Awards handed out Sunday before the evening
In a broader sense, since instituting the ceremony in 2004 to salute the vast majority of musicians not featured on prime-time TV, the Recording Academy has used the pre-telecast event in pursuit of an unspoken goal: letting the world know that the 70 categories not highlighted on television -- mostly classical, jazz, regional music and technical awards -- also matter.
This year, the early ceremony took another step toward that goal, moving for the first time across the street to the
The pre-telecast event was streamed live on the Grammy website and further afforded another batch of performers a chance to play. Those included Americana album nominee John Fullbright, world music practitioner Krishna Das, San Francisco-based big band the Larry Batiste Orchestra, veteran South African trumpeter
There was a brief moment of overlap between the pre-broadcast show and the glossier ceremony set to get underway a short time later at Staples when
"I think it's appropriate that Taylor Swift thanks us," Civil Wars member John Paul White said, "because we've been carrying her for a while, and we're getting tired."
The pre-telecast show remains a more casual affair, in many ways. Unlike the evening show, where each nominee's whereabouts is precisely mapped out for camera operators and telecast directors, presenters at the afternoon event didn't necessarily know which winners would be on hand to accept their awards. Several times, presenters scanned the theater after announcing a winner's name to see whether anyone would step forward to accept. In many case, no one did, and the presenter said the Recording Academy would accept on their behalf.
Knowing their time in the spotlight was not going out on national television also seemed to give some winners a greater feeling of freedom at the lectern. “Holy [expletive],” veteran R&B singer-bandleader
The early awards also brought a first to the
Beach Boys creative leader
Veteran folk-rock singer and songwriter Ian delivered one of the best comedic lines of the evening upon receiving the Grammy for spoken word album for her recording of her book “Society’s Child: My Autobiography” in a category that also included recordings by former President Clinton, First Lady
"To say this is an upset is an understatement," Ian said. "I keep thinking there's a punchline in here somewhere: 'An ex-president, the First Lady and three lesbians walk into a bar….' "
And there were several testimonials to music itself, as expressed by Lila Downs in picking up a trophy for her “Pecados & Milagros” in the regional Mexican music album category, “The power of music can transform and move mountains, as we say in
“I wanna thank all of you from the hottom of my bart [sic],” New Orleans rock and funk veteran
“Wow, I was not expecting this. I have enough, but thank you,” said
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