WOMEN and rap triumphed at the Grammys as female acts took home top prizes including album of the year and best new artist, and Childish Gambino made history when his hit “This Is America” became the first rap-based track to win record and song of the year.
Kacey Musgraves’ country-pop release “Golden Hour” won album of the year, and British singer Dua Lipa won best new artist—a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony and the Grammys were criticized for the low number of female nominees.
Six women were nominated for best new artist, and five of the eight album-of-the-year nominees were women, including Brandi Carlile, who described herself as “a kid from the ’90s from Lilith Fair.”
“Tonight gives me hope as a mother of two young daughters,” said Carlile, who won three honors in the Americana category and was the most nominated women with six.
Musgraves and Gambino were the night’s top winners, taking home four awards each. “This Is America” also won best music video and best rap/sung performance.
Gambino’s historic win comes years after rappers have struggled to win in the top categories, including Jay-Z, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. Drake, who has lost in the big four categories over the years, told the room of musicians that winning awards isn’t necessary if you have real fans attending your concerts and singing your songs.
“Look, if there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here. I promise you. You already won,” said Drake, who won best rap song for “God’s Plan.”
Cardi B also made history as the first solo female to win best rap album (Lauryn Hill won as a member of the Fugees at the 1997 Grammys).
Lady Gaga won three Grammys, including best pop duo/group performance for the Oscar-nominated hit “Shallow,” a win she shared with Bradley Cooper. Gaga performed the song solo since Cooper was in London for the British Academy Film Awards.
Dolly Parton was honored and performed alongside Miley Cyrus, Musgraves, Maren Morris and Katy Perry.
Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day teamed up for a stirring performance of ”(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in honor Aretha Franklin, who died last year.
Diana Ross earned a standing ovation when she emerged onstage in a bright red dress to perform “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “The Best Years of My Life.” R&B singer H.E.R., who won two R&B awards, stunned as she played her guitar and sang. Chloe x Halle, nominated for two awards, impressed when they sang Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack’s “Where Is the Love.”
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.
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.
Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ella Mai, Pharrell Williams, Hugh Jackman, Sting, 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. (AP)