Grammys 2016: Taylor Swift wins best album, addresses critics; Compton Mayor congratulates Kendrick Lamar


From the red carpet to the awards and performances of the night to the post-Grammy parties, you can follow us here for your full Grammys experience. Monday night’s 58th Grammy Awards saw Taylor Swift take home her second best album honor and ‘Uptown Funk’ the award for best record. Meghan Trainor took home best new artist and Ed Sheeran won for best song. In the performances, Adele sounded less-than-stellar and ‘Hamilton’ measured up to the hype, but Kendrick Lamar’s fiery set was the show-stealer and overshadowed much of the night. Now it’s time for the post-show praise and second-guessing.

What might Oscar learn from Grammy?

SACRAMENTO, CA - MAY 12, 2008: Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) studies a bill long after his colleagues have adjourned for day, May 12, 2008 on the floor of the state Assembly in Sacramento, California. He said it was easier to study the bill at his desk in the Assembly chambers than pick up all his materials and return to his office. The bill would expand eligibility for food stamps for those convicted of drug offenses. (Robert Durell/Los Angeles Times)
SACRAMENTO, CA - MAY 12, 2008: Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) studies a bill long after his colleagues have adjourned for day, May 12, 2008 on the floor of the state Assembly in Sacramento, California. He said it was easier to study the bill at his desk in the Assembly chambers than pick up all his materials and return to his office. The bill would expand eligibility for food stamps for those convicted of drug offenses. (Robert Durell/Los Angeles Times)
(Robert Durell/Los Angeles Times)

Is there a lesson the Motion Picture Academy might learn from the Recording Academy to make its award nominations more reflective of the world at large?

That question was put to veteran record company executive Clive Davis and Recording Academy President Neil Portnow in the days leading up to Monday night’s 58th Grammy Awards ceremony.

“I’m not coming out here to critique anyone,” Davis, 83, said with a smile last week at his hotel suite while making plans for his annual pre-Grammy Gala held Sunday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “But I think you have to take a look at how you do things if you overlook a film like ‘Straight Outta Compton.’

“It tells a very powerful story, a very important story, one that is still very relevant today,” he said. “To overlook that....”

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Compton mayor celebrates Kendrick Lamar’s Grammys

When Kendrick Lamar Duckworth won tonight, Compton won. Mr. Duckworth’s achievements further Compton’s legacy of ingenuity and excellence. He represents Compton’s evolution, embodying the New Vision for Compton: purpose, prosperity and progress. I appreciate — we appreciate — Mr. Lamar always representing Compton with great pride in any venue he’s in, from the White House to the Grammys.

— Aja Brown, Compton mayor

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How this year’s mistake-prone Grammys mirrored messy social media ... and why that’s a good thing

Adele's performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards was troubled.
Adele’s performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards was troubled.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

When artists drift out of tune on live TV, or find that their bodies and schedules have failed them ... it’s a last vestige of the kind of animal fear that can grip even the mighty.

Adele’s piano-mic kerplunk. Rihanna calling in sick, and Lauryn Hill not showing up. Jack U’s shaggy-dog set of electro-emo with Justin Bieber.

This year’s Grammys were full of the rarest things in pop music today — mistakes. Not social media meltdowns, bizarre rap beefs or surprise album leaks patched over with duct tape on Tidal. These were earnest attempts to find greatness that fell dramatically, unmistakably flat.

And the Grammys were all the better for it.

For as much as fans like to complain about nearly every aspect of the Grammys, it’s perhaps the last public space where musicians must perform their craft on someone else’s terms.

Pop music today is defined by control. From the ubiquity of vocal tuning to the elite super-producers and songwriting summer camps and the omnipresence of laptops in live band setups — so much of modern pop is about leaving nothing to chance.

That insistence on perfection creates its own uncanny aesthetic.

August BrownRead More


Watch James Corden’s ‘inside gossip’ on Rihanna’s cancelled Grammys performance ... and what he had to do with it

James Corden, the late-night host most likely to share intimate moments with his audience, leaned into his desk not long after the conclusion of Monday’s Grammys ceremony and asked, “Do you want to hear some inside info — gossip” about Rihanna and the Grammys?

With his audience cheering and egging him on, “The Late Late Show” host revealed details about the Grammys performance we would have seen — if a doctor hadn’t intervened at the last minute to say that Rihanna “could really damage her voice,” as Corden put it, if she went forward with the song.

