There was music and there were protests, but the Grammys once again belonged to Adele
Adele, the English queen of pop heartbreak and redemption, scored a perfect five for five Sunday at the 59th Grammy Awards , sweeping the top categories of album, record and song of the year in a triumphant return to the spotlight following a long, trying hiatus.
She also won points for humility and grace, restarting a tribute to George Michael that she began off-key and paying homage, in the evening’s final moments, to the artist considered her key rival for the top awards.
As she accepted the album of the year award for the blockbuster “25,” the singer, born Adele Adkins, paid homage to Beyoncé.
“The ‘Lemonade’ album is monumental, so monumental, so well-thought-out, so beautiful and soul-baring,” Adele said as Beyoncé looked on from her seat in Staples Center and mouthed the words “Thank you.”
Adele’s hit single “Hello” also collected the song award, which recognizes songwriting, and record of the year, which factors in vocal performance and record production. In addition, she won the awards for pop vocal album and solo performance.
Beyonce, who received the the most nominations this year, won two of her nine categories; “Lemonade” won for urban alternative album, and “Formation” won the music video award.
David Bowie ’s final album “Blackstar” also picked up five Grammy Awards for alternative music album, rock song, rock performance, engineered nonclassical album and recording package.
Not surprisingly given the mood of the country, the ceremony featured several moments of political commentary, ranging from calls for unity to blatant criticism.
In accepting the urban alternative album award, Beyoncé said, “My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that will give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history, to confront issues that make us uncomfortable.
“It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty,” she continued, “so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys, and see themselves. And have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable.
Far more direct was the call-out to “President Agent Orange” from hip-hop collective A Tribe Called Quest.
Photos from the 2017 Grammys