Photo: Mike Pont (Getty Images for NARAS)

The Academy Awards are coming up in a few weeks, and while that show has been saddled with the controversial decision to ask Kevin Hart to host and then the thrilling showbiz drama of Hart dropping out and the Academy struggling (and eventually giving up on) finding anyone to replace him, the Grammys have been facing a difficult situation of their own going into tonight’s ceremony. We’re referring, of course, to Ariana Grande’s very public decision to back out of performing at the event over an apparent demand from the producers that she not play the new single from her album Thank U, Next.

Would the ceremony itself be shaken by Grande’s refusal to participate? Would other artists back out in solidarity with Grande? Almost certainly not, because the only thing that matters on Grammy night is handing out some Grammy awards and watching some performances from the artists who did not refuse to participate. Also, Grande won a Grammy (her first), so that’s a nice little cap on the weird semi-controversy.


Grande won her Grammy before the show had even started, which is when the vast majority of the little gramophones are actually handed out—even the ones that seem like they’d be big deals. Quincy Jones’ win for Best Music Film was his 28th Grammy, giving him the record for the most of these awards collected by any living artist. Also, Chris Cornell posthumously won for Best Rock Performance, and while Beck winning the Alternative Rock category was kind of boring, he did beat out some big names. Perhaps this is because the Grammys, unlike most other award shows, really are about the drama. Most of the show itself is performances, and the stories behind these artists and their work really is more interesting than actually seeing them grab trophies and thank their producers and ghostwriters in speeches.

As for the stories that came through during the show itself, Cardi B made Grammy history by becoming the first solo woman ever to win the Best Rap Album award, Lady Gaga took what has been one of a surprisingly small number of awards season wins as an opportunity to make a heartfelt speech about what A Star Is Born has meant to her, and although Donald Glover wasn’t in attendance, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” took home both Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year (which are separate categories for reasons that will never be explained). Speaking of making history, Glover’s Record Of The Year win was the first time a rapper has ever took home that particular award.

In the end, country music made a surprisingly good showing, thanks to Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour winner Album Of The Year. Of course, the best story of the night probably belongs to Alicia Keys, who was clearly having a blast as the host. Is it too late for the Oscars to give her a call?


Most of the nominees and winners are below, with the full list available over at Variety.

Album Of The Year

Invasion Of Privacy, Cardi B
By The Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile
Scorpion, Drake
H.E.R., H.E.R.
Beerbongs & Bentleys, Post Malone
Dirty Computer, Janelle Monae
Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
Black Panther: The Album, Kendrick Lamar


Record Of The Year

“I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“This Is America,” Childish Gambino
“God’s Plan,” Drake
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA
“Rockstar,” Post Malone and 21 Savage
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey

Best Rap Album

Invasion Of Privacy, Cardi B
Swimming, Mac Miller
Victory Lap, Nipsey Hussle
Daytona, Pusha-T
Astroworld, Travis Scott


Best R&B Album

Sex & Cigarettes, Toni Braxton
Good Thing, Leon Bridges
Honestly, Lalah Hathaway
H.E.R., H.E.R.
Gumbo Uplugged (Live), PJ Mortion

Best Country Album

Unapologetically, Kelsea Ballerini
Port Saint Joe, Brothers Osborne
Girl Going Nowhere, Ashley McBryde
Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
Volume 2, Chris Stapleton


Song Of The Year

“All The Stars,” Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Spears, Al Shuckburgh, Anthony Tiffith, and Solana Rowe (Kendrick Lamar and SZA)
“Boo’d Up,” Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai, and Dijon McFarlane (Ella Mai)
“God’s Plan,” Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron Latour, Matthew Samuels and Noah Shebib (Drake)
“In My Blood,” Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes and Geoffrey Warburton (Shawn Mendes)
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth (Brandi Carlile)
“The Middle,” Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha and Anton Zaslavski (Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey)
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper)
“This Is America,” Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson (Childish Gambino)

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Fall In Line,” Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” Backstreet Boys
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“Girls Like You,” Maroon 5 and Cardi B
“Say Something,” Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey


Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Love Is Here To Stay, Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
My Way, Willie Nelson
Nat “King” Cole & Me, Gregory Porter
Standards, Seal
The Music... The Mem’ries... The Magic!, Barbra Streisand

