Grammy Awards: Music’s biggest razzmatazz at the Staples Center in Los Angeles

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The 61st Grammy Awards of 2019 which was hosted by Alicia Keys, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and includes performances from Dolly Parton, Shawn Mendes, Lady Gaga and Post Malone and many others. Cardi B became the first woman to win Best Rap Album as a solo arist, Ariana Grande won her very first Grammy and Diana Ross celebrated her birthday. indeed it was a big night for the ladies!

Cardi B made history as the first solo female to win best rap album (Lauryn Hill won as a member of the Fugees at the 1997 Grammys).

She was shaking onstage as she tried to give a thank-you speech with her rapper-husband Offset holding her arm.

“The nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed,” she said as the audience laughed. “I just want to say thank you everybody that was involved … I want to thank my daughter.”

The Grammys kicked off with a group of powerful women, including Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, describing the role of music in their lives – a display that came a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony.

“Music has always helped me tell my story,” said Obama, who surprised the audience with her appearance. “Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It allows us to hear one another.”

Gaga told the crowd: “They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn’t work. But music told me not to listen to them.”

​Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez also spoke and stood in solidary with Obama, Gaga and Alicia Keys, who is hosting the show airing on CBS.

“Yes, ladies,” Keys said. “There’s nothing better than this.”

The opening contrasted with last year’s Grammys, where male acts dominated in nominations and the only woman competing for the top award, Lorde, didn’t get a chance to perform onstage.

But this year, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves won three Grammys each.

Carlile took three honors in the Americana category and will compete for the three biggest awards during the live show: album, song and record of the year.

Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.

Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy winner, won best pop solo performance for “Joanne,” while hit “Shallow,” from “A Star is Born,” was named best song written for visual media. The song is nominated for an Oscar and also won at the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.

Women have a strong presence in the top categories. Five of the eight album-of-the-year nominees were women, including Carlile’s “By the Way, I Forgive You,” Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer,” Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” and H.E.R.’s self-titled album are also in contention.

When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to “step up.” He later acknowledged that it was a “poor choice of words,” and his much-criticized remarks forced the academy to launch a new task force focused on inclusion and diversity.

Portnow, who didn’t seek a renewal on his contract which ends this year, seemed to address his words from last year during Sunday’s show.

“This past year I’ve been reminded that if coming face to face with an issue opens your eyes wide enough, it makes you more committed than ever to help address those issues. The need for social change has been the hallmark of the American experience, from the founding of our country to the complex times we live in today,” he said.

Diana Ross earned a standing ovation when she emerged onstage in a bright red dress to perform “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “The Best Years of My Life.” She celebrated her 75th birthday early with the performance, saying afterward, “Happy birthday to me!” Her actual birthday is March 26.

Winners in key categories at 2019 Grammy Awards

Country star Kacey Musgraves won the top prize of the night, Album of the Year, for her “Golden Hour.”

Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, “Golden Hour”

Record of the Year (best overall song performance): Childish Gambino, “This Is America”

Song of the Year (recognizing songwriting): Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Ludwig Goransson, “This Is America”

Best new Artist: Dua Lipa

Best Music Video: Childish Gambino, “This Is America”

Best Rap Album: Cardi B, “Invasion Of Privacy”

Best Rock Album: Greta Van Fleet, “From the Fires”

Best Pop Vocal Album: Ariana Grande, “Sweetener”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”

Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Carters, “Everything Is Love”

Best R&B Album: H.E.R., “H.E.R.”

Best Alternative Music Album: Beck, “Colors”

Best World Music Album: Soweto Gospel Choir, “Freedom”

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