Retro R&B star Bruno Mars was the surprise big winner Sunday at the Grammy Awards, with a clean sweep of the top awards including Album, Record and Song of the Year, and six overall.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar took home five Grammys on a night that featured powerful #MeToo moments, especially from Kesha, who delivered a searing performance of her song Praying, about her struggles with former producer Dr Luke.
Mars won all of the awards for which he was nominated.
Ed Sheeran’s win sparks controversy
English pop songwriter Ed Sheeran, one of the most successful artists of the past year also won his third and fourth Grammys, both outside the major categories.
Sheeran won Best Pop Vocal Album for Divide and Best Pop Solo Performance for the album’s single Shape of You, a minimalist dance number about finding love in a bar.
He beat out fellow chart-toppers including pop superstar Lady Gaga, who was in the running for both awards.
Sheeran, 26, had been a favourite leading up to the nominations for the Grammys in light of his past recognition at the awards and his commercial success, including his status as last year’s most streamed artist on Spotify.
Sheeran was not present to pick up the awards.
However, the internet was done with the Grammys after Ed Sheeran’s win and the singer received a lot of flak for getting the award.
One Twitter user wrote, “That trophy was Kesha Rose’s for so many reasons — it’s a vocal performance award and she sang her damn heart out and dog whistled for the Gods and you give it to that LOW-KEY ELEVATOR MUSIC NONSENSE?!”
That trophy was @KeshaRose’s for so many reasons — it’s a vocal performance award and she sang her damn heart out and dog whistled for the Gods and you give it to that LOW-KEY ELEVATOR MUSIC NONSENSE?!
— Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) January 29, 2018
Another wrote, “So Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You just won against Kesha’s Praying, a song about her victory over sexual assault if that doesn’t sum up the #Grammys what does?”
so ed sheerans shape of you just won against keshas praying, a song about her victory over sexual assault, if that doesn’t sum up the #grammys what does
— al (@electraslust) January 29, 2018
“Love when four women are nominated in a category and the only man takes it home esp when that man is Ed Sheeran #Grammys.”
love when four women are nominated in a category and the only man takes it home esp when that man is ed sheeran #Grammys
— Jessica Goldstein (@jessicagolds) January 29, 2018
More than 13,000 music professionals in the Recording Academy voted to determine the winners of the Grammys, which were handed out in New York at Madison Square Garden for the first time in 15 years.
The attendants of the awards show wore white roses as a sign of solidarity with the Time’s Up movement, spreading from Hollywood to the music industry.
Lady Gaga, nominated for best pop vocal album for Joanne showed up in a Goth-inspired Armani gown in midnight black with a high Victorian collar, sparkling lace and a voluminous train. Perched high on her shoulder was a demure nosegay of white rosebuds.
Kelly Clarkson held a long-stemmed rose in her hand as she chatted on the carpet, it’s white contrasting with her black gown which included elaborate gold embroidered sleeves.
The rose, Clarkson said, “represents hope and peace and sympathy and peace, and I thought those are very lovely things for any human being to encompass.”
The roses were not just for the women. Nominee Khalid wore a white rose on a cool white jacket worn over a turtleneck in chartreuse, while Sam Smith’s flower contrasted with his emerald green suit.
Performances from Bruno Mars and Cardi B, Kesha, and Kendrick Lamar were just some of the evening’s highlights, along with an appearance by U2 on a floating stage on the Hudson River.
Jay Z led this year’s nominations with a grand total of eight including album, song and record of the year but failed to pick up any of the major prizes. However, he was given the Founder’s Award at Clive Davis’ bash the night before.
Here is a list of winners in key categories:
Album of the Year: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
Record of the Year (for overall performance of a song): Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
Song of the Year (for songwriting): Bruno Mars along with songwriters Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy and Philip Lawrence and production team The Stereotypes, That’s What I Like
Best New Artist: Alessia Cara
Best Pop Vocal Album: Ed Sheeran, Divide
Best Pop Solo Performance: Ed Sheeran, Shape of You
Best Rap Album: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN
Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar, HUMBLE
Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar, HUMBLE
Best Rap/Sung Performance: Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna, LOYALTY
Best R&B Album: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
Best R&B Song: Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
Best R&B Performance: Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
Best Rock Album: The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding
Best Rock Performance: Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Best Alternative Music Album: The National – Sleep Well Beast
Best World Music Album: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration
Best Dance/Electronic Album: Kraftwer – 3-D The Catalogue
Best Music Video: Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE
Best Country Album: Chris Stapleton – From a Room, Volume 1