By: DAVID BAUDE
NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammy Awards seemed poised to make this a triumphant year for rap at music’s showcase event — until Bruno Mars crashed the party.
The song and dance man of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent, won all six awards he was nominated for on Jan. 28, including the three most prestigious Grammys for song (“That’s What I Like”), record (“24K Magic”) and album of the year. His music also dominated the rhythm and blues categories.
The Grammys also saw Kendrick Lamar win five awards, Jay—Z go home empty—handed, some memorable performances by the likes of Lamar, Kesha, Mars and Logic, an odd oversight of singer Lorde and a surprise cameo from Hillary Clinton.
In accepting a trophy for the album “24K Magic,” Mars recalled when he was 15 and singing shows for tourists in Hawaii. He’d perform hits written by Babyface, Teddy Riley and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and loved looking down from the stage to see people from all over the world who had never met dancing together and toasting one another.
“All I ever wanted to do with this album was that,” he said. “These songs were written with nothing but joy.”
Mars has won 11 Grammys in his career.
Hillary Clinton’s appearance was the punchline for a skit where host James Corden pretended to cast celebrities for what he thought would be a sure—fire Grammy contender for spoken world performance next year, reading from Michael Wolff’s best—seller about the Trump administration, “Fire and Fury.”
Cher, John Legend and Snoop Dogg left him frustrated, but then Clinton lowered a copy of the opened book in front of her face to reveal herself.
The attempt at humor wasn’t a hit with everyone: President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, tweeted that the skit ruined the show for her.
Most of the show’s political references — to topics like gun violence, immigration reform and women’s rights — were carefully scripted.