The 2019 Grammys Recap

Hey, remember last year, when everyone complained that there were barely any women on the Grammy Awards, and that deserving hip-hop artists kept getting snubbed?

What a difference a year makes.  The 61st Annual Grammy Awards, held Sunday night in Los Angeles, were all about hip hop and women — and sometimes both.

Edgy country artist Kacey Musgraves was the night’s big winner, taking home four trophies, including the prestigious Album of the Year prize for Golden Hour.  She also won Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance.  In one of her many acceptance speeches, she thanked “all of the fans who have done nothing but spread positivity and love about this album…you really gave it wings.”

Meanwhile, Cardi B and Childish Gambino, the latter aka actor Donald Glover, made Grammy history with their wins. Childish Gambino’s politically charged #1 hit “This Is America” was named Record and Song of the Year — the first time a hip-hop track had ever won in those two categories.  “This Is America” also won for Best Rap/Sung performance, and its galvanizing video was named Best Music Video.  Gambino wasn’t on hand to accept his trophies.

Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy was named Best Rap Album, making her the only solo female to win in that category. The rapper was overcome by emotion at the podium, but still managed to joke, “The nerves are so bad, maybe I need to start smoking weed!”

Cardi then gave a memorable speech, specifically thanking her 7-month-old daughter, Kulture. She explained that wen she found out she was pregnant, it gave her the impetus she needed to finish her album and shoot the videos before she started showing. She also thanked her estranged husband, Offset, who was onstage with her, for encouraging her.

The night’s other big winners included Brandi Carlile, who won three trophies, and Lady Gaga, who also took home three: two for “Shallow” and one for her song “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)”  Accepting the award for Best Pop/Duo Group performance, a tearful Gaga thanked Bradley Cooper and her fans, and then spoke about the importance of mental health issues, especially in the music industry.

“If you see someone that’s hurting, don’t look away,” she said. “And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up into your head with you.”

Going into the show, host Alicia Keys said she felt that this year’s Grammys was “one billion percent” the year of the woman.  Indeed, in addition to Cardi, Kacey, Brandi and Gaga, nearly every other winner or performer of the night was female, from R&B stars H.E.R. and Janelle Monae, Latinx stars Jennifer Lopez and Camila Cabello, rock star St. Vincent, and pop stars Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa.  Even Michelle Obama put in an appearance.

Most of the star-studded Grammy “moments” were female-centric: There were tributes to Dolly Parton and Aretha Franklin, and Diana Ross took center stage to wish a happy 75th birthday to herself with a performance.  Even a Motown tribute was mostly performed by Jennifer Lopez.

Dua Lipa, who was named Best New Artist, even said in her acceptance speech, “I guess this year, we really stepped up.”  It was a not-so-subtle diss of Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, who last year was publicly slammed for suggesting that women in the music industry needed to “step up.”

Unfortunately, the biggest female pop star in the world right now, Ariana Grande, declined to attend after feuding with the producers.  Disappointing, considering that in ceremonies prior to the broadcast, she won her first Grammy: Best Pop Vocal Album, for Sweetener.

As for the men, there were performances by Post Malone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shawn Mendes and Travis Scott and, briefly, Smokey Robinson and Ne-Yo, but the most notable male appearance came from Drake, who normally avoids award shows like the plague.  He was on hand to accept his Grammy for Best Rap Song, for “God’s Plan,” and gave one of the most pointed speeches of the night.

Noting that awards are often decided by those who “might not understand” where hip-hop stars like him are coming from, the rapper continued, “You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word. If you’re a hero from your hometown. If there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows”

Gesturing to his Grammy, Drake added, “You don’t need this right here.  I promise you, you already won.”

Fans were furious that Drake’s speech was seemingly cut short by a commercial, but backstage, it was explained that he was given the opportunity to continue afterward, but declined, saying he’d made his point.

Here’s the complete list of winners in key categories for the 61st annual Grammy Awards, revealed Sunday night in ceremonies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Album of the Year
Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves

Record of the Year
“This Is America” — Childish Gambino

Song of the Year
“This Is America” — Childish Gambino

Best New Artist
Dua Lipa


Best Pop Solo Performance
“Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)” — Lady Gaga

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Shallow” — Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
My Way — Willie Nelson

Best Pop Vocal Album
Sweetener — Ariana Grande


Best Dance Recording
“Electricity” — Silk City & Dua Lipa Featuring Diplo & Mark Ronson

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Woman Worldwide — Justice


Best Rock Performance
“When Bad Does Good” — Chris Cornell

Best Metal Performance
“Electric Messiah” — High On Fire

Best Rock Song
“Masseduction” — Jack Antonoff & Annie Clark, songwriters (St. Vincent)

Best Rock Album
From the Fires — Greta Van Fleet


Best Alternative Music Album
Colors — Beck


Best R&B Performance
“Best Part” — H.E.R. Featuring Daniel Caesar

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” — Leon Bridges TIE
“How Deep Is Your Love” — PJ Morton Featuring Yebba TIE

Best R&B Song
“Boo’d Up” — Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Ella Mai)

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Everything Is Love — The Carters

Best R&B Album
H.E.R. — H.E.R.


Best Rap Performance
“King’s Dead” — Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake TIE
“Bubblin” — Anderson .Paak TIE

Best Rap/Sung Performance
“This Is America” — Childish Gambino

Best Rap Song
“God’s Plan” — Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake)

Best Rap Album
Invasion of Privacy — Cardi B


Best Country Solo Performance
“Butterflies” — Kacey Musgraves

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Tequila” — Dan + Shay

Best Country Song
“Space Cowboy” — Luke Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)

Best Country Album
Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves


Best Americana Album
By the Way, I Forgive You — Brandi Carlile

Best Bluegrass Album
The Travelin’ McCourys — The Travelin’ McCourys

Best Folk Album
All Ashore — Punch Brothers


Best Reggae Album
44/876 — Sting & Shaggy


Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Faith – A Journey for All — Jimmy Carter


Best Comedy Album
Equanimity & the Bird Revelation — Dave Chappelle


Best Music Video
“This Is America” — Childish Gambino, Hiro Murai, video director; Ibra Ake, Jason Cole & Fam Rothstein, video producers

Best Music Film
Quincy — Quincy Jones Alan Hicks & Rashida Jones, video directors; Paula DuPré Pesmen, video producer


Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
The Greatest Showman — (Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media 
Black Panther — Ludwig Göransson, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media
“Shallow” — Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper)

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