Barbara Hannigan leads list of Grammy Awards’ classical winners
Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan won the Grammy for classical solo vocal album Sunday for “Crazy Girl Crazy.”
Hannigan’s star has been rising with performances such as her role in the L.A. Phil New Music Group’s world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall of Gerald Barry’s opera “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.” She will serve as music director of the Ojai Music Festival in 2019.
The 6 must-see moments from the Grammy Awards
The 60th Grammy Awards took place in New York on Sunday and were filled with several water-cooler moments, and, as always, even more head-scratching ones.
The ceremony was poised to make Grammy history, with a promising and diverse crop of nominees up for awards in the top categories, but it was Bruno Mars’ funk/pop homage that swept the show.
Attendees wore white roses to show solidarity with the Time’s Up movement, Miley Cyrus and Elton John sang a duet, Childish Gambino wooed the audience and country stars paid tribute to the Las Vegas shooting victims.
The Grammys were set for change, but that’s not what happened
The Grammy Awards giveth, and the Grammy Awards taketh away.
When the Recording Academy announced nominations in November for music’s most prestigious prizes, the notoriously fusty industry group raised the tantalizing prospect that its members finally got it.
With multiple nods for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and the Puerto Rican duo of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (whose song “Despacito” was 2017’s biggest hit), the academy seemed to be acknowledging that, in a rapidly changing world, great pop should strive to embody new values instead of merely upholding the old ones.
Well, maybe next time.
At Sunday night’s 60th Grammys, broadcast live on CBS from New York’s Madison Square Garden, the major winners — and many of the performances — largely reflected a reversion to type.
The Grammys’ complicated relationship with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements
For two full hours, it was as if 2017 never happened. The first half of the 60th Grammy Awards was filled with the usual fare of booty-shaking performances, sleepy ballads and sleepier acceptance speeches.
And then singer Kesha stepped onstage to remind everyone that the last year had been anything but business as usual.
The pop singer turned social warrior was nearly destroyed, professionally and personally, when she leveled sexual assault accusations against her powerful producer in 2014. The case dragged on in court through 2017. But when she performed her redemptive hit “Praying” during Sunday’s live telecast from New York’s Madison Square Garden, it sent a clear message to an audience who had been waiting for an acknowledgment of the #MeToo moment beyond white roses worn on the red carpet, and to an industry that’s hardly begun to deal with its own demons.
James Corden picks his spots as Grammy host, but scores a tweet from an angry politician
Unlike his fellow late-night hosts who have spun topical humor into ratings jumps during the Trump administration, James Corden and his “Late Late Show” isn’t known for political material.
Celebrated instead for his show’s star-courting musical segments and spinoffs (“Carpool Karaoke” and “Drop the Mic”), Corden is a genial and reliably inoffensive choice for the Grammys, which turned to him last year to take over for LL Cool J, directing traffic between awards and performances.
Last year, for the first awards show in the Trump era, Corden stuck to his usual script with self-deprecating one-liners and energetic musical segments. This year, he received what counts as a comedy seal of approval in 2018 — an angry tweet from a political figure.
Corden’s most successful bit was a play on the Grammys’ spoken-word category with celebrities, including Hillary Clinton, reading select passages from Michael Wolff’s inside-the-White House bestseller “Fire and Fury.” Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley responded moments after the bit, writing, “Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.”
The inside story behind Kesha’s emotional Grammy moment
Kesha’s emotional performance at this year’s Grammys was in the works long ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, with its origins tracing back to late last year when the pop singer-songwriter played to a sold-out crowd at the Hollywood Palladium.
It was the final stop of her Rainbow tour — a trek that for the singer and her fans seemed improbable after a tumultuous legal battle with her onetime mentor and collaborator Dr. Luke stalled her career for a number of years.
In the audience was Ken Ehrlich, the Grammy telecast’s longtime executive producer. Ehrlich had watched Kesha rise to pop stardom with boozy party anthems such as “Tik Tok,” “Your Love Is My Drug” and “Die Young,” and was never sold on the singer — until that night in November at the Palladium.
“I’d seen her years ago and I was impressed, but thought she had some growing to do. When I saw her at the Palladium, she was at the top of her game,” he recalled. “She was strong, humble and a great showman. That’s what got me.”
Ehrlich wanted the singer on this year’s telecast, especially after hearing the Grammy-nominated “Rainbow,” the first body of work she released since stunning the pop world in 2014 by alleging a decade of sexual, physical and mental abuse at the hands of Luke. He vehemently denied the claims.
Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar the big winners at Grammy Awards
It was supposed to be a night when political and social issues took center stage and the music industry fully embraced hip-hop. But when the 60th Grammy Awards were given out Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York, it was a different tune.
The Recording Academy gave three of its top trophies — album, record and song of the year — to R&B/pop star Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” album and hit single “That’s What I Like,” an escapist ode to sex by the fire, international travel and other stereotypical “finer things in life” such as Cadillacs, strawberry Champagne, cool jewelry and silk sheets. In all, Mars took home six Grammys.
