The big question leading into Sunday night’s Grammy Awards: will hip-hop finally get its long overdue recognition with an Album of the Year win? Not quite, though R&B had an exceptionally strong showing on Sunday night.
Jay-Z, who was 2018’s most nominated artists, with eight, walked away empty-handed.
Bruno Mars won all seven awards that he was nominated for: Album and Record of the Year for “24K Magic” and Song of the Year for “That’s What I Like;” Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for “That’s What I Like.” “24K Magic” was also awarded Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) and Best R&B Album. Mars already claimed 11 Grammy Awards going into the night.
“Don’t cut me off Grammys, please,” said Mars from the stage while accepting the last award of the night. Recounting his early days as a young performer entertaining tourists in his native Hawaii, Mars name-checked writer-producers Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Teddy Riley as key influences.
Kendrick Lamar was the night’s second biggest winner, picking up five Grammys, starting with his first of the night for Best Music Video for “Humble,” which also won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Soon after, he won during the telecast for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna. “She gassed me on my own song,” said Lamar. “This really belongs to her.” Added Rihanna: “I’m honored. Congrats, you deserve this, man.”
Best Rap Album also went to Lamar. Speaking from the stage, the rapper accepted by showing his respect for artists who came before him including fellow nominee Jay-Z. “This is a special award,” said Lamar. “It showed me the true definition of what being an artist was” … that “it’s not about accolades, cars and clothes … it’s about the next generation. Jay-Z, Nas, Puff — they showed me the game through their lyrics up close and from afar.”
Alessia Cara won Best New Artist commenting that she had been practicing for a Grammy acceptance speech since childhood — in the shower. Speaking to reporters backstage following her win, Cara commented: “I didn’t expect this. None of this feels real. I probably won’t process this for another seven years.”
Cara was the only female artist awarded during the three-and-a-half hour broadcast.
(Excerpt) Read More in: Variety