Adele ended her night at the 2017 Grammy Awards with back-to-back wins for album of the year and record of the year, but used her final moments on stage to salute Beyoncé and her "monumental" album "Lemonade." Beyoncé, meanwhile, wowed the audience with a spiritual performance and also took home the prize for urban contemporary album. Chance the Rapper was also among the top winners of the night, taking the prize for new artist as well as rap album.
- The complete list of 2017 Grammys winners and nominees
- Read Beyoncé complete Grammy acceptance speech
- FASHION: Grammys 2017 best and worst dressed | Review
- PHOTOS: Red carpet | Show highlights | Winners
The song is called "The Empty Chair," but Sting didn't even use one of those.
For a rendition of his and composer J. Ralph's tender folk ballad from "Jim: The James Foley Story" — about the journalist murdered in 2014 by members of Islamic State — Sting opted for a stripped-down approach at the Oscars, standing simply as he sang and played guitar.
The performance ended with a quote from Foley illuminated on a large screen behind Sting: "If I don't have the moral courage to challenge authority ... we don't have journalism."
He said he was here just to help out — and he was right.
On the red carpet before the Oscars, "Moana" composer Lin-Manuel Miranda told The Times that his role in a rendition of the movie's "How Far I'll Go" was merely a supporting one.
"My performance is entirely created to support Auli'i Cravalho, who is 16 years old and one of the most incredible young performers I've ever seen," the actor and songwriter said. "So really it's an alley-oop."
As promised, Miranda appeared onstage for only a few seconds (despite his marquee billing), rapping a brief introduction before passing the ball to Cravalho, who then dunked the thing in a major way.
If she can sing as assuredly as she just did at 16 — and before an estimated TV audience of 100 million people — she won't need anyone else to set her up for long.
Justin Timberlake opened Sunday's Academy Awards with a typically spirited performance of "Can't Stop the Feeling," his Oscar-nominated song from the animated movie "Trolls."
But just in case anyone thought the former teen-pop star didn't belong among the grown-ups at the Dolby Theatre, Timberlake fleshed out the song with a bit of "Lovely Day" by the veteran soul great Bill Withers. (Worth nothing: The tunes' bass lines are crazy similar.)
"I know you know this, Denzel," Timberlake said as he pointed to Denzel Washington in the audience — I guess because the "Fences" actor and Withers are both black men?
Maybe later Sting will quiz Viola Davis about Aretha!
Acclaimed guitarist Carlos Santana is retreating on his remarks about Beyoncé after aggressively poking the overly agitated Beyhive.
The rock icon was regaling singer Adele Adkins with more adulation following her record-breaking wins at the 59th Grammy Awards on Sunday, including her victory over Beyoncé's "Lemonade" for album of the year.
"I think that Adele won because she can sing sing .... With all respect to our sister Beyoncé, Beyoncé is very beautiful to look at and it's more like modeling kind of music -- music to model a dress -- she's not a 'singer' singer, with all respect to her," Santana, 69, told the Australian Associated Press ahead of his band's New Zealand and Australia tour dates.
Santana, a 13-time Grammy winner who once performed with Beyoncé in 2003 at a pre-game show for the Super Bowl, kept digging a hole by explaining why Adele won.
"She doesn't bring all the dancers and props. She can just stand there and she just stood there and sang the song and that's it. And this is why she wins," he said.
Beyoncé's fans dragged Santana on social media, and the escalating furor prompted him to issue a statement on Facebook on Tuesday clarifying his remarks and lauding the showstopping performer.
"My intent was to congratulate Adele on her amazing night at the Grammies," he wrote. "My comment about Beyoncé was regretfully taken out of context. I have the utmost respect for her as an artist and a person. She deserves all the accolades that come her way. I wish Beyoncé and her family all the best."
Adele also praised Bey during her acceptance speech, saying that she couldn't possibly accept the album of the year award.
"My artist of my life is Beyoncé and this album, for me, the 'Lemonade' album, was just so monumental," she said.
The British star elaborated on her remarks with reporters backstage after the show.
"I felt like it was her time to win," she said. "What does she have to do to win album of the year?"
