Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna won the Grammy Award for rap/sung performance at the 60th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, besting “PRBLMS” by the Atlanta singer-rapper 6LACK and Jay-Z’s collaboration with his wife Beyoncé, “Family Feud,” among others.
After a serenade of Tony Bennett and John Legend singing “New York, New York,” Lamar accepted the Grammy with Rihanna at his side.
Lamar, who opened the show with a breathtaking medley featuring cameos by Dave Chappelle, Bono and the Edge, had an early edge. Going in to the telecast, he had run the boards in his seven nominations. At today’s afternoon ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York, the Compton rapper won three, all for his track “Humble”: rap performance, rap song and music video.
Portugal. The Man cemented its unlikely ascent to alt-rock ultra-stardom with a Grammy win for pop/duo performance for “Feel It Still.”
The song – a lithe ode to ’80s synth-funk and falsetto earnestness – captured the Grammy due in part to the strength of its success on radio (it broke a record by spending 20-plus weeks on the upper reaches of the Alternative Songs Chart).
“It’s funny that’s its biggest song we’ve ever made,” singer John Gourley said on the red carpet of the Alaska-bred band’s slow-burn win. The song catapulted the act to much bigger pop success. Now the band will have to see if it can hold up into the wild future of rock radio.
Joy Villa — she of the Make America Great Again dress at last year’s Grammys — has outdone herself on the red carpet this year with a hand-painted “Choose Life” purse and pure white bridal gown with a fetus surrounded by a rainbow in the shape of a womb.
There were times early Sunday when the plethora of social and political issues on the minds of musicians at the 60th Grammy Awards were so strong that it was easy to forget the ceremony was also an awards show, one that this year will take the industry's embrace of hip-hop to a new level.
Topics of sexual harassment, racism, gun violence, mental health and suicide prevention look to figure prominently in performances and speeches this evening from the participants in the music industry's signature event, held at Madison Square Garden in New York for the first time in 15 years to mark the sixth decade of the Recording Academy's big night.
In fact, the ceremony was upstaged to some degree even before it began, trumped by a presidential tweet Sunday morning that snapped back at leading Grammy nominee Jay-Z for an interview the veteran rapper gave the previous night, criticizing the chief executive for his reported slam at "shithole countries" in Africa during a recent meeting on immigration reform.
With hip-hop dominating nominations for the 60th Grammys, all eyes will be on how the ceremony will showcase a genre that has historically been underrepresented. This year Jay-Z leads with eight nominations, followed by seven for Kendrick Lamar, and both emcees are front-runners for album of the year and landed in either record or song of the year.
With 75 trophies already given out, the Grammy picture is starting to come into shape, and two artists are dominating the proceedings: Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars.
Lamar is undefeated in the categories for which he’s nominated: rap song, music video and rap performance. The three remaining categories for which he’s nominated — including two of the four major awards — will be given out this evening.
Notably, Lamar has beaten Jay-Z in each of the categories where they’ve been in competition.
In a year when hip-hop was expected to dominate the Grammy Awards, a veteran of the genre shook up the ceremony’s afternoon pre-telecast with a blistering heavy metal performance.
For the rendition of “Black Hoodie,” Ice-T reverted to his antagonistic roots in Body Count, one of L.A.’s formative and most progressive metal bands, taunting police with a song that was nominated for best metal performance.
The churning, urgent original was an unexpected high point in the genre at the Grammys, where rock and roll is still fighting for relevance in a dominant year for hip-hop. Yet “Black Hoodie” zeroed in on police brutality and vulnerability as well as any punk song.
“For me the best part of this award is that it honors both Otis' dream and his memory,” George told The Times after her win was announced. “L.A. was an integral spot on his path, it represented the next rung of fame -- going from star to superstar. Those Whisky shows proved that he was more than ready.”