According to the Recording Academy, the Grammy is the “only peer-recognized music award,” thus seen as the music industry’s “highest honor.” Regardless, millions of people tune in to watch each year, and the 2019 Grammy Awards was no different.
If you missed the show, here are six highlights from the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10.
1. Lady Gaga dominated.
Not only did Lady Gaga take home Best Pop Solo Performance for her song, “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?),” but she also won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Shallow,” the gorgeous duet from “A Star Is Born” she sang with co-star Bradley Cooper. “Shallow” also won Best Song Written for Visual Media. In her acceptance speech, Gaga made a point to emphasize the importance of spreading mental health awareness.
“So, if you see somebody that is hurting, don’t look away,” Gaga said. “And if you are hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you.”
2. ‘This Is America’ earned Childish Gambino four Grammy Awards.
Childish Gambino took the world by storm last year with his song “This Is America” and the accompanying music video which tackled gun violence and the United States’ racist, discriminatory past against the black community. The song earned the artist Best Song, in addition to Best Rap/Sung Performance, Record of the Year and Best Music Video — but Gambino wasn’t there to accept the awards. According to The New York Times, Gambino declined the opportunity to perform and wasn’t in attendance to the 2019 Grammy Awards.
3. Drake won Best Rap Song (and got cut off).
Renown rapper Drake’s 2018 hit, “God’s Plan,” earned him Best Rap Song and fans were even more thrilled when he accepted his award in person, because according to USA Today, Drake hasn’t attended the Grammy Awards since 2013. In his acceptance speech, the rapper spoke about the importance of making music and the triviality of awards before he was promptly cut off.
“If there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here, I promise you,” Drake said before the producers cut to a commercial. “You already won.”
4. Alicia Keys flaunted her talent and played two pianos.
Alicia Keys is already known as a success due to her pop hits and acting abilities. But Keys demonstrated some of that undeniable talent by playing a medley with two pianos (and yes, for a moment, she played them both simultaneously). Some recognizable songs in the medley included the Lauryn Hill hit from the ’90s, “Doo Wop (That Thing),” and 1973 “Killing Me Softly With His Song” performed by Roberta Flack.
5. Janelle Monáe left empty-handed.
Janelle Monáe performed her hit “Make Me Feel” amid dancers who — at one point — sported the historic vagina pants seen in Monáe’s music video for “PYNK.” Her 2018 album, “Dirty Computer,” was nominated for Album of the Year and “PYNK” was nominated for Best Music Video.
6. Jennifer Lopez performed a Motown tribute — and not everyone loved it.
Jennifer Lopez joined Motown icon Smokey Robinson and performed a medley of songs meant to be a tribute to Motown Records’ 60th anniversary this year. Hits like “Please Mr. Postman” and “Do You Love Me” were incorporated, but not everyone watching thought it was appropriate and Lopez faced backlash on social media platforms like Twitter.
“Motown was music for everybody. Everybody,” Robinson said in an interview with Variety. “Who’s stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?”