Chance the Rapper, newly crowned best new artist at the Grammys, along with two other wins, was a gracious host at GQ magazine's Grammy party at the Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood on Sunday night.
The “No Problem” rapper had complimentary baseball caps, ice cream and pizza at the ready at the epic bash (hosted in partnership with YouTube), good-naturedly posed for photos with fans and even hugged fans on their way out at the end of the night. Just par for the course for an artist who has consistently defied convention, building a career on positivity and artistic integrity in an industry that seldom rewards it.
By 10:30 p.m., the space looked to be at full capacity, just 30 minutes after the party officially kicked off. Chance was among the stars who turned up early, jubilantly dancing onstage, making his rounds and greeting guests who ranged from Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle to up-and-coming rapper Lil Yachty.
A surprise performance early in the night by rap group Migos drew a roar from the crowd during the opening strains of the mega-hit "Bad and Boujee." Migos also performed its new single "T-Shirt" before Chance took the stage.
The 59th Grammy Awards had no shortage of major moments: Beyoncé’s breathtaking performance and surprising loss in all major categories, Adele’s flub, a Prince tribute from the Time and Bruno Mars that electrified the audience and then, of course, a victory lap from Chance the Rapper, winner for new artist.
But there was lots of action the cameras didn’t catch.
Here’s a few that caught our attention.
Beyoncé getting a glimpse of her old self. During commercial breaks the audience was treated to past Grammy performances and at one point Prince and Beyoncé’s dazzling opening duet at the 2004 telecast was shown. As Beyoncé watched from her seat — after her ethereal showing — she fanned herself and danced a bit.
Is this becoming a habit for Adele?
As you’ve surely heard by now, the young British singer went dramatically off-script at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, halting her shaky performance of the late George Michael’s “Fastlove” (presumably because she couldn’t hear her accompaniment) and asking to start the tribute again.
But although the moment was shocking — at least by the tightly managed standards of televised awards shows — it wasn’t exactly a surprise: After all, Adele experienced a similar mishap at the 2016 Grammys, at which she delivered a deeply pitchy rendition of her song “All I Ask” that seemed to disrupt the idea of Adele’s vocal prowess.
“I can’t do it again like last year,” she said Sunday as she stopped “Fastlove,” and the pain of “All I Ask” was clearly still vivid in her memory.
Beyoncé and Adele went head-to-head four times at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. Both were nominated for album of the year, song of the year, record of the year, and best pop solo performance. In every category, Adele was awarded the Grammy. Every time, Beyoncé, the peerless pop music icon of our time, was told she was second-best.
This should be a shock. While Adele’s singular voice, talent and devotion to her craft are undeniable, Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” was as complete an artistic statement as we have seen in our fractured pop moment — a one-of-a-kind visual album composed of genre-crossing track after track, conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead. It was also a pitch-perfect rallying cry for black women to get in formation, their allies behind them, and forge a way forward despite the human imperfections of the men in their lives.
It happened the year before that, too, when Beyoncé lost the Grammy for album of the year to Beck.
Like many people of color unsurprised by the election of Donald Trump, Beyoncé knows the ceiling is centuries thick.
After channeling a golden goddess on stage at the 2017 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé reappeared in red.
The songstress was wearing a number from designer Peter Dundas, who left Roberto Cavalli last year. In fact, Dundas was all over Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards this year, because the creator crafted not only this fiery look but her stage costumes as well.
Revealing the sketches for his "muse queen Bey" on Instagram, Dundas also announced the launch of the Peter Dundas Eponymous collection.
During her Grammy performance of "Chained to the Rhythm" with Skip Marley, Katy Perry had about as much political subtlety as a car with more bumper stickers than bumper.
There was the white pantsuit, supporting Hillary Clinton. There was the lapel pin, supporting Planned Parenthood. There was the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, seemingly supporting the entire set as it was projected on the backdrop at the end of the song.
And there was the shiny white armband emblazoned with pink sequins that spelled out "Persist" -- an apparent invocation of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's televised clash last week in the Senate, when she was shut down while reading criticisms of attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions' civil rights record, before he was confirmed.
"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
No need to explain yourself further, Katy Perry. We get it.
The full spectrum of life was on display at Sunday’s 59th Grammy Awards.