That left the year’s most nominated artists — rappers Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar — and hip-hop once again shut out of recognition in the Grammys’ most prestigious categories.
Still, Lamar picked up five of the seven awards for which he was nominated, his song “Humble” winning for music video as well as rap song and performance, while “Loyalty,” his track featuring Rihanna, won the rap/sung performance category and “Damn” collected the rap album award. Jay-Z did not win any awards after receiving the most nominations, with eight.
Lamar said that along with his Grammy statuettes came a shift in perspective on what making music means to him.
“I thought it was about the accolades and the cars and the clothes,” Lamar said on accepting the rap album Grammy, “but it’s really about expressing yourself and putting that paint on the canvas for the world to evolve for the next listener, for the next generation.”
Kesha wears Johnny Cash’s favorite designer to the Grammys
For the 60th Grammy Awards on Sunday, it seemed only fitting that someone would wear something by a designer who’s outfitted some of the most iconic musicians of all time. Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Cher and Elton John have each worn an elaborately rhinestone-studded suit by Nudie Cohn, the iconic country-music clothier who began operating out of a North Hollywood shop in the early 1950s. Now Kesha can add herself to the late tailor’s client list.
The singer and performer walked the red carpet in a blue vintage Nudie suit with cream-colored embellishments and rose embroidery, which dovetailed nicely into the evening’s white rose trend representing the Time’s Up movement.
Kesha asked her stylist, Samantha Burkhart, to pull a Nudie suit for the Grammys “since Kesha loves my grandfather’s work,” says Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors owner Jamie Nudie, who relaunched her family’s business a few years ago after the North Hollywood store closed in 1994. Nudie now runs the company with partner Mary Lynn Cabrall, according to Billboard.
Seven things we know about Jennifer Lopez’s iconic Versace dress from the 2000 Grammys
When we hear “never forget” these days — or, more accurately, see the hashtag — it’s usually in reference to a horrific tragedy. But on Sunday night during the Grammy Awards, fans used it in reference to Jennifer Lopez’s iconic Versace dress from 2000. It was the dress heard ’round the world, shocking for its sheerness and plunging neckline that revealed not just cleavage but the singer’s belly button and slit-up-to-there silhouette. But actually the tropical-print gown — styled by Andrea Lieberman who went on to found the Los Angeles-based ready-to-wear line ALC in 2009 — inspired more than 18 years of revealing Grammys fashion that has followed in its wake.
Here are seven things you should know about the J.Lo/Versace dress.
Grammy president and producer talk Lorde controversy: ‘We can’t have every nominee perform’
Backstage at the Grammys on Sunday, the show’s producers were pressed about the lack of Lorde during the telecast.
As one of the five nominees for album of the year – and the only woman to land in the category – her absence from the stage as a performer didn’t go unnoticed.
In fact, it spurred an online furor that grew louder on Sunday after two of the night’s most nominated women, R&B singer Sza and Kesha — the latter of whom led a performance of her song “Praying” that provided the show with a powerful #TimesUp moment — walked home empty-handed.
Backstage, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow and the show’s longtime executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, were pressed about the perceived snub.
“It’s hard to have a balanced year and have everyone perform,” Portnow said. “We can’t have every nominee perform.”
Added Ehrlich, “These shows are always a matter of choices. She had a great album, but there’s no way we can deal with everybody. Maybe people get left out who shouldn’t, but we do the best we can to make sure it’s a fair and balanced show.”
It was reported on Saturday that Lorde declined an invitation to perform after producers approached her about being part of a group tribute to Tom Petty involving his song “American Girl” instead of her own solo slot, which has been customary for artists in the biggest race. Lorde was on hand to cover Fleetwood Mac’s “Silver Springs” at Friday night’s MusiCares Person of the Year benefit, the annual Grammy-weekend event that this year was honoring the band.
Emmylou Harris and Chris Stapleton pay tribute to Tom Petty
Sunday’s Grammys featured a subtle example of the so-called six degrees of separation when lifetime achievement award recipient Emmylou Harris and Grammy darling Chris Stapleton teamed up to honor the late Tom Petty.
They sang Petty’s “Wildflowers,” the title track from his 1994 solo album, his second effort away from the Heartbreakers after going solo five years earlier with “Full Moon Fever.”
It was a sweet choice on a couple of fronts. Besides being one of Petty’s most country-influenced songs, a rumination on parting ways with a loved one, “Wildflowers” also closed out last year’s well-regarded album from Chris Hillman, “Bidin’ My Time,” which Petty co-produced and played on.
In addition to being a founding member of the Byrds, one of Petty’s biggest influences, and later the Flying Burrito Brothers, Hillman introduced his Byrds and Burrito Brothers bandmate Gram Parsons to Harris after hearing her in a Washington, D.C., folk club.
