British singer-songwriter Adele cleaned up at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, winning the top prize for album of the year — but she dedicated her award to Beyoncé. Here are the 10 things you need to know from the nearly four-hour show:
1) Adele wins big — yet her speeches were all about Beyoncé.
It was the big question of the night: Who would win album of the year, Adele or Beyoncé? Adele did, for her massively popular “25,” and she also won song and record of the year for the smash “Hello.” But when she took the stage for album of the year, she tearfully declared she couldn’t accept the award, because “Lemonade” meant so much to her.
“I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious, but the artist of my life is Beyoncé,” Adele said. “The album to me, the ‘Lemonade’ album, was so monumental, Beyoncé, it was so monumental and so well thought-out, and so beautiful and soul-baring. And we all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that. And all us artists adore you. You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel is empowering and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you.”
2) Adele has trouble with another live performance.
While she won a lot of trophies, Adele continued to struggle with live performances. She botched a ballad during last year’s Grammys, and this year, she stopped in the middle of her George Michael tribute when she started singing “Fastlove” in the wrong key. “I know it’s live TV, I’m sorry, I can’t do it again like last year,” she said, as the producers bleeped out a clear curse word as she kept apologizing. “I’m sorry for swearing. … Can we please start it again? I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him. I’m sorry, I can’t.”
3) Beyoncé’s artistic performance.
Beyoncé, who just announced two weeks ago that she was pregnant with twins, was the most-anticipated performance of the night — and she delivered, with an impressive “ode to womanhood,” with spoken-word poetry from her “Lemonade” visual album. Surrounded by dozens of sparkling backup dancers and dressed in a goddess-inspired costume, she sang a medley of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles,” at one point tipping back in her chair at practically a 90-degree angle.
4) Chance the Rapper’s big night.
The Chicago rapper was the first winner on stage when he picked up the trophy for best new artist, and returned again when “Coloring Book” won best rap album, making it the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy. “Glory be to God, I claim this victory in the name of the Lord,” he said during his first speech, and echoed similar sentiments for his next prize. “Once again, I want to thank God for everything that he’s accomplished for me, everything that he’s went through with me.”
5) A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes got political.
The most political performance of the show? A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes. Rhymes called out “President Agent Orange, for perpetuating all the evil that you’re perpetuating” and added, “I want to thank President Agent Orange for the unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban.” As Tribe Called Quest started “We the People,” they broke through a wall set up on stage, and later they brought up a diverse group of people, including women in hijabs.
6) … but there were other political moments, too.
Katy Perry (a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter) had a clear message when she wore a white pantsuit and a “persist” armband — then she yelled “No hate!” at the end of her performance of “Chained to the Rhythm,” and stood in front of an image of the Constitution. Meanwhile, presenter Paris Jackson urged the audience to use their energy for protesting the Dakota Access pipeline, while Laverne Cox encouraged viewers to Google Gavin Grimm, the transgender teen suing his high school for barring him from using the boys’ bathroom.
After a fairly lame opening skit, James Corden offered the following advice via rap: “Live it all up because this is the best/With President Trump we don’t know what comes next.”
7) Lots of technical difficulties.
Some presenters had issues with the Teleprompter (luckily John Travolta had backup note cards in his pocket), but the technical issues hit a peak when Metallica’s James Hetfield’s microphone just stopped working during “Moth Into Flame” with Lady Gaga. He remained painfully unaware of the malfunction for several verses, until he just wound up using Gaga’s mic for the rest of the song.
8) Twenty One Pilots took their pants off.
It’s exactly what it sounds like, but it’s not as creepy as you’d think. Apparently, before the duo (Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun) were famous, they were with a bunch of friends just sitting around watching the Grammys in their underwear. So Dun said if they ever won a Grammy “we should receive it just like this.”
And so they did. “You could be next,” Joseph told the viewers at home as they accepted the prize for pop duo/group performance for their hit “Stressed Out.” “Anyone from anywhere can do anything.”
9) Bruno Mars dressed up as Prince.
His rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy” was great — but did he really need to dress up to look exactly like Prince?
10) Blue Ivy stole the show.
Beyoncé and Jay Z’s 5-year-old daughter is going to have to compete for her parents’ attention soon when she becomes a big sister to twins, but luckily she seems to be well-versed in stealing the show. Not only did the cameras eagerly pivot to capture her reactions when her mom won during the ceremony, but she crashed James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” bit and made it about 1,000 times better.