Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar grabbed the headlines at last night’s (Monday) 58th annual Grammy Awards, on a night of double success for UMG artists Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town and The Weeknd. Beneath the headlines, there were notable wins for jazz luminaries Snarky Puppy and Eliane Elias.
Swift became the first female artist to win the Album of the Year Grammy twice, as 1989 followed 2010’s Fearless. She also won Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Music Video for ‘Bad Blood’ with five-time winner Lamar. Stapleton, nominated for four trophies, took home two of them, winning Best Country Album for Traveller and Best Country Song for its title track.
He was beaten to Best Country Song by ‘Girl Crush,’ the Little Big Town hit which won for its writers Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose; the smash also helped the group win Best Country Duo/Group Performance. The Weeknd’s scorecard was two wins from seven nominations, as he took Best R&B Performance for ‘Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey’) and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Beauty Behind The Madness.
Only eight of the 75 Grammy award categories had their results televised in the main show, and as usual there were some worthy winners in the less-publicised divisions. New York instrumental fusion trendsetters Snarky Puppy won Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for Sylva, with the Metropole Orkest. Brazilian singer-pianist Eliane Elias took Best Latin Jazz Album for Made In Brazil.
The documentary Amy, about the life and death of Amy Winehouse, won Best Music Film; Swedish metal band Ghost won Best Metal Performance with ‘Cirice’ and their Concord Music Group stablemates the Steeldrivers, on Rounder — whose number used to include Stapleton — won Best Bluegrass Album with The Muscle Shoals Recordings.
The Grammy ceremony also contained spectacular tributes to such departed heroes as Lemmy, whose anthem with Motörhead, ‘Ace of Spades,’ was performed by Hollywood Vampires; David Bowie, honoured with a typically startling “extraterrestrial” medley by Lady Gaga; Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White, remembered by Stevie Wonder and vocal group Pentatonix; and B.B. King, whose passing last May was saluted in a performance by Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr.