That’s a wrap. It wasn’t an unforgettable Grammys, and the hopeful Australians went unrewarded but it had some memorable and contentious moments: Kendrick Lamar was a powerhouse in Alright, but Adele sounded flat as a pancake, Skrillex and The Bieb rocked out, Lady Gaga looked great but did she try to squeeze in too many songs in her David Bowie tribute? Taylor Swift’s best album acceptance speech: was she angry at Kanye West or even a bit ungracious?
As for the prizes, Kendrick Lamar took home five Grammys and Ed Sheeran bagged two of the major awards: Song of the year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
Album of the Year: 1989, Taylor Swift
Song of the Year: Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
Record of the Year: Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
Best New Artist: Meghan Trainor
Best Pop Solo Performance: Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
Latino superstar Pitbull, accompanied by Robin Thicke, closes out the show. How did it come to this you might ask. An underwhelming way to end the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Beyonce presenting the award for Record of the Year
Record of the Year
Really Love, D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
Blank Space, Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face, The Weeknd
Winner: Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
Well that was odd, Bruno Mars started yelling out “come on Beyonce Let’s do it” before she announced the win.
The next award is a biggie, Album of the Year. The remaining original members of Earth, Wind and Fire are presenting.
Album of the Year
Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes
To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
Traveller, Chris Stapleton
1989, Taylor Swift
Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd
Winner: 1989, Taylor Swift
Her winner’s speech seems to be one giant slapdown directed at Mr Kanye West, who only days ago released a song claiming “I made that bitch famous”.
“There will be people take credit for you success, your accompishments or your fame [when they do] you will know it was you and the people who love you who put you there,” Swift said.
Dave Grohl is on stage paying tribute to Lemmy from Motorhead. ‘Many people play rock and roll but very few people are rock and roll. Lemmy Kilmister was rock and roll,” Grohl says.
Next up, The Hollywood Vampires, Johnny Depp’s band – also featuring a blood-splattered Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Duff McKagan.
Depp is much more convincing here than he was in Secret Window, what a terrible film that was.
The Vampires close it out with a rollicking Ace of Spades.
Alabama Shakes, led by the imposing looking Brittany Howard, take the stage to play Don’t Wanna Fight. Alabama Shakes have already won three Grammys today.
The wonderful Bonnie Raitt is on stage announcing Ruth Brown as a lifetime award winner, then honouring the late BB King. Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark jr team up for a music tribute to BB. Stapleton, who has won two Grammys aleady today, growls his way through Thrill Is Gone.
Bonnie climbs up to join them and suddenly it feels like we’re at Bluesfest. How good is this?
Is it just me or have most of the strong moments this year included guitars? Even Skrillex was playing one earlier.
RIP BB King.
Here we go, Lady Gaga is up paying tribute to David Bowie. Incredible computer graphics spill across her face – let’s call it digital make-up – as she starts with Space Oddity, then Changes, Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, so many hits. She’s wearing a white military jumpsuit and flame orange hair and is joined by Nile Rodgers for Let’s Dance, then Heroes.
Although it has to be said Gaga didn’t stick long with any one song – maybe 10 seconds of each – that was the only ‘you gotta watch this’ moment of the Grammys so far.
Sam Smith, who won four Grammys last year, is on stage to present the prize for Best new artist. Courtney Barnett is an outsider but here’s hoping.
Best New Artist
Winner: Meghan Trainor
“I’m a mess,” Trainor sobs. Then sobs some more before thanking “my mom and dad for always believing in me.” Courtney probably wouldn’t have done that.
Here comes The Bieb, acoustic on Love Yourself to start with, then accompanied by Skrillex and Diplo. He’s wearing his cap backwards in the manner of early Leyton Hewitt. I can’t recall Leyton ever rocking a leopard-skin print bomber jacket though so that’s wear the comparison ends.
He’s moved from tiny circular acoustic stage to join Diplo and Skrillex, who is bouncing around the stage playing guitar in front of a glaring golden backdrop. One of the most exciting sets of the night.
The dapper Bruno Mars (could his teeth get any whiter?) introduces one Adele Adkins, who sings All I Ask, accompanied only by grand piano.
What’s that I hear? In amongst plenty of jaw-dropping ones a flat note or three. Of course, few people are brave enough to rely on the power of their voice alone. It seems this time Adele had a rare off night.
Miguel announces the nominees for best rock performance category.
Best Rock Performance
Don’t Wanna Fight, Alabama Shakes
What Kind of Man, Florence & The Machine
Something From Nothing, Foo Fighters
Ex’s & Oh’s, Elle King
Moaning Lisa Smile, Wolf Alice
Winner: Don’t Wanna Fight, Alabama Shakes
More on Rihanna’s sudden cancellation. She was supposed to sing Kiss Me Better but cancelled on doctor’s orders.
