Bruno Mars pulled off a clean sweep of album, record and song of the year categories at the 2018 Grammy awards on Sunday night, upsetting odds-favourites Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z to take home the evening’s three most prestigious awards.
In evaluating how mad you or anyone else should be about Kendrick and Jay-Z losing in the album, song, and record of the year categories, it’s necesary to remember that for at least the last two decades, the history of music has been written not in accordance with the Grammys but in opposition to them.
Despite the drop, the Grammy telecast that handed big wins to hitmaker Bruno Mars still gathered a big crowd that will rank among TV’s most-watched events of the year. But what’s so interesting is that in trying to avoid controversy by crowning an album like DAMN. or a song like “The Story of O.J.” the committee actually engendered more controversy by going with Bruno Mars in every instance. He has a career total of 12 Grammys. Kendrick Lamar also had a night, adding five awards to his Grammys collection. Lady Gaga paid tributes to her aunt Joanne with her eponymous song, throwing in the words “Time’s Up” in her act.
When it came to the actual award show last night, of course, the Grammys are going to Grammy-which they did so in almost every category.
The Grammys were held in New York City for the first time in 15 years and aired earlier than usual thanks to the East Coast locale.
Inside the auditorium, the acceptance speeches largely avoided the issue until the show reached its midpoint and Janelle Monae stepped up to demand safe working environments, an end to harassment and equal pay for women.
“We already know what it is”, he said. “It’s right here in our industry, too”.
The show also featured a somber performance of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” by country artists Maren, Eric Church and the Osborne Brothers. The names of victims were displayed behind them as they performed. Mars was the win that ensured he’d keep his massive world tours, his Super Bowl appearances, his music empire alive-all of which would continue to support the industry at large.
Best New Artist: Why is there confusion over that one?
– Best RB song: “That’s What I Like”, Bruno Mars. “Are we gonna keep talking about it or are we gonna take action?”
Another multiple victor was maverick singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, who dominated the country field, winning three: country album for “From a Room, Vol. 1”, country song for “Broken Halos” and solo performance for the song “Either Way”.
It was the only category the singer was nominated for and she was the only nominee reportedly not offered a solo performance at the ceremony. Lamar’s opening performance was a powerful moment of black outrage. Sting sang a 30-year-old hit and the majority of rock’s references were about artists who had died like Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Tom Petty. Some of the Grammy-winners have upcoming shows here.
She was a surprise guest in a skit by host James Corden, supposedly auditioning for the spoken word recording of Michael Wolff’s best-seller on President Donald Trump’s administration, “Fire and Fury”. But the best comedy album Grammy was (to Dave Chappelle who played a four-night stand at the Rococo Theatre in 2014).
“That’s the one”, Corden said in the video after Clinton, a 1997 spoken word Grammy victor, spoke.