Childish Gambino wins Grammy for jarring 'This is America' video

Tanya Cunningham
February 11, 2019

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards air Sunday evening on CBS, featuring guest performers, celebrity presenters and nominees including Record of the Year contenders such as "I Like It", "The Joke", "This Is America", "God's Plan", "Shallow", "All the Stars", "Rockstar" and "The Middle". Instead, it was 100 percent Gaga - and singer Gaga, not actress Gaga - up on that stage, back to her old tricks of belting out lyrics amid leg kicks, insane faces and whipping her hair back and forth.

Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper. "I support her and I support her decision", she added.

To help combat the Grammys' much-discussed diversity problem, the Recording Academy expanded the major categories to eight nominees each - so now that the field is wider than ever, expect some upsets. Right when everyone was thinking someone should tell them to calm down and accept on the absentee's behalf, there was Drake, emerging from under the stage, as if he'd shot himself to the Staples Center from Canada in a high-speed tunnel upon hearing his name.

What will the final speech from Neil Portnow - who caused more than a little consternation past year when he said women needed to "step up" in order to secure broader inclusion - contain?

Pop singer Ariana Grande recently tweeted that she pulled out of performing this year due to a creative disagreement with its producers, while rappers Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover), Drake and Kendrick Lamar all reportedly turned down offers from the show, which has a fraught history with hip-hop artists.

H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith are also up for best new artist.


Grande's Grammy comes after six career nominations and she tweeted on Sunday: "i know i'm not there tonight (trust, i tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and i know i said i try not to put too much weight into these things. but (.) this is wild and lovely. thank you so much". She recorded this track in one heartfelt take.

Beck was a double victor during the pre-telecast, taking home best alternative music album and best engineered album (non-classical) for "Colors". "I hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more", she continued. Despite receiving eight nominations that year - the most of anyone - he went home empty-handed.

Camila Cabello kicked off the show with a performance featuring J Balvin, Ricky Martin and Young Thug.

Hosted by 15-time Grammy victor Alicia Keys, this year's broadcast features performances by Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes and rapper Cardi B.

There will also be a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, who died last August.

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