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

  • Netflix and chill, rather than go out to silver screen

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    “Hello, plants,” my wiseacre college-age son says, by way of hello to my wife and me when he sees us in front of the television, binge-watching something or other. I call that big talk from someone who’s invariably headed up to his room to play video games online with friends for hours. Source
  • Xavier Dolan wins best director at César Awards

    Entertainment CBC News
    Quebec film director Xavier Dolan has won the best director award at the César Awards, France's equivalent of the Oscars. Dolan took home the honours for It's Only the End of the World, while the film was also successful in the best actor and film editing categories on Friday. Source
  • Man sent to prison for cutting off woman's finger to honour Insane Clown Posse fan

    Entertainment CTV News
    Joseph Bruce aka Violent J, left, and Joseph Utsler aka Shaggy 2 Dope, members of the Insane Clown Posse address the media in Detroit, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Source
  • Oscar hosts through the years: The ‘feel good’, the ‘edgy’ and the oddballs

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Oscar hosts through the years: The ‘feel good’, the ‘edgy’ and the oddballs If you scrutinize the nature of the job of Oscar host over the years, they invariably fall into one of three categories. There are “feel good” hosts, whose job is to make Academy members feel better about themselves. Source
  • How to make your Oscar picks: Insider tips from CBC film critic Eli Glasner

    Entertainment CBC News
    Missed Moonlight? Lagging behind on La La Land? Haven't seen Hidden Figures yet? You can still win that Academy Awards pool! Check out the video above for a few insider tips from CBC film critic Eli Glasner to help you pick the winners. Source
  • How to win your Oscars pool: Insider tips from CBC's film critic

    Entertainment CBC News
    Missed Moonlight? Lagging behind on La La Land? Haven't seen Hidden Figures yet? You can still win that Academy Awards pool! Check out the video above for a few insider tips from CBC film critic Eli Glasner to help you pick the winners. Source
  • Quebec director Xavier Dolan wins French Oscar

    Entertainment CTV News
    PARIS -- Quebec film director Xavier Dolan has won the best director award at France's equivalent of the Oscars. Dolan took home the honours for "It's Only the End of the World," while the film was also successful in the best actor and film editing categories on Friday. Source
  • Obamas return to Broadway to see Arthur Miller's 'The Price'

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Obamas just can't quit Broadway. Former President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia Obama have caught a new revival of Arthur Miller's "The Price." They attended the play starring Danny DeVito, John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht at the American Airlines Theatre on Friday. Source
  • Oscar-nominated Syrian cinematographer barred from entering U.S.

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. immigration authorities have decided to bar entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer whose harrowing film about his nation's civil war, "The White Helmets," has been nominated for an Academy Award. According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security has decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khatib from travelling to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Source
  • Kesha to star in cartoon series

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kesha is stepping into the animated world to voice a character in new U.S. series Highly Gifted. The Tik Tok hitmaker will join Drake Bell and Ron Funches among the voice actors in the semi-autobiographical comedy series, based on the experiences of cartoon creators Daniel and Jeremy Lehrer, known as the Lehrer Boys, participating in programs for highly-gifted students. Source