Diversity Wins As Female Artists And Hip-Hop Triumph At Grammys

There was no clear sweep at the Grammys on Sunday night, fitting for a show that has publicly struggled to address its issues with diversity. The 61st Grammys, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, handed awards to a range of genre-bending musical, logging several notable firsts in the process.Grammy awards 2019: full list of winnersA breathless Cardi B became the first solo woman to win best rap album for Invasion of Privacy, while Childish Gambino’s This Is America marks the first time a rap song won for song of the year and record of the year. The night’s biggest prize, album of the year, went to country artist Kacey Musgraves for her spare, clear-eyed Golden Hour.Musgraves also swept the country awards, though those were announced before the telecast along with most of the Grammys. Only nine awards made the telecast; British import Dua Lipa won best new artist, while fellow new artist nominee H.E.R. took home best R&B album (although “it’s not an album. It’s an EP,” she said of her eponymous project). Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper won best pop duo performance for Shallow, the true star of A Star Is Born, and Drake won best rap song for God’s Plan.That a woman took home the night’s signature award capped a night in which female performers proudly took up space on the stage, starting with host Alicia Keys. One year after the Recording Academy’s president Neil Portnow said female artists needed to “step up” in order to be recognized – only one woman was nominated in the four major categories last year – Keys opened the show by asking: “Can I get some of my sisters in here tonight?” as Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez joined her on stage.Host Alicia Keys. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy The women each stated a bleeding-heart take on what seemed to be the official theme of the evening: music as the universal language; music as, perhaps, one of the few forces able to, as a newspaper prop from Camila Cabello, Ricky Martin and J Balvin’s opening performance said, “build bridges, not walls”. Music “told me not to listen to them”, said Gaga of her earlier critics, and has “always been the one place we can be truly free”, said Lopez.Obama shouted out the “Who Run the World Song that fueled me through this last decade”, in reference to an absent Beyoncé and her anthem Who Run the World (Girls).“How honored I am to be nominated alongside so many incredible female artists this year,” Dua Lipa later said when accepting best new artist. “I guess this year we really stepped up?”Portnow addressed the shift in messaging later in the broadcast. “This past year, I’ve been reminded that if coming face-to-face with an issue opens your eyes wide enough, it makes you more committed than ever to help address those issues”, he said. In all, 31 women took home awards Sunday night – up from 17 the year before.At three and a half hours, the Grammys were more concert than award show – ...Read more

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