORTNOW gave his own version of a farewell speech after a series of taped tributes, admitting he learned a great deal during this last tumultuous year about being more inclusive.

The IN MEMORIAM section ended with Aretha Franklin and segued into a tribute, with Andra Day, Fantasia and Yolanda Adams leaning into "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" that ended the performances on a high note.

Pharrell Williams was named PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL HONORS.

See The full list of winners:

RECORD OF THE YEAR
WINNER
This Is America
Childish Gambino

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
WINNER
Golden Hour
Kacey Musgraves

SONG OF THE YEAR
WINNER
This Is America
Childish Gambino

BEST NEW ARTIST
WINNER
Dua Lipa

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin'?)
Lady Gaga

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Shallow
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
WINNER
My Way
Willie Nelson

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
WINNER
Sweetener
Ariana Grande

BEST DANCE RECORDING
WINNER
Electricity
Silk City & Dua Lipa Featuring Diplo & Mark Ronson

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM
WINNER
Woman Worldwide
Justice

BEST CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
WINNER
Steve Gadd Band
Steve Gadd Band

BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE
WINNER
When Bad Does Good
Chris Cornell

BEST METAL PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Electric Messiah
High On Fire

BEST ROCK SONG
WINNER
Masseduction
St. Vincent

BEST ROCK ALBUM
WINNER
From The Fires
Greta Van Fleet

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
WINNER
Colors
Beck

BEST R&B PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Best Part
H.E.R. Featuring Daniel Caesar

BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE
WINNERS
Bet Ain't Worth The Hand
Leon Bridges
How Deep Is Your Love
PJ Morton Featuring Yebba

BEST R&B SONG
WINNER
Boo'd Up
Ella Mai

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
WINNER
Everything Is Love
The Carters

BEST R&B ALBUM
WINNER
H.E.R.
H.E.R.

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
WINNERS
King's Dead
Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake
Bubblin
Anderson .Paak

BEST RAP/SUNG PERFORMANCE
WINNER
This Is America
Childish Gambino

BEST RAP SONG
WINNER
God's Plan
Drake

BEST RAP ALBUM
WINNER
Invasion Of Privacy
Cardi B

BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Butterflies
Kacey Musgraves

BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Tequila
Dan + Shay

BEST COUNTRY SONG
WINNER
Space Cowboy
Kacey Musgraves

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
WINNER
Golden Hour
Kacey Musgraves

BEST NEW AGE ALBUM
WINNER
Opium Moon
Opium Moon

BEST IMPROVISED JAZZ SOLO
WINNER
Don't Fence Me In
John Daversa

BEST JAZZ VOCAL ALBUM
WINNER
The Window
Cécile McLorin Salvant

BEST JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
WINNER
Emanon
The Wayne Shorter Quartet

BEST LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE ALBUM
WINNER
American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom
John Daversa Big Band Featuring DACA Artists

BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM
WINNER
Back To The Sunset
Dafnis Prieto Big Band

BEST GOSPEL PERFORMANCE/SONG
WINNER
Never Alone
Tori Kelly Featuring Kirk Franklin

BEST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC PERFORMANCE/SONG
WINNER
You Say
Lauren Daigle
 

BEST GOSPEL ALBUM
WINNER
Hiding Place
Tori Kelly

BEST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC ALBUM
WINNER
Look Up Child
Lauren Daigle

BEST ROOTS GOSPEL ALBUM
WINNER
Unexpected
Jason Crabb

BEST LATIN POP ALBUM
WINNER
Sincera
Claudia Brant

BEST LATIN ROCK, URBAN OR ALTERNATIVE ALBUM
WINNER
Aztlán
Zoé

BEST REGIONAL MEXICAN MUSIC ALBUM (INCLUDING TEJANO)
WINNER
¡México Por Siempre!
Luis Miguel

BEST TROPICAL LATIN ALBUM
WINNER
Anniversary
Spanish Harlem Orchestra

BEST AMERICAN ROOTS PERFORMANCE
WINNER
The Joke
Brandi Carlile

BEST AMERICAN ROOTS SONG
WINNER
The Joke
Brandi Carlile

BEST AMERICANA ALBUM
WINNER
By The Way, I Forgive You
Brandi Carlile

BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM
WINNER
The Travelin' McCourys
The Travelin' McCourys

BEST TRADITIONAL BLUES ALBUM
WINNER
The Blues Is Alive And Well
Buddy Guy

BEST CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM
WINNER
Please Don't Be Dead
Fantastic Negrito

BEST FOLK ALBUM
WINNER
All Ashore
Punch Brothers

BEST REGIONAL ROOTS MUSIC ALBUM
WINNER
No 'Ane'i
Kalani Pe'a

BEST REGGAE ALBUM
WINNER
44/876
Sting & Shaggy

BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM
WINNER
Freedom
Soweto Gospel Choir

BEST CHILDREN'S ALBUM
WINNER
All The Sounds
Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats

BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM (INCLUDES POETRY, AUDIO BOOKS & STORYTELLING)
WINNER
Faith - A Journey For All
Jimmy Carter

BEST COMEDY ALBUM
WINNER
Equanimity & The Bird Revelation
Dave Chappelle

BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM
WINNER
The Band's Visit
Original Broadway Cast

BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
WINNER
The Greatest Showman
Hugh Jackman (& Various Artists)

BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
WINNER
Black Panther
Ludwig Göransson

BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
WINNER
Shallow
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

BEST INSTRUMENTAL COMPOSITION
WINNER
Blut Und Boden (Blood And Soil)
Terence Blanchard

BEST ARRANGEMENT, INSTRUMENTAL OR A CAPPELLA
WINNER
Stars And Stripes Forever
John Daversa Big Band Featuring DACA Artists

BEST ARRANGEMENT, INSTRUMENTS AND VOCALS
WINNER
Spiderman Theme
Randy Waldman Featuring Take 6 & Chris Potter

BEST RECORDING PACKAGE
WINNER
Masseduction
St. Vincent

BEST BOXED OR SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE
WINNER
Squeeze Box: The Complete Works Of "Weird Al" Yankovic
Weird Al Yankovic

BEST ALBUM NOTES
WINNER
Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris
Various Artists

BEST HISTORICAL ALBUM
WINNER
Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris
Various Artists

BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, NON-CLASSICAL
WINNER
Colors
Beck

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL
WINNER
Pharrell Williams

BEST REMIXED RECORDING
WINNER
Walking Away (Mura Masa Remix)
Haim

BEST IMMERSIVE AUDIO ALBUM
WINNER
Eye In The Sky - 35th Anniversary Edition
The Alan Parsons Project

BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL
WINNER
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11
Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, CLASSICAL
WINNER
Blanton Alspaugh

PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11
Andris Nelsons

BEST OPERA RECORDING
WINNER
Bates: The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs
Michael Christie, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, Sasha Cooke, Edward Parks & Jessica E. Jones

BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE
WINNER
McLoskey: Zealot Canticles
Donald Nally

BEST CHAMBER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
WINNER
Anderson, Laurie: Landfall
Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet

BEST CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL SOLO
WINNER
Kernis: Violin Concerto
James Ehnes

BEST CLASSICAL SOLO VOCAL ALBUM
WINNER
Songs Of Orpheus - Monteverdi, Caccini, D'India & Landi
Karim Sulayman

BEST CLASSICAL COMPENDIUM
WINNER
Fuchs: Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush
JoAnn Falletta

BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION
WINNER
Kernis: Violin Concerto
James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony

BEST MUSIC VIDEO
WINNER
This Is America
Childish Gambino

BEST MUSIC FILM
WINNER
Quincy

 
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