Adele sweeps 59th annual Grammys
• Beyoncé gave a showstopping performance celebrating motherhood, and championed pride for “every child of every race” when she accepted the award for the best urban contemporary album for “Lemonade.”
• A Tribe Called Quest gave a powerfully anti-Trump performance. Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” had political overtones.
• Chance the Rapper won the awards for best rap album and best new artist.
Adele swept the 59th annual Grammy Awards with her album “25,” an enormous hit around the world, in a night that shut out Beyoncé from the major awards and also featured reverent tributes and, at times, pointed political commentary.
Adele won a total of five awards, including album of the year for “25” and both record and song of the year for the hit “Hello” — a sweep that Adele accomplished five years ago with her last album, “21.” She is the only artist to win album, record and song of the year twice.
The night had been seen as a contest between Adele and Beyoncé, two superdivas who were up against each other in all major categories. There was also concern in the music industry that just such an outcome — with a white woman defeating a black woman in all top awards — would feed a brewing resentment that the Grammys too often fail to recognise minority artists in the top categories.
Adele herself seemed uncomfortable with the turn of events, at first tearfully saying that she could not accept album of the year (although she did accept it).
“My album of the year was ‘Lemonade,’ so a piece of me did die inside, as a Beyoncé fan,” Adele said in the media room afterward.
In her speech for record of the year, Adele told Beyoncé, “I adore you and I want you to be my mommy.”
Her comment was a reference to Beyoncé’s performance, which along with Adele’s showed two sides of divahood. Beyoncé appeared as a goddess of femininity, while Adele endeared herself to the crowd with her humanity, flaws included. Both stole the show.
Adele opened the show singing her hit “Hello,” in a performance that was somewhat shaky at first but still showed her power as a vocalist. Later, in a tribute to George Michael, she started to sing his song “Fastlove” but stopped it abruptly, cursing into the microphone and apologising that she needed to start over to get it right. (CBS bleeped the profanity.) After finishing, she teared up as the celebrities in the front row applauded her in support.