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At 60th Annual Grammy Awards, Bruno Mars Dominates Major Categories

Jan 29, 2018
Originally published on January 29, 2018 5:33 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pop singer Bruno Mars swept last night's Grammy Awards. Many people expected hip hop - and Latin music to dominate. Instead, Bruno Mars received the honors for album, song and record of the year. Here's NPR's Mandalit del Barco.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Bruno Mars' danceable funk hits "24K Magic" and "That's What I Like" had him accepting six Grammys in all.

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

BRUNO MARS: Look at me, Pop. Look at me. I'm on the - I'm at The Grammys right now.

DEL BARCO: Mars beat out hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, who got eight nominations and won none of them. He did take home the honorary Founders Award. Mars also beat Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar who was nominated seven times and picked up five, including best rap album.

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

KENDRICK LAMAR: From the jump, I thought it was about the accolades and the cars and the clothes, but it's really about expressing yourself and putting that paint on the canvas for the world to evolve for the next listener and the next generation after that. You know what I'm saying.

DEL BARCO: The winners stayed away from politics during their acceptance speeches, but the show had many pointed, scripted moments. Lamar opened the ceremony with a giant image of the American flag surrounded by soldiers and dancers in red hoodies who collapsed to gunshots as he rhymed. He was momentarily and deliberately interrupted by comedian Dave Chappelle.

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

DAVE CHAPPELLE: And I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America.

DEL BARCO: Chappelle went on to win his own Grammy for best comedy album. Perhaps the best comedic moment of the night came during a pre-recorded skit in which celebrities auditioned to read the audio book of Michael Wolfe's inside look at the Trump White House. Hillary Clinton even made a surprise cameo to try her hand reading "Fire And Fury."

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

HILLARY CLINTON: He had a longtime fear of being poisoned - one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald's. Nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.

DEL BARCO: Politics featured prominently in the second half of the telecast. U2 performed outdoors with the Statue of Liberty in the background. The band was introduced by singer and songwriter Camila Cabello who spoke in support of the children of undocumented immigrants.

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

CAMILA CABELLO: We remember that this country was built by dreamers for dreamers chasing the American dream.

DEL BARCO: Cabello said she was proud to be a Cuban-Mexican immigrant born in East Havana.

(SOUNDBITE FO 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

CABELLO: And all I know is, just like dreams, these kids can't be forgotten and are worth fighting for.

DEL BARCO: Cabello also joined Cyndi Lauper and dozens of women onstage to perform with Kesha on her song "Praying" written about her alleged abuse at the hands of her producer.

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

KESHA: (Singing) I hope you find your peace falling on your knees, praying.

DEL BARCO: Introducing Kesha, singer Janelle Monae called out the music industry.

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

JANELLE MONAE: We say time's up for pay inequality. Time's up for discrimination. Time's up for harassment of any kind. And time's up for the abuse of power.

DEL BARCO: The final performance of the night came from rapper Logic who ended this way.

(SOUNDBITE OF 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

LOGIC: Black is beautiful. Hate is ugly. Women are as precious as they are stronger than any man I have ever met. And unto them I say stand tall and crush all predators under the weight of your heart that is full of the love they will never take away from you.

DEL BARCO: And he honored the very countries President Trump recently disparaged - all the beautiful countries, Logic said, filled with culture, diversity and thousands of years of history. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "1-800-273-8255")

LOGIC: (Singing) I've been on the low. I been taking my time.

ALESSIA CARA AND LOGIC: (Singing) I feel like I'm out of my mind.

LOGIC: (Singing) It feel like my life ain't mine. Who can relate? I've been on the low. I been taking my time. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.