On Sunday night, February 10, Alicia Keys hosted the Grammy Awards for the first time. These 61st annual prizes were handed out by the recording academy to the best achievements in music across myriad genres. The awards are also distinguished by their numerous performances — it’s like a rock concert speckled with trophies. So what happened when the awards were handed out? Scroll down for our live updating report of the winners, the upsets, the snubs and more.
These Grammys followed a year of controversy and change for the recording academy. After another rap shut-out in the top four general field categories (Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist) and a dearth of women on stage and among the winners, the recording academy established a diversity task force, expanded the general field categories from five nominees to eight, and invited almost 1,000 new members.
Perhaps partly as a result of those changes, rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake ended up with the most nominations — eight and seven, respectively — while female musicians like Brandi Carlile, Lady Gaga, Kacey Musgraves and H.E.R. cleaned up with bids in top categories. But did the winners also reflect a greater musical, gender and ethnic diversity, or do the Grammys still have a long way to go to reflect the modern musical landscape?
The eclectic list of performers at the telecast included Yolanda Adams, J Balvin, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Chloe x Halle, Miley Cyrus, Andra Day, Dan and Shay, H.E.R., Fantasia, Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Little Big Town, Post Malone, Ricky Martin, Maren Morris, Shawn Mendes, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mark Ronson, Diana Ross, Arturo Sandoval, Travis Scott, St. Vincent and Young Thug.
Featured on stage as presenters were Kelsea Ballerini, Leon Bridges, Luke Combs, Charlie Wilson, Alessia Cara, Julian Edelman, Eve, John Mayer, Bob Newhart, Smokey Robinson, Swizz Beatz, Meghan Trainor, Kane Brown, BTS, Cedric The Entertainer, Nina Dobrev, Anna Kendrick, Jada Pinkett Smith and Wilmer Valderrama.
Find out what happened below starting at 8:00pm (all times listed are Eastern).
Cordell Martin, 8:00pm — Here we go!
Charles Bright, 8:02pm — We’re six seconds in and my only reaction is: ?????
CM, 8:03pm — I swear Camila Cabello has been performing “Havana” for two years straight.
CB, 8:05pm — If Havana is like this, then why do we have an embargo in the first place?
Daniel Montgomery, 8:06pm — Ricky Martin actually sounds really singing “Havana.” He should re-record it as “San Juan.”
CM, 8:08pm — Ricky Martin was the bright spot of that performance.
DM, 8:08pm — Yeah, it was one of those overly busy “Grammy Moments.” A lot of good components mushed together so it was a little too hectic.
CB, 8:12pm — Is it weird I forgot for a moment that Jennifer Lopez was a singer?
DM, 8:12pm — Michelle Obama started talking, and everybody’s screaming like they didn’t realize she was on stage until now.
CM, 8:13pm — Come through, Michelle!
CB, 8:16pm — What’s the betting spread on how long until the first award is presented?
CM, 8:16pm — 30 minutes into the show.
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”
DM, 8:20pm — Ooh, an award after only 17 minutes!
CM, 8:21pm — Well congrats to Bradley Cooper on winning his first Grammy.
DM, 8:22pm — Bradley Cooper started in TV, earned 7 Oscar nominations, and earned a Tony nomination, but his first big award is a Grammy — whodathunkit?
CM, 8:22pm — Well Lady Gaga’s going to be the queen of the night.
CB, 8:22pm — Picture it, Bradley Cooper being able to celebrate his first Grammy while holding his first major piece of hardware for the season.
DM, 8:25pm — Maybe it was better that Bradley didn’t show up with Lady Gaga at the Grammys. It didn’t go too well when that happened “A Star is Born.”
DM, 8:27pm — I’m so glad Kacey Musgraves is singing “Rainbow.” One of my favorite songs from her album.
CM, 8:27pm — Kacey looks beautiful.
CB, 8:27pm — I’m actually enjoying watching this! She’s magnificent!
CM, 8:29pm — Yes a very simple and beautiful performance.
DM, 8:29pm — Simple, perfectly staged, not fussy, beautifully lit and sung.
DM, 8:32pm — Breaking out Kacey and now Janelle Monae at the top of the show, they’re not gonna have much left for the end of the night. Or maybe they could just have these two alternate every performance tonight.
CM, 8:33pm — I wish Janelle had more nominations.
DM, 8:33pm — It’s criminally that she didn’t get anything in the R&B field.
CB, 8:34pm — I’m totally digging Kacey and Janelle! You’re right, Daniel, that they are not going to have anything else for the rest of the ceremony!
SONG OF THE YEAR: Childish Gambino, “This is America”
DM, 8:43pm — That was a cute moment with John Mayer and Alicia Keys presenting Song of the Year and reminiscing about how they split custody of the award when Mayer won for “Daughters” and Keys was up for “If I Ain’t Got You.” But why did he break that Grammy for her when she already won Song of the Year for “Fallin'”?
CB, 8:44pm — WHOA! I never thought that would happen.
CM, 8:46pm — Me either man. Hopefully we have some more surprises tonight.
DM, 8:47pm — First hip-hop song ever to win. That’s wild! Big upset over “Shallow.”
CM, 8:48pm — “Black Panther” or Janelle could win AOTY!
DM, 8:49pm — I’d love a Janelle Monae win. With eight nominees and so much split support, she could win with people who had nowhere else to vote for her.
CB, 8:54pm — I would normally say something like, “Watch it go Post Malone,” but the win for “This is America” gives me some hope.
DM, 8:54pm — “This is America” feels like a song that doesn’t win Song of the Year unless it’s also winning Record of the Year. It’s not a song where you think of the lyrics first, so it may have another win coming later tonight.
CM, 8:57pm — I can see the Grammys award hip-hop and R&B in the big four this year only to not reward them for another 20 years.
DM, 8:57pm — I’m more optimistic. They invited a LOT of new members to the recording academy. It’s not like they’re going to un-invite them after this, so maybe this really is a sea change.
DM, 8:59pm — Wow, Kacey Musgraves sang “Here You Come Again” perfectly for this Dolly Parton tribute, and then Katy Perry came out and killed a mosquito with a vocal bazooka. I thought they were going to give Katy “I Will Always Love You” since it’s the big belt-it-out song.
DM, 9:01pm — Miley Cyrus did a great job with “Jolene,” it fit well with her voice.
CM, 9:02pm — I agree, Daniel.
DM, 9:04pm — And if Dolly wants to do a joint album with Miley Cyrus and Maren Morris, I’m here for that too.
CM, 9:04pm — Me too.
CB, 9:06pm — BECK IS DIGGING THIS PERFORMANCE!
DM, 9:07pm — Beck has good taste. This has been an unusually great tribute performance.
DM, 9:08pm — They should cancel the rest of the show and give Dolly the rest of the awards by default — including Best Rap Album.
CM, 9:10pm — They should’ve closed the show with Dolly.
CB, 9:15pm — I just realized that despite years of being worked into every Grammy ceremony in recent memory, Jennifer Lopez has not only never won a Grammy but hasn’t been nominated in 18 years.
DM, 9:15pm — She should just do a dance recording with Diplo or something like Dua Lipa just won for.
DM, 9:19pm — This H.E.R. performance is fantastic. She’d actually be the first R&B female artist to win Best New Artist since Alicia Keys, so it could be a fitting moment.
CB, 9:19pm — I’m digging this!
CM, 9:19pm — Isn’t she amazing? I’m loving seeing women like H.E.R., Kacey and Janelle show that female artists are much more than just a cute face!
CB, 9:21pm — My jaw is literally hanging open right now!
CM, 9:23pm — She’s definitely going to be an even bigger star after that performance.
DM, 9:24pm — What I like about this year’s Grammys in terms of nominations and performances is that it’s going to expose so many more people to artists who don’t necessarily top the charts, like H.E.R., Janelle, Kacey, and I know Brandi Carlile is going to blow the roof off later.
DM, 9:26pm — So we’re almost at the 90 minute mark, and there have been two awards.
DM, 9:32pm — Is Cardi B lip synching? I can’t quite tell, but the vocal doesn’t sound like she’s expending any physical effort. It’s a little too clean.
CB, 9:32pm — I was just about to bring that up. And she’s not doing it well.
CM, 9:32pm — Yes, she was lip synching
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM: Kacey Musgraves, “Golden Hour”
DM, 9:34pm — Kudos to Kacey Musgraves, who has now swept her three country nominations: Best Country Solo (“Butterflies”), Best Country Song (“Space Cowboy”) and Best Country Album (“Golden Hour”). The only category left for her is Album of the Year, so she could go undefeated tonight.
CM, 9:35pm — Tonight is definitely about the ladies!
DM, 9:36pm — Lip synching notwithstanding, I’d love to see Cardi B win Best Rap Album because no solo female artist has EVER won it.
CM, 9:38pm — I think she has a strong shot.
