Kacey Musgraves (speaking during microphone) won a Grammy for Best Album of a Year for Golden Hour.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
On Sunday night, a 61st Grammy Awards telecast did a best to change several mandate — creation justification to an whole gender, widening a palette of winners and honorees and doing a best to endowment those who are inspiring a mainstream now, not 5 years ago. Within a slight lens of primary time awards shows, it seemed to make some swell on any count, yet flapping too distant from a comfort zone.
Kacey Musgraves won a night’s tip honor, Album of a Year — her fourth esteem of a dusk — for Golden Hour (which also won Country Album of Year). Childish Gambino won Record and Song of a Year for his momentous “This Is America” (which also won Best Music Video) yet did not attend a ceremony.
Other vital awards were given to Cardi B, who perceived a esteem for Best Rap Album for her entrance solo bid Invasion of Privacy and Dua Lipa, who seconds after behaving alongside St. Vincent was named Best New Artist (and pointedly celebrated that women must’ve unequivocally stepped adult over a final year). Drake astounded everybody by display adult to accept a gramophone for Best Rap Song. (You can find a finish list of winners here.)
Leading adult to Sunday night’s show, a Grammys and a primogenitor classification a Recording Academy went by a sincerely awful year, traffic with a fallout from effusive boss Neil Portnow’s tone-deaf criticism after final year’s uncover that women in song should “step up” if they wish recognition. That blunder, in a midst of a #MeToo movement, assimilated with a documented miss of awards and nominations for women and a persistent, probable accusations of informative myopia after years of unwell to endowment some of music’s many forward-looking artists (Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar arch among them in new years) set expectations for that a 2019 awards would need to do some critical soul-searching.
Alicia Keys, a third lady of tone to horde a rite (after Whoopi Goldberg in 1992 and Queen Latifah in 2005), was somehow able, early on, to lift off observant “I have been super sanctified to win 15 Grammys” yet being alienating in any way. Her glamour and lax certainty were infectious, and did a lot of a complicated lifting via a show’s whole run time. (She wasn’t fibbing when she said, during her opening speech: “I got you.” She did.) And, as if to expostulate a interest by a heart of this temperament crisis, Keys was assimilated for a tail-end of her rudimentary debate by former First Lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
For this year’s awards, a Academy increasing a series of nominees in any of a 4 categorical categories (Song, Album and Record of a year, and Best New Artist) from 5 to eight. In a Best Album category, there was some conjecture that Brandi Carlile’s assignment for By The Way, we Forgive You — Carlile took home 3 genre trophies as a satisfaction — competence means a opinion separate between a twin roots-rooted artists. But for a Academy’s voters, Musgraves’ particular work towering her above some challenging competition, including a Kendrick Lamar-curated Black Panther: The Album, Janelle Monáe’s idealist Dirty Computer and Cardi B’s dermatitis Invasion of Privacy.
Keys was one of a night’s some-more important performers, too, personification twin pianos while slaying a miscellany of songs she “wished [she] had written” –including “Killing Me Softly,” Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable,” a bit of Coldplay’s “Clocks” and Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing),” among others — as absolutely as a loll thespian during a unchanging Thursday-evening gig, as a prolongation staff used that time for a theatre reset.
Other important performances enclosed a reverence to Dolly Parton, that prominently featured Parton herself, accompanied by Musgraves, Parton’s goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Maren Morris. Dua Lipa and St. Vincent seemed to honestly suffer one another during a mash-up of St. Vincent’s “Masseduction” and Lipa’s “One Kiss.” Cardi B’s lip-synch was off-synch, yet she still managed to broach a compelling, flapper-checking opening of “Money.” Janelle Monae channeled both Prince and Michael Jackson in an early-show standout of “Make Me Feel,” Lady Gaga brought a scarcely nonessential volume of appetite to her inescapably meta strike “Shallow.” Meanwhile, a reverence to a dearly over Aretha Franklin — from Andra Day, Fantasia and Yolanda Adams — was simply a night’s outspoken high-water mark. (A tighten second, though, for Brandi Carlile’s opening of “The Joke.”)
The uncover was, as always, very prolonged — scarcely 4 hours. That’s in no tiny partial since there are over a dozen blurb breaks, that are as contemplative of a stream impulse as all that happens during a tangible show. We had Childish Gambino as an computer-generated avatar, reprising his “This Is America” dance moves in an announcement for a new Google thingamabob. Not to be outdone, Ariana Grande stumped during a blurb mangle for Apple and their animoji thingamajigs. Camila Cabello also seemed in a MasterCard blurb not prolonged after her opening performance. Let’s not even get into that ASMR video that Zoe Kravitz did for a light beer, or Will Smith as The Genie in Disney’s stirring live-action Aladdin. After all, artists have to make income somehow.
Neil Portnow, a besieged and effusive boss and CEO of a Recording Academy, was candid in his final debate from a Grammys stage: “We contingency seize this singular impulse to move change within a possess singular attention to make certain there is farrago and inclusion in all that we do — and we will.”
The try was tangible — 6 of a 9 awards given during a telecast went to women. But with some of a night’s biggest winners and a mainstream’s biggest stars not in a building, including Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, The Carters and Kanye West, a Recording Academy might have dug itself a deeper hole than it realizes. Many approaching that Drake would be among that number, yet he showed adult to collect his singular award, usually to take approach aim during a Grammys’ relevance. During his acceptance speech, he told immature artists, gesturing to his new trophy, “You don’t need this right here.”