Last night at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, the Recording Academy celebrated the 60th Annual Grammy Awards with a ceremony marked by big onstage collaborations and solidarity.
One of the biggest winners of the night was Bruno Mars, who took home three of the top prizes, winning Album and Record of the Year ( 24k Magic ) and Song of the Year (“That’s What I Like”). Kendrick Lamar also had a night, adding five awards to his Grammys collection. Other winners in the televised categories included Alessia Cara for Best New Artist, Ed Sheeran for Best Pop Solo Performance (“Shape of You”), Dave Chappelle for Best Comedy Album and Chris Stapleton for Best Country Album ( From a Room Vol. 1 ).
One of the main draws of the Grammys ceremony is the larger-than-life performances, which always feature several star-studded collaborations. To open up the telecast, Lamar offered a politically charged medley that featured a cameo from U2’s Bono and The Edge, followed by a more reserved but touching performance from Lady Gaga.
Along with hits like Rihanna’s “Wild Thoughts” and the ubiquitous “Despacito” from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, the night also included a number of celebratory and poignant tributes, including Jon Batiste and Gary Clark Jr. teaming up for Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” and Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene,” and a tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas music festival shooting featuring artists that were present at the tragedy playing Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven.”
Soon after, Kesha led a triumphant and defiant performance of her song “Praying“—dedicated to the “Time’s Up” women’s equality movement—featuring Cyndi Lauper, Andra Day, Camila Cabello and more, before U2 took the show outside for a performance in front of the Statue of Liberty of their tune “Get Out of Your Own Way.”
Near the end of the night, Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris offered a touching tribute to the late Tom Petty with his own “Wildflowers,” which kicked off an In Memoriam that remembered a long list of musicians and industry members that passed away in the past year, including Gregg Allman, Col. Bruce Hampton, Chris Cornell and many more, followed by a somber performance of “1-800-273-8255” from Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid, which proved to be one of the more powerful messages of the night.
Before the main event started, however, MSG’s Theater hosted the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony, which doled out most of the night’s awards—75 in all.
LCD Soundsystem kicked off the evening with a win for Best Dance Recording for “Tonite,” while electronic legends Kraftwerk won for Best Dance/Electronic Album for their live album 3-D The Catalogue. Kendrick Lamar won his first award of the night for Best Music Video for “HUMBLE,” and late Star Wars star Carrie Fisher won a posthumous award for Best Spoken Word Album ( The Princess Diarist ).
Some other highlight wins from the pre-event included legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra guitarist John McLaughlin winning Best Improvised Jazz Solo. He later joked that “To win a Grammy at my age is nothing short of a miracle” and noted, “In improvisation, you really are who you are, in that moment.” After performing during the Premiere Ceremony, Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo took home the Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy for their collaborative record, and a jovial Mahal spoke about “keeping the culture moving forward” in his continuing blues endeavors.
Jason Isbell had a solid night, taking home Best American Roots Song for “If We Were Vampires” and joining his 400 Unit in accepting Best Americana Album for The Nashville Sound. Later, Isbell spoke to the media on using his music to make a statement, saying, “I think it’s important for everybody to use their voice to change thing for the better. I think you have a responsibility to be honest with the art you’re making.” Isbell also spoke of his reverence for Gregg Allman, who was also nominated for Best Americana Album, and recounted the time Allman guessed that Isbell and wife/musical partner Amanda Shires were going to have a daughter, while Shires was on tour opening for Allman (“It’s a girl; I’m never wrong,” Allman said).
In a rare tie, The Infamous Stringdusters won Best Bluegrass Album for Laws of Gravity along with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage’s All the Rage live album, while Alabama Shakes came out on top in Best American Roots Performance for “Killer Diller Blues.” A couple of legends took home new awards, with Reba McEntire winning Best Roots Gospel Album and The Rolling Stones winning Best Traditional Blues Album for Blue & Lonesome.
Wrapping up the Premiere Ceremony awards were some of the bigger non-televised awards, like The War On Drugs’ win for Best Rock Album ( A Deeper Understanding ), The National winning Best Alternative Music Album ( Sleep Well Beast ), the late Leonard Cohen winning Best Rock Performance for “You Want It Darker,” Foo Fighters taking home Best Rock Song (“Run”), Chris Stapleton getting Best Country Solo Performance (“Either Way”), Portugal. The Man winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Feel It Still”) and Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) going to Greg Kurstin, who has recently worked with Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, Beck, P!nk, Liam Gallagher and more.
See the full list of winners from the 60th Annual Grammy Awards here