Childish Gambino makes Grammy history with record of the year
(CNN) -- Childish Gambino's "This Is America" won Grammys for song and record of the year on Sunday, becoming the first rap song to win the prestigious awards.
The artist -- also known as the multi-talented Donald Glover -- did not attend the event and reportedly declined an invitation to perform at the Grammys.
"This Is America" beat out "Shallow," "God's Plan" and other big hits. The Grammy for song of the year honors song writers, while record of the year goes to the recording artist.
The song caused a stir last May when Gambino released its ambitious video, which was full of racial symbolism.
The Recording Academy has made an effort to diversify its membership amid complaints the Grammys have frequently failed to recognize rap and hip-hop artists in the major categories.
Earlier this week in an interview with the New York Times, longtime Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich acknowledged, "We continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world."
It's unclear if Childish Gambino's wins on Sunday change that.
Kacey Musgraves' golden night
Kacey Musgraves earned four Grammy Awards on Sunday, including album of the year for "Golden Hour," best country album, best country solo performance and best country song.
A shocked Musgraves thanked everyone for "championing" her music.
Alicia Keys brings out the star power
Alicia Keys, who got a little assistance from some big names to open the ceremony, proved throughout the show that she needed no help to deliver a powerhouse performance as first-time host.
Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Michelle Obama joined Keys on stage during the opening minutes for an ode to music and sisterhood.
Obama, who got a rousing applause from the crowd, so much so that she had to pause saying her lines and restart once it calmed, said music "fueled" her through the last decade.
"Music helps us share ourselves -- our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys," Obama 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."
Keys said the night was about celebrating "the greatness in each other."
On social media, Keys was celebrated for her greatness by the internet reviewers of social media.
Her hosting style played to her strengths as a storyteller and musician.
She shared a personal story about how John Mayer once split a Grammy with her after losing best song to him 2005. Mayer joined Keys to present this year's award in the same category.
Later on stage, she showed off her raw musical talents by playing two pianos at once, and covering songs from Nat King Cole to Kings of Leon.
During the pre-telecast Grammy ceremony, Lady Gaga scored two wins.
The singer won an award for best pop solo performance for "Joanne" as well as best song written for visual media for "Shallow" from her Oscar-nominated film "A Star is Born."
She also won the first award of the night, best pop duo/group performance, for "Shallow," which she recorded with Bradley Cooper.
Lady Gaga used the moment to address mental health, which is a major subject of "A Star is Born."
"A lot of artists deal with that, and we have to take care of each other," she said.
Ariana Grande, who was a no-show this year, was also among the pre-ceremony winners.
Cardi B became a first-time Grammy winner and the first woman to win best rap album. Dance-pop artist Dua Lipa won best new artist.
The Grammys this year expanded the major categories of album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist from five nominees to eight, some say in response to the lack of diversity among nominees in previous years.
As for performances, Camila Cabello, along with J Balvin, Ricky Martin, and Arturo Sandoval opened the show with "Havana."
Other performers included Post Malone with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shawn Mendes with Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monae, and Travis Scott.
A tribute to the music of Dolly Parton stood out as one of the most joyful moments of the show. Parton joined Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Cyrus and Little Big Town for a medley of her hits, culminating in a performance of "9 to 5" that got the Grammys crowd on their feet and singing along.
Yolanda Adams, Fantasia Barrino and Andra Day produced heaven-sent harmonies in the name of Aretha Franklin in one of the top music moments of the night.
Diana Ross, who used her performance to mark her 75th birthday, also got the crowd up with hands in the air.
A true diva, Ross owned the room and concluded her moment with an enthusiastic declaration: "Happy birthday to me!"
Despite featuring an appearance from Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Lopez's tribute to Motown failed to satisfy some critics who had expressed dissatisfaction with her performance since it was announced. (For the record, Robinson called the backlash "stupid" in an interview with Variety.)
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