Frey, White get tributes, Rihanna pulls out of Grammys

LOS ANGELES -- The Eagles' Glenn Frey and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire received touching tributes from longtime friends at the Grammy Awards, while Rihanna pulled out of the awards show.

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Stevie Wonder, joined with Grammy-winning a capella group Pentatonix, sang "That's the Way of the World" in honour of White, while members of the Eagles and Jackson Browne sang "Take It Easy" for Frey at the Staples Center.

White died on Feb. 4 and Frey died on Jan. 18. Natalie Cole will also be remembered during the telecast, while Lady Gaga is set to pay tribute to David Bowie.

Rihanna's representative said in a statement that the singer couldn't perform at the show due to doctor's orders.

"After Grammy rehearsal today, Rihanna's doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal chords. The antibiotics she has been on for three days did not kill the infection adequately therefore she cannot perform safely," the statement read.

Ed Sheeran walked away with one of the night's top honours, song of the year for "Thinking Out Loud."

"We wrote it on a couch in my house," he said of his hit song, which also won him best pop solo performance.

It was the first time Sheeran won a Grammy; and the night marked first wins for Justin Bieber, the Weeknd, Chris Stapleton, Pitbull and Alabama Shakes.

The Weeknd, who won two awards in the pre-telecast, performed in a cube that was brightly lit for "Can't Feel My Face" until he switched to piano-tinged version of his upbeat hit "In the Night."

Stapleton, who has written for dozens of country acts, won best country album for "Traveller."

"This is something you never ever dream of so I'm super grateful for it," he said.

Stapleton walked in with four nominations, including album of the year, but lost best country song to "Girl Crush." Little Big Town earned a standing ovation when they performed the hit song.

Collaborative performances was the theme of the Grammys: Carrie Underwood sang with Sam Hunt; Ellie Goulding and Andra Day performed; and while Demi Lovato -- who shined brightly -- John Legend, Luke Bryan and Tyrese sang with Lionel Richie to honour the icon.

Taylor Swift kicked off the Grammys with performance of her latest hit single, "Out of the Woods," while Kendrick Lamar collected his fifth trophy for the night. Lamar won best rap album for his sophomore effort, "To Pimp a Butterfly." It was the first award televised Monday.

"Hip-hop, Ice Cube, this for hip-hop, this for Snoop Dogg ...this for Nas. We will live forever, believe that," said Lamar, who also won best rap song, rap performance, rap/sung collaboration and music video earlier in the day.

Swift, who won two awards in the pre-telecast, wore a glittery one-piece with a long slit on each side of her body as she sang her pop smash.

After welcoming the audience to the Grammys, Swift said, "But it's right now it's 1989. Put your hands up."

She then moved from the main stage to a smaller one to finish the song. Swift's wins included best music video for "Bad Blood" with Lamar and best pop vocal album for "1989."

Lamar walked into the Grammys with the most nominations -- 11. Swift's other win was for best pop vocal album for "1989."

Swift and Weeknd earned seven nominations overall, but it's Adele who has the chance to own the night, though she isn't competing for an award. The British singer, who has outsold her contemporaries by millions, is set to perform.

Adele released her third album, "25" -- which has sold 8 million units in the United States -- after Grammy eligibility. It will qualify for awards at the 2017 ceremony.

This year, Lamar has a chance to make history: His Pharrell-produced "Alright" could be the first-ever hip-hop track to win song of the year in the Grammys' 58-year history. He also could be the first rapper to win album of the year since Outkast in 2004.

His "To Pimp a Butterfly" faces fierce competition for album of the year against "1989," Alabama Shakes' "Sound & Color," Stapleton's "Traveller" and the Weeknd's "Beauty Behind the Madness."

Swift's "Blank Space" and Sheeran's "Thinking out Loud" are up for record of the year, along with "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, the Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face," and D'Angelo and the Vanguard's "Really Love."

Best new artist nominees include pop singers Meghan Trainor and Tori Kelly; rock acts James Bay and Courtney Barnett; and country singer Sam Hunt.

Other performers include the Hollywood Vampires, the supergroup made up of Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry. Plus, the cast of hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" will hit the stage and Pitbull will close out the awards show.

Other double winners in the pre-telecast include D'Angelo, Skrillex, Diplo, Kirk Franklin and Jason Isbell.

LL Cool J is hosting the 58th annual Grammy Awards, airing live on CBS.


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