Welcome back to music's biggest night — version 2019! What did this year's Grammys deliver? It was a mixed bag of performances and it was missing some of the biggest nominees of the night including Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Childish Gambino, who all declined to take the stage. But what else will everyone be talking about at the water cooler tomorrow? From the fashion and jaw-dropping performances to the must-hear speeches, trending topics and, of course, Alicia Keys' hosting chops, here are the highlights from the 61st Annual Grammy Awards from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2019… The Grammys have always been known for delivering exciting collaborations, and the opening number was no different. The show kicked off with Camila Cabello teaming up with Ricky Martin, J Balvin, Young Thug and jazz legend Dr. Arturo Sandoval. Several of Camila's family members (including her grandmother, dad and sister) were also a part of the elaborate, energetic set. The colorful, dance-heavy, English-and-Spanish number had the feel of a musical as Camila walked from faux apartment to faux apartment… and no one moves quite like Ricky! All in all, a fun performance. The Grammys have begun!
RELATED: 2019 Grammys red carpet photos
Her real "Golden Hour"
Kacey Musgraves knew it would be a big night, but probably not THIS big of a night. The country singer (who won three other awards earlier in the day and performed) took home the last prize handed out — album of the year — for "Golden Hour." (Oddly, her win came the same night that the Grammys misspelled her name with an "S" rather than a "C" during the telecast. Whoops!) "Oh my god, it was unbelievable to be in a category with such gigantic albums, brilliant works of art," she said, genuinely surprised that her name was called in a category that also included works by Kendrick Lamar, Brandi Carlile, Drake, Cardi B, Post Malone, H.E.R. and Janelle Monae. "Life is tumultuous right now, and because of that, art is really thriving. I'm very lucky to have a trustworthy team who are honest with me. I love my husband so much and this album wouldn't have been created without you." Kacey's huge win came after Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, was a no-show to accept two of the night's biggest awards — song and record of the year for "This Is America."
Cardi B was so emotional after winning the Grammy for best rap album for "Invasion of Privacy" — she's the first woman to win the prize as a solo artist since it was introduced 23 years ago — that she had a hard time getting her words out, a real rarity for the outspoken star. "Babe, I can't breathe," she told husband and sometime collaborator Offset, who joined her onstage as she accepted her award just days after the couple reconciled following a two-month breakup in the wake of his cheating scandal. "Whoa, child. I'm sorry, I just, ooooh, the nerves are so bad — maybe I need to start smoking weed," she quipped, a comment that drew laughs from the audience. After gaining her composure, she thanked the people who helped with the album (including Offset) as well as her baby daughter Kulture, who was born exactly seven months ahead of Mom's big win.
Surprise! Drake was at the Grammys after all! After earlier reports suggested Drake wouldn't be going, the rapper appeared from backstage after winning the best rap song award for "God's Plan." During his speech, he appeared to throw a little shade at the Grammys — the Recording Academy has been accused of snubbing him and other hip-hop artists in the past — and it also appeared that they cut his microphone. "We play an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport… this is a business where sometimes it's up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say…. the point is, you've already won if you have people singing who are your songs word for word, if you're a hero in your hometown… if there's people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earning money to buy tickets to come to your shows," Drake said while holding his Grammy, adding, "you don't need this right here, I promise you. You already won."
Best new artist winner quips that women "stepped up"
Did Dua Lipa shade the president of the Recording Academy? After winning best new artist at the 2019 Grammys, the British singer spoke of how she was honored to be nominated with so many amazing women this year, making a point to say, "I guess we stepped up." That could be a reference to Academy President Neil Portnow's comments last year during the #GrammysSoMale controversy when he said that women needed "to step up" if they wanted more notoriety in music. Orchestra music attempted to play the singer off as she delivered the rest of her speech (during which she said she'd "learned that just by being honest and speaking my truth, I guess it hits home with some people") but she was undeterred and continued — until her mic was, like Drake's, cut off at the end.
Stealing the show
Diana Ross's 9-year-old grandson, Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick (he's her daughter Rhonda's son), stole the show at the Grammys. The tyke was first introduced by Alicia Keys as Diana's "little man." He then came out in a little red suit. "Did she just call me little man?" he said, balking at his introduction. "I'm 4 [foot] 9." He also called Diana "grandmommy." Twitter LOVED him and there were calls for him to take over hosting duties. "Was there anything better than that intro from the grandson of #DianaRoss?" one person wrote. "Diana Ross's grandson won me over," added another tweeter. Pleaded another: "Can I adopt him?" Seriously though, a star is born! Diana, as expected, was flawless during her performance.
