Who run the Grammys? Incredibly talented and accomplished women stole the show with some amazing moments. Here’s a roundup of the best bits of the night:
Related: The standout style for the 2019 Grammys red carpet
Within the first couple minutes of the Grammys, host Alicia Keys unveiled one of the biggest surprises: Michelle Obama. The former First Lady took the stage alongside Keys, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez to start the ceremony and talk about the power of music in a sparkly silver jumpsuit.
And she made a touching speech about how music unites us. “From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” she said.
“Music has always helped me tell my story and I know that’s true for everybody. Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys,” she said. “It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters: Every story within every voice, every note within every song.”
Lady Gaga gave an emotional acceptance speech as she highlighted the importance of mental health issues being addressed in A Star Is Born. Gaga nabbed the award for best pop/group performance for the film’s now iconic duet Shallow and used her acceptance speech to talk about the importance of speaking out about mental health struggles.
Lady Gaga highlighted the importance of talking about mental health during her acceptance speech for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for ‘Shallow’ #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/vpRHPxZKCM
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 11, 2019
“If I don’t get another chance to say this: I just want to say I’m so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues. They’re so important. And a lot of artists deal with that and we got to take care of each other. So if you see somebody that’s hurting don’t look away. And if you’re hurting, even if it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you.”
She also performed the song and inadvertently created a meme that is very popular on Twitter.
A tribute to Dolly Parton
Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? The legendary country star took to the stage with her classic Here You Come Again, Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry started off the segment, followed by Miley Cyrus’s duet with the legend herself. Dolly and Miley floored the audience with Jolene, still her best song ever.
Diana Ross’ adorable grandson
Diana Ross, who stunned in a red gown, celebrated her birthday at the event. The Grammys were turned to a birthday bash for Ross, who will turn 75 in March this year. We’ll have what she’s having; how incredible does she look at 75?!
Mr. Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick really went for it that night & won over a lot of hearts in the process. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/UkMos8zq5H
— Miss TLC (@IAmMissTLC) February 4, 2018
But the breakout star of the evening was definitely 9-year-old Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick, who stole all our hearts when he came onstage to introduce legendary grandmother. Even his walk is all kinds of iconic.
“Thank you miss Alicia, for all the wonderful things that you said about my grandmother,” he said. “She is amazing, and young people like me can look up to her for her independence, confidence and her willingness to be her unique self. She has shown the world that nothing is beyond our reach.”
“She has shown the world that nothing is beyond our reach,” 9-year-old Raif-Henok introducing his grandmother, queen of the #GRAMMYs, @DianaRoss ? #CitytvGRAMMYs #GRAMMYsGranny pic.twitter.com/D1GuMLC6Hd
— Citytv (@City_tv) February 11, 2019
Female winners made history
Following the controversies of last year, when just one woman won a solo award during the telecast — and the outgoing head of the Recording Academy, the organisation behind the awards, remarked that women in music should “step up” to advance their careers, it was women who rightfully turned things around. Cardi B made history and became the first woman to win best rap album as a solo artist for Invasion of Privacy. It was her first Grammy.
The award for album of the year went to Kacey Musgraves for Golden Hour, a collection that stretched the boundaries of country and drew deep respect from critics. She also took home three other prizes in the country field.
Related: BAFTA 2019: The best of the red carpet
Lady Gaga also won three Grammys in total, two for Shallow and one for a performance of Joanne and made history herself; the singer had quite a night, being the first person to take home a BAFTA (for best original music) along with her Grammy wins on the same night.
Jennifer Lopez controversy
Im so tired of y’all talking down on Jlo.
She delivered choreo & vocals.
She did what she needed to do! pic.twitter.com/MNBpzEp4y2
— J? (@THEJMVE) February 11, 2019
Jennifer Lopez was praised for her high-energy Motown tribute (she’s almost 50 and still dances like it’s 1999) but it caused some backlash when many pointed out that the singer perhaps wasn’t the ideal person to perform such a selection of songs.
No shade, JLo is truly a great artist, but let’s be real, this wasn’t her performance to give. Plenty of other black artists could have been given this platform and moment and we need to acknowledge that. #GRAMMYs
— Pero Like (@BFPeroLike) February 11, 2019
When interviewed about this tribute, JLo couldn’t think of ONE motown song. Instead she said her mom made her sing and dance to Motown music. So she said she was going to dedicate the performance to her mom. And indeed she thanked her mom at the end of the tribute. Not motown.
— Dr. Blanca E. Vega (@BlancaVNYC) February 11, 2019
JLo is an amazing artist… who I love! But she was not right person for the Motown tribute… and the salsa dance near the end of her performance proved that. Name 1 Motown artist who salsa danced. #GRAMMMYs #jlo #Motown
— Karamo Brown (@Karamo) February 11, 2019