Grammy awards: A night of epic tributes and electric performances

Bruno Mars takes home 3 Grammys

The 58th annual Grammy Awards, recognizing and celebrating outstanding achievements in the music industry, was a big night for artists including Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, and Bruno Mars.

At the Premiere Grammy Awards Ceremony, most of the 83 awards in various categories were handed out. Only eight awards were presented live on CBS, along with a string of memorable performances that included Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Adele, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Jack Ü (Diplo and Skrillex), and many more. A performance by Rihanna was cancelled at the last minute due to bronchitis.

Taylor Swift took home prestigious album of the year award for “1989,” during the live ceremony on Monday night, held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. It was her third Grammy win of the day. (She also took home Best Pop Vocal Album for “1989” and Best Music Video for “Bad Blood,” featuring Kendrick Lamar.)

“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,” Swift said in her acceptance speech, which some believe is a response to rapper Kanye West’s lyrics about her in his new single, “Famous.”

“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’ll know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there,” she added, “and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”

28-year-old rapper Lamar, who earned a record of 11 nominations, received his fifth Grammy of the day for best rap album for his acclaimed “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

“First off, glory to God, that’s for sure,” said Lamar, who also thanked family and those who worked on the album. He added, “This is for hip-hop.”

Compton-based Lamar had one of the most powerful and talked-about performances of the night, with onstage images of jail cells, a giant fire and tribal dances, and the word “Compton” superimposed over an image of the African continent. The rapper emerged in chains to perform a medley of his songs “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright,” from his award-winning album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

It was also a night of music’s biggest tributes. Lady Gaga paid an eclectic tribute to the late David Bowie; Stevie Wonder sang “That’s the Way of the World” with Pentatonix in honor of Earth, Wind and Fire’s Maurice White; Bonnie Raitt, Gary Clark Jr. and Chris Stapleton came out to honor R&B pioneers Ruth Brown and B.B. King, and Jackson Browne and the remaining members of The Eagles sang “Take It Easy” for Glenn Frey, who died on Jan. 18. Luke Bryan, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Tyrese and Meghan Trainor also performed a medley of Lionel Richie’s hits, later joined by the singer himself.

The Hollywood Vampires–which includes Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry–also made their fiery television debut, introduced by Dave Grohl. The group paid homage to the leader of Motorhead, late singer-songwriter Lemmy Kilmister.

Breakout performances included a pop duet by country singers Sam Hunt and Carrie Underwood, as well as a riveting mashup of “Hollow / Let It Go” by newcomer artists Tori Kelly and James Bay.

Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton was awarded best country album of the year win for “Traveller,” while Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking out Loud” was named Song of the Year. The British artist also received his first Grammy ever for best solo pop performance. Rock quartet Alabama Shakes won the best rock performance with “Don’t Wanna Fight,” which was also named best rock song of the year, and the group won best alternative music album for “Sound & Color.”

The cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton” performed the hip-hop musical’s opening number, which was broadcasted live from the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City. “Hamilton” also took home Best Musical Theater Album.

Adele, whose new record “25” will make next year’s Grammy’s cut, had a rare weak performance when the sound cut out during her live rendition of “All I Ask.” “The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Sh*t happens,” Adele tweeted later, brushing off the unavoidable technical difficulties.

Filipino-American singer Bruno Mars took home three Grammys, including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Remixed Recording (Non-Classical), and Record of the Year for his funky hit with producer Mark Ronson, “Uptown Funk.” The prestigious accolade, presented at the end of the night by fellow Super Bowl performer Beyoncé, is Mars’ fourth Grammy Award.

“This is dedicated to the fans right here. We wouldn’t be here it weren’t for the people dancing in this song,” Mars said in his speech. “This is for ya’ll.”

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