Corden, it turns out, was supposed to play a 1980s-era talk show host who would introduce Rihanna and then pretend to interview her on a show that would have been called “As It Lays.” Rihanna was going to sing “Kiss It Better” and showed up to rehearsal Saturday, Corden said, “a bit under the weather,” but ready to perform.

When Corden arrived on the Grammys red carpet Monday, he happily bragged to reporters about his role: “Oh, I’m introducing Rihanna. She’s asked me personally to be part of it.” When he got to the end of the red carpet and received the news that Rihanna was out, he gamely offered to go on in her place. “I’ve just had a wax,” he said he told the producers, explaining how he was ready to wear Rihanna-style hot pants in the cause of making sure the Grammys show would go on.

But it was not to be. The Grammys producers declined his offer. “No, James,” he said they told him. “We’ve just cut it. It’s done.”

Watch Corden tell the whole story in the video above.


Recording Academy President Neil Portnow addresses the biggest Grammy snafus, rumors and mysteries

The Grammys are a live event, and live events by nature aren’t perfect. Backstage in the press room Monday, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow spoke about the night’s snafus, including Adele’s performance problems, an absent Rihanna and the Lauryn Hill rumors.

Read MoreAugust Brown


Grammys fashion trends: Strategic skin-baring, high-slits and taking black to the next level

The Grammy Awards are usually reliable for over-the-top, censor-vexing fashion, but with the notable exception of Joy Villa, who dressed in what appeared to be animal bones, the stars who hit the red carpet at Monday’s show kept things noticeably dialed down. When old-school black and white is the most noticeable trend, you know you’ve got a tame red carpet.

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2016 Grammy Awards: Complete list of winners and nominees

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The full list of winners and nominees.

Urban Contemporary Album

“Ego Death,” the Internet

“You Should Be Here,” Kehlani

“Blood,” Lianne La Havas

“Wildheart,” Miguel

WINNER: “Beauty Behind the Madness,” the Weeknd

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Grammys double take: Did Joe Perry really take the stage twice? In 2016?

There he goes again: Joe Perry takes the Grammys stage a second time during the night, this time with Pitbull and Robin Thicke.
There he goes again: Joe Perry takes the Grammys stage a second time during the night, this time with Pitbull and Robin Thicke.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Look, there was a lot going on -- especially right at the end, with that overstuffed “In Memoriam” sequence, Taylor Swift’s implied dig at Kanye West and the heavenly sight of Beyoncé dressed as a doily.

But the morning after the Grammy Awards, with our heads beginning to clear, a shocking fact is swimming to the surface, one that nobody seemed to notice during the show itself.

Joe Perry performed Monday night on two separate occasions. As part of the Grammy Awards. In 2016.

That’s right: The floppy-hat model best known as the guitarist in Aerosmith -- a rock band that hasn’t released a relevant album in well over a decade -- somehow gobbled up nearly 10 minutes of music’s biggest night.

How did this happen?

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Watch Taylor Swift’s Grammys speech ‘to all the young women out there’ ... and Kanye too

Before Monday night’s Grammys ceremony, there was talk that a big win for Taylor Swift could register as a loss for the pop superstar in this year of heightened awareness over the need for more awards-season diversity. But when she was named winner of album of the year, a savvy Swift turned her acceptance speech into a inspirational call-out to women -- and a dig at Kanye West.

“As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice,” she said from the podium, “I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people love you who put you there. And that will be the greatest feeling in the world. Thank you for this moment.”

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‘Inimitable, inevitable’: Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda deliver the best Grammys speech of the night


When it’s time to party, the Grammys party hard

What does the music industry do after the biggest night of the year? Hit the Grammy after-parties for celebratory drinks, cookie bars and surprise performances.

Be it Missy Elliott at the Warner’s party or an impromptu Disney singalong, it all looks pretty great.


As show highlights diversity, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar are among the big winners

The big winner at the 58th Grammy Awards ceremony on Monday night might not be any of the musicians who took home awards but the music industry’s full-court press promoting cultural diversity.

While the motion picture academy is under fire because of its recent full slate of acting nominees lacking a single person of color, the Recording Academy heaped awards and precious national TV performance slots to a long roster of Anglo, African American, Latino, Asian, straight, gay, young and veteran performers over the course of the 3 1/2 hour show from Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Lady Gaga goes Vegas with a rushed David Bowie tribute

The late, great David Bowie’s torch is almost too big for any single performer to carry. But Lady Gaga gave it her best shot during a heartfelt but rushed tribute to the singer’s legacy during the 58th Grammy Awards on Monday night.

Sporting a bright orange-red coif, a flashy white pantsuit and thick glittery makeup reminiscent of the Ziggy Stardust era, Gaga bounded through several of Bowie’s most famous songs backed by guitarist and Bowie collaborator Nile Rodgers in a very hectic six minutes.

The result felt more like a Las Vegas dinner theater revue than a solemn yet joyful shout-out to one of rock’s biggest icons.

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Chris Stapleton on his Grammy win: ‘It’s crazy’

Chris Stapleton performs during the Grammys.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Chris Stapleton, on how his life has changed since his CMA breakthrough performance and now his multiple Grammy wins:

“It’s a life-changing thing, I’m sure this will amplify that. It’s crazy, it’s hard to digest and be fully aware of it. I’m holding these things and it still feels kind of fake.”

August Brown


Adele explains her performance mishap

Adele performs at the 58th Grammy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Just as the Internet stopped reeling over a surprisingly subpar Grammys performance from Adele, the British singer took to her personal Twitter account to set the record straight about what happened during her performance of “All I Ask.” Adele explains that “the piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune.” But, it wasn’t all bad news for singer, who decided to treat herself in honor of the mishap.


A theory on Meghan Trainor’s tears


Which performance stole the show at the Grammys?

Lady Gaga performs her David Bowie tribute at the 58th Grammy Awards at Staples Center.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

After nearly 3 1/2 hours of performances, it is time to decide which one ultimately stole the show at the 58th Grammy Awards. What will you choose?


Watch and find out why Grammy attendees buy tickets

Ryan Faughnder talked to audience members who bought tickets to the Grammys about why they paid money to attend the awards show.

Check it out here.


Taylor Swift calls out Kanye West -- while holding her second album of the year Grammy

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sure, Kanye West put his thoughts about Taylor Swift into his “Famous” lyrics last week, but Swift on Monday put her thoughts about West into her acceptance speech after winning the Grammy Award for album of the year.

As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.

— Taylor Swift, referencing Kanye West in her album of the year acceptance speech

That would be an award in a category for which West wasn’t nominated -- and an award he said he would have to be promised before he’d attend the Grammys.

In case you forgot what Yeezy’s song says:

I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that ... famous

— Kanye West, referencing Taylor Swift in his new song ‘Famous’

Nice, right? Of course, he maintains that he “never dissed her.”

Looks as if TSwift didn’t really need a song to get her message across. Though having a national TV audience certainly didn’t hurt.


Those sound problems you heard during Adele’s performance were in fact sound problems

So confirms the Associated Press:

“A CBS spokesperson confirmed there was a five-to-eight second technical issue with the broadcast, adding without elaboration that it was outside the network’s control.

“Reps for Adele and the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

The Grammy audience gave Adele a standing ovation:


A photo album of Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy performance, which was fire. Literally.

Kendrick Lamar performs at the 58th Grammy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The full photo gallery here.


Alabama Shakes sizzle with ‘Don’t Wanna Fight’

The Grammys are saving the rock for its latter half. The Alabama Shakes, who have already had a solid night by winning the alternative album Grammy for “Sound & Color,” performed its “Don’t Wanna Fight.”

The song is a showcase for vocalist Brittany Howard, who began the song with a room-halting howl. One can practically feel her temperature boil as the song builds, its messages of peace balanced with can’t-stand-it-anymore frustration. And yet she never strayed too far from her backing band, which sauntered with a rhythm and blues strut.


Bonnie Raitt aces tribute to B.B. King

Anyone who’s heard Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” knows the man can cover a tune, as “Tennessee Whiskey” is one of his album stand-outs. So it’s no surprise he bat lead-off in a tribute to the great B.B. King, which also featured Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt.

It was pensive, and though it probably didn’t need the string section (the Grammys will never miss a moment for overkill), the performance treated “The Thrill Is Gone” as more of a thoughtful slow-dance than a late-night scorcher. The guitarists gracefully passed off licks to one another, and images of King were tastefully shown above. The crowd roared when Raitt took the stage, and for good reason, as Raitt brought a dose of fire to the latter half of the song.

If only the Grammys had treated the tribute to David Bowie with such grace. Instead, Lady Gaga raced through tunes as if she was the star in a Las Vegas David Bowie review. She had the look, she has the voice, but there was soul.


Hollywood Vampires: 185 years of rock among them onstage

They may not be actual vampires, but the Hollywood Vampires celebrated the dead with a tribute to the late Motorhead founder Lemmy Kilmister. Featuring Alice Cooper (68), Aerosmith’s Joe Perry (65) and Johnny Depp (52), the band has 185 years of rock among them. They were joined by Duff McKagan on bass and and Matt Sorum on drums.

