Oh, and there were cute kids too.
If you had an early bedtime or just don’t care for pomp and Teleprompter patter, here are the biggest moments you may have missed from Sunday night’s Grammy awards.
1. Kendrick Lamar’s banger of an opener
The rapper blew people away with loaded, compelling performances “XXX” and “DNA.” Backed by the American flag and men in fatigues and ski masks, Lamar rapped about black blood and black power. He was eventually joined by U2 and Dave Chapelle. Near the end of his set, Chapelle told the audience, ” “I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America. Sorry for the interruption.”
2. Kesha’s angelic performance of “Praying”
Kesha’s legal battle with her producer was one of the biggest entertainment stories of the last few years, and her triumphant ballad took on new meaning in light of the #MeToo movement. Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels and Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus joined her onstage, dressed in all white.
3. Janelle Monae’s speech
Before introducing Kesha’s performance, Janelle Monae had a short, but direct statement about the Time’s Up movement. “Tonight, I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist but a young woman with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry,” she said. “Artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business. And to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up.”
4. Blue Ivy stealing the show
When you’re Beyonce and Jay-Z, there’s no one that can really cut you down to size — except maybe your six-year-old daughter. Apparently some polite clapping was a little too gauche for the young lady, who gently asked her parents to please stop being so embarrassing.
5. Celebrities read from “Fire and Fury” — including, yes, her
Think of it like “Celebrities Mean Tweets,” only it was “celebrities read mean excerpts from a tell-all about the presidential administration. Including, yes, a surprise cameo from Hillary Clinton herself.
6. Camila Cabello’s tribute to Dreamers
Before introducing U2’s performance, the Cuban-Mexican “Havana” singer had some particularly poignant words on immigration, especially on the legacy of DACA.
“Today, in this room full of music’s dreamers, we remember that this country was built by dreamers, for dreamers, chasing the American dream,” she said said. “I’m here on this stage tonight because, just like the dreamers, my parents brought me to this country with nothing in their pockets but hope. They showed me what it means to work twice as hard and never give up. And honestly no part of my journey is any different from theirs.”
7. U2’s performance underneath Statue of Liberty
U2 continued the pro-immigration theme with a dramatically-lit performance on barge near the Statue of Liberty. In conclusion, frontman Bono delivered a strong message into a bullhorn: “Blessed are the shithole countries, for they gave us the American dream.”
8. Boos for Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran seems like a fairly innocuous singer with a strong of agreeable radio-staples. Depite — or perhaps because of — this fact, the auditorium filled with boos when he won Best Solo Performance for his song “Shape of You,” beating out the likes of Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Lady Gaga and Kesha. Can’t imagine why people were upset! (Sheeran, by the way, was mercifully not there to hear the boos.)
9. A powerful tribute to Las Vegas
A group of sountry superstars provided one of the most emotional — and non-political — performances of the night in tribute to the 59 victims of the Las Vegas shooting.
Maren Morris, Eric Church and the Brothers Osborne delivered a tender rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” to a silent and contemplative crowd.
“All of country music was reminded in the most tragic way of the connection we share with our fans and the healing power music will always provide,” Church said before the performance.