cloudy
Saturday February 23rd, 2019 2:42AM

Rap artists and women take center stage at Grammy Awards

By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rap artists and women have felt shunned by the Grammy Awards in recent years. But this year, they both took center stage.

Childish Gambino's disturbing look at race relations, "This is America," won record and song of the year on Sunday's telecast. It was the first time a rap-based song won both of those awards, considered — with album of the year — the recording industry's most prestigious.

Kacey Musgraves won top album and matched Childish Gambino with four Grammys total. A year after many women felt left out of the Grammy telecast, they delivered the night's most memorable performances. The best new artist winner, British singer Dua Lipa, also cast major shade on the outgoing recording academy president.

Lady Gaga and Brandi Carlile won three Grammys apiece, and former first lady Michelle Obama was a surprise guest at the top of the show on CBS.

Childish Gambino, the stage name of actor Donald Glover, and another prominent rap nominee, Kendrick Lamar, both declined invitations to perform or attend Sunday's show. Some rap artists feel the Grammys have been slow to recognize how the genre now dominates popular music.

Ludwig Goransson, a songwriter and producer on "This is America," said backstage that he was surprised the victories were so historic. Just listening to the radio, watching the culture and seeing how many rap songs are downloaded is evidence of rap's impact.

"It's about time something like this happened with the Grammys as well," Goransson said.

Cardi B became the first solo woman to win best rap album , although Lauryn Hill was the lead singer of the Fugees, which won the same award at the 1997 Grammys. Cardi B was so nervous accepting the award that she joked, "Maybe I need to start smoking weed."

She looked anything but rattled earlier, when her rendition of "Money" was among the night's performance highlights. Janelle Monae delivered a smoking version of her hit "Make Me Feel"; St. Vincent and Dua Lipa's duet on "Masseduction" was steamy; H.E.R. turned heads with "Hard Place"; and Carlile sang an inspired version of her hit "The Joke."

Being part of a big night for women was huge to her, Carlile said backstage after the show.

"I'm a kid from the '90s and Lilith Fair, you know, and those women were just dominating those platforms," she said. "They were dominating those arena and amphitheater stages. They were getting record deals. They were becoming record executives themselves. They completely controlled the airwaves. They were on the radio. And to watch that backslide for the last 20 years has been heartbreaking. Tonight, it gives me hope as a mother of two young daughters."

When she accepted her best new artist award, Dua Lipa pointedly said, "I guess this year we really stepped up."

That was a reference to outgoing Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow, who said women needed to "step up" when he was asked about the lack of women in top categories in 2018. He later acknowledged it was a poor choice of words and delivered another mea culpa on Sunday's show.

Yet Dua Lipa was rewarded by having her acceptance speech cut off mid-sentence. She wasn't alone, however, as a handful of other artists were also hustled off the stage, and the show seemed disjointed at the end, rushing through its final awards. Under the circumstances, having a lengthy tribute to Portnow before he gave his own speech seemed tone-deaf.

Lipa said later she would have thanked her fans, her inspirations and team if she had more time.

When she was onstage, Lipa was one of a handful of winners who paid special tribute to fellow artists. Another was Drake, whose appearance to accept the Grammy when "God's Plan" won best rap song was a surprise because he's not big on award shows.

He reminded fans and fellow artists that awards are based on the subjective views of others, and aren't contests in which there are clear winners and losers.

"You've already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you're a hero in your hometown. Look, if there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don't need this right here. I promise you. You already won," he said at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Musgrave picked up album of the year for "Golden Hour," which is labeled country but had wider appeal.

"I never dreamed that this record would be met with such love, such warmth, such positivity," said Musgraves, who performed a stately version of her song "Rainbow."

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

The Grammys took some online blowback by having Jennifer Lopez deliver a tribute to Motown , once the nation's preeminent label for black artists. Despite her hustle, Lopez was outshone by show host Alicia Keys and Smokey Robinson delivering one verse of "Tracks of My Tears" a capella.

Obama appeared on the show's opening with Keys, Gaga, Lopez and Jada Pinkett Smith to describe the role music had played in their lives — seemingly a pointed reference to last year's controversy over women artists.

"Music has always helped me tell my story," Obama said. "Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It allows us to hear one another."

