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Female acts and rap songs win big at the 61st Grammy Awards

China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-12 08:00

(From L to R) Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, former first lady Michelle Obama and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 61st Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles, California, US, February 10, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

LOS ANGELES, California - Women and rap triumphed at the Grammys on Sunday as female acts took home top prizes including album of the year and best new artist. Childish Gambino also made history when his hit This Is America became the first rap-based track to win record and song of the year awards.

Kacey Musgraves' country-pop release Golden Hour won album of the year, and British singer Dua Lipa won best new artist - a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony and the Grammys were criticized for the low number of female nominees.

Six women were nominated for best new artist, and five of the eight album-of-the-year nominees were women, including Brandi Carlile, who described herself as "a kid from the nineties from Lilith Fair".

"Those women were just dominating those platforms. They were dominating those arena and amphitheater stages. They were getting record deals. They were becoming record executives themselves," Carlile said.

Musgraves and Gambino were the night's top winners, taking home four awards each. This Is America also won best music video and best rap/sung performance.

Lady Gaga and Brandi Carlile won three Grammys apiece, and former first lady Michelle Obama was a surprise guest at the top of the show on CBS.

Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, black hip-hop artists dominated nominations across the board.

But unlike in years past, the artists snagged a handful of major wins - perhaps a sign that the Recording Academy is slowly getting in touch with pop culture's more groundbreaking work.

Cardi B's win for Invasion of Privacy was a crowning achievement for the artist, now at the top of the male-dominated hip-hop world.

The 26-year-old rap queen beat out the late Mac Miller and superstar Travis Scott to claim her first career Grammy, having soared to fame on the runaway success of her smash hit Bodak Yellow that centers on the Bronx native's past as a stripper.

The visibly shaking star, fresh off a rousing performance of her hit Money, delivered an emotional acceptance speech alongside her husband Offset of the rap trio Migos.

"The nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed," she said to laughter and applause, before turning to Offset and saying: "you husband, thank you."

Cardi B's vivacious charisma shines through on the album, in which she brashly owns her sex industry past - and her spectacular rise to the upper echelons of music.

The star born Belcalis Almanzar provided the soundtrack of the 2018 summer with her saucy hit I Like It, which pays homage to her Latin roots by sampling a 60s-era boogaloo standard.

Invasion of Privacy was one of the most successful albums of 2018, with the Recording Industry Association of America certifying all 13 tracks as "gold" or higher - a benchmark of sales. Cardi B is the first female artist to do so.


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