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ON WITH THE SHOW: THE MUSIC, THE MOMENTS AND MORE

And we're off.  Lizzo starts the show. "Tonight is for Kobe," she says, and the line "I'm crying, 'cause I love you" takes on new meaning. A ballet interlude takes us into "Truth Hurts."  It's an energetic intro as the toss goes to host Alicia Keys. "We're all feeling crazy sadness right now," she says, addressing the obvious. "We're standing heartbroken right now in the house that Kobe Bryant built." She asks the crowd to hold them in their thoughts. Then she's joined by Boyz II Men for a vocal tribute; nearly every face in the crowd is streaked with tears. Then some words about the healing power of music. Keys had an unenviable task, opening the task on this sorrowful note, but she did so with grace. 

Next comes a Blake Shelton/Gwen Stefani duet, "Nobody But You." 

"Real talk, there's a lot going on," says Keys, seated at the piano. "I'm proud to be here as an artist for the artists," she adds, adding the importance of "inclusivity." Shout-outs for Billie, Lizzo, Ariana. "I know how much Kobe loved music, so let's make this a celebration in his honor." Then a little survey of artists to the tune of "Someone You Loved."

Billy Porter takes the stage and brings the mega-energy and the blue eye shadow, introducing the Jonas Brothers, who deliver a footloose performance of "What a Man Gotta Do." 

Keith Urban and Cynthia Erivo step up to give the Best Pop Solo Performance trophy. Lizzo takes it for "Truth Hurts." "All my problems that I thought were big as the world were gone," she says, calling on the crowd to make music "that liberates people." 

Trevor Noah strides out to introduce Tyler, The Creator (joined by Boyz II Men and Charlie Wilson) on "Earfquake," and then an army of bewigged Tyler clones marches up to assist him on the freaky "New Magic Wand." The chaotic energy suits the tenor of the moment more than anything else so far.

A glittery Shania Twain and Bebe Rexha give away Best Country Group/Duo Performance, which is won by Dan + Shay. Jason Owen and Scooter Braun get a shout-out.

Usher leads a spirited Prince tribute, with Shelia E. on drums. He romps through "Little Red Corvette," "When Doves Cry" and "Kiss," with his impressive moves on display. The Grammy tribute show to Prince, which tapes on 1/28, will be broadcast on CBS, date TBA. Beck, Keys, John Legend, Coldplay's Chris Martin and Juanes are among the scheduled performers.

Camila Cabello sings the intimate "First Man" right to her weeping dad, accompanied by some home video. Don't pretend you didn't get weepy there, you sentimental fool.

Tanya Tucker sings "Bring My Flowers Now," which has already won a trophy, accompanied by co-writer/producer Brandi Carlile on piano. Then the pair, incongruously, gave away Comedy Album, which is won by Dave Chappelle.

Ariana Grande takes the stage for a medley; an orchestra backs her up on "7 rings," and its source, "My Favorite Things," and then "thank u, next."

Keys brings out Billie Eilish, joined by FINNEAS on piano, for "when the party's over." You could hear a pin drop. 

MusiCares honorees Aerosmith perform "Livin' on the Edge" and then reunite with Run-D.M.C. for the groundbreaking "Walk This Way." It's chaos, but Lizzo's really digging it.

Issa Rae of Insecure comes out to bestow Rap Album. It's Tyler! He jumps up, joined by his emotional mom. Reaction shots from Rob Stringer and Ron Perry. "I really wanna thank Pharrell Williams," he says. "That man allowed me to be comfortable with myself."

Ellen DeGeneres brings out Lil Nas X, joined by Billy Ray Cyrus, BTS and Mason Ramsey.... and "big" Nas. It's a big production number with multiple sets.

Introduced by Greta Gerwig, an overwhelmed Demi Lovato launches into her new song, "Anyone." It's one of the most powerful moments of an already emotional evening. Standing O.

Now comes the big Nipsey Hussle salute. Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, John Legend, YG and more. Nipsey comes in via video. Kirk Franklin brings the proceedings to a redemptive fever pitch.

A shout-out to Diddy for his Industry Icons award.

And now, one of the hotly anticipated performances: Rosalía

Smokey Robinson and Little Big Town give us a little "My Girl" and dispense the Song of the Year trophy. Billie Eilish takes it for "bad guy." 

Alicia and Brittany Howard duet on the former's new single, "Underdog." And true to the "rise up" lyric, her piano ascends toward the ceiling.

And can we just pause to say whatever they're paying Alicia, it's not enough.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne present the award for Best Rap/Sung Performance. The Nipsey Hussle tribute "Higher" takes it.

H.E.R. performs "Sometimes." Once again she shows that she knows how to seize the opportunity. She seals the deal with another fiery guitar solo.