“Lemmy Kilmister was rock ‘n’ roll. He was a rebel and an outsider,” said Dave Grohl as he introduced the Vampires.

The band members performed their new song, “As Bad As I Am” with fire shooting behind them. After screamer Cooper wailed for some verses, Johnny Depp mumbled into the microphone and played a guitar solo. Perry did too.

They followed that with a take on Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.” It’s a hard song to mess up. They didn’t mess it up.


Lauryn Hill was supposed to perform on the Grammys

The Weeknd was supposed to be joined by a special guest during his performance at the Grammys on Monday night: Lauryn Hill.

The iconic hip-hop and R&B performer was supposed to join the singer during his performance.

It would have been the night’s best-kept secrets — had it happened.

After moving through a medley of his smash hit “Can’t Feel My Face” and current single “In the Night,” there was buzz that the performance was missing a major moment, an appearance from Hill.

News that Hill was supposed to perform alongside the Weeknd — the pair were to duet on “In the Night” — came as a surprise to most.

Earlier Monday a Twitter user posted an image of the Weeknd and what appeared to be a covered up Hill with the news that she would join the singer onstage.

A rep for Hill — long known as a loose cannon when it comes to live showings — released a lengthy, strongly worded statement that said the singer pulled out because of “its last minute nature.”

“The Grammy’s announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval. Ms. Hill had concerts all weekend, leaving no time to prepare, and was uncertain she would even be able to make it to LA in time to rehearse for the event,” said the statement sent to Vox.

“Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such. Ms. Hill was invited to do a collaboration with an artist she appreciates. The performance was intended to be a surprise and unfortunately due to its last minute nature, was unable to come to fruition.”

Hill wasn’t the only no-show at Monday’s telecast. Rihanna was forced to pull out of the telecast in the eleventh hour because of bronchitis.

“Based on Rihanna’s examination, after Grammy rehearsal today, Rihanna’s doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal” cords, a statement from the singer read. “The antibiotics she has been on for three days did not kill the infection adequately therefore she cannot perform safely.”

Rihanna was set to debut a live performance of “Kiss It Better” from her recently released album “Anti.”


Praise for Lady Gaga’s David Bowie tribute floods Twitter


Twitter seems to blame poor sound for Adele’s subpar performance

The Grammys seemed fine with the performance, however.


A more human Adele arrives at the Grammys

Adele, whose “25” is more or less preordained to win the album of the year at the 2016 Grammy Awards, was in full vocal acrobatic mode tonight -- to mixed results.

Accompanied by a piano on “All I Ask,” Adele performed a Broadway-style belter that’s built for opera halls as much as it is concert halls. Her voice seemed just slightly below the level of perfect, but I found more joy in this performance than the ones of hers that are 100% flawless.

Seeing a great singer power through a gigantic ballad when she didn’t have her best stuff was like watching an Olympian fight through an injury to win gold. It’s still Adele, and she’s still uncannily precise. My quibble is that the songs of “25” challenge her to big notes rather than new directions.


Remember Justin Bieber’s first Grammys performance?

For more Grammy flashbacks check out our Grammy timeline.


Why, Justin Bieber, why?

(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

On a night when so many of his young peers are sapping the life from their songs, Justin Bieber appeared ready to join the club when he began his highly anticipated Grammys performance alone onstage with an acoustic guitar.

The pop superstar was singing his tender ballad “Love Yourself” and doing an OK job with it (at least until the final wobbly note).

But surely, you thought, he’ll shake off the old-fashioned vibes in time for “Where Are U Now,” his irresistibly futuristic collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo of Jack U.

Sadly, no.

With Skrillex on electric guitar, Diplo banging away at a drum set and Bieber yowling like a standard-issue emo kid, “Where Are U Now” basically transformed here into Imagine Dragons.

Et tu, Biebs?


It’s no meat dress, but Lady Gaga is Bowie-ready


Kendrick Lamar gives the show its first major Grammy moment

(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

Kendrick Lamar.

The first Grammy performance of the night worthy of repeat viewing. There was a lot to unpack, and Lamar standing on stage with the word “Compton” superimposed over Africa will no doubt be the night’s lasting image. Suffice to say, Lamar made the case that the album of the year should be his, as his six or so minutes on stage were a rush of topical, historical and political images. It was protest music on a grand scale.

There were a number of bracing images in the performance -- a jail cell, handcuffs, a riot. It was hectic, it was aggressive, it was free jazz, it was confrontational. “You hate my people,” he rapped, his voice coated in venom and a rasp. “The Blacker the Berry” led into “Alright,” the latter delivered with a constant, strobe-like set-up. The camera cut left, cut right, and Lamar delivered one lyrical punch after another.