“Chris Hillman was so enthusiastic when he told me about Emmylou that I just had to go and see her,” Parsons once told an interviewer, “and I was knocked out by her singing. I wanted to see just how good she was, how well she picked up country phrasing and feeling, so after her set... I introduced myself, and we sang one of the hardest country duets I know — ‘That’s All It Took.’ Emmy sang it like she was falling off a log.”
Petty had also planned to revisit “Wildflowers” and release an expanded double-album edition, which is what he originally envisioned before scaling it back for commercial release. He said he wanted to do a tour focusing on the “Wildflowers” material, which was especially close to his heart.
“It’s what I would bet we do next,” he told The Times in his final interview, just five days before he died at 66 on Oct. 2.
“A lot of it would probably be fresh to the older fans, because there will be some songs they haven’t heard,” he added. “And there’s enough music to where you could do the whole night — you could make a whole concert out of it.”
Grammys opt for feel-good pop in giving Bruno Mars album of the year
Bruno Mars completed his sweep of the three major Grammy categories in which he was nominated with his win for album of the year for “24k Magic.”
Mars’ buoyant and hit-packed funk-pop album split the difference between the hip-hop-heavy album of the year nominees, which included Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar alongside Childish Gambino and Lorde.
The album spawned a bevy of hits, including “That’s What I Like” and “Finesse,” which he performed tonight with Cardi B.
Many expected Kendrick Lamar or Jay-Z — each heavily-nominated acts — to take home the top prize. In a year when several high-profile rappers split the vote, Mars’ ebullient, populist LP proved to be the voters’ safe bet.
The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, but Mars led one of the year’s most intense and successful tours, landing at the fourth most-profitable slot of the year’s ledger of touring acts.
Mars also took home song and record of the year, capping the most significant awards night of his career.
Madonna who? Patti LuPone slays ‘Evita’ song at the Grammys
Patti LuPone brought the house down Sunday night at the Grammys with her performance of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita.”
The diva originated the namesake role when Lloyd Webber’s musical debuted on Broadway in 1979.
It’s no small achievement that the Grammys scored LuPone for its Lloyd Webber tribute. Earlier this week the actress and composer ended a feud that spanned more than two decades.
Their beef began in 1995 when Lloyd Webber fired LuPone from the Norma Desmond role in “Sunset Boulevard” and replaced her with Glenn Close.
LuPone made the most of her return to the limelight; just watch the GIF below.
All hail, Patti!
Bruno Mars’ ‘24K Magic’ wins album of the year Grammy
Bruno Mars’ album “24K Magic” won the 2018 Grammy Award for album of the year.
The other nominees were:
“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Damn.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Melodrama” — Lorde
Some of the best looks on the red carpet
There was a lot to like on the 2018 Grammy Awards arrivals red carpet. Here’s a gallery of some of our favorite looks:
Lady Gaga cut a dramatic figure in a custom Armani Privé high-necked lace bodysuit and a billowy detachable skirt, complete with train and high-leg slit. The performer and nominee topped off the dramatic look with Lorraine Schwartz chandelier earrings embellished with more than 300 carats of black diamonds.
Camila Cabello hit the carpet in a figure-hugging, strapless silk satin Vivienne Westwood couture gown in fire-engine red, teamed with a disco ball-esque Judith Leiber sphere bag. (“I try to channel the flamenco emoji for as many events as possible,” quipped the former Fifth Harmony star on Instagram.)
Janelle Monáe was suited and booted in an ultra feminine floral take on the tuxedo from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2018 collection.
James Corden Grammy gag - auditioning stars to read ‘Fire and Fury’ - earns cheers for Hillary Clinton but criticism too
In his second go-round as Grammys emcee, “Late Late Show” host James Corden hasn’t been asked to call on his comic chops often, and the results have been uneven when he has (“Subway Car Karaoke,” anyone?). But he hit a bull’s eye at one target with a taped segment inspired by the Grammys’ audiobook category on Sunday.
With the conceit of Corden trying to book a famous voice to read Michael Wolff’s bestselling tell-all about the Trump administration “Fire and Fury,” Corden called upon a host of Grammy luminaries to try their level best. John Legend dryly read an excerpt about Trump appearing bored in meetings (“I think it’s too smooth,” Corden said, ushering him away, while Cher focused on a few lines about presidential hair care regimen.)
Snoop Dogg read about stars snubbing the inauguration (“I definitely wasn’t there,” he interjected before Corden ushered him away). And Cardi B seemed mystified by the stories the book held. “Why am I even reading this . . .. I can’t believe this,” she said. “This is how he lives his life?”
But Corden saved the biggest cameo for last. Briefly hidden behind the book’s cover, Hillary Clinton earned a cheer from the Madison Square Garden crowd as she read about Trump’s fear of being poisoned. “That’s it, we’ve got it,” Corden said. “You think so? The Grammy’s in the bag?” she replied, grinning.
Not everyone was amused, however. Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., tweeted her annoyance with the show injecting politics into the evening.
