The Grammy awards got underway Sunday with superstars Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X primed for glory, as grief over the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant cast a pall on music’s marquee night in Los Angeles.Here are the latest updates:7:50 am ‘Tonight is for Kobe’: Lizzo dedicates Grammys to late NBA legendTop nominee Lizzo kicked off the 2020 Grammys on Sunday with a tribute to the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, before launching into a rousing medley of her hits.“Tonight is for Kobe,” shouted the 31-year-old, who has already won two awards in the pre-gala event that led into music’s marquee night.Bryant — a hero for Los Angeles who played for the Lakers in the Staples Center, where the Grammys are being held — died in a helicopter crash earlier in the day, along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter.After a glittering performance of “Truth Hurts” and “Cuz I Love You”, which featured ballerinas, orchestrals and the artist’s signature flute skills, Lizzo passed the torch to Grammy host Alicia Keys who offered another moving tribute to Bryant.“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero,” she said.“And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” said Keys, before launching into a soulful rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” with the group Boyz II Men.Top contenders at Sunday’s glam gala include Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X.-AFP
7 amGrammy Awards honor Kobe Bryant with touching performanceThe 2020 Grammy Awards kicked off in tribute to basketball icon Kobe Bryant, who died hours before the show, with a touching, emotional performance led by host Alicia Keys.Keys was joined by Boyz II Men on Sunday to sing an a capella version of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” at the Staples Center – Bryant’s stomping ground – as the audience watched in awe.”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,” Keys said as she entered the stage, adding that “Los Angeles, America and the world-wide world lost a hero.”She said the audience was “heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.””Right now Kobe and his daughter Gianna … are in our spirits, they’re in our hearts, they’re in prayers, they’re in this building,” she added. “Take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.”Before the show officially honored Bryant, Lizzo performed the songs “Truth Hurts” and “Cuz I Love You,” saying at the top of the show- “Tonight is for Kobe.”- AP
Alicia Keys speaks at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
| Photo Credit: AP
6.30 amMusic mainstays and newcomers speak out on Grammy inclusionDrama over fairness and inclusion at the Grammy Awards carried over to music’s big night as newcomers and mainstays in the industry supported Sean “Diddy” Combs and his powerful speech putting the Recording Academy on a clock to fix the nomination process when it comes to rap and R&B in major categories.”I think if they smart, they listen to Diddy,” soulful singer Lucky Daye told on the red carpet.British rapper Labrinth added: “Hopefully there’s a conversation to really think about what’s happened.”Just days ago, the academy’s just-ousted CEO Deborah Dugan claimed that the awards are rigged and filled with conflicts of interest. At the Clive Davis gala Saturday night, Combs — who was honored — spoke for 50 fiery minutes, saying in part:”So I say this with love to the Grammys, because you really need to know this, every year y’all be killing us man. Man, I’m talking about the pain. I’m speaking for all these artists here, the producers, the executives. The amount of time it takes to make these records, to pour your heart into it, and you just want an even playing field.”- AP6.10 amBillie Eilish wins Best Pop Vocal AlbumBillie Eilish, a goth-leaning artist whose innovative pop-rock-trap sound has won her legions of fans, beat out four industry heavyweights Sunday to take home the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Billie Eilish, was among this year’s most-nominated artists with six, and is the youngest person ever nominated in all of the four top categories. Her brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, also in the picture, has already won two of the five awards he’s up for.
| Photo Credit: AFP
The 18-year-old bested veterans Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran to score the award for her debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?“I feel like I’m not supposed to be here,” she told E! television after the win was announced. “Life is weird.”Ms. Eilish, who arrived on the red carpet wearing a Gucci pantsuit with lime green accents, was among this year’s most-nominated artists with six, and is the youngest person ever nominated in all of the four top categories.Her Best Pop Vocal Album category prize is her first win of the night. Before she released her album in March 2019, Ms. Eilish had already assembled a fervent online following for her bold, often haunting pop sound featuring heavy bass and tinges of trap and electronic dance music.Her brother and main collaborator Finneas O’Connell, 22, has already won two of the five awards he’s up for thanks to his producing and songwriting contributions. In August, Ms. Eilish became the first musician born in the 2000s to top the Billboard Hot 100, dethroning Lil Nas X’s record-breaking 19-week streak thanks to his viral hit “Old Town Road.”The artist named Billboard’s 2019 Woman of the Year has also written and will perform the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film, “No Time To Die.”