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Grammys 2016: Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar Big Winners

Grammys 2016: Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar Big Winners
Grammy Awards
February 17
15:17 2016

Taylor Swift grabbed the biggest prize at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, winning album of the year Monday during the ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The pop diva appeared surprised as she picked up the award for her album “1989,” her third Grammy of the day.

“As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,” Swift said in an impassioned speech that some saw as a response to Kanye West’s lyrics about her in his new single, “Famous.”

“But if you just focus on the work, and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you’ll know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world,” she said.

Earlier at the Premiere Grammy Awards Ceremony, where most of the 83 Grammys are handed out, Swift won the very first award of the day for best pop vocal album for “1989.” She also received the best music video award for “Bad Blood,” featuring the night’s other big winner, Kendrick Lamar.

Considering there were only eight categories presented live, the first award came early. Lamar, who earned the most nominations at 11, received his fifth Grammy of the day for best rap album for his acclaimed “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

“First off, glory to God, that’s for sure,” said the 28-year-old Lamar, who then thanked family and those who worked on the album, adding, “This is for hip-hop.”

Lamar, from Compton, had one of the most powerful performances of the night, coming out in cbhains to perform his song “The Blacker the Berry” and eventually moving into “Alright.” The latter song, which has elements of jazz, has been a staple at many of the Black Lives Matter protests. “Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright,” Lamar raps in the song, which he has said is about hope. The onstage images, though, included the word “Compton” superimposed over Africa, jail cells and a giant fire.

Ed Sheeran got his second Grammy of the day when “Thinking out Loud” was named song of the year. Earlier, he received his first Grammy ever for best solo pop performance. Both times the English artist beat Swift, who he had spent much of 2013 opening for on her North America tour.

Alabama Shakes won the best rock performance with “Don’t Wanna Fight,” which was also named best rock song. The band also won alternative music album for “Sound & Color.”

“Never even dreamed of this moment,” said lead singer Brittany Howard.

The band also performed a trippy version of the funky “Don’t Wanna Fight.”

Stephen Colbert introduced the cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton,” who performed the hip-hop musical’s opening number from the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City so the rest of America could see what the fuss is about. Normally, the best musical theater album award doesn’t make the nighttime ceremony, but “Hamilton” won.

Bearded singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton took home his third Grammy of the day with a best country album of the year win for “Traveller.” “I want to thank Taylor Swift for glitter bombing me,” he said upon accepting the award, shiny specks glittering off his long black coat. Though he had been nominated before, this is the first year he has won.

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and featuring Bruno Mars was named record of the year, which honors the overall performance of a song. Ronson, who is best-known as a producer, also won best pop duo/group performance for the song.

Twenty-two-year-old Meghan Trainor — who first broke out with “All About That Bass” — was sobbing when she accepted best new artist from last year’s big winner Sam Smith.

The big tribute of the night celebrated groundbreaking artist David Bowie, who died in January. Lady Gaga, her hair dyed bright red like Bowie’s famed look, ran through a number of his many hits. She was backed by the great Nile Rodgers, a big Grammy winner a couple of years ago with Daft Punk. Rodgers produced as well as played on Bowie’s biggest-selling album, “Let’s Dance.” Gaga put her all into interpreting the songs, but as wonderful as it was to be reminded of Bowie’s genius, the segments were too short and the performance never caught fire.

“The Late Late Show’s” James Corden helped Grammy host LL Cool J honor Lionel Richie, who 31 years ago won album of the year for “Can’t Slow Down.” Then Luke Bryan, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Tyrese and Trainor did a medley of Richie hits, including “Easy” and ”Brick House” from his Commodores years. Finally, the man himself jumped onstage to perform — what else? — the classic party song “All Night Long” with the others as the stars in the audience sang along.

As a tribute to Eagles singer-songwriter Glenn Frey, who died Jan. 18, Jackson Browne and the remaining Eagles sang “Take It Easy,” the first hit for band, which was written by Frey and Browne.

Stevie Wonder led a tribute with Pentatonix to Maurice White, the leader of Earth Wind and Fire who died earlier this month, with a soulful rendition of “That’s the Way of the World.” The remaining members were also honored with a lifetime achievement award.

Bonnie Raitt came out to honor R&B pioneer Ruth Brown and introduced a tribute to the late B.B. King, with Stapleton performing a rendition of the blues legend’s hit “The Thrill Is Gone.” He was then joined by Gary Clark Jr. and Raitt herself.

After being introduced by Mars, English songstress Adele sang “All I Ask,” which she wrote with Mars. A Grammy favorite, her latest album, “25,” was released in November and is not eligible for any awards this year. However, the sound on the CBS broadcast was erratic at times, cutting in an out, and Adele’s performance was not one of the best. CBS reportedly admitted there were technical issues during Adele’s performance. The singer’s response when asked about it backstage was, “(expletive) happens.”

Before introducing the television debut of The Hollywood Vampires, which includes Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry, Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl paid homage to the leader of Motorhead, singer-songwriter Lemmy Kilmister, who died in December. The Vampires were loud and very Cooper-ish with flames going up behind the band.

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