Lamar shut out as Swift, Sheeran, Mars win top Grammy awards

Rapper Kendrick Lamar led the Grammy winners on Monday with five wins but was shut out of the night’s top categories as Taylor Swift nabbed album of the year in an upset victory.

Compton, California rapper Lamar went into the awards with 11 nominations, and had looked on course to take album of the year for his critically-acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly, but it was country-turned-pop artist Swift who won with 1989, the best-selling album of 2014.

Swift (26) made history as the first woman to win album of the year twice after also taking the Grammy in 2009 for Fearless, and delivered a feisty acceptance speech on female empowerment.

“To all the woman out there … there will be people who try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,” the singer said on stage, adding “don’t let people sidetrack you.”

The speech appeared to be a swipe at Kanye West who last week released a song called Famous in which he claimed that he made Swift famous after the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards incident in which West hijacked Swift’s win live on stage.


R&B singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson won record of the year for their upbeat track Uptown Funk!

“We wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t for the people dancing to this song,” Mars said.

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran won his first Grammys, including song of the year for Thinking Out Loud, receiving a big hug from Swift as he went up on stage.

Pop star Meghan Trainor, who broke out last year with her body-confident hit All About That Bass, was named best new artist, tearfully thanking music executive LA Reid “for looking at me as an artist instead of just a songwriter.”

Spotlight on Compton
Hip-hop took centre stage as Lamar won best rap album and delivered the night’s most socially charged performance.

The rapper wore chains and a prison uniform to perform The Blacker The Berry, a powerful commentary on racial issues facing America’s black youth. He then broke free and rapped his anthemic track Alright surrounded by African tribal dancers.

Other winners included blues-rock group Alabama Shakes, who took home three wins including best rock performance for Don’t Wanna Fight, and Broadway musical Hamilton won best musical theater album.

Canadian crooner The Weeknd won two Grammys out of his seven nominations, including urban contemporary album for Beauty Behind the Madness, while Chris Stapleton also scored two awards, including best country album for Traveller.

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber won his first-ever Grammy in the best dance recording category for Where Are U Now, which he later performed.

While most performers on the night offered pared-down renditions of their hits, Lady Gaga gave a colourful tribute to late British singer David Bowie, singing a medley of his hits while dressed as the androgynous ‘starman.’

Offstage, Rihanna made news by canceling her scheduled performance at the last minute due to illness.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Stevie, Festac and a grenade

The singer recalls her time with Stevie Wonder at Festac, as well as her escape from an explosion

Black romance, no blackness

From the music to the plot, ‘The Photograph’ is a refreshing take on two people falling in love

From the archives: Black Magic

Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala passed on this morning. In 2009 Niren Tolsi spoke to him after the group received their third Grammy

#MeToo-era Pulitzers give Trump one on the nose

This year's Pulitzer juries awarded prizes to works that highlight the notable pitfalls of Donald Trump's presidency

Kendrick Lamar, the first rapper to win a Pulitzer

Kendrick Lamar has become the first non-classical, non-jazz artist to win the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for the music category

A soundtrack with its eye on the score

"Soundtracks are not scores. At best, they are marketing gimmicks with a pretence at a soul".
Advertising

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday