Solange Knowles finally (and deservedly) joined her sister Beyoncé as a Grammy winner Sunday night, taking home her first trophy for R&B performance for “Cranes in the Sky.”
“Honestly, I feel like I won a long time ago because of all of the connectivity this album has had, particularly with black women,” Knowles said backstage in the press room.
Knowles mentioned she had written “Cranes in the Sky” eight years ago, but it kept getting pushed aside. Taken from her breakthrough album “A Seat at the Table,” the song put Knowles in the pantheon of artists unafraid to address politics and social justice in their work.
An easy rule for Grammy memorial tributes: don’t dress up like the guy you’re honoring. Unless you’re Bruno Mars, perhaps the one person at the Grammys who could credibly fill Prince’s purple suit.
Since Prince’s death last year, it’s clear that it’s usually a fool’s errand to even try and live up to his standards onstage (Shiela E. excepted, for obvious reasons). But if anyone could do it, it’s Mars, who already had one genial performance earlier.
He returned to the stage in full Prince regalia – was it blasphemy or audacious?
After winning her Grammy for song of the year for "Hello," Adele used much of her acceptance speech to thank the song's producer and co-writer Greg Kurstin.
“I’d like to thank Greg because Greg kept coming to England for me, to work with me," Adele said.
“He would come to me in England so I didn’t have to leave my son and yet he would leave [his] son and daughter. So thank you for your patience with me and for helping to create my favorite song I’ve ever done.”
Among the many inspiring artists who passed in 2016, the rapper Phife Dawg's death hit the hip-hop community hard. As co-founder of A Tribe Called Quest, he helped create classics of the genre including "People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm," "Midnight Marauders" and "The Low End Theory."
The group issued its swan song, "We Got It From Here ... Thank You for Your Service" in 2016, and its co-founders Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Q-Tip landed on stage with Busta Rhymes and best new artist nominee Anderson .Paak.
In introducing the tribute, Q-Tip gestured toward an empty microphone and dedicated the performance to Phife.
It’s been 40 years since the Bee Gees released “Stayin' Alive,” a hit that would popularize the disco era, make John Travolta a star and spawn a lackluster tribute at the Grammys on Sunday night.
Demi Lovato opened well enough with “Stayin’ Alive,” but when Tori Kelly jumped in with “Tragedy,” it was clear this was going to be another weird Grammy mash-up by the most unlikely candidate. Enter Little Big Town crooning “How Deep Is Your Love?”
Barry Gibb clapped along in the audience, looking equal parts pleased and puzzled, hearing the music he played with his late brothers, Robin and Maurice.
Clutching an armful of Grammys — five, to be exact — Donny McCaslin stopped backstage to represent David Bowie’s critically acclaimed final album, “Blackstar,” on which McCaslin played saxophone.
Even with five Grammy wins, including for rock song and alternative music album, there was a sense that the album was shut out from the major categories. “Blackstar” was released mere days before Bowie’s death in January 2016.
“I’ll start by saying that nobody could represent David Bowie, but I’m glad to be here to represent him,” said McCaslin, whose black ensemble included a T-shirt with a white star in homage to the album’s artwork.