A year after the Grammy Awards were criticised for its track record in gender representation, women took centrestage at the 61st edition of the annual gala in Los Angeles on Sunday night. There were bold performances and wins in many top categories, including the album of the year that was given to Kacey Musgraves for Golden Hour.
Musgraves took home three other prizes, apart from album of the year, in the country field. The ceremony saw Falguni Shah and Prashant Mistry of Indian origin losing in two separate categories, while Grammy and Oscar-winning Indian musician A.R. Rahman enjoyed the show as an audience member. Dua Lipa, a 23-year-old British singer, won the award for the best new artist.
Hip hop hurray
It was also the night of hip-hop artists. Both the record and song of the year prizes — the latter awarded for song-writing — were won by Childish Gambino’s This Is America, a song about racial injustice. It was the first hip-hop song to win either award.
Brandi Carlile, an earnest female singer-songwriter in an Americana style, was the dark horse of the show, getting six nominations. She ended up winning three awards, though none in the top categories. She took best American roots performance for The Joke, and Americana album for By The Way, I Forgive You. They were the first Grammys of her career. —Agencies
Quincy Jones shines again
Veteran record producer Quincy Jones created history as he took home yet another Grammy with his documentary Quincy winning for best music film on the 2019 Grammy awards. The win marks the 85-year-old legend’s 28th Grammy, making him the living artiste with the most trophies in Grammy history.
Ariana Grande’s first win
Singer Ariana Grande, who boycotted the awards, has won her first Grammy. Hours before the 2019 Grammys on Sunday, the Recording Academy announced that the singer had won Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetener. Grande was initially supposed to perform at the Grammys but pulled out later.
Surprise visit by Michelle Obama
Former First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at the 2019 Grammys to support the host of the ceremony Alicia Keys and discuss the important role music has played in her life. Obama, 55, appeared onstage alongside Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez.
Cardi B makes history
Rapper Cardi B made history by becoming the first solo female artiste to win Best Rap Album at the Grammys. With the victory for Invasion of Privacy, the 26-year-old rapper joined Lauryn Hill as the only female winner in the award’s 23-year history.
Chris Cornell wins posthumously
Singer Chris Cornell was posthumously given a Grammy for his song When Bad Does Good from the eponymous box set released last year. It marks his third Grammy win. His children Toni and Christopher accepted the award on his behalf.
AR Rahman in attendance
Music maestro AR Rahman was present at the 2019 Grammy Awards ceremony with his daughter Raheema. The composer, who won two Grammy awards in 2009 for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, posted several pictures from the awards night.