The 59th Grammy Awards kicked off with Adele's Hello, and the evening ended up being very much owned by the UK star, who picked up five awards, including three in the biggest categories.
Adele scooped Song Of The Year for Hello (Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin), Record Of The Year for Hello and Album Of The Year for 25 (out in the US on XL/Columbia Records). This is a feat she already experienced with 21 and she becomes the first artist to win all three categories twice. She also won this year in the categories Best Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Meanwhile, the heavily pregnant Beyoncé was crowned the Queen of the evening with a superlative performance, a tribute to motherhood, but left with only Best Urban Contemporary Album (Lemonade) and Best Video.
An emotional Adele noted the imbalance in her final acceptance speech by stating that Lemonade was “a monumental album.” A few minutes before, accepting her Record Of The Year award, Adele told Beyoncé: “"My artist of my life is Beyoncé. I adore you. I want you to be my mommy.”
There was no wardrobe malfunction at the Grammys but a slight vocal malfunction. Halfway through her tribute to George Michael, Adele stopped her performance of Fastlove and asked to start all over again. “I'm sorry for starting again,” she said. “I'm sorry, I can't mess this up for him." The second time was the right one and it got her a standing ovation.
The ceremony is broken into two parts, the Grammys Premiere, where some 70 awards were handed out and streamed online, and the main event, broadcast on the CBS network, during which nine awards were given. The show featured a total of 19 performances, covering genres from R&B to pop to metal to hip-hip to country.
Among the big winners of the evening was David Bowie, who posthumously received an acknowledgment from the Recording Academy that he never achieved in his lifetime, with awards in the main categories including Best Rock Song (Blackstar) and Best Alternative Album (Blackstar, out on ISO/Columbia), among his five awards. Overall, it was mostly a Sony Music evening, with wins from Beyoncé, Adele and David Bowie.
The evening was hosted by British comedian James Corden, who seemed at ease with his role, even performing an impromptu Carpool Karaoke with Neil Diamond, John Legend, Keith Urban and a few others singing Diamond's Sweet Caroline. One of the funniest moments of the show belonged to Twenty One Pilots, who dropped their pants before walking on stage to take their awards. They explained that a while ago, they were watching the Grammys at home with friends and realised they were all in underpants, so they vowed to pick up a Grammy with their underpants if they ever won a Grammy. “Anyone watching at home, you could be next,” they warned. Lo and behold, Corden introduced the following sequence in his underpants.
The awards saw the rise of Chance The Rapper as one of the most influential new talents. The rapper picked up gongs for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance (No Problem) beating the likes of Drake and Kanye West. Drake was among the biggest stars to miss out in some of the biggest categories, only taking the award for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song (both for Hotline Bling) as were Justin Bieber and Rihanna, who left empty handed.
The evening saw some particularly strong performances from the likes of The Weeknd with Daft Punk, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Skip Marley, Lady Gaga and Metallica and A Tribe Called Quest with Anderson .Paak.
Lady Gaga showcased her versatility as performer when, one week after he winning performance during Super Bowl halftime, she joining forces with Metallica and sounded as if she had been part of the band from the start, enjoying stage diving and crowdsurfing. Who else can move with such ease from Tony Bennett to Metallica?
Politics were not absent from the evenings' celebration with several artists like Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and A Tribe Called Quest making references to the new political era started with the election of Donald Trump, described by A Tribe Called Quest as “President Agent Orange, for perpetuating all the evil that you’re perpetuating”.
Neil Portnow, the CEO of the Recording Academy that puts together the Grammys, made a plea for more inclusion. “We are constantly reminded of the things that divide us, but what we need so desperately are more reminders of all that binds us,” he said. “It is our collective responsibility to preserve what binds us, and to ensure that the whole world continues to benefit from one of our most unique economically and spiritually important assets and exports: American music.”
Portnow also called on the new administration and Congress to support creators by updating outdated laws, protecting music education and renewing America's commitment to the arts.
The Grammy winners in the main categories:
Album Of The Year: 25 – Adele (XL/Columbia Records)
Record Of The Year: Hello – Adele (XL/Columbia Records)
Song of The Year: Hello (Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin) (XL/Columbia Records)
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Beyoncé – Lemonade (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)
Best Rap Album: Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book (Chance The Rapper)
Best New Artist: Chance The Rapper (Chance The Rapper)
Best Country Solo Performance: Maren Morris
Best Pop Duo Performance: Twenty One Pilots - Stressed Out (Fueled By Ramen)
Best Rock Song: Blackstar by David Bowie (ISO/Columbia Records)
Best Pop Solo Performance: Adele - Hello (XL/Columbia Records)
Best Pop Vocal Album: Adele - 25 (XL/Columbia Records)
Best Dance/Electronic Album: Flume - Skin (Mom+Pop)
Best Rock Performance: David Bowie - Blackstar (ISO/Columbia Records)
Best Rock Album: Cage The Elephant - Tell Me I'm Pretty (RCA)
Best Alternative Music Album: David Bowie - Blackstar (ISO/Columbia Records)
Best R&B Performance: Solange - Cranes In The Sky (Saint Records/Columbia Records)
Best Rap Performance: Chance The Rapper - No Problem (Chance The Rapper)
Best Rap/Sung Performance: Drake - Hotline Bling (Cash Money Records/Republic Records)
Best Rap Song: Drake - Hotline Bling (Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies) (Cash Money Records/Republic Records)
Best Americana Album: William Bell - This Is Where I Live (Stax)
Here's a list of the various Grammy performances:
Adele - Hello
The Weeknd with Daft Punk - Starboy/I Feel It
Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood – The Fighter Ed Sheeran - Shape Of You
Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham – Seven Years/Peter Pan
Beyoncé – Love Drought/Sandcastles
Carpool Karaoke: James Corden with Neil Diamond, John Legend, Keith Urban - Sweet Caroline
Bruno Mars: That's What I like
Katy Perry & Skip Marley - Chained To The Rhythm
William Bell & Gary Clark Junior – Born Under A Bad Sign
Maren Morris and Alicia Keys – Once
Tribute to George Michael: Adele – Fastlove
Lady Gaga & Metallica – Moth Into Flame
Sturgill Simpson & The Dap-Kings – All Around You
Tribute to the Bee Gees for the 40th Anniversary of Saturday Night Fever: Demi Lovato (Stayin' Alive), Tori Kelly (Tragedy), Little Big Town (How Deep Is Your Love), Andra Day (Night Fever).
Anderson .Paak & A Tribe Called Quest – Moving Backwards/We The People (feat. Busta Rhymes)
Tribute to Prince: Morris Day & The Time – Jungle Love/The Bird; Let's Go Crazy (Feat. Bruno Mars)
Pentatonix - ABC
Chance The Rapper, Kirk Franklin & Tamela Mann – How Great/All We Got
John Legend & Cynthia Erivo – God Only Knows