Monty Brinton/CBS(LOS ANGELES) — Sunday night’s 59th Annual Grammy Awards turned out to be all about Adele — and her love for Beyonce.
The British superstar won five trophies, including Album of the Year for 25, and Record and Song of the Year for “Hello.” While accepting Record of the Year, she gushed over pregnant Queen Bey, who was sitting in the front row, saying, “You move my soul every single day and have for 17 years…I adore you and I want you to be MY mummy!” But when Adele returned to the podium minutes later to accept Album of the Year, she went even further.
“I can’t possibly accept this award,” she said. “And I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious but my life is Beyonce, and the album to me, the Lemonade album, Beyonce, was so monumental, and so well thought out. And so beautiful and soul baring…you are our light…And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have. And I always will.”
She didn’t go as far as walking down the steps and handing Beyonce her trophy, but she might has well have done so.
Adele now has 15 Grammys, and she’s also the first person ever to win Album, Song, and Record of the year twice. The other artist who won five Grammys last night? The late David Bowie who, like Adele, won every category in which he was nominated.
It was an incredibly emotional night for Adele, who opened the show with “Hello,” and later dropped the F-bomb during a tribute to the late George Michael, one of her idols. While performing a dramatic, slowed-down version of Michael’s “Fastlove,” she stopped, and said, “I know it’s live TV, I’m sorry I need to start again, I f**ed up. I can’t do it again like last year.” Last year, her performance of “All I Ask” was married by technical difficulties. This year, she may have started singing in the wrong key.
“I’m sorry for swearing, and I’m sorry for starting again, can we please start it again?” she continued. “I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him, I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m sorry for swearing, I’m really sorry.” She began “Fastlove” again and this time sang it all the way through, while photos of Michael were shown behind her. The song ends, fittingly, with the lyrics, “I miss my baby.”
That wasn’t the only technical mishap of the night, though. When Metallica and Lady Gaga took the stage for a joint performance of “Moth Into Flame,” Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s mic didn’t work at all and he eventually had to go sing into Gaga’s microphone.
As for Beyonce, she was up for nine awards but only won two. Her performance made quite an impact, though: she appeared live onstage in a gold jeweled gown and gold halo-like crown, while projections of her wearing a gold bikini with her pregnant belly protruding were projected onstage. She recited verses about motherhood, ending with “Your mother is a woman, and women like her cannot be contained.”
Beyonce, whose appearance recalled a goddess or a Madonna in a Renaissance painting, then walked down a runway surrounded by dozens of women wearing gowns and halo-like headpieces and sat in a chair while singing two tracks from Lemonade: “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles.”
Later, when Beyonce won Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade, she gave a long speech in which she said, in part, “It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families — as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves, and have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent and capable.”
She added, “This is something I want for every child of every race. And I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.”
While this was mildly political, other artists were a bit more open about it. Jennifer Lopez, presenting Chance the Rapper with Best New Artist, said, “At this particular point in history, our voices are needed more than ever.” A Tribe Called Quest gave a politically-charged performance of their song “We the People,” which featured rapper Busta Rhymes accusing “President Agent Orange” of “perpetuating evil.” At the end of the performance, the group gave the Black Power salute, while frontman Q-Tip shouted “Resist!”
Katy Perry wore an armband that read “Persist” during her performance of “Chained to the Rhythm,” a dance tune about becoming complacent in the face of the world’s problems. The number ended with her standing in front of a projection of the U.S. Constitution.
In addition to the George Michael tribute, Bruno Mars performed a tribute to Prince, singing “Let’s Go Crazy” while dressed as the late musical icon. His performance was preceded by a performance from Prince proteges The Time, who sang their hits “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.”
Rock duo Twenty One Pilots raised eyebrows when, after they were announced as the winners of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, both members took off their pants and went onstage in their underwear. Singer Tyler Joseph said before they were famous, when he invited his bandmate Josh Dun over to watch the Grammys with some other people, and they all watched it sitting around in their underwear. According to Joseph, Dun then said that if they ever won a Grammy, they should accept their trophy that way.
First-time Grammy host James Corden kept the show moving with a series of comic set pieces, including a bit where he had a group of artists, including John Legend, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Neil Diamond, Jason Derulo and Ryan Tedder, join him behind a cardboard cutout of a car and do a group sing-along to Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”
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