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A strained "Star-Spangled Banner," a decaf flat white of a halftime show, an understated show of solidarity and, of course, the advertisements: If nothing else, Super Bowl LII's musical moments were legion. Here are the ones that caught NPR Music's ears over the course of the night.

Pink's lozenge

When it comes down to it, language is the heart of rap. That's why rappers in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, insist their city is the heart of Chinese rap. The language of Chengdu, Sichuanese, is an emotive, drawling dialect of Mandarin — so wildly different from its rigid-sounding mother tongue that visitors from other parts of China have a hard time understanding it. Its twang fits the rhythms of a song like "Leshan Doufu," by rapper TSP, like a glove.

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It's time to acknowledge that the Grammy Awards has a real race problem on its hands: It's racing toward total irrelevance.

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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.

In a year when the nominees were more eclectic and adventurous, the safe bets prevailed at the 60th Grammy Awards.

This is NPR Music's live blog of the 2018 Grammy Awards. The telecast of the awards show is scheduled to run from 7:30 until 11:00 p.m. ET. We'll be here the whole time, updating this post with every award or performance.

The complete list of nominees and winners from the 60th annual Grammy Awards.

GENERAL FIELD

Record Of The Year

WINNER: "24K Magic" - Bruno Mars
"Redbone" - Childish Gambino
" Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
"The Story Of O.J." – Jay Z
"HUMBLE." - Kendrick Lamar

Album Of The Year

Ahead of Sunday night's 60th Grammy Awards ceremony, a new study published by University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finds that more than 90 percent of Grammy nominees in the past six years have been male. Stacey Smith, co-author of the study — titled Inclusion in the Recording Studio? -- says there is an "epidemic of invisibility" in the music industry, particularly in songwriting and producing.

Al-Andalus was a region of Spain which, after the expansion of the Islamic Empire, was governed by Muslim rulers for nearly eight centuries – from 711 to 1492.

Editor's note: This story contains graphic details of alleged sexual assault.

The rapper Nelly has been accused of sexual assault by two more women, whose testimonies were included in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who is suing him for sexual assault and defamation.

The rapper, who performed the hits "Hot In Herre" and "Ride Wit Me" and was born Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was arrested in Washington state in October over an allegation that he raped a woman on his tour bus. The woman was later identified as 21-year-old Monique Greene. Nelly denies the allegation.

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The hip-hop, fashion and entertainment mogul Russell Simmons has been publicly accused of rape and sexual assault by 37-year-old filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik.

She is now one of more than a dozen women who have accused Simmons of sexual misconduct, in allegations ranging from harassment to assault, and the sixth woman to publicly accuse Simmons of rape.

New Orleans Revives 1894 Tabasco Opera

Jan 25, 2018

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Tonight, the New Orleans Opera celebrates its 75th anniversary with a performance that can best be described as spicy.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NEW ORLEANS OPERA: (Singing) Tabasco, Tabasco, the sauce that we all do love so.

Spotify, the popular music streaming service, will officially take the company public this spring and is planning a very unconventional IPO — short for "initial public offering" — that has investors talking.

Mark E. Smith, founder and frontman of the UK band The Fall, has died at the age of 60. The band's manager, Pam Vander, said in a written statement, "He passed this morning (24th January) at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days."

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCKET MAN")

ELTON JOHN: (Singing) She packed my bags last night pre-flight zero hour, 9 a.m.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The rocket man of the pop world, Elton John, is calling it quits.

When 50 Cent agreed to accept bitcoin for purchases of his 2014 album, Animal Ambition, a unit of the cryptocurrency was already worth hundreds of dollars — but the value of those sales has since skyrocketed and the rapper's bitcoin holding is now reportedly worth more than $7.5 million.

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(SOUNDBITE OF HUGH MASEKELA'S "GRAZING IN THE GRASS")

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In 1968, an instrumental tune by a little-known South African jazz musician hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

(SOUNDBITE OF HUGH MASEKELA'S "GRAZING IN THE GRASS")

Updated at 11:09 a.m. ET

The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning by a dapper, genial Andy Serkis and the always-intoxicating Tiffany Haddish.

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