Music News: Adele dominates Grammys


Adele, backstage with her Grammys
Adele poses in the press room with her trophies, including the top two Grammys of Album and Record of the Year for her blockbuster hit 'Hello' and the album '25,' during the 59th Annual Grammy music Awards on February 12, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

In a generally expected but tremendously bittersweet development, Adele swept Album of the Year (25), Song of the Year, and Record of the Year (both "Hello") at the 59th annual Grammys on Sunday night. The British singer-songwriter repeatedly paid tribute to her main competition, Beyoncé, whose Lemonade was hugely acclaimed and widely recognized as an epochal statement about race, gender, and identity in a politically tumultuous year.

The ceremony reflected the tenor of an industry that's stood in sweeping opposition to the policies of President Donald Trump. Allusions to resistance, diversity, and dignity recurred throughout the evening, most conspicuously in a performance by A Tribe Called Quest, who referred to "President Agent Orange" and had a diverse cast of performers crash through a wall of bricks during a fiery performance of "We the People."

Adele opened the show with a performance of "Hello," but inevitably the night's most-talked-about performance was a typically immaculate and creative set by Beyoncé. Visibly pregnant, the artist was introduced by her mother Tina Knowles and performed songs from Lemonade amidst gold-clad dancers who created a powerful image of pride and solidarity — and pulled off a nifty trick with a precipitously tipping chair as well.

Shut out of the major categories, Beyoncé accepted the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album with a statement about how "it is important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty." The most-nominated artist this year, Beyoncé also won Best Music Video for "Formation."

Chance the Rapper took awards including Best New Artist and Best Rap Album — a strong affirmation not only of Chance's artistry, but of the changes sweeping a music industry that has embraced the rapper despite the fact that he releases his music independently, for free. A change in eligibility rules meant this was the first year that an exclusively online release like Chance's Coloring Book was eligible for Grammys.

Major tributes to Prince (with Bruno Mars and a reunited old-school lineup of the Time) and George Michael were well-received, and David Bowie posthumously won his first-ever musical Grammy: his final album Blackstar took five awards, including a Best Alternative Album win over nominees including Bon Iver’s 22, A Million. (New York Times)

For a blow-by-blow recap of the whole day from the Premiere Ceremony onward, with commentary by staff at The Current and other notables, see our Grammys live blog.

On Friday night, the annual pre-Grammys MusiCares Person of the Year benefit paid tribute to Tom Petty. Musicians including Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, and Don Henley were on hand to perform Petty's music. In an acceptance speech, Petty praised up-and coming acts like Cage the Elephant and the Head and the Heart. (Rolling Stone)

Remembering Al Jarreau

Singer Al Jarreau has died at age 76. Jarreau was a star in the jazz and R&B worlds, and was recognizable to a wider audience through his appearance on "We Are the World" and for originating the Moonlighting TV theme song. Minneapolis played a pivotal role in the career of Jarreau, who cited a series of early '70s performances at the venue then known as the Depot (now known as First Avenue) for providing a critical confidence boost. (Star Tribune)

St. Vincent named Record Store Day ambassador

St. Vincent has been named this year's Record Store Day Ambassador. The announcement was made in the form of a Funny or Die video in which, as Stereogum notes, "her manager tells her that she's going to be the ambassador of a tiny Russian island called Recorstorda, and prepares herself for that before walking into a record shop to some very surprised customers." (Stereogum)

Elvis Costello fights Alzheimer's

Elvis Costello appears in a new video that supports Music & Memory, a charity that supports people suffering from Alzheimer's. He says that the song "Veronica" was inspired by his grandmother's dementia. "When I wrote 'Veronica,' it was in the hope that the loops and misfires of recollection in which my grandmother was often trapped were in some way comforting to her," says Costello. "It was a wildly hopeful song about a dismal subject." (Rolling Stone)

Bubbles is coming

Bubbles, one of Hollywood's most-discussed unproduced screenplays, is finally coming to the big screen. The screenplay, written by Isaac Adamson, is about Michael Jackson’s pet chimp. Director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) will helm the film, which "will be a stop-motion film that combines 3D printing and puppetry," reports Rolling Stone.

Devo get emoji

Devo fans take note: you can now download an emoji pack that gives you access to little faces wearing the post-punk band's signature headwear. (Pitchfork)

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