Ripping through a medley centering on his song “XXX” with help from U2’s Bono and the Edge, not to mention Dave Chappelle, Kendrick Lamar opened the Grammys on Sunday with the type of live-wire intensity he’s well known for — but which rarely makes it onto network television.
The performance put Lamar — Sunday’s second-most-nominated artist behind Jay-Z — onstage amid a digitized American flag and a crew of dancers wearing combat fatigues and balaclavas. A screen read, “This is a satire.”
Carrie Fisher, the late author and actress who portrayed Leia Organa, then Solo in the “Star Wars” saga, won a posthumous Grammy Sunday for her narration of “The Princess Diarist,” earning the award for spoken word album.
Fisher, who died Dec. 27, 2016, four days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles, was previously nominated in the same category in 2009 for her book “Wishful Drinking.”
Reba McEntire is just one of many women who arrived to the Grammy awards at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday with a white rose pinned to her gown as a show of solidarity from the music industry to the Time’s Up movement.
Backstage, the country singer-songwriter – who won a trophy for roots gospel album – told reporters that to her, the #whiterose initiative symbolized a basic golden rule: Treat others how you want to be treated.
“Let’s treat people kindly. I feel like if we started there, we wouldn’t have these problems,” she said. “I’ve had great mentors and 99% were men. They steered me, and everybody was very encouraging in my career. I’ve been very blessed … I’ve never had a problem.”
Ahead of Sundays Grammys, hundreds of music industry stars and professionals signed a letter released by music business advocates Voices in Entertainment pledging to wear white roses to tonight's awards in support of "workplaces free of sexual harassment."
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.