Celebrities take to Twitter to react to Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy performance


‘Don’t Wanna Fight’ by Alabama Shakes wins best rock performance

(Matt Sayles / Invision / AP)

Alabama Shakes also won the Grammy Awards for rock song, alternative music album and engineered album (non-classical). Their album “Sound & Color” is also up for album of the year.

The other rock performance nominees were:

“What Kind of Man,” Florence and the Machine | Interview | Music video

“Something From Nothing,” Foo Fighters | Music video

“Ex’s & Oh’s,” Elle King | Music video

“Moaning Lisa Smile,” Wolf Alice | Music video

Complete list of nominees and winners


Reminder: ‘Hamilton’ musical coming to L.A. ... but not until 2017

The marquee for the Broadway musical "Hamilton" at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

“Hamilton” is coming to Los Angeles, but local audiences eager to catch the Broadway musical that has become a critical and audience sensation in New York will have to wait until next year.

Producers have said that the national tour of “Hamilton” will play at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood for a five-month engagement starting Aug. 11, 2017. No casting has been announced for the tour, which will open in spring 2017 in San Francisco.

The musical, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, gives a contemporary, hip-hop-inflected spin on the story of Alexander Hamilton, the Federalist founding father and first secretary of the Treasury.

Read More


Twitter responds to ‘Hamilton’ as the Grammys go Broadway


Eagles ‘Take It Easy’ in Grammy farewell to Glenn Frey

Immersed in the rich harmonies supplied by surviving members of the Eagles, veteran singer-songwriter Jackson Browne reprised the song he started writing nearly half a century ago, and finished only when he got help from his friend and Echo Park upstairs neighbor Glenn Frey, “Take It Easy,” in the Grammy Awards’ salute to the late founding member of the Eagles.

The song became an emotional sendoff for Frey, who died Jan. 18 at age 67, as his longtime cohorts sang, “We may lose and we may win, but we will never be here again/So open up I’m climbin’ in, and take it easy.”

Behind Browne on drums and adding his dusky voice was Don Henley, who started the Eagles with Frey when both were singing backup for singer Linda Ronstadt in the early 1970s.

For this performance, they also brought back guitarist Bernie Leadon, who left the group in 1975. He took the guitar solo in the song, while guitarist Joe Walsh strummed an acoustic instrument at Browne’s left.

As they spun out the signature “oohs” that helped the song become the Eagles’ first national hit in 1972, a giant photo of Frey appeared on the video screen behind them.

As the Beach Boys had done a decade earlier, the Eagles crafted a body of hits in the 1970s that came to define Southern California for millions of music fans worldwide.

Hits such as “Take It Easy,” “Hotel California,” “Best of My Love,” “One of These Nights,” “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Life in the Fast Lane” explored the multiplicity of themes that have played out for those who have come to the Southland in pursuit of grand dreams.

Detroit-reared musician Glenn Frey was one of them, and after arriving here in the late 1960s, he and Henley teamed up with Leadon and bassist Randy Meisener in the original iteration of the group.

The choice of “Take It Easy” made perfect sense as the vehicle for the Grammy tribute segment.

“We wanted to do something simple and elegant,” the band’s longtime manager Irving Azoff told The Times recently.

Here is the Times’ obituary on Frey.


Not impressed


Check out the best and worst dressed of the Grammy Awards

Kacey Musgraves is on the Grammys' best dressed list.
(Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times (left and center); Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press (right))

Click and find out the best and worst dressed of tonight’s Grammy red carpet.

Read More


Stevie Wonder taunts the sighted: ‘Nyah nyah!’

Stevie Wonder cracks himself up with a Braille joke.
(ROBYN BECK / AFP/Getty Images)

Y'all can’t read this, you can’t read Braille. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!

— Stevie Wonder, announcing song of the year


Rihanna cancels Grammys performance

Rihanna performs at MUSICares.
(Larry Busacca / Getty Images for NARAS)

Rihanna will not appear on the Grammys as previously announced, according to a rep for the singer.

The pop singer was slated to perform during the telecast but pulled out in the eleventh hour because of bronchitis.

Rihanna showed up to Staples Center and rehearsed twice but left afterward.

“Based on Rihanna’s examination, after Grammy rehearsal today, Rihanna’s doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal chords,” a statement from the singer read. “The antibiotics she has been on for three days did not kill the infection adequately therefore she cannot perform safely.”