Logic’s Grammy-nominated ‘1-800-273-8255’ is a suicide prevention video with a mission
Filmed in three days in Los Angeles last summer, the Grammy-nominated music video for rapper Logic’s new single, “1-800-273-8255,” like the song itself, had a mission: To tell a story that could reach people in need and let them know they weren’t alone.
Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle came on board, as did Luis Guzmán, Matthew Modine and filmmaker Andy Hines, to help tell a poignant story of an African American teenager struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality. New artist Grammy nominees Alessia Cara and Khalid also appear in the video. The hit’s title is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The day it was released in April, the hotline received 4,573 calls, its second-highest at the time. The line logged a new record in August the day after Logic, Cara and Khalid performed the song on the MTV Video Music Awards.
The video, written and directed by Hines, is anchored by a moving turn by young actor Coy Stewart (“Are We There Yet?”). Filmed at James Marshall High in Los Feliz, it debuted in August and quickly went viral. It has since been viewed more than 194 million times alone on Logic’s YouTube channel.
According to John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, calls have increased by 30% to 50% thanks to the increased awareness spread by the video, which prominently features the lifeline’s number.
Elton John and Miley Cyrus together at the Grammys?! Meh.
In a strange year when Elton John has been in the news more than Miley Cyrus so far, the two Technicolor pop stars teamed up Sunday night.
A match made in Grammy heaven? Not so much: Both Cyrus and John were on their absolute best behavior. Or, put less charitably, their performance of John’s “Tiny Dancer” was straight down the middle of the road and never captured what makes them both so magnetic.
He ceded most of his 1971 classic to Cyrus, who took lead on the verses as John tickled the ivories. In a bit of comic relief, Cyrus, who recently debated Stephen Colbert over who’s the bigger Elton John fan, looked like she was on the verge of crawling atop his piano.
If only. Instead, it was another reminder that Cyrus’ wild-woman antics are in the rearview mirror as she continues to rehab her image.
John’s collaboration with Lady Gaga at the 2010 Grammys ceremony at least showcased the fireworks that make them true kindred spirits.
Bruno Mars’ ‘24K Magic’ wins record of the year Grammy
Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” won the 2018 Grammy Award for record of the year.
The other nominees were:
“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
“The Story of O.J.” — Jay-Z
“Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar
Kesha delivers a devastating ‘Praying’ in the tumult of #TimesUp
Kesha wore country-tinged suffragette white when she took the stage at the 60th Grammy Awards. So did all of the women around her – Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels, Andra Day and members of the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of women who come together to sing protest songs – who all joined her onstage for what was nothing less than a show of force.
The performance served as a vulnerable, triumphant indictment of her years being disbelieved, left in the wilderness and unable to do the thing she was born to: sing on a stage like this.
If there was a dry eye in Madison Square Garden when she hit the quivering high notes of “Praying,” I defy you to find them in there. After Janelle Monae’s assertive, insistent Time’s Up speech, Kesha finally got the forum she was due.
After years of battling her former producer and alleged abuser Dr. Luke, she finally got the chance to stare this music industry in the eye and remind them, through sheer force of will and persistence, what their silence took from her and what she had to fight to gain back.
The tension was palpable – no one could watch that performance and not feel at least somewhat indicted for not defending her sooner.
But the performance was beautiful.
It was human and humane, a stellar rendition of perhaps last year’s most cutting, necessary pop single that will outlast the wounds she’s suffered. Her alleged abuser went unmentioned during the show, but that was proof enough. Like she said, when she’s finished, they won’t even know his name.
Song of the year Grammy goes to ‘That’s What I Like,’ yet another win for Bruno Mars & Co.
It’s turning into a Bruno Mars kind of evening — unless Kendrick Lamar has anything to say about it. In the song of the year category, the Mars single “That’s What I Like” took down the mighty “Despacito,” which ruled the charts across 2017, and furthered Jay-Z’s losing streak.
Jay-Z was nominated for “The Story of O.J.,” one of his night-leading eight nominations, but he once again came up short. Also on the losing end were Julia Michaels’ “Issues” and “1-800-273-8255,” by Logic with Alessia Cara and Khalid.
“That’s What I Like” was written by Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip.
That win is Mars’ fourth Grammy of the day, and he’s undefeated. It’s his sixth Grammy overall. He’s been nominated 27 times.
Miley Cyrus adds to Elton John’s long Grammy history
In performing “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John and Miley Cyrus opted for a song that, while now a certified classic, never earned John or his co-writer Bernie Taupin Grammy recognition.
Released as part of John’s 1971 album, “Madman Across the Water,” the song was issued as a single in early 1972, but neither the album nor the song passed muster during their eligibility periods in the eyes of the Recording Academy.
Eligible for the 14th Grammys, “Madman …” had some tough competition. Carole King’s “Tapestry” won album of the year, her “You’ve Got a Friend” won song of the year and “It’s Too Late” snagged record of the year. A year later when “Tiny Dancer” was eligible – but snubbed – Roberta Flack’s soul ballad “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won both song and record of the year.