Big winner before the show even began — and after it started
The tears started early for Lady Gaga — like, before she even arrived on the red carpet. During the non-televised portion of the Grammys, Gaga and Bradley Cooper's song "Shallow" from their movie "A Star is Born" won the award for best song written for visual media. "I'm not gonna be able to wear any makeup tonight. We just won our first of [four] Grammy nominations for the night," she tweeted. "I'm in tears with honor and gratitude." And it's not the only prize she won during the pre-show: Gaga also took home a best pop solo performance Grammy for "Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin'?)." She tweeted, "A Grammy for Joanne is more than me & my family could ever dream of. I sang that version in one take, & poured my entire life & soul into it. Thank you so much for this gift I am completely shocked. 2nd Grammy win of the night I am so overwhelmed by this kindness. #grammys." At the top of the televised show, Gaga won again, taking home the best pop duo/group performance Grammy for "Shallow." Even crazier? Those weren't even her first award wins of the day: Gaga, Bradley and musical consultant Lukas Nelson won in the best original music category at the BAFTAs in London hours earlier.
Bringing attention to mental health
Lady Gaga's extraordinary day continued when she won her third Grammy (for best pop duo/group performance) for "Shallow" from "A Star is Born." She used her acceptance speech to touch on mental health awareness, an issue that plays a major role in her film co-starring Bradley Cooper. While fighting back tears, Gaga said, "If I don't get another chance to say this: I just want to say I'm so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues. They're so important. And a lot of artists deal with that and we got to take care of each other. So if you see somebody that's hurting, don't look away. And if you're hurting, even if it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you. I love you. Thank you so much to the Grammys."
The In Memoriam segment's moving tribute, snub
It's always the most melancholy part of the show: the In Memoriam segment. This past year saw the loss of some incredible artists and industry heavyweights such as Avicii, Mac Miller, Joe Jackson and, of course, Aretha Franklin. The Grammys saved Aretha for the end of its montage. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day then joined each other onstage to honor the Queen of Soul with a moving rendition of Aretha's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." Notably not included in the In Memoriam segment? Rapper XXXTentacion, who was murdered in Florida in June 2018.
Under the sea?
Nominee Cardi B walked the Grammys red carpet with husband Offset, with whom she just reconciled — but that's not what had the internet abuzz on Grammys night. It was Cardi's 1995 Mugler gown — a black-and-pink shell-like design that she accessorized with pearls — that made fans go nuts and debate whether she was channeling "The Little Mermaid" villain Ursula the sea witch.
Honoring a country legend
The unofficial queen of country, Dolly Parton, was honored at the Grammys by some of the biggest names in music — many of whom were born long after Dolly (who's this year's MusiCares Person of the Year) scored her first No. 1 song in 1974. The tribute kicked off with Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves singing "Here You Come Again." Dolly later joined the women. After that, in stepped Miley Cyrus, who sang "Jolene" with her godmother. Maren Morris, Miley and Dolly ripped through "After The Gold Rush." Following that, Dolly was joined by Little Big Town for "Red Shoes." Then, as expected, all the guests joined Dolly for "9 to 5," arguably one of her most beloved songs.
Mom and Dad's night out! Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott left 1-year-old daughter Stormi Webster at home and enjoyed a date night at the Grammys, where Travis was nominated for three awards (best rap album, best rap song and best rap performance). It's the first time the duo has attended an award show as a couple. They showed plenty of PDA on the red carpet. And Stormi's parents were looking good: Kylie donned a pink Balmain Haute Couture jumpsuit for the evening while her man donned a black suit.
Cardi B's appearance was being billed as one of the most anticipated performances of the Grammys, but many fans felt something was off and accused her of using a recording instead of rapping live. "Blatant lip syncing," one fan tweeted. "Either my tv is slow or she's lip syncing," wrote another tweeter. "Nobody wants to see Cardi B bad lip syncing at the #GRAMMYs," added another. "Cardi b's lip syncing is so off lmao," chimed in another tweeter. Perhaps Cardi, who routinely uses NSFW language in her songs, was concerned about keeping it clean? On the bright side, Pop Sugar reported that Cardi had nearly 200 Swarovski crystals on her nails. To be fair, the Grammys crowd gave Cardi's performance a positive response.
Closer to EGOT
After the 2019 Grammys, Hugh Jackman is one step closer to becoming an EGOT winner! The Australian star won a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack for visual media for "The Greatest Showman" on Feb. 10 and took to Instagram to celebrate (he was not at the ceremony). Since he already has a Tony Award and an Emmy Award, this means he's just an Oscar away from the exclusive EGOT club.
After body controversy, a red carpet winner
Bebe Rexha — a nominee for best new artist and best country duo/group performance (for "Meant to Be" with Florida Georgia Line) — made headlines a few weeks ago when she slammed fashion designers for not wanting to dress her because, since she's a size 8, they think she's "too big." On Grammys Sunday, she took to Instagram to praise August Getty Atelier for coming through and dressing her for multiple Grammy-weekend events. "I cannot thank you enough. For loving my body and creating these custom looks for me for such a special week. You are the change the fashion world needs. Love you," she captioned a shot of herself in a gorgeous red look by the designer. For the actual Grammys red carpet, she wore a red tulle gown by Monsoori. "He won Vogue Arabia's No. 1 designer and he worked with my body and I feel amazing," she told "Entertainment Tonight." "I wanted to go for a princess look, but not only that, I had Karl Lagerfeld, Jeremy Scott [for] Moschino, Christian Siriano and Michael Costello all send me stuff and that was really awesome."
Talk about starting out with a bang! After 2019 Grammys host Alicia Keys delivered her opening monologue, she hinted that she wasn't coming out alone. Suddenly the stage opened up and out walked Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez… and Michelle freaking Obama. As Alicia joined them, the women spoke about what music means to them. Gaga explained how people thought she was too "weird"; J.Lo shared how music let her dance from the Bronx to the big screen. "Music has been the one place we can all feel truly free," she said. Jada spoke about expressing "pain, power and progress through music." And then Michelle spoke — or tried to. The crowd went absolutely crazy when the former first lady began talking. "We got a show to do," Michelle laughed as the audience — many of whom gave her a standing ovation — roared. "Music has always helped me tell my story. Music helps us share ourselves… music shows us that all of it matters," she said. Just call her "Mic Drop Michelle." Serious question: How do you follow that?!
And this is why we love Alicia Keys. At the midway point of the show, the singer sat down in front of two pianos to tickle the ivories and sing a melody of songs that have inspired her, touching on everyone from Lauren Hill and Juice WRLD to Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole to Coldplay and Kings of Leon and even herself. The songs sounded beautiful and poignant. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called talent.
Off his game
Ryan Seacrest did not get five stars from the Twitterverse for his interviewing skills on the red carpet before the Grammys. The veteran red carpet host just didn't seem to bring his A-game on Sunday as he spoke with the biggest names in music during E!'s live preshow. "Why are Ryan's interviews coming off really awkward? It seems like he's trying too hard, for someone that's been in the game for so long," wrote one tweeter. His chat with Charlie Puth was described by many on social media as "awkward." And even though Bebe Rexha's body controversy has made headlines (she revealed many designers initially didn't want to dress her because she's a size 8), Ryan inexplicably failed to ask the pop star which designer she was wearing on Grammys night. His interview with Lady Gaga made many uncomfortable too. "What a terrible interview with Gaga," one tweeter remarked. Another added, "Ryan Seacrest just made a fool of himself interviewing Lady Gaga! Get it together Ryan!!!"
Honoring her late father
Chris Cornell's daughter doesn't want fans to forget her father. While walking the Grammys red carpet with mom, Vicky and brother Christopher, Toni Cornell decided to wear her heart on her sleeve: The 14 year old donned a shirt that featured her legendary father, who committed suicide in May 2017. The late Soundgarden and Audioslave singer was posthumously nominated for best rock performance for "When Bad Does Good" — an award he won in the pre-televised portion of the 2019 show.
Drama and success
One of the biggest stories leading up to the show was the drama surrounding Ariana Grande's snub. A few days before the Grammys, Ariana said she wasn't going to attend the show despite the fact that CBS had hyped a performance and had been using her likeness in promotions. Reports revealed Ariana and Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich had a disagreement over her wanting to perform new song "7 Rings" (he allegedly wanted her to sing something else). On Feb. 7, Ken told the Associated Press that Ariana wasn't performing because she felt it was "too late for her to pull something together." Ariana blasted him on Twitter on Feb. 7, calling him a liar while revealed that she'd offered three different songs. Ken then spoke to Rolling Stone about Ariana's tweets. "I saw those tweets and what she said. I guess it was a surprise," he said. "I will say this, and they don't want me to say it but I'm going to say it: The thing that probably bothered me more than whatever else she said about me is when she said I'm not collaborative." Incidentally, the "thank u, next" singer won best pop vocal album and was understandably emotional. "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," she tweeted. "this is wild and beautiful. thank you so much."
Another absent star
This might go down as the year when a huge portion of the biggest nominees weren't in attendance. While some are skipping the Grammys over disagreements (see: Ariana Grande), double-nominee 21 Savage wasn't really given an option to attend: He was arrested on Feb. 3 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because, despite representing Atlanta, he's actually British and is allegedly in the United States illegally. He was scheduled to perform "Rockstar" with Post Malone (who instead did a mashup with the Red Hot Chili Peppers). So now instead of spending his Grammys onstage, he's spending his Sunday in a detention facility where he's awaiting immigration proceedings to determine if he can stay in the United States.
Where was Taylor?
Taylor Swift was only up for one Grammy this year — best pop vocal album for "Reputation" — and skipped the music award ceremony in Los Angeles. Instead, she went to another high profile event: a BAFTAs afterparty in London with British boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
It was a special night for this father-and-son duo! Dad-of-three Ricky Martin brought one of his twins, 10-year-old son Matteo Martin, as his guest to the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. "Cool cat for a date at The Grammys!!!" Ricky tweeted along with a picture of them together on the red carpet.
Another year, another political statement
If history has taught us anything, it's that Joy Villa wasn't going to wear a typical designer dress. On Sunday, the singer showed up at the Grammys in a white gown with a brick pattern and barbed wire along her shoulders. The back of the dress said, "Build The Wall." Joy, of course, has been wearing politically motivated looks to the Grammys for years.