News

Bruno Mars swept the major categories at the 60th Grammy Awards, claiming the trifecta of song, record and album of the year categories. Many expected Kendrick Lamar or Jay-Z — each heavily nominated acts — to take home the top prize. Lamar, who opened the ceremony with a fiery performance, cleaned up in five categories, including rap/sung performance and rap album. Other highlights during the telecast included Janelle Monáe’s impassioned call to action when introducing Kesha’s performance and Hillary Clinton’s surprise appearance in one of host James Corden’s prerecorded segments to read a portion of the Trump book “Fire and Fury.” 

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.

LIVE UPDATES: Grammys 2018 »

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.

Commentary

The Grammys were set for change, but that's not what happened

Bruno Mars wins album of the year at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Christopher Polk / Getty Images)
Bruno Mars wins album of the year at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Christopher Polk / Getty Images)

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.

Commentary

The Grammys' complicated relationship with the #MeToo and Time's Up movements

Kesha, center, with Bebe Rexha, left, Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Kesha, center, with Bebe Rexha, left, Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

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

James Corden hosts at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)
James Corden hosts at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)

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

From left, Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper, Kesha and Camila Cabello at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic)
From left, Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper, Kesha and Camila Cabello at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic)

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

Bruno Mars accepts the award for album of the year at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Christopher Polk / Getty Images)
Bruno Mars accepts the award for album of the year at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Christopher Polk / Getty Images)

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.

Fashion

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.

PerformanceReactions

Grammy president and producer talk Lorde controversy: 'We can’t have every nominee perform'

Lorde performs at the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Fleetwood Mac. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Lorde performs at the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Fleetwood Mac. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

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.

HistoryPerformance

Emmylou Harris and Chris Stapleton pay tribute to Tom Petty

Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris performed a tribute to Tom Petty. (Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press)
Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris performed a tribute to Tom Petty. (Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press)

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.”

Tom Petty was saluted at Sunday night's Grammy Awards. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Tom Petty was saluted at Sunday night's Grammy Awards. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

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.”

READ MORE: Tom Petty's final interview: There was supposed to have been so much more

 

Grammys opt for feel-good pop in giving Bruno Mars album of the year

Bruno Mars accepting the album of the year prize. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Bruno Mars accepting the album of the year prize. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

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.

Performance

Madonna who? Patti LuPone slays 'Evita' song at the Grammys

Patti LuPone performs "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" during a tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Grammys. (Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press)
Patti LuPone performs "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" during a tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Grammys. (Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press)

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!

Winner

Bruno Mars' '24K Magic' wins album of the year Grammy

Bruno Mars at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)
Bruno Mars at the 60th Grammy Awards. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)

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

The complete list of 2018 Grammy Award nominees and winners » 

Fashion

Some of the best looks on the red carpet

 (Jason Szenes / EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
(Jason Szenes / EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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.

 (Christopher Polk / Getty Images for NARAS)
(Christopher Polk / Getty Images for NARAS)

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.)

 (Jason Szenes / EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
(Jason Szenes / EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Janelle Monáe was suited and booted in an ultra feminine floral take on the tuxedo from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2018 collection.

Performance

James Corden Grammy gag - auditioning stars to read 'Fire and Fury' - earns cheers for Hillary Clinton but criticism too

Hillary Clinton appears onscreen reading an excerpt from the book "Fire and Fury" during a skit at the Grammys. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Hillary Clinton appears onscreen reading an excerpt from the book "Fire and Fury" during a skit at the Grammys. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

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.

Performance

Elton John and Miley Cyrus together at the Grammys?! Meh.

Elton John and Miley Cyrus played it safe with their duet of "Tiny Dancer." (Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)
Elton John and Miley Cyrus played it safe with their duet of "Tiny Dancer." (Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)

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.

Elton John and Lady Gaga faced off at the 2010 Grammys. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Elton John and Lady Gaga faced off at the 2010 Grammys. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Winner

Bruno Mars' '24K Magic' wins record of the year Grammy

Bruno Mars receives the Grammy for record of the year during the 60th Grammy Awards show on Jan. 28, 2018. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)
Bruno Mars receives the Grammy for record of the year during the 60th Grammy Awards show on Jan. 28, 2018. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)

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

The complete list of 2018 Grammy Award nominees and winners »

PerformanceSocial issues

Kesha delivers a devastating 'Praying' in the tumult of #TimesUp

Kesha and other artists perform at the Grammys. (Christopher Polk)
Kesha and other artists perform at the Grammys. (Christopher Polk)

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.

 

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