John was 23 when he won best new artist in 1970. Over the decades he’s earned a total of 35 nods and won five. As for Cyrus, her sole Grammy nomination so far came in 2015, when, at 21, she was recognized in the pop vocal album category for “Bangerz.” She’s got some catching up to do – but nearly 50 more years to pull it off.
‘That’s What I Like’ wins song of the year Grammy
“That’s What I Like” songwriters Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip won the 2018 Grammy Award for song of the year.
The other nominees were:
“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala Rodriguez, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber)
“4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
“Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury, Khalid Robinson and Andrew Taggart, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)
We’re halfway through the Grammys. Here are some puppies
Watching the Grammys? Feeling underwhelmed? Or perhaps overwhelmed at the prospect of another 90 minutes of the Grammys?
CBS has got you covered.
If you blinked, you may have missed it, but in the aftermath of Dave Chappelle’s win for comedy album, Grammys host James Corden passed out consolation puppies to the comedy category losers.
Jim Gaffigan, Sarah Silverman and even Jerry Seinfeld were handed an adorable puppy to ease their sorrows after being bested by Chappelle’s album “The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas.”
Where did the puppies come from? Will they actually be given loving homes with comedy superstars? Were they from a private breeder or a shelter? Who can say?
Please enjoy these problematic puppies.
Maren Morris, Eric Church and the Brothers Osborne perform ‘Tears in Heaven’ for victims of Las Vegas massacre
In one of the most emotional performances of the night, country artists Maren Morris, the Brothers Osborne and Eric Church sang “Tears in Heaven” in honor of the victims of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
Each of the performers onstage was on the roster of the festival, which was interrupted by gunfire on Oct. 1. Fifty-seven people and the gunman died in the shooting.
The four singers performed the Eric Clapton weeper “Tears in Heaven,” written by the artist after the death of his son. Before doing so, they acknowledged the tragedy -- but sound issues garbled some of the comments.
Morris dedicated the song to music fans who lost their lives in Las Vegas, and added that “a continent away, the same was true in Manchester, England.”
She said, “The painful truth is that this year, in just those two events, 81 music lovers, just like us, went out to enjoy a night of music and never came back home … So tonight, for those we lost, Eric, Brothers Osborne and I, who all performed in Las Vegas that tragic weekend, wanted to come together and honor the memory of the beautiful, music-loving souls so cruelly taken from us.”
Watch Janelle Monáe’s powerful Time’s Up Grammys speech
Janelle Monáe addressed the crowd at the Grammys on Sunday night with a speech about the #TimesUp movement. “We come in peace, but we mean business,” she said. “And to those who would dare try to silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up.”
Janelle Monáe opened a poignant Time’s Up segment on Sunday’s Grammys with an impassioned call to action.
We say Time’s Up for pay inequality, discrimination or harassment of any kind and the abuse of power. Just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well… We come in peace, but we mean business.
Watch Monáe’s full speech above.
Sting and Shaggy perform at the Grammys, for some reason
The Grammys are all about “moments,” and one that maybe stood out for the wrong reasons was Sting performing his 1987 hit “Englishman in New York” onstage at Sunday’s awards show.
The performance was fine, if missing the loping bounce provided by its original band, which included saxophonist Branford Marsalis and drummer Manu Katché on Sting’s second solo album “...Nothing Like the Sun,” which was, as mentioned, released 30 years ago.
Sting wore a striped shirt and blazer getup that looked very early Police, and then pop-reggae artist Shaggy showed up to lead a watery dancehall breakdown before the song settled back into its pleasant mid-tempo home. Oh, and Shaggy’s biggest song, “It Wasn’t Me,” was the big punchline on the Grammys’ earlier sketch, “Subway Carpool Karaoke,” which was previously filmed with James Corden. That song was released only 18 years ago.
And sure, the Newcastle-on-Tyne-born Sting is English, and the Grammys were broadcast in New York this year. Apart from a never articulated sort of look back in accordance with the Grammys’ 60th broadcast, any connection the song and its performance had to the year in music of 2017 remains a mystery.
By the way, Lorde — whose 2017 record “Melodrama” is nominated for album of the year — was not scheduled to perform during Sunday’s telecast.
Chris Stapleton’s ‘From a Room: Volume 1’ wins country album Grammy
Chris Stapleton’s album “From a Room: Volume 1” won the 2018 Grammy Award for country album. Stapleton also won Grammys on Sunday for country solo performance and country song.
The other nominees were:
“Cosmic Hallelujah” — Kenny Chesney
“Heart Break” — Lady Antebellum
“The Breaker” — Little Big Town
“Life Changes” — Thomas Rhett
Who was that kid with Childish Gambino at the Grammys?
That wasn’t just any kid joining Childish Gambino during his Grammy Awards performance of “Terrified” on Sunday night. It was 10-year-old JD McCrary, the kid who’s featured on the album version of the song.
JD was only 9 when he recorded “Terrified” for Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” album, which is up for album of the year. “Redbone,” another cut from “Awaken,” already won for traditional R&B song, was nominated for R&B song and is up for record of the year.
