Grammys 2019: Best moments and winners

Grammys 2019: Best moments and winners

Highlights of the night

Text: Su Fen Tan

Image: Getty Images

From a scene-stealing cameo by Michelle Obama to an all-star country tribute to Grammys’ “person of the year” Dolly Parton, here is what you may have missed at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards:


After Camila Cabello's opening performance of 'Havana' along with Young Thug, Ricky Martin, Arturo Sandoval and J Balvin, host Alicia Keys kicked off the ceremony joined by a handful of very special guests for an ode to music and sisterhood. Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Obama each told personal stories of how music changed their life. Thunderous cheers and applause erupted in the room as the former first lady used her moment on stage to speak of music as a pillar of strength and unity:

"From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side (of Chicago) to the 'Who run the world' songs that fuelled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story. I know that's true for everybody here. Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. 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."


Another moment that surely left a smile on everyone's faces has to be the tribute to Dolly Parton, who was named Grammys' 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year in honour of her charity work. The all-star performance saw the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Maren Morris, Little Big Town, as well as Parton herself performing some of her biggest hits.
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"I always wanted to play two pianos," said Alicia Keys as she opened the second half of the show. Needless to say, her wish was fulfilled. She expertly juggled two grand pianos with one hand on each, playing some of the songs that have inspired her through the years, including Nat King Cole's 'Unforgettable', Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly, Lauryn Hill's 'Doo Wop (Than Thing)' and Kings of Leon's Use Somebody, before rounding it up with her very own 'Empire State Of Mind'.


Drake's appearance at the Grammys probably raised a few eyebrows at the beginning of the evening, seeing how the rapper is a vocal critique of the Grammys. We reckon he showed up just so he can give this speech after he won best rap song for 'God's 'Plan':

 "I want to take this opportunity while I'm up here to just talk to all the kids that are watching this that are aspiring to do music, all my peers that make music from their heart, that do things pure and tell the truth. I want to let you know we play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport. So it's not the NBA where at the end of the year you're holding a trophy because you made the right decisions and won the games."
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"This is a business where sometimes it's up to a bunch of people that might not understand, you know, what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say or a fly Spanish girl from New York or anybody else. The point is, you've already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you're a hero in your hometown. Look, look if there is people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending..."

That is as far as he got before his mic was abruptly cut off. The show producers later explained that it wasn't deliberate, because he took a pause and they thought he was done. Hmmm.


Kacey Musgraves and Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' emerge the night's biggest winners with four awards each. Musgraves took home the covetable title of Album of the Year, while 'This Is America' makes history by being the first rap song to win both song and record of the year. Speaking of firsts, BTS became the first K-pop group to present at the Grammys, where they handed the Best R&B album award to H.E.R. The hugely popular group also had their album Love Yourself: Tear nominated in the category of best recording package. 
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Album Of The Year
Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves

Record Of The Year
"This Is America," Childish Gambino

Best New Artist
Dua Lipa

Best Rap Album
Invasion Of Privacy, Cardi B

Best R&B Album 
H.E.R., H.E.R.

Best Rap Song
"God's Plan," Drake

Best Country Album
Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves

Song Of The Year
"This Is America," Childish Gambino

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
"Shallow," Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Pharrell Williams

Best Rap/Sung Performance
"This Is America," Childish Gambino

Best Rap Performance
King's Dead, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake / Bubblin, Anderson .Paak

Best Rock Album
From The Fires, Greta Van Fleet

Best Rock Song
"Masseduction," St. Vincent

Best Metal Performance
Electric Messiah, High On Fire

Best Rock Performance
When Bad Does Good, Chris Cornell

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Everything Is Love, The Carters

Best R&B Song
"Boo'd Up," Ella Mai

Best Traditional R&B Performance
Bet Ain't Worth The Hand, Leon Bridges / How Deep Is Your Love, Pj Morton Featuring Yebba

Best R&B Performance
"Best Part," H.E.R. Featuring Daniel Caesar

Best Latin Jazz Album
Back To The Sunset, Dafnis Prieto Big Band

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom, John Daversa Big Band Featuring Daca Artists

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Emanon, The Wayne Shorter Quartet

Best Jazz Vocal Album
The Window, Cécile Mclorin Salvant

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Don't Fence Me In, John Daversa

Best Reggae Album 
44/876, Sting & Shaggy

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Woman Worldwide, Justice

Best Dance Recording
"Electricity," Silk City & Dua Lipa Featuring Diplo & Mark Ronson

Best Contemporary Classical Composition
Kernis: Violin Concerto, James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony

Best Classical Compendium
Fuchs: Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush, Joann Falletta

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
Songs Of Orpheus - Monteverdi, Caccini, D'india & Landi, Karim Sulayman

Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Kernis: Violin Concerto, James Ehnes

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
Anderson, Laurie: Landfall, Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet

Best Choral Performance
Mcloskey: Zealot Canticles, Donald Nally

Best Opera Recording
Bates: The (R)Evolution Of Steve Jobs, Michael Christie, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, Sasha Cooke, Edward Parks & Jessica E. Jones

Best Orchestral Performance
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, Andris Nelsons

Producer Of The Year, Classical
Blanton Alspaugh

Best Engineered Album, Classical
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra

Best Pop Vocal Album
Sweetener, Ariana Grande

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
My Way, Willie Nelson

Best Pop Solo Performance
Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin'?), Lady Gaga

Best Country Song
"Space Cowboy," Kacey Musgraves

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Tequila, Dan + Shay

Best Country Solo Performance
"Butterflies," Kacey Musgraves

Best Music Film
Quincy, Quincy Jones

Best Music Video
"This Is America," Childish Gambino

Best Regional Roots Music Album
No 'Ane'I, Kalani Pe'a

Best Tropical Latin Album
Anniversary, Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
¡México Por Siempre!, Luis Miguel

Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album
Aztlán, Zoé

Best Latin Pop Album
Sincera, Claudia Brant

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Faith - A Journey For All, Jimmy Carter

Best Children's Album
All The Sounds, Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats

Best Folk Album
All Ashore, Punch Brothers

Best Contemporary Blues Album
Please Don't Be Dead, Fantastic Negrito

Best Traditional Blues Album
The Blues Is Alive And Well, Buddy Guy

Best Bluegrass Album
The Travelin' Mccourys, The Travelin' Mccourys

Best Americana Album
By The Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile

Best American Roots Song
The Joke, Brandi Carlile

Best American Roots Performance
The Joke, Brandi Carlile

Best New Age Album
Opium Moon, Opium Moon

Best Song Written For Visual Media
"Shallow," Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
Black Panther, Ludwig Göransson

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman (& Various Artists)

Best World Music Album
Freedom, Soweto Gospel Choir

Best Roots Gospel Album
Unexpected, Jason Crabb

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Look Up Child, Lauren Daigle

Best Gospel Album
Hiding Place, Tori Kelly

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
"You Say," Lauren Daigle

Best Gospel Performance/Song
"Never Alone," Tori Kelly Featuring Kirk Franklin

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Steve Gadd Band, Steve Gadd Band

Best Immersive Audio Album
Eye In The Sky - 35th Anniversary Edition, The Alan Parsons Project

Best Remixed Recording
"Walking Away (Mura Masa Remix)," Haim

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Colors, Beck

Best Historical Album
Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris

Best Album Notes
Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
Squeeze Box: The Complete Works Of "Weird Al" Yankovic, Weird Al Yankovic

Best Recording Package
"Masseduction," St. Vincent

Best Arrangement, Instruments And Vocals
"Spiderman Theme," Randy Waldman Featuring Take 6 & Chris Potter

Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella
"Stars And Stripes Forever," John Daversa Big Band Featuring Daca Artists

Best Instrumental Composition
Blut Und Boden (Blood And Soil), Terence Blanchard

Best Alternative Music Album
"Colors," Beck

Best Musical Theater Album
The Band's Visit, Original Broadway Cast

Best Comedy Album
Equanimity & The Bird Revelation, Dave Chappelle