Kendrick Lamar kicked off the 60 Annual Grammy Awards with a fiery performance that literally set the stage on fire, once again using his music to highlight the plague of systemic racism and police brutality against African Americans in the country.
The singer got help in the form of 9-year-old stand-out singer, JD McCrary, who wowed the audience inside Madison Square Garden and those watching at home alike. They performed their chart-topping hit, "Finesse" and took the audience back to the 90s.
His high-octane performance was enunciated by comedian Dave Chappelle, who spoke in interludes between the musical segments, explaining why the rapper was perhaps the most risky man in the country.
At the end, Lamar closed with: "Jay for president".
Chris Stapleton paid tribute to Tom Petty with Emmylou Harris and also won three awards, including best country album, best country song and best country solo performance.
It was a moment of levity in a ceremony that covered several serious topics.
Kesha, a best pop vocal album nominee who has been battling her former record producer Dr. Luke for years in United States courts over allegations of emotional and sexual abuse, is expected to perform her emotional single Praying with Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels and a full choir.
"Don't cut me off Grammys, please", said Mars from the stage while accepting the last award of the night.
Halep, Kerber seal last 8 spots
Now that long-deferred Grand Slam title seems tantalizingly within grasp for this more mature, wiser competitor. That would be her penultimate game of the match though, as a rampant Halep strolled through to win 6-3 6-2.
But while women featured heavily in sentiment and performances, Alessia Cara was the only female to win an award during the televised show on her own merit, with Rihanna featuring on Lamar's winning track LOYALTY.
"Thank you to my parents and my brother for believing in me", she said, also urging the crowd to "support real music and real artists because everyone deserves the same shot".
McEntire won an early Grammy for best roots gospel album for, "Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope".
Childish Gambino, the alter ego of actor Donald Glover, won his first ever Grammy for "Redbone" which was named best traditional R&B performance.
Best Dance Recording went to LCD Soundsytem for the track "Tonite", while the Best Dance/Electronic Album prize went to the Kraftwerk collection "3-D The Catalogue".
- Best alternative music album: "Sleep Well Beast", The National.
- Best urban contemporary album: 'Starboy, ' The Weeknd.
The Grammys, taking place in NY after 15 years in Los Angeles, marked the first time that hip-hop has dominated the nominations after years of uneven recognition for the genre. Double winners included Jason Isbell, Justin Hurwitz and CeCe Winans.