Kendrick Lamar opens Grammys with a message

Kendrick Lamar and Dave Chappelle opened this year's Grammy Awards with a commentary on racial issues.

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 4:07 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 4:07 AM

Neo-funk music got a big thumbs up at Sunday's 60th Grammy Awards.

Bruno Mars took home album of the year for "24K Magic," record of the year for the single of the same title and song of the year for "That's What I Like."

Related: Grammy Awards: Winners list

It was a night of surprises, politics and performances.

Hillary Clinton made an unadvertised cameo in a video sketch with Cher, Snoop Dogg, Cardi B and others pretending to audition to record the audio version of Michael Wolff's popular book about President Trump's first year in office, "Fire and Fury." Clinton read an excerpt about Trump's love for fast food.

It was a moment of levity in a ceremony that covered several serious topics.

Kesha shined a spotlight on the #MeToo movement when she sang her hit "Praying." She was joined by several other female singers, including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello and Andra Day.

Kendrick Lamar's show opener earned a standing ovation. He performed a powerful medley of his songs, backed by a giant American flag and dancers in hoodies who collapsed to the sound of gunshots as he rapped.

"I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man being honest in America, is being an honest black man in America," comedian Dave Chappelle told the crowd.

Logic performed his suicide prevention anthem "1-800-273-8255."

The rapper had some words of encouragement for women, victims of abuse and immigrants.

"On the behalf of those who fight for equality in a world that is not equal, not just and not ready for the change we are here to bring, I say unto you: Bring us your tired, your poor and any immigrant who seeks refuge for together we can build, not just a better country, but a world that is destined to be united," he said.

He wasn't the only one with immigration on his mind.

Singer Camila Cabello, who is of Cuban heritage, offered a tribute to those awaiting passage of the DREAM Act.

"This country was built by dreamers, for dreamers, chasing the American dream," Cabello said before introducing U2.

U2 offered a pre-recorded performance on a barge near the Statue of Liberty that was far from subtle in it's pro-immigration message.

Mars swept six total awards, followed by Lamar with five wins.

Alessia Cara won for best new artist.

The 21-year-old singer made a pitch for the unsung musicians.

"I just want to say there are some incredible artists out there making music that deserve to be acknowledged that don't always get acknowledged because of popularity contests or numbers games and that's kind of unfortunate," she said. "I just want to encourage everyone to support real music and real artists because everyone deserves the same shot."

Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Pink, Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Little Big Town were among some of the artists to perform during the show.

Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne performed "Tears in Heaven," a moving tribute to the music fans who lost their lives during the attacks at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October and the Arianna Grande concert in Manchester, England last May.

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