Another ex-White House resident was awarded a Grammy on Sunday. Former President Jimmy Carter, who is 94, won an award for best spoken word recording.

It's his second Grammy.

___

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

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty
A truck driver accused of killing 11 people and wounding seven during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue has pleaded not guilty
12:10PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Rap artists and women take center stage at Grammy Awards
This year's Grammy Awards gave rap artists and women something to celebrate after years of sidelining them
12:03PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution
Crowds of Iranians pour out onto Tehran streets, marking victory day in the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution
11:56AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Thousands of dogs begin vying for Westminster show title
Dogs from affenpinschers to Yorkshire terriers are rounding the rings at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show
11:26AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Brexit unease sees UK economy takes a turn for the worse
The British economy has not had a worse year since the global financial crisis and Brexit uncertainty is clearly to blame
11:17AM ( 57 minutes ago )
Historians challenge Northam's 'indentured servants' remark
Historians say Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wrongly used the term "indentured servants" when referring the first Africans to arrive in what is now Virginia
11:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Virginia governor to "focus on race and equity"
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is laying out a more complete explanation of his initial reaction to a yearbook blackface photo, the comments that set off a political crisis engulfing the state's Democratic leadership
8:39AM ( 3 hours ago )
Brexit's toll: UK economy at weakest since financial crisis
Official figures show that the British economy slowed down sharply in the last three months of 2018 as uncertainties over Brexit intensified
8:36AM ( 3 hours ago )
Virginia lawmaker backs off fast track for impeachment bill
A Virginia lawmaker is backing off plans to swiftly introduce an impeachment bill seeking the ouster of the state's leading black elected official
8:17AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Christian Bale says he felt like 'bullfrog' in Cheney role
Christian Bale says transforming himself into former Vice President Dick Cheney made him feel 'like a bullfrog'
9:29AM ( 2 hours ago )
Malaysian ex-PM Najib combative ahead of 1MDB graft trial
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is hardly lying low ahead of his corruption trial on charges related to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund
6:51AM ( 5 hours ago )
Michael Jackson estate: New film violates channel standards
The Michael Jackson estate has sent a letter to the U.K.'s Channel 4 warning that a documentary on men who accuse the singer of molesting them as boys violates the network's programming guidelines
6:17AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
The Latest: Grammys say cutting off Drake was unintentional
The Latest: Grammys say cutting off Drake was unintentional, say producers thought he had finished speech after he took a 'natural pause'
12:18AM ( 11 hours ago )
Cardi B beats the boys to win rap album honors at Grammys
An overwhelmed Cardi B won her first Grammy Award on Sunday night, making history as the first solo woman to win best rap album.
11:59PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves wins album of the year Grammy
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves win album of the year Grammy Award
11:44PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Johnson triggers wreck, then wins Clash at Daytona
Jimmie Johnson triggered a wreck that wiped out nearly the entire field at Daytona and zipped to the lead to win the rain-shortened exhibition Clash at Daytona race
11:04PM ( 13 hours ago )
Lady Gaga wins 3 Grammys, Michelle Obama makes appearance
Grammys kicked off with powerful women describing role of music
9:13PM ( 15 hours ago )
Chris Cornell's kids accept posthumous 'bittersweet' Grammy
The late Chris Cornell's daughter called her father's posthumous Grammy Award a "bittersweet" moment for the family
9:08PM ( 15 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty
A truck driver accused of killing 11 people and wounding seven during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue has pleaded not guilty
12:10PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution
Crowds of Iranians pour out onto Tehran streets, marking victory day in the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution
11:56AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Thai polls regulator heeds king, blocks princess' candidacy
Thailand's state Election Commission has disqualified the sister of the country's king from becoming a candidate for prime minister in the March 24 general election
11:53AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Pompeo warns of risks to US cooperation over Huawei
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that America might be forced to scale back certain operations in Europe and elsewhere if countries continue to do business with the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei
11:52AM ( 21 minutes ago )
New Pentagon chief makes global debut with status uncertain
At an extraordinary moment in Pentagon history, Pat Shanahan, a former business chief with little political stature and no military experience, is making his international debut as the acting U.S. secretary of defense
11:49AM ( 24 minutes ago )