Best Spoken Word Album

“Accessory to War (Neil Degrasse Tyson & Avis Lang),” Courtney B. Vance
“Calypso,” David Sedaris
“Creative Quest,” Questlove
“Faith – A Journey For All,” Jimmy Carter
“The Last Black Unicorn,” Tiffany Haddish


Best Pop Vocal Album

Camila, Camila Cabello
Meaning Of Life, Kelly Clarkson
Sweetener, Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes
Beautiful Trauma, Pink
Reputation, Taylor Swift

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Colors,” Beck
“Havana (Live),” Camila Cabello
“God Is A Woman,” Ariana Grande
“Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?),” Lady Gaga
“Better Now,” Post Malone


Best Americana Album

By the Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile
Things Have Changed, Bettye LaVette
The Tree of Forgiveness, John Prine
The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, Lee Ann Womack
One Drop of Truth, The Wood Brothers

Best Music Video

“APES***,” The Carters, Ricky Saiz, video director; Mélodie Buchris, Natan Schottenfels & Erinn Williams, video producers
“This Is America,” Childish Gambino, Hiro Murai, video director; Ibra Ake, Jason Cole & Fam Rothstein, video producers
“I’m Not Racist,” Joyner Lucas & Ben Proulx, video directors; Joyner Lucas, video producer
“Pynk,” Janelle Monáe, Emma Westenberg, video director; Justin Benoliel & Whitney Jackson, video producers
“Mumbo Jumbo,” Tierra Whack Marco Prestini, video director; Sara Nassim, video producer


Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

The Emancipation Procrastination, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Steve Gadd Band, Steve Gadd Band
Modern Lore, Julian Lage
Laid Black, Marcus Miller
Protocol 4, Simon Phillips

Best Alternative Music Album

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, Arctic Monkeys
Colors, Beck
Utopia, Bjork
American Utopia, David Byrne
Masseduction, St. Vincent


Best Comedy Album

Annihilation, Patton Oswalt
Equanimity & The Bird Revelation, Dave Chappelle
Noble Ape, Jim Gaffigan
Standup For Drummers, Fred Armisen
Tamborine, Chris Rock

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

Call Me By Your Name
Deadpool 2
The Greatest Showman
Lady Bird
Stranger Things

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media

Black Panther, Ludwig Göransson, composer
Blade Runner 2049, Benjamin Wallfisch & Hans Zimmer, composers
Coco, Michael Giacchino, composer
The Shape Of Water, Alexandre Desplat, composer
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams, composer


Best Music Film

Life in 12 Bars, Eric Clapton, Lili Fini Zanuck, video director; John Battsek, Scooter Weintraub, Larry Yelen & Lili Fini Zanuck, video producers
Whitney, Kevin Macdonald, video director; Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn & Lisa Erspamer, video producers
Quincy, Quincy Jones, Alan Hicks & Rashida Jones, video directors; Paula DuPré Pesmen, video producer
Itzhak, Itzhak Perlman, Alison Chernick, video director; Alison Chernick, video producer
The King, Eugene Jarecki, video director; Christopher Frierson, Georgina Hill, David Kuhn & Christopher St. John, video producers

Best Song Written For Visual Media

“All The Stars,” Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Alexander William Shuckburgh, Mark Anthony Spears & Anthony Tiffith, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar & SZA)
“Mystery Of Love,” Sufjan Stevens, songwriter (Sufjan Stevens)
“Remember Me,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Miguel Featuring Natalia Lafourcade)
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper)
“This Is Me,” Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble)


Best R&B Performance

“Long As I Live,” Toni Braxton
“Summer,” The Carters
“Y O Y,” Lalah Hathaway
“Best Part,” H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar
“First Began,” PJ Morton

Best Traditional R&B Performance

“Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand,” Leon Bridges (Tie)
“Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight” Bettye LaVette
“Honest, MAJOR.
“How Deep Is Your Love,” PJ Morton and Yebba (Tie)
“Made For Love,” Charlie Wilson and Lalah Hathaway


Best R&B Song

“Boo’d Up,” Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai, and Dijon McFarlane (Ella Mai)
“Come Through And Chill, Jermaine Cole, Miguel Pimentel, and Salaam Remi (Miguel with J. Cole andSalaam Remi)
“Feels Like Summer,” Donald Glover and Ludwig Goransson (Childish Gambino)
“Focus,” Darhyl Camper Jr, H.E.R., and Justin Love (H.E.R.)
“Long As I Live,” Paul Boutin, Toni Braxton, and Antonio Dixon (Toni Braxton)

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

Everything Is Love, The Carters
The Kids Are Alright, Chloe x Halle
Chris Dave And The Drumhedz, Chris Dave And The Drumhedz
War & Leisure, Miguel
Ventriloquism, Meshell Ndegeocello


Best Rap Performance

“Be Careful,” Cardi B
“Nice For What,” Drake
“King’s Dead,” Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake (Tie)
“Bubblin,” Anderson .Paak (Tie)
“Sicko Mode,” Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, and Swae Lee

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

“Like I Do,” Christina Aguilera and Goldlink
“Pretty Little Fears,” 6LACK and J. Cole
“This Is America,” Childish Gambino
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar andSZA
“Rockstar,” Post Malone and 21 Savage


Best Rock Performance

“Four Out Of Five,” Arctic Monkeys
“When Bad Does Good,” Chris Cornell
“Made An America,” THE FEVER 333
“Highway Tune,” Greta Van Fleet
“Uncomfortable,” Halestorm

Best Rock Song

“Black Smoke Rising,” Greta Van Fleet
“Jumpsuit,” Twenty One Pilots
“MANTRA,” Bring Me The Horizon
“Masseduction,” St. Vincent
“Rats,” Ghost


Best Rock Album

Rainier Fog, Alice In Chains
M A N I A, Fall Out Boy
Prequelle, Ghost
From The Fires, Greta Van Fleet
Pacific Daydream, Weezer

Best Dance Recording

“Northern Soul,” Above & Beyond Featuring Richard Bedford
“Ultimatum,” Disclosure (Featuring Fatoumata Diawara”
“Losing It,” Fisher
“Electricity,” Silk City and Dua Lipa with Diplo andMark Ronson
“Ghost Voices,” Virtual Self


Best Dance/Electronic Album

Singularity, Jon Hopkins
Woman Worldwide, Justice
Treehouse, Sofi Tukker
Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, SOPHIE
Lune Rouge, TOKiMONSTA

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

“Shoot Me Straight,” Brothers Osborne
“Tequila,” Dan + Shay
“When Someone Stops Loving You,” Little Big Town
“Dear Hate,” Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill
“Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line


Best Country Song

“Break Up in the End,” Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill and Jon Nite (Cole Swindell)
“Dear Hate,” Tom Douglas, David Hodges and Maren Morris) Maren Morris and Vince Gill
“I Lived It,” Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley and Ben Hayslip (Blake Shelton)
“Space Cowboy,” Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves (Kacey Musgraves)
“Tequila,” Nicolle Gaylon, Jordan Reynolds and Dan Smyers (Dan + Shay)
“When Someone Stops Loving You,” Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill and Lori McKenna (Little Big Town)

Best American Roots Performance

“Kick Rocks,” Sean Ardoin
“Saint James Infirmary Blues,” Jon Batiste
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“All on My Mind,” Anderson East
“Last Man Standing,” Willie Nelson


Best Bluegrass Album

Portraits in Fiddles, Mike Barnett
Sister Sadie II, Sister Sadie
Rivers and Roads, Special Consensus
The Travelin’ McCourys, The Travelin’ McCourys
North of Despair, Wood & Wire

Best Country Solo Performance

“Wouldn’t It Be Great,” Loretta Lynn
“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” Maren Morris
“Butterflies,” Kacey Musgraves
“Millionaire,” Chris Stapleton
“Parallel Line,” Keith Urban


Best Metal Performance

Condemned To The Gallows, Between the Buried and Me
Honeycomb, Deafheavenbest best
Electric Messiah, High On Fire
Betrayer, Trivium
On My Teeth, Underoath

Best New Artist

Chloe X Halle
Luke Combs
Greta Van Fleet
Dua Lipa
Margo Price
Bebe Rexha
Jorja Smith


Best Rap Song

“God’s Plan,” Drake
“King’s Dead,” Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake
“Lucky You,” Eminem
“Sicko Mode,” Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, and Swae Lee
“Win,” Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar