Grammys feature tributes to David Bowie, B.B. King, Lemmy Kilmister

Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and Alabama Shakes were the biggest winners at a Grammy Awards ceremony that, due to the recent deaths of some seminal stars, felt as much a tribute to music's past as its present.

See Full Article

Monday's ceremony included performances honouring David Bowie, Glenn Frey, B.B. King, Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, along with an extended clip of Natalie Cole. All died within the past year.

Lamar scored five Grammys for his breakthrough album "To Pimp a Butterfly," the night's biggest haul. But he was shut out of Grammy's Big Four. Swift won top album for "1989," Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars earned top record for "Uptown Funk," Ed Sheeran won song of the year for "Thinking Out Loud" and Meghan Trainor was named best new artist.

LAMAR'S BREAKOUT

Besides his five Grammys, Lamar had one of the night's most intense, riveting performances. A week after Beyonce's Super Bowl show saluted the black power movement, Lamar opened his "The Blacker the Berry" performance in chains, dressed in a prison uniform along with several dancers. A fire burned behind him as he rapped "Alright," and a backdrop included a map of Africa with the California city "Compton" written on it.

Actor Don Cheadle noted that Lamar's disc "daringly incorporated jazz, funk, soul and pure poetry into a hip-hop masterpiece." He earned a shoutout from President Barack Obama's White House twitter feed.

He won best rap album, rap performance, rap song, rap/sung performance and music video. But his disappearance from CBS' broadcast after the first hour is sure to renew debate over Grammy voters' attitudes toward rap.

"Each of the categories has its own flavour and its own experts who are in the academy who have a particular passion and knowledge about it," said Neil Portnow, recording academy president, adding that the largest number of academy members vote in the big categories.

TRIBUTE TIME

The tributes to the deceased stars took several forms. Stevie Wonder, wishing that Earth, Wind & Fire's White "rest in eternal bliss and peace," sang "That's The Way of the World" with the vocal group Pentatonix.

Surviving Eagles members, joined by Jackson Browne, played a stately version of "Take it Easy," with a giant Frey portrait backing them as the song came to a close.

Lady Gaga's Bowie tribute was a visual wonder, with one of this generation's most visually arresting artists honouring one whose biggest moments were decades ago. The visuals overwhelmed the music, though, and Gaga may have been better served not trying to pack too many hits in. A commercial immediately following the performance for a technology company involved in the production was a discordant note, too.

SHAKING IT

Alabama Shakes won three awards and plenty of respect. Lead singer Brittany Howard, during a performance of "Don't Wanna Fight," conveyed more power and emotion in just her voice than the noisy Hollywood Vampires supergroup of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry did with a mess of tattoos, flames, flashing lights and loud guitars. "Don't Wanna Fight" won Grammys for best rock song and rock performance.

"I never imagined," Howard said later backstage. "I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. Having to speak to that many people knowing all our friends and family were at home was surreal. It still seems surreal."

FUNK IT UP

"Uptown Funk" was the year's most ubiquitous song, and when it won record of the year, Ronson paid tribute to some funk forebears -- including George Clinton, who smiled from the audience. Said Mars: "We wouldn't be up here if it wasn't for the people dancing to this song."

MOM & DAD

Ed Sheeran made moms and dads throughout the television audience melt by saluting his beaming parents after winning song of the year. Sheeran, who also won best pop vocal performance, noted that he had flown them over three times before after he was nominated but hadn't won. Grammy producers severely shortchanged his co-writer on "Thinking Out Loud," Amy Wadge, by cutting away before she could even speak.

Meghan Trainor, after winning best new artist, couldn't fight off the tears. Neither could her dad in the audience.

"My heart was exploding," she said later. "I was like, 'don't forget anyone and don't have snot running your face. Don't forget your parents."

SITTING IT OUT

Rihanna was due to perform near the top of the show, but didn't make it because he doctor ordered her to rest her voice for two days.

MULTIPLE TROPHIES

Other multiple Grammy winners on Monday included The Weeknd, Skrillex and Diplo, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town and Jason Isbell.

Associated Press writers Mesfin Fekadu and Beth Harris contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Bill Cosby jury selection begins in sex assault case [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bill Cosby has arrived at the Pittsburgh courthouse where jury selection in his sex assault case is getting underway. Cosby emerged from an SUV at the Allegheny County Courthouse just before 8 a.m. Monday. Wearing sunglasses and a tan sport coat, he held the arm of an assistant with one hand and held a cane in the other. Source
  • Review: U2's Joshua Tree tour is timely 30 years later

    Entertainment CTV News
    PASADENA, Calif. -- U2 still has as much to say about America as when they made "The Joshua Tree" 30 years ago. On "The Joshua Tree" tour, they're delivering the message sonically and visually, backed by a stadium-wide high-resolution video screen. Source
  • Freddie Mercury lost foot during AIDS battle

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Freddie Mercury lost most of one of his feet to AIDS before he died. The flamboyant Queen frontman battled his illness in private, and despite mounting speculation that he had contracted the devastating virus infection, Freddie only publicly shared his AIDS status 24 hours before he died in 1991 from bronchial pneumonia resulting from his illness. Source
  • 'Backpack kid' steals show during Katy Perry's 'SNL' performance

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — A teen Instagram dancing sensation has gone from online to on-air after Katy Perry invited him to show off his moves during her “Saturday Night Live” performance this weekend. Fifteen-year-old Russell Horning took the “SNL” stage during Perry’s performance of her new single “Swish Swish. Source
  • With 4 projects at Cannes, Kidman is open to 'bold' material

    Entertainment CTV News
    CANNES, France -- Unveiling a new chapter in her already-considerable career, Nicole Kidman has brought four projects to Cannes this year, making her almost ubiquitous at the French Riviera festival. "I'm at that place in my life where I'm trying to pretend I'm 21 and starting my career," Kidman, who turns 50 next month, told reporters on Monday. Source
  • Celine Dion wows with 'My Heart Will Go On' at BBMAs

    Entertainment CTV News
    Canadian singer Celine Dion came in like an iceberg at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night, where she belted out her iconic song from "Titanic" while wearing a striking white gown. Dion sang "My Heart Will Go On" under a crystalline chandelier, drawing high praise from viewers on social media. Source
  • Come From Away meets Late Night with Seth Meyers

    Entertainment CBC News
    Another NYC milestone for the Broadway musical hit Come From Away. Members of the cast will be performing Monday night on Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC. Come From Away has been a big hit on Broadway and has won four Helen Hayes Awards, including outstanding musical. Source
  • Bill Cosby jury selection begins in sex assault case

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bill Cosby has arrived at the Pittsburgh courthouse where jury selection in his sex assault case is getting underway. Cosby emerged from an SUV at the Allegheny County Courthouse just before 8 a.m. Monday. Wearing sunglasses and a tan sport coat, he held the arm of an assistant with one hand and held a cane in the other. Source
  • Katy Perry's 'backpack kid' steals show during 'SNL' gig

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - A teen Instagram dancing sensation has gone from online to on-air after Katy Perry invited him to show off his moves during her "Saturday Night Live" performance this weekend. Fifteen-year-old Russell Horning took the "SNL" stage during Perry's performance of her new single "Swish Swish. Source
  • Race, gender and fame all issues as Cosby jury selection starts

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- Thirteen years after a Temple University basketball team manager went to famous alumni Bill Cosby’s nearby home for career advice, her complaint that Cosby drugged and molested her that night will soon be a task for a Pennsylvania jury. Source