According to a rep for Rihanna, who spoke to Mashable.com:”Rihanna’s doctor put her on vocal rest for 48-hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal chords. The antibiotics she has been on for 3-days did not kill the infection adequately; therefore, she cannot perform safely.”
Should be some terrific moments to come in the second half of the 2016 Grammys though: Lady Gaga’s David Bowie tribute could be one for the ages while Kendrick Lamar is expected to make a big statement.
And speaking of Lamar, who scored 11 nominations this year, here he is performing Alright. It’s confronting, provocative material but Lamar takes it to the next level with a pointed stage setting which began with Lamar chained and handcuffed and ended with him singing in front of what looked like a giant bonfire on stage.
Stephen Colbert is now telling us all about the hit Broadway musical Hamilton and the cast show us what it’s all about. Emerging hip hop talent in the 18th century judging by the outfits.
Not sure who planned this but in the middle of a Grammys show that has failed to really grab the audience as yet, a performance by unknowns from a period musical is somewhat jarring. Can you hear the sound of thousands of remotes changing channels?
Anna Kendrick introduces another duo Tory Kelly and James Bay, who huddle together under a spotlight, each strapped to their acoustic guitars. First up they play a rather magical Let It Go, before Kelly’s voice delivers another goosebumpy moment on Hollow. Who said guitars were dead?
News filtering in that Rihanna, who did not walk the red carpet, is ill and has cancelled her Grammys performance.
There’s another tribute yet to come: Lady Gaga’s performance honouring David Bowie.
Jackson Browne stands in to front the Eagles for their tribute to the late Glenn Frey, their first big song Take It Easy. Disappointingly it’s falling a tad flat. Browne was friends with the Eagles from their earliest days under manager David Geffen. This will be an emotional moment for all of them.
Award time and the biggest so far, Song of the year which is all about the songwriter rather than the production team. That is acknowledged with the Record of the Year category.
Song of the Year
Alright, Kendrick Lamar
(Kendrick Duckworth, Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams)
Blank Space, Taylor Swift
(Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift)
Girl Crush, Little Big Town
(Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose)
See You Again, Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
(Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz)
Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
(Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge)
Winner: Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
Ed takes the co-writer Amy Wadge up on stage and she looks overwhelmed. Nice moment.
Stevie Wonder introduces a vocal tribute to late Earth, Wind and Fire founder Maurice White with a small group of unknown young singers. Stevie takes the lead vocal well because he’s Stevie Wonder. Joyous.
Ryan Seacrest is on stage to announce the Music Educator Award (aka the Normie Prize) to Mr Phillip Riggs. Who? That’s the idea. Onya Phil! Now Little Big Town take the stage for a respectable rendition of their mildly controversial song Girl Crush. May not make the highlight reel sorry folks.
Lionel gets up on stage to show em how its done, with the much-loved All Night Long and everyone is on their feet, even Dave Grohl. Especially Dave Grohl.
Time for a crowd-pleaser. How about a tribute to the Grammy’s MusiCares Person of the Year, Lionel Richie. John Legend starts on Easy, then Demi Lovato powers into a melodramatic Hello. Country star Luke Bryan is somewhat less convincing Penny Lover. Meghan Trainor tackles You Are The Sun as though it’s the first time she’s heard of it. Cut to Lionel Richie in the crowd trying to look pumped.
High praise for Kendrick Lamar from Team POTUS, in the form of an official tweet from The White House singling him out with the hashtag #mybrotherskeeper.
Time for another award and a big one.
Best Country Album
Montevallo, Sam Hunt
Pain Killer, Little Big Town
The Blade, Ashley Monroe
Pageant Material, Kacey Musgraves
Traveller, Chris Stapleton
Winner: Traveller, Chris Stapleton
Selena Gomez introduces a performance from Ellie Goulding and best R&b song nominee Andra Day. Day produces the show’s first real goosebumpy moment with a snippet of her song ‘Rise Up’. They combine on Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do and then return to Day’s powerful Rise Up. Just made a mental note to drop that song on a playlist later.
Ariana Grande looks a tad smitten awkwardly introducing The Weeknd with a medley, including I Can’t Feel My Face and In The Night. Anyone who doubts the talent in today’s pop star pool should look him up. The 25 year old Canadian – real name Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye – has a captivating voice.
Carrie Underwood and the ex-college footballer Sam Hunt send the crowd all quiet for the first duet. Early frontrunner for hottest duo? Anyone remember the song though? “Something something, dancing to the beat of your heart something something.”
He’s still in the running for best new artist and best country album but she missed out in the best solo country category, to Chris Stapleton’s terrific Traveller.
Here’s Ice Cube and his son O’shea to introduce the first award, best rap album.
