29th January, 2018
R&B artist Bruno Mars won the top prize at the Grammy Awards on Sunday in another victory for pop-driven music over rap, now the most popular genre in the U.S.
Mars won six Grammys including song of the year for his hit single “That’s What I Like,” and both record and album of the year for “24K Magic.”
His win denied rappers Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z the honor of becoming the first hip-hop artist in 14 years to win the coveted album of the year award.
“These songs were written with nothing but joy, with love, and that’s all I wanted to bring with this album, seeing everybody dancing,” Mars, 32, said.
He also paid tribute to his album of the year rivals – Jay-Z, Lamar, Childish Gambino and Lorde – saying:
““Thank you, guys, for blessing the world with your music.”
Lamar, 30, regarded as one of the most innovative rappers of his generation, won five prizes mostly in rap categories for his album “DAMN.” and single “Humble.”
Rap became the biggest music genre in the United States in 2017, Nielsen Music reported.
Veteran Jay-Z, whose soul-baring album “4:44” had gone into the show with a leading eight nominations, won nothing and chose not to perform at the three-hour show.
The losses by Lamar and Jay-Z in the top categories marked another year when pop music won over more socially incisive work. Adele beat Beyonce in 2017, and in 2016 Lamar lost album of the year to Taylor Swift.
Lamar opened Sunday’s show at New York’s Madison Square Garden with a medley of his hits, accompanied by dancers in military fatigues and later dressed in red hoodies as they mimicked being shot.
Other notable winners included American singer-songwriter and guitarist Chris Stapleton for Best Country Album; the HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones” about the lives and intertwining careers of producer/record executive Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop legend Dr. Dre, Iovine for Best Music Film; 2016 holdover “La La Land” won Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.
American stand-up comedian and actor Dave Chappelle won Best Comedy Album and American singer-songwriter, producer Lisa Loeb was also a first-time Grammy winner for Best Children’s Album. Her “Feel What U Feel” was funded and released by Amazon.
American singer-songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell picked up Best American Roots Song for “If We Were Vampires” and Best Americana Album for “The Nashville Sound,” while American rock singer-songwriter Aimee Mann took home Best Folk Album for “Mental Illness.”
Best Dance Recording went to American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, LCD Soundsytem for the track “Tonite,” while the Best Dance/Electronic Album prize went to the German band Kraftwerk collection “3-D The Catalogue.”
Winners in the rock category included late Canadian poet, songwriter, singer Leonard Cohen for “You Want It Darker,” his 14th and final album, which was released a month before his death.
Best Metal Performance went to American heavy metal band Mastodon for “Sultan’s Curse” and American music group Foo Fighters took home Best Rock Song for “Run.”
Less expected was a win by Philadelphia band The War On Drugs for “A Deeper Understanding,” released in August 2017.
The Grammys awarded artists in 84 categories in multiple genres including classical, jazz, opera, gospel, new age, Christian and Latin music.
Sunday’s event marks the Grammy Awards’ first return to New York City in 15 years.
The 40th annual ceremony were held at Madison Square Garden in 1998 and the 39th Annual Grammy Awards, also held in New York, were held at Radio City Music Hall.
The 14 years in between were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.