Bonnie Raitt pays tribute to the great John Prine by playing his deathless gem "Angel From Montgomery," and noting his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Congrats, Mr. Prine.

Gary Clark Jr. kicks into "This Land," backed by The Roots. It's the first real rock moment of the night that doesn't feel like rusty nostalgia. And what a guitar player.

And now the In Memoriam, in case you hadn't already done enough mourning. More than a few friends on this list. Trombone Shorty and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band give us an upbeat New Orleans funeral moment.

Keys and Dua Lipa prepare to bestow Best New Artist, which both have won in the past. It's Billie, who gives it up to "all fandoms."

A nice moment for Ken Ehrlich at the end of his 40-year run. John Legend pays tribute. Rather than go onstage, he offers a Grammy moment tailored to music education in the schools: "I Sing the Body Electric" from Fame. Cabello comes out first, then Cyndi Lauper, then Broadway star Ben Platt and duo The War and Treaty. Gary Clark Jr. contributes a guitar solo. Common spits a few bars. 

LL Cool J delivers the Album of the Year contenders. It's Billie. Says FINNEAS, "We stand up here confused and grateful."

At long last it's time for Record of the Year. "bad guy." Billie sweeps. Damn.

 

 

 

 

 


Harvey Mason Jr. opened the Premiere Ceremony with a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, as the awards got underway in the fallen hoops great's house. Fans are reportedly gathering outside in tribute.

He then hands the reins over to musician Imogen Heap. By the by, the Cheche Alara-led band is badass.

Interscope's Lady Gaga and A Star Is Born take two trophies right off the bat. The album wins Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, while "I'll Never Love Again (Film Version)" wins for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Will Gaga's streak continue?

Meanwhile, could FINNEAS' Producer win and share in the Best Engineered Album trophy for sister Billie Eilish's set (Darkroom/Interscope) and Billie's win for Pop Vocal Album presage a Billie Bonanza tonight? Buckle up.

Meanwhile, we congratulate S-Curve boss Steve Greenberg on his win for... Liner Notes! Steve penned the notes for Stax '68: A Memphis Story. We actually understand how hard those are to do well.

In accepting her Best Remixed Recording trophy for Madonna's "I Rise (Tracy Young's Pride Intro Radio Remix)," Young hails female producers, the LGBTQ community and the breaking of the glass ceiling. "We made history, ladies," she says.

Beyoncé's Homecoming takes Best Music Film. She's still up for two awards in the Pop category.

For those of you keeping score at home: Beyonce’s win for Homecoming is her 23rd Grammy; Kirk Franklin won his 14th and 15th awards; and Willie Nelson received his ninth.

"Old Town Road" takes its first trophy, for Best Music Video. We rather imagine there will be a few more. And by the end of the pre-game show it's won for Pop Duo/Group performance.

Big day for Gary Clark Jr., who takes Contemporary Blues Album for This Land (Warner Records) and Rock Song. He's up for Rock Performance as well. 

Michelle Obama wins the Spoken Word trophy for Becoming, which has got to be galling for Trump.

Grammy nostalgia: 2011 Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spalding wins for Jazz Vocal Album.

Fresh from his and Clive's Pre-Grammy Gala triumph, Doug Davis shares, as producer, in the Large Ensemble Jazz Album win for The Omni-American Book Club by Brian Lynch's Big Band.

Relatives of the late Nipsey Hussle—including his grandmother—accepted his Grammy for Best Rap Perfomance. The song taht won, "Racks in the Middle," lost out to 21 Savage's "A Lot" in the Rap Song category.  

Two big country category wins (her first-ever wins after 14 noms, at age 61) for Tanya Tucker: Country Album and Country Song. Of the latter, "Bring My Flowers Now," she says she started writing it 40 years ago. "Flowers" is also up for Song of the Year.

Rosalía wins for Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album. She's in the running for BNA, of course, and there's big anticipation surrounding her performance on the telecast.

Nipsey Hussle win for Rap Performance could be a harbinger of things to come.

A performance by BNA nominee Yola is the last musical segment of the pre-game show.

Will Vampire Weekend's Alternative Album win for Father of the Bride (Columbia) gave them some momentum coming into the main event, where they're up for Album of the Year?

12Tone/Aftermath notches two wins for Anderson.Paak, as his album Ventura wins R&B Album and "Come Home" f/André 3000 takes R&B Performance.

Lizzo, one of the most nominated artists of this year's batch, takes Urban Contemporary Album and Traditional R&B Performance (for "Jerome"); how many trophies will she end up with by the time the night's out? 

Epic's Sara Bareilles, having roamed into theater and all over the place, takes home Best American Roots Performance for "Saint Honesty."

 

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