He should hit it big in 2019 with the release of the new movie version of “The Lion King” — he’s voicing Young Simba.
And who’s voicing Simba as a grownup? That would be Donald Glover — a.k.a. Childish Gambino.
Looks like JD is a pro already. In his first Instagram post after the performance, he thanked God, Glover, two clothing designers, a jewelry designer and his stylist.
The dresses, the poses: Here’s what it looked like on the Grammys red carpet
Cardi B and Hennessy Carolina
Cardi B brings a new zest to Bruno Mars’ ‘Finesse’
Cardi B made a rousing Grammy debut with her guest verse on Bruno Mars’ “Finesse.”
The song was a pitch-perfect ode to ‘80s funk with a ’90s New Jack Swing vocal, and Bruno Mars — a longtime Grammy stalwart — played it as a charming ode to classic hip-hop (complete with Cross Colors paneling on the outfits).
But everyone was waiting for Cardi B.
Despite having one of the year’s biggest hits in “Bodak Yellow,” her turn was short but memorable. She burst in for the final verse with an insouciance and swagger that made a clear case for her star power.
There might not be an artist who’s more fun to watch in pop music right now, and even though her catalog is short, after tonight she obviously has the skill and presence to keep this hot streak alive for a long time.
No need to ask — Childish Gambino is a smooth operator at the Grammys
He’s an Emmy-winning TV creator, writer and actor who has also picked up Golden Globes for his work on FX’s “Atlanta.” He’ll soon be seen in “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and heard as the voice of Simba in Disney’s reimagining of “The Lion King.”
But Donald Glover, smooth operator? Yep. As Childish Gambino, his stage name as a rapper with machine-gun flow, Glover downright smoldered in his Grammy performance of “Terrified” Sunday night.
The third single from 2016’s “Awaken, My Love!” reveals more soulful shades of Gambino’s music. And he even got an assist from pint-sized singer JD McCrary, 10, who reprised his cameo from the album version.
The lyrics, however, weren’t exactly kid-friendly:
I’m going to eat you alive
Please don’t find me rude
But I don’t eat fast food
So don’t run to me, baby
Cover your ears, JD.
Kendrick Lamar just unofficially nominated Jay-Z for president
Move over, Oprah Winfrey. Kendrick Lamar just nominated Jay-Z for president.
Hours after President Trump directed a disparaging tweet at Jay-Z, Lamar cast an unofficial vote for his fellow rap-album nominee.
“Jay for president!” he said as a coda to his acceptance speech. But not before giving shout-outs to hip-hop and his idols in the room.
“I got a lot of guys in this building that I idolize to this day: Jay-Z, Nas, Puff,” Lamar said. “These guys showed me the game through their lyrics from close and from afar.”
Grammys 2018: This is who wore white roses to the Grammys
Hot on the heels of the red-carpet blackout at the 2018 Golden Globes, Grammy nominees, performers and attendees made an equally powerful show of solidarity with the Time’s Up movement by donning white roses on the red carpet.
While lapel pins were de rigeur for men and women including James Corden, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, stars such as Lana Del Rey and Janelle Monáe put a creative spin on the fashion statement — with musician Ava Max going as far as donning a painted rose on her chest.
“I understand the message behind the white rose, but as a stylist, it can sometimes be challenging to be told that we have to incorporate something into our look,” says stylist Micah Schifman, who dressed Sarah Silverman for the annual event. “In the end, we decided not to overthink it, have fun and simply hold the rose on the red carpet.”
Dave Chappelle’s ‘The Age of Spin’ wins comedy album Grammy
Dave Chappelle’s “The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas” won the 2018 Grammy Award for comedy album.
The other nominees were:
“Cinco” — Jim Gaffigan
“Jerry Before Seinfeld” — Jerry Seinfeld
“A Speck of Dust” — Sarah Silverman
“What Now?” — Kevin Hart
Alessia Cara will be the latest to try and fend off the best new artist curse
In a parallel universe, the 60th Grammy Awards are currently celebrating the lifetime achievements of former best new artist nominees the Neon Philharmonic (1970), and the Starland Vocal Band (1977) has reunited for a surprise performance with Eumir Deodato (1974). Meanwhile, Timbuk 3 (1987) is teaming with this year’s best new artist nominees Lil Uzi Vert and SZA for a medley.
That’s another way of saying that pop music is a fickle animal. For every Mariah Carey (1991), there are a dozen Corey Hart-style (1985) asterisks.
Even rarer is the best new artist winner who goes on to earn a lifetime achievement award. Only two have accomplished it: Bobby Darin, who won the first-ever new artist award in 1959 and got a lifetime award in 2010; and 1965 new artists the Beatles, which earned their late-period honor in 2014.
Best comedy album (and Netflix) gets its prime-time Grammy moment: Five jokes from the nominees
Of the 84 categories that make up the Grammy Awards, only a few focus on nonmusical art forms. In the past, these categories have been relatively low-profile, but on tonight’s telecast, comedy album received a rare moment in the spotlight..
