Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar win big at Grammys

'Congrats; you deserve this, man'
Bruno Mars performs a tribute to Prince at the 2017 Grammys.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Bruno Mars performs a tribute to Prince at the 2017 Grammys.

NEW YORK — The 60th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday gave its highest accolades to Bruno Mars, an upbeat master of danceable pop, even as the show wrestled with a range of social and political topics including immigration, race and the #MeToo movement.

Mars won all of the six awards he was nominated for, including the top prizes of album, record and song of the year. The next-most-rewarded artist was Kendrick Lamar, the provocative and critically admired rapper from Compton, California, whose five wins included a sweep of the rap categories.

Their victories came at the expense of Jay-Z, now a reigning giant of hip-hop and the music business in general, who had arrived as the most-nominated artist of the night, with eight nods, but went home empty-handed.

The show at Madison Square Garden also featured the Grammys’ much-anticipated response to the #MeToo movement. While the reckoning over harassment and gender equality has swept over Hollywood, media and politics, its effect on the music industry had been minimal, leading to scrutiny over how the show would address the issue. But a call-to-arms by Janelle Monáe, and an emotional performance by Kesha, approached it head-on.

“You see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood, it’s not just going on in Washington,” Monáe said. “It’s right here in our industry as well.”

“And just as we have the power to shape culture,” she added, “we also have the power to undo a culture that does not serve us well.”

Mars, who has earned the respect of the industry as an all-around entertainer, capable of repeatedly scaling the pop charts and entertaining the nation at the Super Bowl, won album of the year for “24K Magic” as well as record of the year for the title track and song of the year — a songwriters’ award — for “That’s What I Like.” (The album also claimed an engineering prize.)

Song of the year went to the eight writers of “That’s What I Like,” a slice of 1980s-throwback funk. Accepting the award, Mars was surrounded by what looked like an entourage, but they were the credited writers of the song, reflecting the new production model of pop music in which huge teams of specialized writers collaborate.

“I’ve been knowing these guys for over a decade,” Mars said. “All the music-business horror stories you’ve seen in the movies, we’ve been through all of them.”

“It’s an honor to share this with you all tonight,” he told them.

In addition to Mars, they were Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip.

The Grammys, which were hosted for a second time by James Corden, were in New York for the first time in 15 years. Like most awards shows, the Grammys have wrestled for years with issues of diversity: ethnic, gender and, in this case, musical.

In the days leading up the awards, the Grammys faced scrutiny over how the show — and the music industry at large — would respond to the #MeToo movement and the demonstration of solidarity at the Golden Globes this month, when the women of Hollywood, wearing black, presented a united front. The awards are bestowed by the Recording Academy.

Just days ago, a small group of midlevel female music executives called for artists to wear a white rose to the Grammys as a sign of “hope, peace, sympathy and resistance.” By Thursday, a handful of stars including Lady Gaga and Clarkson had pledged their support. On Sunday, the group circulated a list of music-industry professionals and artists who had signed on to the effort, adding Pink, Dua Lipa and Lil Uzi Vert, among others.

After Monáe spoke, Kesha sang “Praying,” her ballad of anger and redemption, surrounded by women all in white, including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels and Andra Day and the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of women who sing protest songs.

Kesha became pop’s symbol of the fight against sexual assault when, in a 2014 lawsuit, she accused her producer, Dr. Luke, of inflicting years of abuse. (Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, in turn accused Kesha of fabricating the story in an attempt to escape her recording contracts.)

Her voice breaking, Kesha sang, “You brought the flames and you put me through hell” and “When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name.”

As she finished, she held back tears, and the choir gathered around her in a group embrace.

At the preshow ceremony, several artists wore white roses, although their comments about it were muted. Reba McEntire, the country star, was asked about the white rose on her dress after she won best roots gospel album for “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.”

“My message is, I want to treat you like I want to be treated,” McEntire said. “It’s the golden rule. I think if we did that more often, a lot of these problems would be nonexistent. Let’s just treat people kindly.”

Clarkson and Nick Jonas, both wearing white roses, presented the best new artist award to Alessia Cara, a 21-year-old Canadian pop singer who has songs of empowerment like “Scars to Your Beautiful.” After the microphone was lowered reach her, Cara, who was also wearing a white rose, said: “Holy cow, I’m shaking. I’ve been pretend-winning Grammys since I was a kid, like in my shower.”

Awards Pile Up

Attendance among the stars was spotty at the earlier ceremony where most of the awards were handed out. Lamar won best rap performance, best rap song and best music video, all for “HUMBLE.” He also won best rap/sung performance, for “LOYALTY.,” featuring Rihanna. Mars won best R&B performance and R&B song for “That’s What I Like,” and best R&B album for “24K Magic.” “That’s What I Like” later won song of the year, a songwriters’ award.

Ed Sheeran, who was snubbed in the top categories, was awarded best pop vocal album, in absentia, for “÷,” one of last year’s biggest hits. He later won best pop solo performance, for “Shape of You.” Childish Gambino won best traditional R&B performance for his song “Redbone,” a 1970s funk throwback that was a surprise hit at radio last year.

The singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton won the best country album Grammy for “From a Room: Volume 1” and won two early awards: best country solo performance for “Either Way,” and best country song for “Broken Halos,” which he wrote with Mike Henderson.

Jason Isbell also won two: best Americana album, for “The Nashville Sound,” and best American roots song, for “If We Were Vampires.” Carrie Fisher won a posthumous Grammy — her first — in the best spoken word album category, for “The Princess Diarist.”