Attendees on the red carpet said the singer didn’t appear in front of cameras and reporters.

Rihanna was set to debut a live performance of “Kiss It Better” from her recently released album, “Anti.”

Her performance was originally slated to happen after the mash-up of Andra Day and Ellie Goulding. However when the telecast returned from commercial break it skipped directly into the Lionel Richie tribute that wasn’t set until later.


Lemmy Kilmister on losing -- and winning -- Grammys

I’ve already got one anyway, from 2005, for ‘Sacrifice.’ I don’t mind it. It’s a nice thing to be respected by your so-called peers... But we don’t get to go on the red carpet or nothing. We have to go the day before with the Latin American jazz bands and get the awards.

— Lemmy Kilmister, Motorhead on the “Ace’s Space” podcast


Call the reception to the Lionel Richie tribute ‘mixed’

Few can touch Lionel Richie for hits, and when six singers -- including Richie -- take the stage in his honor the results were bound to be mixed, if not a little strange. Here’s a sample of reaction to John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor, Tyrese Gibson and Richie at the Grammys.


The Grammys had little love for David Bowie while he was alive

David Bowie is being feted by an organization that nominated him many times but awarded him only once. The artist, who died in January, wasn’t nominated for any of his classic albums from the 1970s. His first album of the year nomination, for “Let’s Dance,” had the misfortune of competing in 1984 -- against “Thriller.” He earned his only trophy that year for his video for “Jazzin’ for Blue Jean.” Most recently, Bowie earned nominations in 2014 for “The Next Day” and a song from it, “The Stars Are Out Tonight.” He lost.

He did, however, freak out a lot of people at the 1975 ceremony.


Remember when the Super Bowl dictated Grammy politics?

In 2004, the Grammys got embroiled in a scandal that began a week earlier in the midst of the Super Bowl halftime show. During the Janet Jackson headlining performance, a guest appearance by Justin Timberlake got out of hand when, at the end of “Rock Your Body,” Timberlake pulled off part of Jackson’s costume and exposed her bare breast to more than 100 million people worldwide.

Everything went off the rails in the aftermath, including CBS rescinding Jackson’s invitation to the ceremony, where she was to introduce a tribute to Luther Vandross. Timberlake, however, faced no repercussions, not only attending the ceremony, but performing twice (once with the Black Eyed Peas and once with Arturo Sandoval) and taking home two Grammys.

For more Grammy flashbacks check out our Grammy timeline.


Remember when Amy Winehouse dominated the 2008 Grammy Awards?

On July 4, 2008, singer Amy Winehouse performs outside Madrid, Spain.
(Victor R. Caivano / Associated Press)

Amy Winehouse has returned to the pop culture conversation in recent months, thanks to an Oscar-nominated documentary centered on the life, death and music of the devastatingly talented young jazz singer. At the apex of her career in 2008, Winehouse won five Grammy Awards, including record of the year.

Check out her acceptance speech below and reminisce on the inimitable talent that was Amy Winehouse.

For more Grammy flashbacks check out our Grammy timeline.


Demi Lovato wins Lionel Richie’s approval

( Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press)

The Grammys are only about an hour old, and they’ve already settled into mid-tempo slow dances. A pairing of Elle Goulding and Andra Day packed all the fireworks of the end credits of a romantic comedy. The artist’s strolled around each other for a smash-up of “Rise Up” and “Love Me Like You Do.” Goulding’s went for nightclub elegant, and Day tried to overpower, but the Grammys certainly aren’t brining the heavy hitters to start.

The pace didn’t exactly elevate after a break, as audiences had to settle in for a five-plus minute tribute to Lionel Richie.

John Legend was cool and Grammy-calm, while Demi Lovato had Richie hollering approval in the audience. Luke Bryan’s “Penny Lover” was a head-scratcher, Meghan Trainor seemed out of place and Tyrese Gibson finally provided a proper handoff to Richie, who ran up to stage for a sing-along to “All Night Long.” Richie ended the performance by shouting, “That’s how we do it right there.”

Was it directed at Bryan? Probably not, but the Grammys would have been better served by having Richie arrive a little earlier to his own party. Still, his landing on the stage resulted in the night’s first standing O.


Remember when Arcade Fire winning album of the year caused the Internet to meltdown?

Win Butler of Arcade Fire accepts their Grammy for Album of the Year at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

When Arcade Fire won the Grammy for album of the year in 2011, it spurred a lot of shock from large swathes of music fans, even inspiring a NSFW tumblr entitled “Who Is Arcade Fire,” which focused on capturing outraged reactions from bewildered Grammy audience members.

Check out Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler backstage after taking the big prize.

For more Grammy flashbacks check out our Grammy timeline.


The White House is happy Kendrick Lamar won best rap album too


Max Martin is getting a raw deal here

(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images for NARAS)

The brilliant Swedish producer Max Martin is a man capable of putting more emotion into a pop song than virtually anyone else making records.

So why were performances of two of his songs -- the Weeknd’s “In the Night” and Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” -- such lifeless drags?

The Grammys can overdose on dazzle, sure. But nobody wants to go to study hall.

How Taylor Swift, Adele and the Weeknd made 2015 a pivot point for pop producer Max Martin

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Twitter blasts the Weeknd’s performance

The Weeknd already scooped up a handful of Grammys before his performance during the ceremony Monday evening, but despite his massive breakout year -- his shining moment on the Grammy stage didn’t go over without some tough criticisms from Twitter.

Amid a medley that included his smash “Can’t Feel My Face” and “In the Night,” Twitter lighted up with jokes and puns directed at his shaky start.

A few of our favorite jabs below:


Chris Stapleton wins for best country album

“I’d like to thank Taylor Swift for leaving country so people like me can win this award.”

— Steven Zeitchik, L.A. Times (via Twitter), commenting on Chris Stapleton’s win

For the record: An earlier version of this card mistakenly attributed this quote to Chris Stapleton in his acceptance speech.


The red carpet is over, but some looks are forever

And there’s always room for Lady Gaga.


Drake’s Grammy woes?

Drake at the Coachella music festival.
(Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times)

Drake has accrued his share of woes tonight. Nominated for rap song, rap album, rap/sung collaboration (with Nicki Minaj) and rap performance, the Canadian rapper came up empty-handed. The beneficiary of those woes? Kendrick Lamar, whose work from “To Pimp a Butterfly” ran the rap categories.

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Sasha Frere-Jones and Kirk Franklin have a moment and more tweets from the Grammys


The Weeknd turns it up -- and then quickly down -- at the Grammys

(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images for NARAS)

The Weeknd started his performance trapped in a box with hyperactive lights flashing “Xs” and “O’s.” It was fitting, considering “Can’t Feel My Face” is the sound of the world closing in on someone. Looking dapper in a tuxedo, the Weeknd appeared a long way removed from the drug-induced paranoid, even flashing some slick footwork.

The stage opened up, but the performance began to feel even more claustrophobic. As the Weeknd transitioned to a stripped down “In the Night,” it had the panicked feel of an ambulance coming into view at slow-motion. Say, wasn’t this one of the Weeknd’s biggest hits? The artist here wanted theatrics not excitement.


The hottest red-carpet accessories? Family members

The Grammys may be shaping up as a family-themed event, at least in the audience. Justin Bieber walked the red carpet with Jaxon Bieber, his 6-year-old half-brother, giving the little dude a smooch after coaching him on getting his swag on for the cameras.

ASAP Rocky was there with his mom, who told an interviewer she was excited to see the Weeknd perform.

Andra Day had both parents on hand. “They always keep me calm and grounded,” she said on the red carpet feed.

Then there was Thundercat, who added a little hand-made love to his ensemble for the evening.

Christie D'Zurilla


Kendrick Lamar dedicates his Grammy for best rap album to hip-hop

This is for hip-hop... we will live forever, believe that.

— Kendrick Lamar

Lamar also thanked his parents, Paula and Kenneth Duckworth, his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and his record label, Top Dawg.


Photos: See the most striking arrivals

Johnny Depp, left, Joe Perry and Alice Cooper of music group the Hollywood Vampires.
(Paul Buck / EPA)

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A bolder, more confident Taylor Swift gives the Grammys an upbeat opener

The dress sparkled. The trees looked like they belonged in a Disney fairy tale. This must mean Taylor Swift is opening the Grammys.

Swift’s “Out of the Woods” opened what was destined to be a 3 1/2-hour affair. Like the bulk of songs for “1989,” “Out of the Woods” is heavy on the chorus. The song boasts some big Shania Twain-like guitar strikes and some pulsating beats, giving the Grammys a safe pop moment to start.

After the performance, host LL Cool J teased what has become a destined to be talked-about appearance from Kendrick Lamar, but there was nothing topical or controversial here.

Swift screamed and hollered, showing no signs of timidity that marked some of her early career Grammy performances. Today, Swift is a bolder, more confident artist, and though “1989” is about little more than the trials and tribulations of the life of a 1 percenter, she provided a slick, upbeat opener.

