From surprise appearances to bizarre performances, here are 5 can’t-miss moments from the Grammy Awards.
There was a lot to celebrate at Sunday’s wonderfully diverse Grammy Awards, with women and people of color dominating top categories including album (Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour”), record and song of the year (both Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”). Latin artists dazzled at the top of the show with a medley from Camila Cabello, Ricky Martin and J Balvin, while Motown music got a high-energy (if somewhat questionable) tribute from Jennifer Lopez and Smokey Robinson.
More of the night’s biggest moments that you might’ve missed:
1. Drake shows up to accept award, but seemingly gets silenced.
The Grammys were ruthless with the playoff music this year, cutting off speeches by winners including Dua Lipa, H.E.R. and Cardi B. But none sparked more outrage online than Drake’s, whose microphone appeared to be silenced mid-speech as he accepted the best rap song award for “God’s Plan.” The rapper – who notoriously criticized the Grammys for failing to include hip-hop categories in the televised show and hasn’t attended the ceremony since 2013 – gave an impassioned speech that essentially boiled down to why the awards don’t matter. “You don’t need this right here, I promise you,” he said, addressing fellow artists before he was abruptly cut off. “You already won. But –.”
2. Cardi B tearfully thanks daughter, husband Offset during sweetly sincere speech.
The “I Like It” breakout became the first female rapper to win the best rap album Grammy as a solo artist, for last year’s hit “Invasion of Privacy.” Accepting the award, Cardi gave the night’s funniest and most heartwarming speech: joking about her nerves walking on stage (“Maybe I need to start smoking weed!”), and thanking her semi-estranged husband, rapper Offset, and their 8-month-old daughter, Kulture (“When I found out I was pregnant, my album was not complete. We were like, ‘We have to get this album done so I can shoot these videos while I’m still not showing.’ And it was very long nights.”).
3. Michelle Obama makes a surprise appearance.
No one makes an entrance quite like the former first lady, whose presence earned such deafening cheers that she had to restart her speech at the top of Sunday’s show. Obama was on hand to open the Grammys with host Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez, where they shared their thoughts on the power of music. “From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama told the audience. “It allows us to hear each other and to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters.”
4. Lady Gaga confuses Twitter with outrageous “Shallow” performance.
The actress/singer served hair, body and face during her over-the-top rendition of the already-iconic “A Star Is Born” track, which picked up two Grammys, including best pop duo/group performance. Dressed in a bedazzled jumpsuit with chunky platform heels, Gaga went full ’80s glam-rock star as she belted the emotional track: swinging her jewel-embellished microphone, clawing at the air and mugging to the camera. Some people on Twitter were taken aback by the dramatic display, with users calling it everything from “powerful” to “weird.”
5. Dolly Parton outshines everyone during all-star tribute.
The eight-time Grammy winner proved why she’s the Queen of Country during an A-list celebration of her five-decade career, singing some of her biggest hits with goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Maren Morris and Katy Perry. Parton, 73, earned a standing ovation for her rousing vocals on latest single “Red Shoes,” before closing out the performance with crowd favorite “9 to 5.”
6. Bebe Rexha shuts down fat-shaming designers with her “Cinderella moment.”
The “Meant to Be” singer looked and felt like a princess on the carpet in a billowing red Monsoori gown, weeks after she revealed in an Instagram video that many designers refused to dress her for the awards show because she’s “too big.” Since then, Rexha says she’s received an outflow of support from fans and other A-list designers, and she managed to find the dress of her dreams. “It’s been amazing. … I just did the video because I was really heartbroken,” she told E! on the red carpet, calling her two Grammy nominations a “Cinderella moment” in a pre-taped segment.
7. Ariana Grande is a no-show, but still picks up her first award.
Days after the release of new album “thank u, next,” pop’s reigning princess picked up her first-ever Grammy Award for best pop vocal album (for last year’s “Sweetener”), which was announced hours before the ceremony started. Despite skipping the ceremony altogether after a public spat with Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich last week over her choice of songs to perform, Grande showed her appreciation on Instagram Sunday night, calling the honor “wild and beautiful,” and posting a photo spread of her wearing her would-be Grammys gown, designed by Zac Posen.
She also caused a stir online when she tweeted and deleted the word “trash” immediately following Cardi’s best-rap-album win, which she later clarified was not in reference to the rapper. (Grande’s ex-boyfriend, the late Mac Miller, was also nominated in the category.)
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