This year’s nominees represent some of the biggest names in the genre — and all five are nominated for recordings based on Netflix productions: Sarah Silverman, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Jim Gaffigan and Kevin Hart. Chappelle took home the prize. “I am honored to win an award, finally,” he said.
Below: Jokes from the five nominated comedy albums.
Chappelle, on almost quitting the comedy business, from “The Age of Spin: Live at the Hollywood Palladium.” “I almost did give up one time, but right before I gave up, I decided not to. But I made the call, I made the call. They answered the phone: “Hello, ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ I said … ‘Not yet.’”
Jim Gaffigan from “Cinco.” “I wish I liked fish. I wish I was the person in the restaurant who was like, ‘You know, I don’t get to go out to dinner very often, but instead of getting a delicious steak, I’ll get the fish because I like disgusting food. … How bored are you with eating if you’re ordering the fish? ‘You know, just bring me something gross. I like to waste money.’”
Kevin Hart on living near woods: “I’m sitting in the living room, I can see into my backyard through the glass doors. Out of nowhere, a raccoon walks up to the glass doors, but not like a raccoon should. Not on all fours. Raccoon’s on two feet… This is what scared [me]: To get a better look in my house, he put his hand on the glass and started looking in the window. I see him, he sees me. He starts … with the locks. [Makes animal noises]. When he couldn’t get in, he got mad and fake-shot at me twice. Bang bang!”
Jerry Seinfeld on his mom’s way with redecorating, from “Jerry Before Seinfeld.” “My mother would say, ‘You know, if you make one wall of a room a mirror, people think you have an entire other room.’ They believed this. What kind of an idiot walks up to a mirror and goes, ‘Hey, look, there’s a whole ‘nother room in there -- and there’s a guy in there that looks just like me!’”
Sarah Silverman from “A Speck of Dust.” I had a dog for many, many years, and he was my best friend. And I was always talking to him. Whenever I was home, I was talking to him. And then he died and I stopped talking to him – makes sense. Or does it? I don’t know. Does that really make sense? He’s just as much a part of the conversation now, in a box on my desk.”
Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn’ wins Grammy for rap album -- is it too early to crown him King of New York?
Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar continues to earn the Recording Academy love with his win for best rap album. With his “Damn” besting work by Jay-Z (“4:44”), Atlanta trio Migos’ “Culture,” “Laila’s Wisdom” by North Carolina rapper Rapsody, and Tyler, the Creator’s “Flower Boy,” Lamar has banked his fifth trophy of the day.
He’d already won for rap/sung collaboration (with Rihanna), rap performance (“Humble”), rap song (“Humble”) and music video (ditto).
Before announcing the winner, presenter Dave Chappelle took a moment to go off script and shout out A Tribe Called Quest. Members of the group, whose co-founder Phife Dawg passed away in 2016, performed at the 59th awards ceremony, but was snubbed in the rap album category for its “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.”
Lamar is used to the Grammy love. He’s earned 29 nominations overall in his career, and won 12 (including the five he’s won today). In earning another victory, he’s also continuing his shut-out of King of New York hip-hop, Jay-Z.
Right about now would be a good time to reprint his boast in Big Sean’s track “Control,” one in which he staked claim to being the ruler of both coasts:
I’m important like the Pope, I’m a Muslim on pork
I’m Makaveli’s offspring, I’m the King of New York
King of the Coast; one hand, I juggle ‘em both.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee perform a festive yet low-key ‘Despacito’ at the Grammys
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s performance of “Despacito” at the Grammys stayed clear of any urgent reference to Puerto Rico’s ongoing post-hurricane crisis.
Maybe that was for the sake of the show.
But it was still a little striking that the singers behind the biggest single of the year (and maybe the greatest pan-Latin smash of all time) played it close to the vest at the most prominent showcase for their single in the music business.
The song could make history if it pulls down one of the top Grammy awards — it could be only the second non-English song of the year in Grammy history, and it’s also up for record of the year.
But still, at a show where the volatile and explosive are encouraged — and when the urgency of the occasion is ongoing — it was perhaps a missed opportunity for the most influential song across Latin America.
Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn.’ wins rap album Grammy
“Damn.” by Kendrick Lamar won the 2018 Grammy Award for rap album.
The other nominees were:
“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Culture” — Migos
“Laila’s Wisdom” — Rapsody
“Flower Boy” — Tyler, the Creator
Chuck Berry-Fats Domino tribute at the Grammys misses the boat
On the surface, it must have seemed logical to the Grammy show producers to serve up a combined posthumous salute to early rockers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino.
But the minimalist segment with guitarist-singer Gary Clark Jr. and New Orleans pianist and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” bandleader Jon Batiste missed a golden opportunity by a country mile.
Their medley of Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” and Berry’s “Maybellene” settled for simple nostalgia. This should have — and could have — been an unforgettable and relevant collaboration akin to the Eminem-Elton John Grammy performance of “Stan” in 2001.
The focus should have been squarely on Berry — no disrespect to Domino intended, but his feel-good million-selling hits pale next to the colossal genius of Berry’s music. As a singer, songwriter and guitarist, Berry created the template for the rock star that’s still used today.
His astounding gift for wordplay and creative rhyming also set the stage for the ensuing decades of rap. That point might have been made with Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino reimagining Berry’s proto-rap hit “Too Much Monkey Business,” which itself was a foundational influence on Bob Dylan’s similarly dazzling “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
Lurking below the surface of the lighthearted-sounding song, Berry touches on African Americans’ struggles in the white-dominated society surrounding them:
“Runnin’ to-and-fro, hard workin’ at the mill/Never fail in the mail, yeah, come a rotten bill.”
Or they might have picked “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” or “Thirty Days,” other sharply observed songs in which Berry sang about the same kinds of issues rappers are addressing today.
The Grammy show’s pro forma constituted, as Berry himself put it, “too much monkey business … don’t want your botheration, get away, leave me.”
Alessia Cara’s powerhouse voice propelled her to Grammys’ best new artist prize
Alessia Cara took home the Grammy for best new artist, beating out a strong slate of newcomers to claim the oft-embattled title.
Cara’s zesty pop single “Stay” as well as her memorable appearance on Logic’s single “1-800-273-8255” helped cement her breakout year, which locked down Grammy’s most welcome (if mixed) prize for newcomers.
She beat out a robust field of competitors, including streaming giant Lil Uzi Vert, her Logic collaborator and R&B breakout Khalid, songwriting sensation Julia Michaels and fast-rising chanteuse SZA.
Cara was perhaps an underdog in this category, which this year rewarded her versatility and strong pop presence in a field of genre titans. A powerhouse vocalist and formidable guest act, she looks well to beat the new artist curse of this field’s crop.
Little Big Town performs their Taylor Swift-penned song ‘Better Man’
Alabama quartet Little Big Town imbued the 60th Grammy Awards with some harmony, taking the stage to perform their ode to less than ideal guys, “Better Man.” (No, not the Pearl Jam song.)
The quartet — Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook — is up for a country album Grammy for its 2017 release “The Breaker,” and has already won the country duo or group performance award for “Better Man.”
The group offered a defiant take on their Taylor Swift-penned song, which worked on a number of levels. Not only was it nominated, but since Swift is the music business’s most bankable star, but isn’t in the Grammy cycle this year, her presence was required in some capacity.
“Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again/But I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man,” sang Fairchild and Schlapman as presumably better men Sweet and Westbrook harmonized behind them. “And I know why we had to say goodbye/Like the back of my hand/And I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man.”
Sam Smith takes the Grammys to church with ‘Pray’
The more Sam Smith matures as an artist, the more he embodies the influences that molded his brand of blue-eyed soul.
The English hitmaker has long talked about his love of gospel, and at Sunday’s Grammy Awards it was clear the genre has seeped into his musical DNA.
Smith took the audience to church with a reverent take on “Pray,” a standout track from his latest album, “The Thrill of It All.”
Backed by a band and a mighty gospel choir that fanned out behind him, Smith kept the theatrics at bay, delivering his lines like a preacher at a tent revival.
Even his attire was decidedly solemn by Grammy standards. Not that everyone was a fan of Smith’s long white coat.
Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ wins pop solo performance Grammy
Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” won the 2018 Grammy Award for pop solo performance.
The other nominees were:
“Love So Soft” — Kelly Clarkson
“Praying” — Kesha
“Million Reasons” — Lady Gaga
“What About Us” — Pink
Kendrick Lamar opens the Grammys with a searing ‘XXX’
And that is how you start an awards show.
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.”
The music veered from psychedelic guitar rock to a kind of fuzzed-out prog-soul; a taiko drummer joined in at one point, just after Chappelle interrupted the song to tell the crowd that “the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America.”
The performance ended with the dancers, now in blood-red hoodies, miming being gunned down one by one as Lamar spit out words whose bitterness he was making you taste.
The display was tough and thoughtful and full of complicated ideas — and it’ll be hard to top in the next three hours.
Carrie Fisher wins posthumous Grammy Award for spoken word album
Princess, general and, now, Grammy winner.
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.”
The Grammys are just the latest awards body to recognize Fisher’s work after her death. In July the Emmy Awards nominated Fisher in the guest actress in a comedy category for her performance on “Catastrophe.”
Reba McEntire on the #WhiteRose initiative
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.”
When asked about taking a stand for a cause in an industry that has largely been criticized for its reluctance to discuss such issues, McEntire pointed to her 1994 record, “She Thinks His Name Was John” – a song that was controversial at the time for addressing AIDS.
“At the time, I didn’t know anybody who dealt with AIDS/HIV. But I think any kind of communication is great,” she said, noting that this moment was no different. “If we get this out in the open, we can move forward. That’s where music comes in.”