• Beyoncé gave a showstopping performance celebrating motherhood, and championed pride for “every child of every race” when she accepted the award for best urban contemporary album for “Lemonade.”
• A Tribe Called Quest gave a powerfully anti-Trump performance. Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” had political overtones.
• Chance the Rapper won the awards for best rap album and best new artist.
LOS ANGELES — Adele swept the 59th annual Grammy Awards with her album “25,” an enormous hit around the world, in a night that shut out Beyoncé from the major awards and also featured reverent tributes and, at times, pointed political commentary.
Adele won a total of five awards, including album of the year for “25” and both record and song of the year for the hit “Hello” — a sweep that Adele accomplished five years ago with her last album, “21.” She is the only artist to win album, record and song of the year twice.
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The night had been seen as a contest between Adele and Beyoncé, two superdivas who were up against each other in all major categories. There was also concern in the music industry that just such an outcome — with a white woman defeating a black woman in all top awards — would feed a brewing resentment that the Grammys too often fail to recognize minority artists in the top categories.
Adele herself seemed uncomfortable with the turn of events, at first tearfully saying that she could not accept album of the year (although she did accept it).
“My album of the year was ‘Lemonade,’ so a piece of me did die inside, as a Beyoncé fan,” Adele said in the media room afterward.
In her speech for record of the year, Adele told Beyoncé, “I adore you and I want you to be my mommy.”
Her comment was a reference to Beyoncé’s performance, which along with Adele’s showed two sides of divahood. Beyoncé appeared as a goddess of femininity, while Adele endeared herself to the crowd with her humanity, flaws included. Both stole the show.
Adele opened the show singing her hit “Hello,” in a performance that was somewhat shaky at first but still showed her power as a vocalist. Later, in a tribute to George Michael, she started to sing his song “Fastlove” but stopped it abruptly, cursing into the microphone and apologizing that she needed to start over to get it right. (CBS bleeped the profanity.) After finishing, she teared up as the celebrities in the front row applauded her in support.
Then there was Beyoncé, who offered a jaw-dropping, multimedia homage to motherhood in a segment that stunned the celebrities in attendance and immediately set social media on fire. After an affectionate introduction by her own mother, Tina Knowles, Beyoncé appeared as a crowned fertility goddess with her pregnant belly highlighted for the camera; at one point, her 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, ran around her.
Surrounded by dancers, and with projected images of herself in saffron robes, Beyoncé performed the songs “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” from her album “Lemonade.” When she accepted the award minutes later for best urban contemporary album, Beyoncé read a prepared statement that sounded like a manifesto.
Explaining her ambitions for “Lemonade,” an album and film, she said, “It is important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty,” so they will “have no doubt that they are beautiful, intelligent and capable.”
She added, “This is something I want for every child of every race.”
Beyoncé, who had been nominated for nine awards this year, more than any other artist, in the end won only two: best urban contemporary album for “Lemonade” and a music video prize for the song “Formation.”
Here were some of the night’s other big storylines.
Big night for Chance the Rapper
For the music industry, Adele represents a supreme form of success in what has become the old model: selling millions of CDs to her fans. But in an acknowledgment of the music industry’s rapidly shifting business model, three Grammys, including best new artist, went to Chance the Rapper, a gospel-influenced performer from Chicago whose music was released independently and is available only on streaming services.
“I know people think that independence means you do it by yourself,” Chance said onstage after winning best new artist, “but independence means freedom.” (He later won best rap album for “Coloring Book.”)
Performers get political
The night included political statements, some more overt than others. Katy Perry performed her new single “Chained to the Rhythm” in a white pantsuit and a sparkling armband that said “Persist,” an apparent reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Her number concluded in front of a projection of the United States Constitution.
But by far the fiercest was by the veteran hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, whose members accused “President Agent Orange” of “perpetuating evil” throughout the country, before dancers broke through a prop wall behind them and women in Islamic garb took the stage. At the end of the segment, the group and its company raised their right fists in the air in the black power salute, while the rapper Q-Tip repeatedly shouted, “Resist!”
Jennifer Lopez, before awarding the best new artist prize, quoted Toni Morrison: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work,” she said. “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear.”
Tributes galore: Prince and George Michael
The night was filled with tributes to stars departed and to landmarks of pop music’s past. Besides Adele’s homage to George Michael, the show also included a purple-hued tribute to Prince with the Time, the longtime Minneapolis funk group that often performed with Prince, and with Bruno Mars, who impersonated Prince from his makeup and performance style to the shape of his guitar.
The Prince tribute came on the same day that much of his music was released widely on streaming music services, a result of a series of deals reached with Prince’s estate; during his life, Prince closely policed his music online, and pulled his songs down from all services but Tidal.
Not all tributes were to the dead, but a medley of Bee Gees songs was almost as reverent. Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town and Andra Day played “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love” and others from the Bee Gees’ classic soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever,” 40 years after its release.
Before the show, more awards
Before the show began, the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammys, handed out prizes in a nontelevised ceremony hosted by the comedian Margaret Cho and held at the smaller Microsoft Theater nearby. Among the winners were the young country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson, for best country album for “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” and Carol Burnett, who beat out the likes of Amy Schumer, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello and the punk survivor John Doe in the best spoken word album category.
Seventy-five of this year’s 84 total Grammys were handed out before the television coverage began.
Beyoncé, who led the nominations this year with nine, took an early prize for best music video with “Formation.”
Speaking backstage, Melina Matsoukas, the director of “Formation,” was peppered by reporters for any details about working with Beyoncé. She played it close to the vest.
“There’s never a bad day with Beyoncé,” Ms. Matsoukas said.
David Bowie wins four awards
The big early winner was a surprise: David Bowie, who had mostly been passed over for Grammys during his life, won three in the preshow ceremony for “Blackstar,” the album that was released shortly before his death in January 2016. It won best rock performance, best alternative music album and an engineering prize. Once the TV ceremony started, Mr. Bowie won a fourth award, for best rock song.
These were Mr. Bowie’s first musical Grammys; he won a video award in 1985 and a lifetime achievement citation in 2006. (“Blackstar” also won for best art direction.)
The early awards recognize many of the musicians who operate below the level of stardom, as well as the engineers and producers whose names are seldom known by fans but who are a vital part of the process.
“This award ceremony is the real Grammys,” Ms. Cho said.
Boldface names seldom show up to this part of the Grammys, but those performers who do come often accept their honors with heavy emotions, and underscore how much the award can mean to the industry’s rank and file.
Lori McKenna was tearful as she accepted the best country song award as the writer of “Humble and Kind,” which was recorded by Tim McGraw.
“I just sat at my dining room table and wrote a song for my kids one day,” Ms. McKenna said. “And Tim McGraw, he made this beautiful moment of it.”
The blues singer Bobby Rush, winning his first Grammy at age 83 for best traditional blues album, for “Porcupine Meat,” said: “This is my 374th record. And finally.”
A new host tries to make his mark
James Corden, the host of “The Late Late Show” and new host of the Grammys, made quite an entrance, falling down a flight of stairs on the stage after a comic bit revolving around technical difficulties involving a hydraulic lift.
The show had other moments of levity. When Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots won best pop duo/group performance, they immediately stripped out of their pants and walked to the stage in their underwear.
Mr. Joseph explained that before they were famous, the two had watched the Grammy awards in their skivvies and pledged that if they ever won, “we should receive it just like this.”
He added: “I want everyone who’s watching at home to know, you could be next. So watch out, because anyone from anywhere can do anything.”
After the commercial break, Mr. Corden appeared pantless too.
Later, in a tongue-in-cheek exploitation of his popular “Carpool Karaoke” skits, Mr. Corden stood in the aisle of the Staples Center with a makeshift car frame around him, and, in a moment reminiscent of the selfie at the 2014 Oscars, gathered celebrities around him. Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Neil Diamond sang Mr. Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” with the entire arena shouting along.
Grammys 2017: Adele, Chance the Rapper, Beyonce Dominate
Adele, Beyoncé and Chance the Rapper dominated the 57th annual Grammys, both in awards won and onstage brilliance, with each artist garnering multiple awards to go along with remarkable performances.
After winning Album of the Year in 2012 with 21, Adele's Grammy-winning ways continued as 25 won Album of the Year and claimed victory for Best Pop Vocal Album. Even in victory, however, Adele's acceptance speeches praised the singer she defeated in each major category.
"The Lemonade album was so monumental and so well-thought-out and so beautiful and soul-bearing, and we all got to see another side of you that you don't usually let us see, we appreciate that. All us artists here adore you," Adele told Beyoncé after winning Album of the Year. "You are our light."
Following a 2016 Grammy performance marred by technical difficulties, Adele opened the 59th annual ceremony with a resounding, perfectly executed rendition of her "Hello." The song, a nominee in three categories, won all three golden gramophones, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year and a pre-show victory in Best Pop Solo Performance, again besting Beyoncé.
"My dream and idol is Queen B, and I adore you, and you move my soul, as you have done for the past 17 years," Adele told Beyoncé from the stage as she accepted Record of the Year.
Adele became the first artist ever to sweep Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year at a single Grammys twice.
Beyoncé, staging her first live appearance since announcing she was pregnant with twins, crafted a hallucinatory, epic medley of "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles," marking one of the night's most powerful performance.
The singer, who scored a league-leading nine nominations for Lemonade – including nods in the three major categories, Best Rock Song, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Solo Pop Performance – ended the evening with two awards: Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video ("Formation").
"My intention for the Lemonade album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable," Beyoncé said after accepting Best Urban Contemporary Album.
Chance the Rapper was another big winner on the night, nabbing the evening's first award of Best New Artist. In winning, he became the first black hip-hop artist to win the award since Lauryn Hill in 1999 and rolled from there, picking up Best Rap Album (Coloring Book) and Best Rap Performance ("No Problem").
Like the 2016 Grammys – which featured separate tributes for David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister – the 2017 ceremony was similarly heavy on tributes to the music legends who died in the past year: Adele remembered George Michael's legacy with an understated rendition of Michael's "Fastlove" that was initially riddled by errors, forcing the singer to demand a restart before landing a flawless, tearful second attempt.
Sturgill Simpson performed "All Around You" alongside the Dap-Kings to honor Sharon Jones, and John Legend and Cyntha Erivo sang the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" during the In Memoriam segment.
The Grammys continued its tributes with Prince, which featured Morris Day & The Time's festive "Jungle Love" and "The Bird" followed by Minneapolis Sound acolyte Bruno Mars, who donned Prince's Purple Rain attire to deliver a thrilling take on "Let's Go Crazy." The 24K Magic singer also played his "That's What I Like" earlier in the show.
Major and sometimes surprising collaborations, each a enthusiastic attempt to create a "Grammy moment," ruled the night, with four of the five Best New Artist nominees participating: Country star Maren Morris teamed with Alicia Keys on a fiery "Once," and Anderson .Paak joined A Tribe Called Quest for a medley; Solange paid tribute to the late Phife Dawg prior to the politicized performance, which featured Busta Rhymes calling Donald Trump "President Agent Orange" and criticizing the Muslim ban. "Resist! Resist! Resist!," Q-Tip yelled after the medley as a group of invited immigrants appeared onstage.
Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham combined for a "Peter Pan" and "7 Years" mash-up, while Chance the Rapper and gospel stars Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann partnered for "How Great" and "All We Got" at the tail end of the show. Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Andra Day and Little Big Town celebrated the Bee Gees with an all-star medley.
Other unique collaborations included Lady Gaga singing – due to a faulty mic – directly alongside a resilient James Hetfield and Metallica on the band's "Moth Into Flame," the Weeknd securing Daft Punk's first live appearance in three years to perform a Starboy medley and Katy Perry debuting her new single "Chained to the Rhythm" with Skip Marley after Little Big Town introduced her with an a cappella take on her "Teenage Dream."
Only 10 awards made it onto the Grammy broadcast, meaning the majority of the heavy trophy lifting came pre-show. Most notably, David Bowie posthumously won his first Grammys since a 1985 Best Video, Short Form victory as his swan song Blackstar won Best Rock Performance ("Blackstar"), Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical; a fourth Grammy, for Best Rock Song, would follow during the broadcast. Artist Jonathan Barnbrook also earned the Best Recording Package for his Blackstar work.
The Chainsmokers scored their first Grammy in the Best Dance Recording category for "Don't Let Me Down," and they were excited about it on Twitter. Other pre-show winners included Solange (Best R&B Performance for "Cranes in the Sky"), Cage the Elephant (Best Rock Album, Tell Me I'm Pretty), Megadeth (Best Metal Performance for "Dystopia," and the heavy metal act's first Grammy in 12 nominations) and Sturgill Simpson, the unlikely Album of the Year nominee, who won Best Country Album for A Sailor's Guide to Earth.
Drake, who didn't attend the Grammys despite eight nominations, won a pair of pre-show Grammys for "Hotline Bling": Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Justin Bieber, nominated for four awards, was shut out, as was a flask-toting Rihanna and Kanye West.
Other notable winners: Justin Timberlake (Best Song Written for Visual Media for "Can't Stop the Feeling), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Best Score Soundtrack and composer John Williams' 23rd win), Patton Oswalt (Best Comedy Album for Talking for Clapping) and Miles Ahead (Best Soundtrack Written for Visual Media).
Adele Wins Top Honors, Beyonce and Chance the Rapper Shine at 2017 Grammys
For a night that was billed as a coin flip between two superstars -- Beyoncé and Adele -- it was Adele who took home the top honors, winning Album of the Year for 25 and Song and Record of the Year for "Hello" at the 2017 Grammy Awards. In total, the British singer won five Grammys on the night -- adding Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance -- as she repeated her feat from 2012, when 21 and its single "Rolling in the Deep" swept the top three honors as well.
Beyoncé began the night as the most-nominated artist of 2017 with nine across four genres, but ultimately wound up with two wins on the night: Best Music Video for "Formation" and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade, giving her 22 Grammys in total throughout her career. But she shined brightly in her meaningful performance of "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles," both from Lemonade, in a display that seemed dedicated to the concepts of motherhood (she was introduced by her own mother, Tina Knowles), rebirth and healing -- and doubled as her first public appearance since announcing earlier this year that she's pregnant with twins.
Outside the two icons battling it out for the highest honors, Chance the Rapper nabbed an early win for Best New Artist and delivered a joyful penultimate performance of "How Great" and "All We Got" that bookended a huge night for the Chicago MC, which also included wins for Best Rap Album for Coloring Book and Best Rap Performance for "No Problem" feat. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. David Bowie also picked up five awards -- surprisingly, his first music-related Grammys ever -- while Bruno Mars earned a deserved ovation for channeling Prince during a fantastic tribute performance of "Let's Go Crazy." (Who knew Bruno Mars could shred on the guitar?)
But it's Adele who will dominate the headlines after becoming the first artist ever to run the table with the top three awards in the same year two different times. She opened the show with an emotional and powerful performance of "Hello," and later was tapped to helm a tribute to George Michael with a performance of his song "Fastlove." But after a rocky, seemingly off-key start she abruptly stopped the song after about 30 seconds. “I f--ked up, I can’t do it again like last year,” she said nervously, in reference to the tech issues that plagued her performance of "All I Ask" at last year's Grammys -- then she apologized again for swearing on live TV before re-starting the song, adding, "I can't mess this up for him." The end result was better and earned her a standing ovation from a forgiving Grammys crowd, even as she stood on stage clearly upset with herself over the situation.
In one early memorable moment, Twenty One Pilots won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Stressed Out" -- and took off their pants to accept their award in their underwear. By way of explanation, front man Tyler Joseph told a fairly touching story about the two of them watching the Grammys years ago with friends in their underwear and making a pact to accept a Grammy without pants if they ever got the opportunity. (Never stop dreaming, kids.) Not to be outdone, Grammys host James Corden -- taking over after five years of LL Cool J -- then introduced Ed Sheeran without pants, as well.
With 17 performances that pushed the show's run time to just shy of four hours, several individual acts stood out, with a particularly good night for soaring vocalists -- The Weeknd flexed his silky falsetto for "I Feel It Coming" alongside the twin robots of Daft Punk; Maren Morris and Alicia Keys both stunned with a powerful (and glittery) rendition of Morris' song "Once"; and Demi Lovato ("Stayin' Alive"), Tori Kelly ("Tragedy"), Little Big Town ("How Deep Is Your Love") and Andra Day ("Night Fever") honored the Bee Gees, joining forces to collectively reprise "Stayin' Alive" at its conclusion. Ed Sheeran built "Shape of You" from the ground up by himself using a looping machine, delivering a stripped-down rendition of his latest hit, while Sturgill Simpson, fronting the late Sharon Jones' backing band The Dap Kings, delivered a standout performance of "All Around You" that was made vital by the band's ambitious horn section. (Lady Gaga's performance with Metallica, a curiosity before the show, was undermined by front man James Hetfield's microphone not functioning during the song.)
In some sort of combination of promotion for his show Carpool Karaoke and his own spin on Ellen Degeneres' famous Oscars selfie from a few years ago, Corden went into the audience to lead a rendition of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" along with Diamond himself, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and even little Blue Ivy Carter, who wandered over to join the fun. That prefaced Bruno Mars' first slot -- Corden called him "one of the greatest live performers in the world," which is tough to argue -- in which he played a glitzy version of "That's What I Like" with an excellent, extended breakdown.
The highly-anticipated Prince tribute was tackled with vigor by Morris Day and The Time, referencing the film Purple Rain by performing "Jungle Love" -- complete with a quick check of a mirror, as made famous in the film -- and "The Bird" before Mars, decked out in the same purple regalia from the movie, let loose with "Let's Go Crazy." It was a fitting honor for one of the most individually talented icons of his generation.
And though it was relatively subdued compared to other recent awards shows, there were several noticeably political flash points throughout the show as well. A Tribe Called Quest, after dedicating their set to the late Phife Dawg, brought out Busta Rhymes and Consequence for the politically-charged "We the People" -- Busta sarcastically thanked "President Agent Orange" -- that sent a powerful message and closed with Q-Tip shouting, "RESIST!" Katy Perry ran through her new single, "Chained to the Rhythm," on a stage setup that almost looked like a Snapchat filter come to life, and delivered a performance that built in intensity as it went along, peaking with Skip Marley's verse and backup dancers taking apart a white picket fence (symbolism, anyone?) to reveal a backdrop of the U.S. Constitution. And Recording Academy president Neil Portnow called out Trump and Congress specifically, urging them to protect music education.
By the time Adele was called on stage to accept the final two awards, Record of the Year and then Album of the Year, her record-breaking night was in the history books. She has not lost a Grammy she has been nominated for since 2010 and has earned 15 so far in her career, including all of the big four categories (she won Best New Artist in 2009). In her teary acceptance speech for Album of the Year, she spent much of it thanking Beyoncé and describing Lemonade as "monumental" and deserving of the prize. But with her victories, Adele is entering monumental territory in her own way.