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Live Blog: The 2019 Grammy Awards


Kacey Musgraves, who is nominated for Album of the Year at the 61st Grammy Awards, on the red carpet.

Kacey Musgraves, who is nominated for Album of the Year at the 61st Grammy Awards, on the red carpet.

Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

This is NPR Music’s live blog of the 2019 Grammy Awards. The telecast of the awards show is scheduled to run from 8:00 until 11:30 p.m. ET. We’ll be here the whole time, updating this post with every award or performance.


8:06 p.m. In the sclerotic world of the Grammys, it’s a big move to have an overtly Latinx opening act — Camila Cabello with J Balvin, Ricky Martin, Young Thug and Arturo Sandoval. The performance definitely feels like a statement, even though the set (which, in a pre-show interview with Ryan Seacrest, Cabello said was supposed to evoke a family home — her grandmother’s, I think) felt a little Broadway. —Anastasia Tsioulcas

7:59 p.m. The somewhat shambolic, or at least far less buttoned-up, pre-show wrapped up around 6:50 p.m. ET. Notable winners included:

Brandi Carlile, who’s already taken home three trophies, for best American roots performance and best American roots song for “The Joke,” as well as best Americana album for By The Way, I Forgive You. The song and album is also up for record of the year and album of the year, respectively. (Read our chief critic Ann Powers take on “The Joke” here.)

Ariana Grande — who had a public falling out with the night’s executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, earlier this week over her choice of song, a year after Lorde was denied the opportunity to perform during the telecast — won best pop vocal album for Sweetener.

Kacey Musgraves has won two golden gramophones so far: “Space Cowboy” was voted best country song by the Recording Academy, while “Butterflies” won best country solo performance. She’s also nominated for Album of the Year.

Lady Gaga — who will be performing tonight without Bradley Cooper, who is in Britain, attending the BAFTAs — won best song written for visual media for, of course, “Shallow” from A Star Is Born. Other cinema winners included Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake for their Black Panther song “King’s Dead” (shared with Anderson .Paak and his song “Bubblin”); Hugh Jackman (and various other artists) for The Greatest Showman’s compilation soundtrack; and Ludwig Göransson, who composed the score soundtrack for the visual media of Black Panther; and Terence Blanchard won best instrumental composition for “Blut Und Boden (Blood and Soil),” which you may recognize as the main theme to Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKKlansman.

The Carters’ Everything Is Love for best urban contemporary album (shockingly, they weren’t present to accept their statue).

Chris Cornell’s children accepted an award on his behalf, for best rock performance of “When Bad Does Good.”

Unsurprisingly and well-deservedly, Childish Gambino was given best music video for “This Is America.”

Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet won best chamber music/small ensemble performance for Landfallread our coverage here.

Elder jazz statesman Wayne Shorter and his Quartet’s Emanon won for best jazz instrumental album. (We reviewed the monumental piece of work.)

Former Tiny Desk Contest winner Fantastic Negrito‘s Please Don’t Be Dead won best contemporary blues album.

The Soweto Gospel Choir, who’ve visited the Tiny Desk before, won best world music album for Freedom.

Widely panned up-and-coming retro-rock group Greta Van Fleet took best rock album.

St. Vincent won best rock song for “Masseduction,” with producer Jack Antonoff by her side.

Matt Pike from the fairly underground metal band High On Fire, who likely didn’t ever expect to be ascending to the stage during the Grammys, accepted an award for best metal performance behind Electric Messiah.

Dave Chappelle‘s Equanimity & The Bird Revelation won best comedy album. —Andrew Flanagan

7:55 p.m. Out of 84 total awards, here are the nine that will be awarded during the telecast tonight:
Best country album
Best rap album
Best rap song
Best R&B album
Best pop duo/group performance
Best new artist
Song of the year
Album of the year
Record of year
—Andrew Flanagan

7:50 p.m. Welcome to NPR’s live blog for the 61st annual Grammy Awards, where you’ll find commentary, context and pithy quips from our team. Going into the main show — with but nine awards left to give out — here are some things to keep in mind and look forward to:

The night is, mostly, all about the performances. There will be awkward moments, but a planned tribute to Aretha Franklin, which will be performed by Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day, had better be one to remember.

What will the final speech from Neil Portnow — who caused more than a little consternation last year when he said women needed to “step up” in order to secure broader inclusion — contain? The executive is resigning as president of the Recording Academy this year.

Whether the Recording Academy’s task force — set up in the wake of Portnow’s comments and a severely lopsided number of female winners last year — has been successful in its aims to broaden not only the Academy’s membership but also those it honors.

Who doesn’t show up: Kendrick Lamar, Drake Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Jay-Z and Beyonce and a host of others are expected to skip this year. (As is Record of the Year nominee 21 Savage, who wasn’t given the choice of attending after being taken into custody by ICE exactly one week ago today.) How many of music’s biggest stars can skip the form’s “biggest night” before it begins to wither? —Andrew Flanagan

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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