Swift is competing tonight for album of the year, where her “1989” will go up against efforts from Lamar, the Alabama Shakes, the Weeknd and Chris Stapleton.

Swift has been nominated three times for the album of the year trophy, winning the prize for her album “Fearless.” Swift’s “Red” was bested in the top category by Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” at the 56th Grammy Awards.

Although voters have clearly embraced Swift, they haven’t necessarily embraced her shift into pop, as the bulk of her Grammy wins have come in the country field, where songs such as “Mean” and “Fearless” won the country song honors.

But earlier today, the artist’s “1989” won the pop vocal album. In addition to album of the year, she’s competing in record of the year and song of the year (“Blank Space”), but “Blank Space” earlier lost in the pop solo performance category to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”


Taylor Swift was thinking old school

“A new Grammy moment” is how LL Cool J described Taylor Swift’s show-opening performance of her song “Out of the Woods.”

Yet Swift herself was thinking old school.

“Right now it’s 1989,” the pop superstar said during the song, referring to her quintuple-platinum blockbuster that’s up for several Grammys tonight, including album of the year.

With spindly trees and plenty of fog, the performance itself looked like an outtake from Disney’s “Maleficent” -- only with a bit more side eye from the sparkly star.


All the David Bowie songs that Lady Gaga performed

( ROBYN BECK / AFP/ Getty Images)

In her tribute to the late David Bowie, Lady Gaga moved through the artist’s 1970s and ‘80s work without regard for his final quarter century of art. Below, her set-list.

In order:

“Space Oddity”


“Ziggy Stardust”

“Suffragette City”

“Rebel Rebel”



“Under Pressure” (bass-line)

“Let’s Dance”



A look back at the life of Grammy lifetime achievement winner Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz, known as the Queen of Latin Music, is being honored tonight by the Grammy Awards with a lifetime achievement award. Born in Havana in 1925, Cruz started singing in cabarets as a teenager, despite her father’s hopes that she would grow up to become a teacher.

Cruz became the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, earning 23 gold albums, a National Medal of Arts and six Grammy awards, before earning her seventh tonight.

In 2003, Cruz died of a brain cancer, spurring worldwide vigils. More than 200,000 fans paid their final respects at Miami’s Freedom Tower.

In 2013, Jennifer Lopez honored the songstress by performing a medley of Cruz’s hits at the American Music Awards.

To learn more about the life of Celia Cruz, check out Los Angeles Times coverage of the singer’s death, her life and Lopez’s 2013 AMA performance.


Hungry? Get in line, friends

Over at one of the snack bars, it’s business as usual, no matter how nicely the customers are dressed. And no, the food ain’t free.

Grammys, yes. Glammys? Not 100%.


Lyric: Best metal performance song ‘Cirice’ by Ghost

What are the metalheads singing about? What else? Thunder, fear, scars, candles. Behold, the lyrics to the metal performance winners Ghost, who won for “Cirice.’

I feel your presence amongst us You cannot hide in the darkness Can you hear the rumble? Can you hear the rumble that’s calling? I know your soul is not tainted Even though you’ve been told so Can you hear the rumble? Can you hear the rumble that’s calling? I can feel the thunder that’s breaking in your heart I can see through the scars inside you I can feel the thunder that’s breaking in your heart I can see through the scars inside you A candle casting a faint glow You and I see eye to eye Can you hear the thunder? Can you hear the thunder that’s breaking? Now there is nothing between us From now our merge is eternal Can’t you see that you’re lost? Can’t you see that you’re lost without me? I can feel the thunder that’s breaking in your heart I can see through the scars inside you I can feel the thunder that’s breaking in your heart

— Ghost, “Cirice”

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Joy Villa’s dress steals the red carpet focus

We’re not sure who made Joy Villa’s Grammy Awards dress -- and we’re not sure we want to -- but it was definitely pulling focus on the pre-show red carpet. It looks like it very well could have been made from the rib cage of some prehistoric animal -- or some of the set pieces from “Game of Thrones.”

If you ask us, she’s trying to cement herself on the worst-dressed list since the only reason we remember her is because she wore one of last year’s most bizarre outfits as well, essentially a length of Caltrans orange barrier tape.


Zendaya ups the tuxedo game in double-breasted DSquared2

The tuxedo look wasn’t confined to the men on the Grammy Awards red carpet. Zendaya opted for a double-breasted number by the DSquared2 label. And, if we’re not mistaken, she’s sporting a baby mullet hairstyle.


Fashion from the ‘hmm, that’s a choice’ category