One of the most visually astounding, politically radical clips of the year just won the Grammy for best music video.
Beyoncé's "Formation" -- a brutal and beautiful meditation on Southern black womanhood in the midst of natural disaster and systemic injustices -- pulled down the top honors in the music video category.
The clip, directed by Melina Matsoukas, was originally released as part of her HBO original film, which set her songs from "Lemonade" into a series of avant-garde short films.
This year's electronic music categories were, more than any recent Grammys that didn't feature Al Walser, a mixed bag of values.
There's the pop juggernaut of the Chainsmokers, who already won, as well as the throwback '90s Latin-house of Louie Vega, the resurgent old-guard U.K. duo Underworld and hip contemporary contenders Bob Moses and Tycho.
But the only artist nominated in dance recording and dance/electronic album is Flume, the 25-year-old Australian born Harley Streten.
This year's Grammys have two mega-star heroes -- Beyoncé and Adele -- in contention for the top honors. But the ceremony also has a villain, of sorts, in the Chainsmokers: the pop-EDM duo whose bros-on-pledge-night antics are only matched by their savvy at staying atop the pop charts.
The Times profiled the group in October, right when "Closer" heralded their shift from the trolling jokes of "Selfie" into more respectable, sensitive songwriting with huge pop appeal.
You can’t pay attention to how people perceive you. The people who get it will get it, and the people who don’t, they won’t. You’ve got to stick to your guns and be yourself.
Alex Pall, The Chainsmokers
The duo this afternoon won the Grammy for dance recording for "Don't Let Me Down" featuring Daya. The act is also up for pop duo/group performance, a reflection of its roots in the EDM mega-festival scene and current pop dominance. "Closer" spent 12 weeks atop the Hot 100 chart.
Ron Howard, Grammy winner. The director and former child actor earned the Grammy for music film for "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years," his detailed ode to the band's early years. Also earning trophies for the film are producers Brian Grazer, Scott Pascucci and Nigel Sinclair.
“I jumped into it as a kind of irresistible life experience and creative opportunity," Howard told the Times' Randy Lewis after the film got nominated. "But as soon as [the news] hit the Internet, I started realizing how seismic anything having to do with the Beatles can be. I thought, ‘It’s always a high-wire act, but this one is really up there.’ So I took it very seriously, of course, as I always do."
Other nominees included "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," about EDM superstar Steve Aoki; "Lemonade," featuring Beyonce; "The Music Of Strangers," about Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble; and "American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry."
If you criticize a musician in front of James Corden, be prepared for him to push back.
On a recent morning in his office at CBS Television City, the host of “The Late Late Show” was describing his favorite Grammy Awards performances when he recalled a 2015 duet by Annie Lennox and Hozier in which the former Eurythmics star and the young Irish singer did a medley of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” and the R&B standard “I Put a Spell on You.”
“Oh my God, it was like a master class,” rhapsodized Corden, 38, who’s hosting this year’s Grammys on Sunday night. That sounded about right, he was told: Lennox came on like the world’s most intimidating teacher, while Hozier resembled a frightened second-grader.
In 1969, when she peered from her album covers with those piercing blue eyes and resembled the fair maidens she saluted in song, Judy Collins took home her first Grammy for her recording of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now."
Seven years later, she was nominated for female pop vocal performance for her sublime rendition of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns.” Collins didn’t win, but the popularity of her version no doubt led to Sondheim collecting the Grammy for song of the year.
But there was just one catch with her sole Grammy victory.
The Santa Monica-based trio White Sun has a curious, only-in-L.A. backstory, having been co-founded by Adam Berry, best known in the biz for his four seasons as the music director for the animated show “South Park.”
They can add "Grammy-award winning" to that biography. The group bested a competitive field including Enya and Vangelis to earn the New Age album Grammy.
With Berry and instrumentalist Harijiwan flanking her, White Sun's lead singer and songwriter Gurujas accepted the trophy, saying: "We just want our music to make something better for somebody somewhere. And it's our dream to see this world become a more beautiful place. For anyone who shares in that dream with us, thank you, we love you and let's do better."
Kirk Franklin occupies a rare position in the music firmament today.
He's nominated for two Grammys in hip-hop categories, for his contributions to Kanye West's "Ultralight Beam," and he also just locked down the highest honor in gospel music for "Losing My Religion," a searing meditation on maintaining faith amid the travails of modern society.
Franklin's win for gospel album was widely expected, but it still heralded a high point in career devoted to placing the sacred into secular culture.