MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Music's biggest names gathered on Monday, February 11 (Sunday, February 10 in the US) for the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, USA.
The show, hosted by Alicia Keys, saw the likes of Lady Gaga Cardi B, Camila Cabello and Ricky Martin performing.
In the pre-gala ceremony in Los Angeles, during which most of the more than 80 prizes are handed out, folk rocker Carlile – this year's most nominated woman – won her first 3 Grammys in the Americana and American Roots categories.
Pop royalty Lagy Gaga meanwhile won an award in the visual media group for her heart-pounding hit "Shallow" of the blockbuster film A Star Is Born, and another for best pop solo performance for Joanne.
"I’m not gonna be able to wear any makeup tonight," Gaga tweeted. "I’m in tears with honor and gratitude."
I’m not gonna be able to wear any makeup tonight. We just won our first of Grammy nominations for the night. I’m in tears with honor and gratitude. Thank you @RecordingAcad #Grammys #Grammy and my co-writers and Bradley I love you so much thank you — Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 10, 2019
Genre-bending experimental artist Beck scored the prize for Best Alternative Music Album.
The early wins by women offered a positive sign that change may be afoot at the Recording Academy, which has faced intense backlash over its apparent struggle to embrace diversity.
For the second consecutive year, black hip-hop artists are leading the pack – but observers are still wondering if nominations success can translate into big wins.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar – who won a Pulitzer Prize for his album DAMN. but has yet to snare a Grammy for Album of the Year – earned 8 nods while Canadian rapper Drake snagged 7.
Women artists scored nominations in all of the top categories, after being largely muted a year ago: Lady Gaga, Carlile, rapper Cardi B and pop futurist Janelle Monae are among the frontrunners.
This year, 5 of the eight Album of the Year nominations went to female artists: Cardi B, Carlile, Monae, R&B prodigy H.E.R. and country star Kacey Musgraves.
In the Best New Artist category, 6 of the 8 nominees are women.
A thrilled Carlile beamed as she accepted three consecutive trophies. "Americana music is the island of the misfit toys. I am such a misfit," Carlile said, speaking about the difficulties of coming out as a lesbian in her teen years and never attending school dances.
"To be embraced by this enduring and loving community has been the dance of a lifetime. Thank you for being my island," she said.
In a charming twist, US president Jimmy Carter won his third Grammy in the Spoken World Album category for the audio version of his best-selling book Faith: A Journey For All.
The late rocker Chris Cornell, meanwhile, won a posthumous Grammy Sunday for Best Rock Performance. His daughter Toni accepted the award.
But industry drama was threatening the evening gals, with a number of superstars declining to take part in the glitzy concert portion at the Staples Center.
Pop mega-star Ariana Grande – who dropped her highly anticipated album Thank U, Next just before the Grammys – slammed producer Ken Ehrlich over her decision not to perform, suggesting he was "lying" about her readiness.
Drake, Lamar and Childish Gambino – the rap alter-ego of actor Donald Glover – have also all turned down performance offers, and it was not clear if they would even attend. Childish Gambino won the coveted prize for best music video for his politically provocative "This Is America."
Gaga, Carlile, Monae, Cardi B and Musgraves are all due to take the stage.
Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour
Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance on a song: Childish Gambino, "This Is America"
Song of the Year, recognizing songwriting: Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Ludwig Goransson, "This Is America"
Best New Artist: Dua Lipa
Best Music Video: Childish Gambino, "This Is America"
Best Rap Album: Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy
Best Pop Vocal Album: Ariana Grande, Sweetener
Best Alternative Music Album: Beck, Colors
Best World Music Album: Soweto Gospel Choir, Freedom
Album of the Year
Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance on a song
Song of the Year, recognizing songwriting
Best New Artist
Best Music Video
Best Rap Album
Best Rock Album
Best Pop Vocal Album
Best Alternative Music Album
Best World Music Album
– with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com