Much of the attention surrounding the ceremony in Los Angeles centered on artist comments or performances on hot political issues, but some of the more emotional moments sprang from the timeless themes of life and death.
There were grand tributes to those whom we’ve lost, of course — Bruno Mars and Adele honored Prince and George Michael, respectively — but also more subtle homages to the circle of life, such as Beyoncé’s performance that referenced the beauty of childbirth.
Beyoncé also indicated during her acceptance speech for the urban contemporary album Grammy that the collection, “Lemonade,” was directed in large part to her children.
“My intention for the [‘Lemonade’] film and album was to create a body of work that will give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history, to confront issues that make us uncomfortable,” she said.
“It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys, and see themselves. And have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable.
“This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel it's vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.”
Likewise, it was the birth of roots-country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson’s first child about three years ago that he has consistently cited as the main inspiration for his sophomore album, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” which earned a surprise nomination in the overall album of the year category and snared him the country album trophy Sunday.
Picking up his award during the pre-telecast ceremony at the Microsoft Theater, Simpson told onlookers, "Six years ago, I was in Utah working on the railroad, writing songs at night."
It was Adele’s night. But it happened in Beyoncé’s world.
That was the takeaway of Sunday’s 59th Grammy Awards, where the young British singer won three of the music industry’s biggest prizes — album, record and song of the year — yet seemed overshadowed by the visionary multimedia star she described as her idol.
Accepting the album of the year award for “25,” her blockbuster set of personal, old-fashioned pop ballads, Adele said she couldn’t rightfully take the Grammy knowing that it came at the expense of “Lemonade,” Beyoncé’s album connecting one woman’s marital troubles to the wider cultural struggle faced by women of color.
“You are our light,” Adele told Beyoncé, who looked on with an expression of queenly gratitude.
Adele, the English queen of pop heartbreak and redemption, scored a perfect five for five Sunday at the 59th Grammy Awards, sweeping the top categories of album, record and song of the year in a triumphant return to the spotlight following a long, trying hiatus.
She also won points for humility and grace, restarting a tribute to George Michael that she began off-key and paying homage, in the evening’s final moments, to the artist considered her key rival for the top awards.
As she accepted the album of the year award for the blockbuster “25,” the singer, born Adele Adkins, paid homage to Beyoncé.
“The ‘Lemonade’ album is monumental, so monumental, so well-thought-out, so beautiful and soul-baring,” Adele said as Beyoncé looked on from her seat in Staples Center and mouthed the words “Thank you.”
Adele’s hit single “Hello” also collected the song award, which recognizes songwriting, and record of the year, which factors in vocal performance and record production. In addition, she won the awards for pop vocal album and solo performance.
Beyonce, who received the most nominations this year, won two of her nine categories; “Lemonade” won for urban contemporary album and “Formation” won the music video award.
David Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar,” also picked up five Grammy Awards for alternative music album, rock song, rock performance, engineered nonclassical album and recording package.
Not surprisingly given the mood of the country, the ceremony featured several moments of political commentary, ranging from calls for unity to blatant criticism.
In accepting the urban contemporary album award, Beyoncé said, “My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that will give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history, to confront issues that make us uncomfortable.
“It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty,” she continued, “so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys, and see themselves. And have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable."
Far more direct was the call-out to “President Agent Orange” from hip-hop collective A Tribe Called Quest.
The Grammy Awards, whose 59th edition took place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night, is essentially a series of performances interrupted by speeches. Depending on the state of the world, these may be topical or not. See below.
This year, with “Late Late Show” host James Corden replacing fellow CBS stablemate LL Cool J as host — CBS broadcast the show — some comedy was added to the mix. It’s not a bad idea in a 3½-hour show to work a little humor in every 45 minutes or so.
And Corden, who has a pitched-to-the-back-of-the-hall energy that sits well in a basketball arena, was a natural choice. His notoriety is built on the viral success of his “Carpool Karaoke” franchise, which reminds you that inside every pop star is a nerdy kid holding a hairbrush for a microphone, and the host is himself a singer confident enough to throw an unrehearsed harmony line onto a duet with Lady Gaga or Adele.
