The 2019 Grammy Awards surprised many hip-hop fans when Cardi B became the first woman to win the Best Rap Album award. The unexpectedness continued with the award for Best Rap Song was a tie and went to anderson.paak and to Kendrick Lamar, Future and Jay Rock. Drake appeared to upset the event’s producers after he gave his acceptance speech for Best Rap Song and explained how Grammy awards are not the ultimate validator of one’s career and then his microphone cut off and a commercial was aired. It was reported before the ceremony that Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino had declined to perform at the show because of their ongoing lack of recognition for hip-hop artists. The Grammys have historically only presented hip-hop awards outside of the television broadcast but have still wanted the artists to bring ratings to the show as performers. Several online commentators complained about Jennifer Lopez’s Latin-inspired Motown tribute which was defended by Smokey Robinson who explained that Motown’s music was for everyone. Fans were happy with Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day’s Aretha Franklin dedication with a performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” but they believed Franklin, who passed last year, was deserving of more than one song.
Janelle Monáe received nominations for Album Of The Year for Dirty Computer and Best Music Video for “PYNK.” Her performance of “Make Me Feel” was one of the night’s highlights.
Diana Ross celebrated her 75th birthday at The Grammys and performed “Best Years Of My Life” and “Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” Ross received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Her actual birthday is March 26th and on that day 700 theaters will play Diana Ross Live In Central Park, a film of her 1983 two-night concert in Central Park.
H.E.R performed “Hard Place” and took home the award for best R&B Album and reminded everyone that she actually released an EP.
Cardi B’s performance of “Money” and her acceptance speech was considered one of the most entertaining segments of the evening.