Controversy and sadness were part of this year's Grammy show before the music awards ceremony even began Sunday.
Host Alicia Keys opened.
"Here we are together on music's biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you we are all feeling crazy sadness right now," she said. She was talking about the tragic news that basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning.
The National Recording Academy awards show was broadcast live from the Staples Center, the home court of the Los Angeles Lakers, the team Bryant played for all of 20-year career.
"We're literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built," Keys said.
The controversy clouding the ceremony was the suspension of Deborah Dugan as chief of the Recording Academy.
Dugan took the leadership position in 2019 partly to deal with reports of sexism at the Academy. She is the first woman to head the organization.
Less than two weeks ago, Dugan was suspended. The Academy said another employee had accused Dugan of hostile behavior.
Dugan has since taken legal action herself with the Equal Opportunity Commission.
But the sadness and the controversy did not stop the artists Sunday night from producing a major celebration of music.
Singer and flute player Lizzo started the night's many songs with Truth Hurts and Cuz I Love You. The artist won the best pop solo performance Grammy for Truth Hurts.
The big winners of the night, however, were 18-year-old Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell. They shared the best album Grammy for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Billie Eilish also took home the best new artist prize, and her song Bad Guy won best song and best record.
Finneas O’Connell won a producer of the year Grammy and another for best engineered album.
Together the sister and brother won best pop vocal album.
I'm Caty Weaver.
VOA News reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Here is a list of winners in major fields at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, which took place Sunday in Los Angeles:
Album of the Year: Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Record of the Year: Billie Eilish, Bad Guy
Song of the Year (recognizing songwriting): Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell, Bad Guy
Best New Artist: Billie Eilish
Best Music Video: Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, Old Town Road
Best Rap Album: Tyler, The Creator, Igor
Best Rock Album: Cage The Elephant, Social Cues
Best Pop Vocal Album: Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Best Pop Solo Performance: Lizzo, Truth Hurts
Best Pop/Duo Performance: Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, " Old Town Road
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Lizzo, Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)
Best Country Album: Tanya Tucker, While I'm Livin'
Best Alternative Music Album: Vampire Weekend, Father of the Bride
Best Reggae Album: Koffee, Rapture
Best World Music Album: Angelique Kidjo, Celia
Words in This Story
controversy - n. argument that involves many people who strongly disagree about something: strong disagreement about something among a large group of people
host - n. a person who entertains guests socially or as a job
crazy - adv. (US, informal): very or extremely
literally - adv. used to stress that a statement or description is true and accurate even though it may be surprising
harassment - n. the act of annoying or bothering (someone) in a constant or repeated way
solo - adj. involving or done by a single performer instead of a group
vocal - adj. of, relating to, or produced by the voice