The proceedings are underway, as Adele wails "Hello" to an audience that greets her with a roar of approval and a standing O. So that's one demon from last year exorcised already.

James Corden's chops as a comedian, singer and celebrity whisperer are all called upon in the opening segment (with the first Trump joke about two minutes in).

Presenter J.Lo calls on artists in a difficult time, and quotes author Toni Morrison before presenting Best New Artist. Chance the Rapper takes it "in the name of the Lord ... and for all of Chicago."  He adds, "Independence means freedom."

The Weeknd and Daft Punk deliver a stirring "I Feel It Coming." Will this be one of the big tracks to react? Looks like Abel's been awarded six purple hearts!

Will Carly Rae Jepsen and Lil Yachty and "It Takes Two" be this year's Imagine Dragons? A Target spot teases what should a full-length song ad later on.

Things are moving along briskly. Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood channel some classic pop vibe on "The Fighter." Even a boomy vocal mix can't dampen the crowd response.

Nick Jonas emerges to give away Best Pop/Duo Group Performance, which goes to twenty one pilots. The band dudes drop trou for their acceptance speech, paying tribute to an early Grammy-watching party. After the break, Corden, too, is in his skivvies.

Ed Sheeran takes the stage to perform "Shape of You," working a bank of loops to build up a track.

Time for Best Rock Song. "Blackstar' by David Bowie gets the honors. 

Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham volley back and forth on their singles, which dovetail surprisingly well. 

Tina Knowles steps out to introduce daughter Beyoncé, who makes her pregnant belly a centerpiece of her entrance. What follows is a sprawling ode to femininity.

Maren Morris takes Country Solo Performance for "My Church." She recalls Grammy camp from 11 years earlier, shouts out to Randy Goodman, Coran  Janet Weir, the Big Yellow Dog publishing team and other key execs.

A Carpool Karaoke segment has an array of stars joining Neil Diamond and Corden for "Sweet Caroline." A harbinger, perhaps, of the sort of combos we'll see on the forthcoming CK series? The crowd is more than ready to join in.

Bruno Mars mounts the stage for "That's What I Like." We get a glimpse of David Massey in the crowd.

And there's your all-star Carpool Karaoke Apple Music spot.

Katy Perry turns her presentation of "Chained to the Rhythm" with Skip Marley into a huge demonstration and ends with a pointed, stage-filling Constitution graphic.

Soul legend William Bell, a winner for Americana album, joins Gary Clark, Jr. on "Born Under a Bad Sign." Then Beyoncé takes Urban Contemporary Album. What does this mean for her Album of the Year chances?

Maren Morris and Alicia Keys dueting on "Once" is one of the strongest pairings of the show so far, and it earns screams from the crowd. Morris could be the evening's breakout, a walking Grammy moment.

Who's the surprise performer for the George Michael tribute? Adele, that's who. It's an anxious and dark reworking of "Fastlove." She just stopped the song after a sound problem, and the crowd is with her. The response is huge but she's clearly bereft at another technical snafu.

Chance the Rapper takes Rap Album. A huge night for him.

More technical problems: Metallica's James Hetfield's mic isn't working. The band and Lady Gaga are digging in, however, and it's a high-energy performance. Her stage dive picks up the mood.

Country Album winner Sturgill Simpson melds country and soul in his song fronting the Dap-Kings

The Bee Gees tribute kicks off with Demi Lovato on "Stayin' Alive," followed by Tori Kelly on "Tragedy." Little Big Town swoops in for "How Deep Is Your Love." Andra Day takes the mic for "Night Fever." Barry Gibb seems pleased.

As promised, a song-length Target commercial with Lil Yachty and Carly Rae Jepsen assaying "It Takes Two" in a musical tribute to discount retail.

"Hello" wins Song of the Year. And the mic drops out when it's announced. Hello??? Adele apologizes for swearing, and brings Greg Kurstin up with her. She thanks her label team, manager Jonathan Dickins and Kurstin. They're played off before Kurstin can speak, prompting a displeased response from the crowd.

A Tribe Called Quest comes out with Anderson.Paak. Q-Tip offers empowering words for those standing up to power and pays tribute to departed band member Phife. Busta Rhymes has harsh words for "President Agent Orange." A throng of people attired as refugees mounts the stage.

The Time, with assistance valet Jerome, serve up some vintage Minneapolis funk to kick off the tribute to Prince. Bruno Mars joins them for some serious channelling of The Purple One with a spirited "Let's Go Crazy." Mars has it down, from the garb to the guitar solo to the dance moves. 

Grammy winners Pentatonix perform a short and sweet a-capella version of the Jackson 5's bubblegum soul classic "ABC." 

Hip Hop goes to church as Best New Artist winner Chance the Rapper spits out a medley of "How Great" and "All We Got," with help from a powerful choir, and giving the audience some sweet inspiration. 

Thank god Neil Portnow takes the stage to liven up the proceedings to explain the power of music to unify, calling for the arts to bind the nation during this divisive moment in history.

John Legend and Cynthia  Erivo lead the In Memoriam segment with Brian Wilson's hymn-like "God Only Knows." 

Music's longest night winds down, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill presenting Record of the Year, snagged by Adele's "Hello."  Giving thanks, Adele shouts out Beyoncé,telling her, "I want you to be my mummy."

Adele then makes up for Kurstin getting cut off in accepting the Record gramophone for “Hello.” She also praises Dickins, saying, “Thank you to my manager, because the comeback was masterminded by him.”

She doesn't sit for long, winning Album of the Year for 25. In her acceptance for 25, Adele talks about the struggles of motherhood and again sends big props to Queen Bey for her Lemonade album. 









Doja claws her way toward stardom. (4/16a)
Who's next? (4/16a)
"RAPSTAR" is accurately titled. (4/16a)
It's exclusive, but you're invited to come on in. (4/16a)
She's huge on both sides of the pond. (4/16a)
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?

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