Rap artists, ladies take middle stage at Grammys

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rap artists and girls have each felt shunned by the Grammy Awards in recent times. However this 12 months, they took middle stage.

Infantile Gambino’s disturbing take a look at race relations, “That is America,” received document and music of the 12 months on Sunday’s telecast. It was the primary time a rap-based music received each of these awards, thought of — with album of the 12 months — the recording trade’s most prestigious.

Kacey Musgraves received prime album and matched Infantile Gambino with 4 Grammys complete. A 12 months after many ladies felt overlooked of the Grammy telecast, they delivered the night time’s most memorable performances. One of the best new artist winner, British singer Dua Lipa, additionally solid main shade on the outgoing recording academy president.

Woman Gaga and Brandi Carlile received three Grammys apiece, and former First Woman Michelle Obama was a shock visitor on the prime of the present on CBS.

Infantile Gambino, the stage identify of actor Donald Glover, and one other outstanding rap nominee, Kendrick Lamar, each declined invites to carry out or attend Sunday’s present. Some rap artists really feel the Grammys have been sluggish to acknowledge how the style now dominates in style music.

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Ludwig Goransson, a songwriter and producer on “That is America,” mentioned backstage that he was shocked the victories have been so historic. Simply listening to the radio, watching the tradition and seeing what number of rap songs are downloaded is proof of rap’s impression.

“It’s about time one thing like this occurred with the Grammys as properly,” Goransson mentioned.

Cardi B grew to become the primary solo feminine to win finest rap album , though Lauryn Hill was the lead singer of the Fugees, which received the identical award on the 1997 Grammys. Cardi B was so nervous accepting the award that she joked, “Perhaps I would like to begin smoking weed.”

She appeared something however rattled earlier, when her rendition of “Cash” was among the many night time’s efficiency highlights. Janelle Monae delivered a smoking model of her hit “Make Me Really feel”; St. Vincent and Dua Lipa’s duet on “Masseduction” was steamy; H.E.R. turned heads with “Arduous Place”; and Carlile sang an impressed model of her hit “The Joke.”

Being a part of an enormous night time for girls was large to her, Carlile mentioned backstage after the present.

“I’m a child from the ’90s and Lilith Honest, you realize, and people ladies have been simply dominating these platforms,” she mentioned. “They have been dominating these area and amphitheater levels. They have been getting document offers. They have been turning into document executives themselves. They fully managed the airwaves. They have been on the radio. And to look at that backslide for the final 20 years has been heartbreaking. Tonight, it offers me hope as a mom of two younger daughters.”

When she accepted her finest new artist award, Dua Lipa pointedly mentioned, “I assume this 12 months we actually stepped up.”

That was a reference to outgoing Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow, who mentioned ladies wanted to “step up” when he was requested concerning the lack of girls in prime classes in 2018. He later acknowledged it was a poor selection of phrases and delivered one other mea culpa on Sunday’s present.

But Dua Lipa was rewarded by having her acceptance speech lower off mid-sentence. She wasn’t alone, nevertheless, as a handful of different artists have been additionally hustled off the stage, and the present appeared disjointed on the finish, speeding by way of its remaining awards. Below the circumstances, having a prolonged tribute to Portnow earlier than he gave his personal speech appeared tone-deaf.

Lipa mentioned later she would have thanked her followers, her inspirations and crew if she had extra time.

When she was onstage, Lipa was considered one of a handful of winners who paid particular tribute to fellow artists. One other was Drake, whose look to simply accept the Grammy when “God’s Plan” received finest rap music was a shock as a result of he’s not massive on award reveals.

He reminded followers and fellow artists that awards are primarily based on the subjective views of others, and aren’t contests during which there are clear winners and losers.

“You’ve already received when you’ve got people who find themselves singing your songs phrase for phrase, when you’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there are individuals who have common jobs who’re popping out within the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned cash to purchase tickets to come back to your reveals, you don’t want this proper right here. I promise you. You already received,” he mentioned on the Staples Heart in Los Angeles.

Musgrave picked up album of the 12 months for “Golden Hour,” which is labeled nation however had wider enchantment.

“I by no means dreamed that this document could be met with such love, such heat, such positivity,” mentioned Musgraves, who carried out a stately model of her music “Rainbow.”

Dolly Parton starred in one of the best of the night time’s two tributes to veteran artists, performing a medley of her songs with Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Maren Morris. The spotlight of Diana Ross’ night time was the lovable introduction by a grandson with a mountain of hair.

The Grammys took some on-line blowback by having Jennifer Lopez ship a tribute to Motown , as soon as the nation’s preeminent label for black artists. Regardless of her hustle, Lopez was outshone by present host Alicia Keys and Smokey Robinson delivering one verse of “Tracks of My Tears” a capella.

Obama appeared on the present’s opening with Keys, Gaga, Lopez and Jada Pinkett Smith to explain the position music had performed of their lives — seemingly a pointed reference to final 12 months’s controversy over ladies artists.

“Music has all the time helped me inform my story,” Obama mentioned. “Whether or not we like nation or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It permits us to listen to each other.”

One other ex-White Home resident was awarded a Grammy on Sunday. Former President Jimmy Carter, who’s 94, received an award for finest spoken phrase recording.

It’s his second Grammy.

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Related Press writers Mesfin Fekadu, Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Jonathan Landrum and Beth Harris contributed to this report.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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