LOS ANGELES (AP) — In glittery gown, gilded crown and gold choker, a pregnant Beyoncè took the Grammy stage Sunday in a lengthy performance of two songs from her critically acclaimed album “Lemonade.”
She was introduced by her mother and former stylist, Tina Knowles: “Ladies and gentlemen, with my mother’s pride, my daughter, Beyonce.”
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Beyonce sang on top of a long table, even leaning back on a chair while singing “Love Drought.” She later sang “Sandcastles” while sitting down, hitting high notes.
She earned a loud applause from the audience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, including daughter Blue Ivy and husband Jay Z. Beyonce, who walked into the show with nine nominations, won two: best music video (“Formation”) and urban contemporary album (“Lemonade”).
“My intention for the film and album is to create a body of work that would give voice to our pain, our struggles, our doubts, and our history, to confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow in a world, where they look in the mirror, first with their own families as well as in the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys and see themselves,” said Beyonce, reading from a card. “This is something that I want for every child of every race, and I feel that it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.”
But she ended up losing both Record of the Year and Song Of the Year to Adele, who won for her hit single “Hello” and her ‘comeback’ album “25.” But Adele paid homage to Beyoncè, sitting in the front row with husband Jay Z, saying that she appreciated what Beyonce’s Lemonade did for her and for her Black friends.
The night for Adele wasn’t all good though: The singer, who had trouble with her live performance at last year’s Grammys, asked to restart her tribute to George Michael, telling the audience: “I can’t mess this up for him.” She stopped and used an expletive after singing some of a new arrangement of Michael’s “Fastlove,” as videos and photos of Michael played in the background. She re-sang the song and earned applause and support from the crowd, though Adele was teary eyed.
Michael died on Christmas Day. At last year’s show, the British singer had a hiccup after a microphone inside a piano fell onto the instrument’s strings.
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A number of other icons were honored, including Prince: Bruno Mars — rocking a glittery, Prince-like purple blazer, worked the guitar like a pro while singing the icon’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” The Time — who worked closely with Prince — brought the audience to its feet with funky performances of “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.”
“Make some noise for Prince y’all,” Mars yelled.
Mars was also a winner Sunday — he won for his producing work on Adele’s album. Adele’s other wins included best pop vocal album and pop solo performance.
Chance the Rapper won the first award in the live telecast for best new artist. He also won best rap performance during the pre-show awards.
“Glory be to God. I claimed this victory in the name of the Lord. I want to thank God for my mother and my father who supported me since I was young,” Chance the Rapper said onstage.
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In the pre-telecast, Beyonce’s younger sister, critical R&B darling Solange, won her first Grammy for best R&B performance (it was her first-ever nomination). Drake, who isn’t attending the live show, won best rap song and rap/sung performance for the smash hit, “Hotline Bling.”
Unlike the Golden Globes earlier the year, the Grammys generally avoided political statements for most of the show — until A Tribe Called Quest took the stage late in the evening.
Busta Rhymes repeatedly called President Donald Trump “President Agent Orange” as the group sharply criticized Trump’s recent executive order attempting to freeze immigration from several Muslim majority countries and called it a “Muslim ban.”
The rappers repeatedly chanted, “We the people” and ended their performance shouting “Resist! Resist! Resist!”, something that’s become a rallying cry for those protesting Trump’s policies.
Trump had been referenced but rarely mentioned earlier in the show.
Katy Perry’s performance did include several political messages and the displaying of the preamble of the Constitution.
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Twenty one pilots won best pop duo/group performance for the hit “Stressed Out.” They removed their pants when accepting the award in homage to their earlier days when they watched the Grammys at home in their boxers.
Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — which is nominated for an Oscar — won best song written for visual media. His No.1 hit is from the “Trolls” soundtrack.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 13, 2017
David Bowie, who died last year from cancer, won all four awards he was nominated for. He won three in the pre-telecast, and took home best rock song for “Blackstar” during the live show.
“Blackstar,” his final album released days after he died, also won best alternative music album, rock performance, and engineered album, non-classical (Bowie is listed as one of the engineers on “Blackstar.”) In the latter category, he beat out Prince.
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Adele kicked off the Grammys with a live rendition of her comeback anthem, “Hello,” which helped her win two early Grammys. Adele’s “Hello” won best pop solo performance and “25” won pop vocal album in the pre-telecast ceremony.
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Full Grammys winner list HERE.