Grammy Awards 2018

  • Album of the year: “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars
  • Record of the year: “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars
  • Song of the year: “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars
  • Best new artist: Alessia Cara
  • Best rap album: “DAMN.,” Kendrick Lamar
  • Best rap performance: “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar
  • Best rap song: “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar
  • Best rap/sung performance: “Loyalty,” Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna
  • Best R&B album: “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars
  • Best R&B song: “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars
  • Best R&B performance: “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars
  • Best urban contemporary album: “Starboy,” the Weeknd
  • Best pop vocal album: “÷ (Divide),” Ed Sheeran
  • Best pop solo performance: “Shape of You,” Ed Sheeran
  • Best pop duo/group performance: “Feel It Still,” Portugal. The Man
  • Best traditional pop vocal album: “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90,” various artists
  • Best rock album: “A Deeper Understanding,” the War on Drugs
  • Best rock song: “Run,” Foo Fighters
  • Best rock performance: “You Want It Darker,” Leonard Cohen
  • Best alternative music album: “Sleep Well Beast,” the National
  • Best country album: “From a Room: Volume 1,” Chris Stapleton
  • Best country song: “Broken Halos,” Chris Stapleton
  • Best country solo performance: “Either Way,” Chris Stapleton
  • Best country duo/group performance: “Better Man,” Little Big Town
  • Best dance/electronic album: “3-D the Catalogue,” Kraftwerk
  • Best dance recording: “Tonite,” LCD Soundsystem
  • Best comedy album: “The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas,” Dave Chappelle
  • Best music video: “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar
  • Best contemporary instrumental album: “Prototype,” Jeff Lorber Fusion
  • Best metal performance: “Sultan’s Curse,” Mastodon
  • Best traditional R&B performance: “Redbone,” Childish Gambino
  • Best new age album: “Dancing on Water,” Peter Kater
  • Best jazz vocal album: “Dreams and Daggers,” Cécile McLorin Salvant
  • Best improvised jazz solo: “Miles Beyond,” John McLaughlin
  • Best jazz instrumental album: “Rebirth,” Billy Childs
  • Best large jazz ensemble album: “Bringin’ It,” Christian McBride Big Band
  • Best Latin jazz album: “Jazz Tango,” Pablo Ziegler Trio
  • Best gospel performance/song: “Never Have to be Alone,” CeCe Winans
  • Best contemporary Christian music performance/song: “What A Beautiful Name,” Hillsong Worship
  • Best gospel album — “Let Them Fall in Love,” CeCe Winans
  • Best contemporary Christian music album “Chain Breaker,” Zach Williams
  • Best roots gospel album: “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope,” Reba McEntire
  • Best Latin pop album: “El Dorado,” Shakira
  • Best Latin rock, urban or alternative album: “Residente,” Residente
  • Best regional Mexican music album (including Tejano): “Arriero Somos Versiones Acústicas,” Aida Cuevas
  • Best tropical Latin album: “Salsa Big Band,” Rubén Blades con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
  • Best American roots performance: “Killer Diller Blues,” Alabama Shakes
  • Best American roots song: “If We Were Vampires,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
  • Best Americana album: “The Nashville Sound,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
  • Best bluegrass album: “Laws of Gravity,” the Infamous Stringdusters
  • “All the Rage – In Concert Volume One (Live),” Rhonda Vincent and the Rage
  • Best traditional blues album: “Blue & Lonesome,” the Rolling Stones
  • Best contemporary blues album: “TajMo,” Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’
  • Best folk album: “Mental Illness,” Aimee Mann
  • Best regional roots music album: “Kalenda,” Lost Bayou Ramblers
  • Best reggae album: “Stony Hill,” Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley
  • Best world music album: “Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Best children’s album: “Feel What U Feel,” Lisa Loeb
  • Best spoken word album (includes poetry, audio books & storytelling): “The Princess Diarist,” Carrie Fisher
  • Best musical theater album: “Dear Evan Hansen,” original Broadway cast recording
  • Best compilation soundtrack for visual media: “La La Land,” various artists
  • Best score soundtrack for visual media — “La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
  • Best song written for visual media: “How Far I’ll Go,” Auli’i Cravalho
  • Best instrumental composition: “Three Revolutions,” Arturo O’Farrill & Chucho Valdés
  • Best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella: “Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra (from ‘Catch Me If You Can’),” John Williams
  • Best arrangement, instruments and vocals: “Putin,” Randy Newman
  • Best recording package: “Pure Comedy (Deluxe Edition),” Father John Misty
  • “El Orisha de la Rosa,” Magín Díaz
  • Best boxed or special limited edition package: “The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition,” various artists
  • Best album notes: “Live At the Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings,” Otis Redding
  • Best historical album: “Leonard Bernstein — The Composer,” Leonard Bernstein
  • Best engineered album, non-classical: “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars
  • Producer of the year, non-classical: Greg Kurstin
  • Best remixed recording: “You Move (Latroit Remix),” Depeche Mode
  • Best surround sound album: “Early Americans,” Jane Ira Bloom
  • Best engineered album, classical: “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio,” Manfred Honeck & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • Producer of the year, classical: David Frost
  • Best orchestral performance: “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio,” Manfred Honeck
  • Best opera recording: “Berg: Wozzeck,” Hans Graf, Roman Trekel & Anne Schwanewilms
  • Best choral performance: Bryars: The Fifth Century,” Donald Nally
  • Best classical instrumental solo: “Transcendental,” Daniil Trifonov
  • Best chamber music/small ensemble performance: “Death & the Maiden,” Patricia Kopatchinskaja & the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • Best classical solo vocal album: “Crazy Girl Crazy,” Barbara Hannigan
  • Best classical compendium: “Higdon: All Things Majestic, Viola Concerto & Oboe Concerto,” Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Best contemporary classical composition: “Viola Concerto,” Roberto Díaz, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony
  • Best music film: “The Defiant Ones,” various artists

Categories: Entertainment

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