It was Adele, in fact, who opened the show, amid a circle of lights in an otherwise dark space, singing “Hello,” which later would win song of the year. There was a kind of mix-tape logic in the choice, given the title, and as a quiet display of pure musicality it was a nice way to begin.
Corden came on after, with a set-malfunction joke, as the elevator carrying him to the top of a stairway stopped halfway; he clambered up, and then, in an excellent and surprising bit of slapstick, disappeared between steps; then having clambered up again, rolled the rest of the way down. Though he did not sing, he rapped his opening monologue, working in names known and less known. (“Sturgill Simpson is here, and Google just crashed / Everyone typin’ ‘Who the hell is that?’”).
Corden’s contributions for the rest of the night emphasized self-deprecation. Introducing Gina Rodriguez, he said, “She plays ‘Jane the Virgin’ on TV; I played James the virgin until my 31st birthday.”
As in almost every show in this volatile awards season, political protest was all over the Grammys this year. From subtle and poised to outraged and esoteric, resistance came from artists of all genres and will likely be a major part of what this contentious Grammy ceremony will be remembered for.
Far from avoiding the obvious tension in American political life, Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich encouraged artists before the show to say as much about it as they could during their sets.
“If you have record labels and such to thank, please thank them later backstage with the press and say something important,” he said. “We’re expecting it.”
Many accepted his invitation. In an awards season marked by political activism — at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep lectured President Trump on civility, Screen Actors Guild Awards winners denounced Trump’s travel ban — no doubt more than a few viewers tuned in to see what the music community, long outspoken on leftist causes, would have to say.
When it came to speeches, the artists at the prime-time Grammy telecast were relatively subdued. They seemed to heed the words of Recording Academy board member John Poppo, who in the early afternoon at a preshow said, “People can have ideologies that are so different that they’re willing to wage war over them, and yet very often they’re singing the same songs on both sides of the battlefield.”
So they let the music do the talking.
Adele appeared flushed but resplendent in green backstage at the Grammys after becoming the first artist to sweep album, record and song of the year twice.
As with her final acceptance speech, the singer, who won five Grammys on Sunday night, gushed over the importance of Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” saying that she had spoken to her childhood idol both before and after the show.
She also said that her mistake during her George Michael tribute, which caused her to drop multiple f-bombs and ask for the song to be started over, left her feeling “devastated.”
“My earliest memory of me being a fan was ‘Fastlove,’ ” she recalled. “When the video came out, I was blown away by how hot he was. I was young, I was about 10 and I heard the vulnerability in that song.”
After Michael died, Adele told her partner Simon Konecki that she had to be the one to perform his Grammy tribute. At first his family didn’t want a tribute, she said, but they later came back to the Grammys specifying that they would allow a tribute only if Adele performed it.
“I found him to be one of the truest icons, because famous people often create this massive bravado to protect themselves, but for him it wasn’t based on a look or an assumption,” she said. “And he was very British.… The British press really gave him a hard time, but he still stayed loyal to the very end.”
Writing “25” was a difficult experience for Adele, who felt in many ways as if she had disappeared after having her son.
“I felt the pressure writing ’25,’ and in the process I couldn’t find my voice. I’m still not sure I did,” she confessed. “I was gone for so long. I had my baby and raised him through the toddler years, and then slowly edged my way back into work, but I thought that nobody would care.
“The Grammy means a lot to me, and I’m very humbled by that accomplishment … but like I said in my speech my album of the year was ‘Lemonade,’ so a part of me died inside,” she said, adding that the prize was largely for her son, who knows, “I’m a powerful force, he feels it at home and when he goes to work with me.”
She said that she wrote a lot less of “25” than she did of “21” because, “I had a bad drinking problem with ’21,’ so I couldn’t really find the inspiration this time around.”
She wrapped up her time with the press by circling back to Beyonce, who she said became her idol when she was 11. She was practicing a song for an assembly and she suggested to her friends that they do a Spice Girls song, but then her friends played a track by Destiny’s Child.
“I remember how I felt when I heard it, and I fell in love immediately with her and that was when I was 11, and I’m 28 now, and how I felt when I heard ‘No, No, No’ was exactly how I felt when I heard ‘Lemonade’ last year,” she said. “For her to be making such relevant music for that long of a period — I felt like it was her time to win — what does she have to do to win album of the year?
