Hip-Hop failed to get its long overdue Album of the Year win, but it is all thanks to Bruno Mars, who spearheaded R&B’s strong showing at the night, with 7 awards.
Bruno Mars won all seven awards that he was nominated for: Album and Record of the Year for “24K Magic” and Song of the Year for “That’s What I Like;” Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for “That’s What I Like.” “24K Magic” was also awarded Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) and Best R&B Album. Mars already claimed 11 Grammy Awards going into the night.
In Bruno’s acceptance speech, the R&B star gave thanks to The Recording Academy and the inner circle that helped him get to where he is today, including co-writers Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeve, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip.
“I’ve known these guys for over a decade,” he shared onstage. “All the music, the music business horror stories you see in the movies, we’ve been through all of it. And this is the first time on this album that we all came collectively as a group and put this song together and put the album together. So fellas, it is an honor to share this with you tonight. These are my brothers.”
Kendrick Lamar was the night’s second biggest winner, picking up five Grammys, starting with Best Music Video for “Humble,” a record which also won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. He later won during the telecast for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna.
JAY-Z, who was 2018’s most nominated artist, with eight, walked away empty-handed. SZA, who was the highest nominated female with five nominations, also walked away with nothing.
Best Rap Album also went to Lamar. Accepting the awards on stage, the rapper showed his respect for artists who came before him including fellow nominee JAY-Z. “This is a special award,” said Lamar. “It showed me the true definition of what being an artist was” … that “it’s not about accolades, cars and clothes … it’s about the next generation. Jay-Z, Nas, Puff — they showed me the game through their lyrics up close and from afar.”
Alessia Cara won Best New Artist, beating Khalid, a heavy favorite. She accepted by commenting that she had been practicing for a Grammy acceptance speech since childhood in the shower. “I didn’t expect this. None of this feels real. I probably won’t process this for another seven years.”
Cara was the only female artist awarded during the three-and-a-half hour broadcast.
Ed Sheeran, interestingly only got recognized in two categories coming into the awards and won both — for Best Pop Vocal Album for his album “Divide” and for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Shape Of You.”