Best Rap Album
2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole
Compton, Dr Dre
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake
To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
The Pinkprint, Nicki Minaj
Winner: To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
Here’s LL Cool J, reminding everyone this is a celebration of music’s biggest night. He crosses to Stephen Colbert for a big fat plug for the hip hop Broadway musical Hamilton. The show cast will also perform.
Before we really get underway, here’s a full list of winners so far (yes, before the main ceremony has even started) at the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern
Best Pop Solo Performance: Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud”
Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Kendrick Lamar feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat, “These Walls”
Best Alternative Music Album: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Best Rock Album: Muse, Drones
Best Rock Song: Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”
Best R&B Album: D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah
Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness
Best R&B Performance: The Weeknd, “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)”
Best R&B Song: D’Angelo and The Vanguard, “Really Love”
Best Traditional R&B Performance: Lalah Hathaway, “Little Ghetto Boy”
Best Dance/Electronic Album: Skrillex and Diplo, Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü
Best Dance Recording: Skrillex and Diplo With Justin Bieber, “Where Are Ü Now”
Best Music Video: Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Little Big Town, “Girl Crush”
Best Country Song: Little Big Town, “Girl Crush”
Best Music Film: Amy Winehouse, Amy
Best Rap/Song Collaboration: Common & John Legend, “Glory”
Best Pop Vocal Album: Taylor Swift, 1989
Best Country Solo Performance: Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Tobymac, This Is Not a Test
Best Roots Gospel Album: The Fairfield Four, Still Rockin’ My Soul
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album: Pitbull, Dale
Best Latin Pop Album: Ricky Martin, A Quien Quiera Escuchar (Deluxe Edition)
Best Comedy Album: Louis C.K., Live at Madison Square Garden
Best Spoken Word Album: Jimmy Carter, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety
Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: Birdman
Best Gospel Album: Israel & Newbreed, Covered: Alive Is Asia [Live] (Deluxe)
Best Gospel Performance/Song: Kirk Franklin, “Wanna Be Happy?”
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: Francesca Battistelli, “Holy Spirit”
Best Contemporary Classical Composition: Stephen Paulus, Paulus: Prayers & Remembrances
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano, Joyce & Tony – Live From Wigmore Hall
Best Classical Instrumental Solo: Augustin Hadelich, “Dutilleux: Violin Concerto, L’Arbre Des Songes”
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Eighth Blackbird, “Filament”
Best Choral Performance: Charles Bruffy, “Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil”
Hiatus Kaiyote are one of the Australian nominees. They’re up for Best R&B Performance for Breathing Underwater.
Taylor Swift opens proceedings with a polished, confident Out of the Woods, wearing a sparkly black bodysuit and rocking a hairdo that many are whispering make her look more than a bit like Anna Wintour. She nailed it live too, clearly in good form after her epic world tour.
There will also be performances from among others Adele, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, James Bay with Tori Kelly, Justin Bieber with Diplo and Skrillex and Alabama Shakes.
Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry (Aerosmith) are also playing as part of a band called The Hollywood Vampires.
Today’s Grammys has as good a line-up of performers as we’ve seen in recent memory. Lady Gaga will do a tribute to the late great David Bowie which is certain to demand attention and will be picked apart around the world after the fact. We’ll also see a tribute to the late Glenn Frey from the remaining Eagles and Jackson Browne.
LL Cool J has already hinted in a pre-show interview with thewrap.com that Lamar is out to make a statement when he performs: “Kendrick Lamar is going to do something very controversial,” LL Cool J said. “And that’s what art is about. It’s not about whether you agree or disagree, it’s about it stimulating conversation and provoking people to have conversations about society.”
Kendrick has already won four awards tonight, two of them on his own: best rap song and rap performance (both for Alright), plus best rap collaboration for These Walls, with Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat.
He also featured on Taylor Swift’s win for Best Music Video, with Bad Blood. She also won for best pop vocal album, of course for 1989. So the score is Kendrick 4 Taylor 2.
Who’s sitting where in the Staples Centre? Host LL Cool J has posted this glimpse of the seating arrangements.
In terms of predictions, today’s big winners across the whole show are expected to be Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift who made albums about as different as humanly possible. The Swizzler made an art form of pop with 1989, easily the biggest album of 2016 while Kendrick made a brilliant rap concept album, To Pimp A Butterfly. The Best album winner should come from these two records.
Lamar has 11 nominations, while Swift and the Weeknd have seven each.
Taylor Swift and pal Selena Gomez are already celebrating after Swift’s win for Best Music Video for Bad Blood, featuring Kendrick Lamar.
With the fabulous frocks out of the way, it’s time for the main ceremony of the 58th Grammy Awards for 2016, which begins shortly in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. I’ll be guiding you through today’s winners, losers, shock upsets, big letdowns and the moments that made you go ‘meh, whatever’. The ultra smooth veteran rapper LL Cool J will be the Grammys host for the fifth year in a row.
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