“The Grammys are very traditional, but I thought this year would be the year that they would go with the tide. I’m very grateful to have won it, but I felt the need [to do what she did during her acceptance speech] because I love her and I felt she is more worthy.”
By the end of Sunday’s Grammy Awards, President Donald Trump’s Twitter account had been mostly cold. There were no inflamed messages about the evening’s ceremony, even though there were veiled and outright incendiary commentaries on his administration.
A Tribe Called Quest ended its thunderous performance in a chant of “resist, resist, resist.” And Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, addressed Trump head-on in his annual speech.
“The Recording Academy, together with America’s music makers, call on the president and Congress to help keep the music playing by updating music laws, protecting music education and renewing America’s commitment to the arts,” Portnow said.
Backstage after the ceremony, a reporter asked Portnow how he would respond if Trump went on the offensive.
“When you’re a public figure and when you’re the president of the United States, some will be happy with what you do and sing your praises and some will not,” Portnow said. “And that’s what a democracy is about.
“We just had a major election that obviously has us, in many ways, divided as a country,” he added. “We don’t weigh in on the pros and cons, what we like, what we don’t like. We give the stage to artists to express themselves.”
Jokingly almost-introduced as Kanye West by Grammys host James Corden, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow took the stage late in the Grammys telecast to address the crowd. Below, the full text of his remarks, which advocated for the arts and arts education.
"We are constantly reminded about the things that divide us. Race, region and religion. Gender, sexual orientation, political party. But what we need so desperately are more reminders of all that binds us together – our shared history, our common values and our dedication to build for ourselves a more perfect union.
"More than a century ago, a poem was combined with a musical composition and became an instantly recognizable song the world over. Let’s see if you know it. (An 18-year-old female Grammy Jazz Ensemble trumpeter performed the first 14 notes of “America the Beautiful.”)
"Thank you, Miranda. 'America the Beautiful' captures the essence of our country and reminds us that we are – and always will be – one people, from sea to shining sea. In times of triumph and of tragedy, we turn to song and the abiding power of music to lift our spirits, soothe our souls and remind us that everything will be OK.
"President John F. Kennedy once observed, 'The life of the arts is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose – and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization.' That’s so true. And that’s why we must be loud and clear in our unwavering support of music and the arts – and those who create it.
"Behind the extraordinary artists you’ve seen here on our stage are hundreds of thousands of unsung musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers – American creators – whose jobs suffer from outdated rules and regulations, some going back 100 years.
"So, the Recording Academy, together with America’s music makers, call on the President and Congress to help keep the music playing by updating music laws, protecting music education and renewing America’s commitment to the arts. It’s our collective responsibility to preserve what binds us – and to ensure that the whole world continues to benefit from one of our most unique, economically and spiritually important assets and exports: American music.
"And now, let’s turn our hearts to celebrate the beautiful lives we lost in our music community this past year."
The album-of-the-year Grammy was always a two-woman battle, between Adele and Beyoncé. This year Adele scored the trophy -- but almost didn't accept it.
During a tearful speech in which she thanked her friends and family, she turned to Beyoncé and told her it was hard to accept the trophy knowing how much Beyoncé's "Lemonade" had meant to her.
"My artist of my life is Beyoncé," Adele said.
"I adore you and I want you to be my mommy," Adele had said earlier to Beyoncé while accepting record of the year, to big laughter. But she seemed to mean it.
For her part, Beyoncé beamed at Adele during the speech, shaking her head humbly as Adele piled on compliments for the power and courage behind "Lemonade."
But by the end of the night Adele's victory for "25" seemed assured. She'd already earned song of the year and record of the year for "Hello," and bested Beyoncé in pop solo performance.
Acknowledging the time off she'd taken to have a baby and stressing how difficult being a mother is, Adele added, "It took an army to make me strong and willing to do it again."
The victory eclipsed Adele's earlier performance stumble, in which she had to restart her George Michael tribute.
Not that anyone cared. Adele's humility shone through, as always.
According to Grammy officials, Adele is the first artist to sweep album, record and song of the year twice.