DM, 9:40pm — I’m digging Alicia Keys’s hosting tonight. She’s really playing to her strengths, not trying to be a comedian or be some kind of performer she’s not.
CM, 9:41pm — I think Alicia is doing a solid job as well.
CB, 9:42pm — I’m liking Alicia too.
DM, 9:43pm — And she’s killing Kings of Leon and Drake too. And Ella Mai reacting to her doing “Boo’d Up” was so damn sweet. When is she going to have another album already?
CB, 9:44pm — The moral of this ceremony is that everything is better in quality when performed by Alicia Keys.
CB, 9:46pm — Only way that could have been better is if she had closed with “If I Ain’t Got You.”
DM, 9:46pm — No, she should have closed with “Daughters,” and then John Mayer would come out and give her the other half of his Grammy.
DM, 9:49pm — After that Alicia Keys performance, Dan and Shay were like, “Hold my beer.” They killed it too.
DM, 9:49pm — Okay, what the heck are Dan and Shay doing presenting Best Rap Song. That’s like a weird Grammys mad lib.
BEST RAP SONG: Drake, “God’s Plan”
DM, 9:50pm — Drake wins this category for the second time, following his victory for “Hotline Bling,” which he protested wasn’t even a rap song when he won for it. He has won four Grammys overall in his career, but he has been ambivalent about the awards and expressed some of that in his speech, when he assured the other artists in the room that making music already made them winners. They don’t need awards for validation.
CB, 9:54pm — I thought Drake was boycotting.
CM, 9:54pm — Me too. Well that was rude of them to cut off his speech.
DM, 9:54pm — Yeah, they cut him off really abruptly. I guess maybe he’ll be boycotting again.
DM, 10:00pm — I was so scared for Diana Ross on the stars in that dress.
CM, 10:00pm — Me too.
CB, 10:00pm — Yep.
DM, 10:01pm — And just a reminder to America and the recording academy that Diana Ross has never won a competitive Grammy in her entire career.
CB, 10:02pm — Diana Ross: Now in residency at the Staples Center! Sorry Kings, Lakers and Clippers. You’re gonna have to find somewhere else to play.
DM, 10:04pm — God bless this woman, but Diana Ross needed a more user-friendly dress for this performance.
CB, 10:04pm — It wouldn’t be a memorable Diana Ross performance if there wasn’t some crazy fashion/hair thing involved.
CM, 10:07pm — Glad to see the vets have their moments.
DM, 10:13pm — I’m glad to see Lady Gaga bringing out the extra we love her for. She’s really sinking her teeth into “Shallow” like a rock goddess.
CB, 10:15pm — Loving ALL OF THIS!
CM, 10:16pm — This is much better than her Metallica duet a few years ago.
CB, 10:16pm — No question.
DM, 10:17pm — I actually haven’t listened to that song very often because it feels like it’s been everywhere this awards season, but performed like that out of the context of “A Star is Born,” it really is a really great song for her.
CB, 10:20pm — I want computerized Donald Glover from these commercials to turn into Danny Pudi and them both to say, “Troy and Abed at the Grammys!”
CM, 10:28pm — I don’t get the appeal of Travis Scott.
CB, 10:29pm — I am not getting this whole cage thing at all.
DM, 10:36pm — Jennifer Lopez doing a Motown tribute feels like a wedding where a guest is coming but you have no idea where to seat them.
DM, 10:42pm — Seriously, though, Alicia Keys is hosting. H.E.R. and Janelle Monae are in the house. Yolanda Adams and Fantasia. Why is Jennifer Lopez paying tribute to Motown? It’s bad, per se, but it’s still so random.
BEST R&B ALBUM: H.E.R., “H.E.R.”
DM, 10:46pm — Second win of the night for H.E.R., who feels strange winning Best R&B Album for an EP and not an official album. Though, to be fair, that not-an-album album is 72 minutes and 21 tracks, so Grammy voters more than got their money’s worth.
DM, 10:50pm — My girl Brandi’s about to bring the house down!
DM, 10:52pm — It’s a little weird that she’s got a lyric video going on in the background, but she sounds amazing.
CM, 10:54pm — Love her voice. She’s winning AOTY.
DM, 10:54pm — She could. If voters could have watched this performance before voting then she’d definitely win.
CB, 10:55pm — Well, for anyone who might object, that performance would certainly justify it.
CM, 10:55pm — Holy crap. She’s amazing.
DM, 10:56pm — If y’all haven’t listened to Brandi’s whole album yet, get thee to Spotify.
CM, 10:58pm — Adding it to my list. I love the rawness in her voice.
DM, 10:59pm — Her voice has this amazing quality. She can give you Willie Nelson vibes, Bonnie Raitt vibes, and then these huge emotional rock-and-roll growls.
CM, 11:03pm — Shame on the producers to not ask Lalah Hathaway to tribute her dad.
DM, 11:03pm — Chloe x Halle sounded fantastic, though.
DM, 11:04pm — And another awkward segue into a category that has nothing to do with the performance we just heard.
BEST RAP ALBUM: Cardi B, “Invasion of Privacy”
DM, 11:06pm — Cardi B makes history as the first woman ever to win Best Rap Album as a solo artist. The only woman who ever won it before this was Lauryn Hill for “The Score” when she was a member of The Fugees. This continues a really strong year for women. There have also been female winners for Best Pop Album, Best Country Album, Best R&B Album and Best Urban Contemporary Album.
CM, 11:11pm — As well as the gospel and Christian album categories!
CM, 11:12pm — Loving it!
DM, 11:13pm — In other news, we’ve got a few categories left and more performances, and it’s 11:13. No way we’re getting out of here on time.
DM, 11:16pm — And we’re back to musical mash-ups that don’t really make much sense together, no matter how much Dua Lipa and St. Vincent look alike.
DM, 11:17pm — I LOVE bringing together past Best New Artist champs Alessia Cara and Bob Newhart! And he won Album of the Year, one of the only two comedy albums to win Album of the Year.
BEST NEW ARTIST: Dua Lipa
DM, 11:18pm — Wow, genuinely surprised by Dua Lipa beating H.E.R.
DM, 11:21pm — “I guess this year we’ve really stepped up,” says Dua Lipa upon accepting the award, likely referencing last year’s controversy when Grammy president Neil Portnow responded to criticisms of Grammy sexism by telling women to “step up.” Dua Lipa won both of her nominations this year; she was claimed Best Dance Recording for “Electricity.”
CB, 11:22pm — Love the shade she threw!
DM, 11:23pm — Really tacky to cut her off like that and go to commercial before she was finished with her speech. These are the top categories of the year. If you’re running long, just run long and don’t take it out on the winners.
DM, 11:27pm — Oh goody, they cut off Dua Lipa so we’d have time to hear Neil Portnow pat himself on the back for the Grammys being a little less sexist this year. The reaction shots to the women in the audience are priceless. H.E.R., Lady Gaga, and Kacey Musgraves are not into this statement.
CB, 11:30pm — Just waiting for him to be yanked offstage with a cane.
DM, 11:30pm — A moment to appreciate the irony of them cutting off Dua Lipa to leave time for Neil Portnow to brag about the Grammys being less sexist.
CM, 11:36pm — Lovely tribute to Aretha Franklin by Fantasia, Yolanda Adams and Andra Day!
DM, 11:36pm — Lovely performance, but I feel like they should have done more for Aretha Franklin given how much they did for Motown and Dolly Parton.
Record of the Year: Childish Gambino, “This is America”
DM, 11:38pm — Childish Gambino is now the first hip-hop artist to win Record of the Year as well as Song of the Year. He won four awards overall for “This is America,” and he has won five awards overall in his career.
Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, “Golden Hour”
DM, 11:41pm — Musgraves completed her clean sweep of the Grammys. She won four awards tonight, which brings her career total to six Grammys. She’s the first country artist to win Album off the Year since Taylor Swift for “Fearless” (2010). “Golden Hour” is only the fifth country album ever to win this award, so kudos!
CB, 11:42pm — This is phenomenal!
CM, 11:43pm — Wanted Janelle to win but can’t hate on Kacey.
DM, 11:44pm — I loved so many of these winners, but I thought it was shameful, though, how the producers rushed those last few winners. It’s one thing to play people off, but cutting mics and cutting to commercial is just low. They practically did yank them off-stage Apollo-style.
CB, 11:45pm — When they should have done that to Neil Portnow.
CM, 11:45pm — Glad to see a lot of first time winners tonight. Glad to not see the same artist win more than twice tonight. Two out of the eight AOTY nominees went home empty handed: Janelle Monae and Post Malone.
DM, 11:48pm — The Grammys did a pretty good job of spreading the wealth tonight. Kacey Musgraves and Childish Gambino were the biggest winners with four awards each. Lady Gaga and Brandi Carlile won three. Women got their due. Hip-hop got its due.
CB, 11:50pm — Best Grammys in five years!
DM, 11:50pm — That was a shockingly good telecast, until they started to get really bad about cutting people off towards the end.