Winning Album of the Year and four other Grammy Awards this year, Adele opened Sunday's CBS broadcast with a live performance of "Hello," paid homage to Beyoncé, and delivered a tribute to George Michael that was literally show-stopping.
Here are some major highlights from the 2017 Grammys:
- Adele, whose "25" won Album of the Year, praised Beyoncé in two acceptance speeches
- Adele opened the show with "Hello," which won Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and earned a standing ovation after restarting her emotional tribute to George Michael
- Pregnant with twins, Beyoncé delivered an etherial performance and won two Grammys
- Bruno Mars and The Time rocked rousing tributes to Prince
- Host James Cordon rapped and helmed a star-studded "Cardboard Karaoke" segment
Adele's "25" won Album of the Year, over Beyoncé's "Lemonade," Justin Bieber's "Purpose," Drake's "Views" and Sturgill Simpson, "A Sailor's Guide to Earth." Said Adele: "I can't possibly accept this award, and I'm humbled and I'm very grateful and gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyoncé, and this album, for me, the 'Lemonade' album was just so monumental. ... And the way that you made me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends, is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have, and I always will."
Adele has swept every category for which she's been nominated since 2012, winning 13 of her 15 career Grammys in that stretch.
After opening the show with a performance of "Hello," Adele offered a tribute to the late George Michael, but abandoned her first attempt at an orchestrated arrangement of his hit "Fastlove" when she wasn't happy with it.
"I know it's live TV," she said, with censors bleeping an expletive. "I can't do it again like last year. I'm sorry for swearing. I'm sorry for starting again. Can we please start it again? I'm sorry. I can't mess this up for him." The audience applauded, and she delivered a second, more tuneful performance in full.
Adele welled up as the audience gave her a standing ovation for her second effort.
Adele's "Hello" won Song of the Year over Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself," Beyoncé's"Formation," Lukas Graham's "7 Years," and Mike Posner's "I Took A Pill In Ibiza." While accepting the award, Adele called her Grammy-winning tune "my favorite song I've ever done."
"Hello" co-writer Greg Kurstin's related acceptance speech was cut off before he spoke.
But with the quip "You cut him off last time," Adele made sure Kurstin spoke first when "Hello" won Record of the Year over Beyoncé's "Formation," Lukas Graham's "7 Years," Rihanna feat. Drake's "Work," and Twenty One Pilots' "Stressed Out."
Said Kurstin into a mic that stayed on, "I'm so lucky to be working with Adele. It was just incredible. Thank you so much."
Adele thanked her manager, Jonathan Dickins, adding, "I love you like you're my dad. I love you so, so much. I don't love my dad ... but I love you like I would love my dad."
Adele also thanked Beyoncé when "Hello" won Record of the Year.
"My dream and idol is Queen Bey, and I adore you," Adele said to Beyoncé, who smiled from the audience, moments before Adele's win for Album of the Year. "You move my soul every single day, and you have done [that] for nearly 17 years. I adore you, and I want you to be my mommy. And I want you to by my mommy, all right?"
Nominated for nine Grammys this year, Beyoncé performed "Love Drought/Sandcastles."
The internet, on cue, exploded. One fan went so far as to call Bey the "queen of the world."
Very generous of Beyoncé to allow the Grammys to occur during her concert.— Katie Zack (@katiefzack) February 13, 2017
Others acknowledged the performance's maximum meme potential.
Beyoncé's two Grammy wins on Sunday included one for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
"It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror -- first at their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys -- and see themselves, and have no doubt that they are beautiful, intelligent and capable," Beyoncé said during her acceptance speech. "This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel that it's vital that we learn from the past, and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes."
Her daughter Blue Ivy even made a cameo in Cordon's "Cardboard Karaoke" segment.
Throughout the night, Cordon kept things light, including a opening number full of pratfalls and raps. Rhymes celebrated nominees and music legends, and even offered the requisite political take: "Live it all up then, 'cause this is the best / [because] with President Trump, we don’t know what comes next."
For his Prince tribute, Bruno Mars rocked the house with his performance of "Let's Go Crazy."
It was one of the most acclaimed performances of the night, if Twitter's any indication.
Mars followed The Time, who co-starred with Prince in the 1984 movie "Purple Rain."
Backed by the horn section of the Dap Kings, Sturgill Simpson honored the late Sharon Jones.
John Legend and Cynthia Erivo performed The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" as an In Memoriam tribute, which honored George Michael, Prince, Sharon Jones and others, including:
- Leonard Cohen
- Keith Emerson
- Greg Lake
- Merle Haggard
- Joey Feek
- Butch Trucks
- Debbie Reynolds
- Billy Paul
- Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor
- Muhammad Ali
- Leon Russell
- George Martin
Winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Twenty One Pilots accepted their Grammy in their underwear, which they teased in a recent interview with Circa. Accepting the award, Tyler Joseph said he and band mate Josh Dun had watched a previous Grammys ceremony in their underwear. "We were no one at that time," Joseph said. "[Josh] turned to me, and he said, 'You know, if we ever go to the Grammys, if we ever win a Grammy, we should receive it just like this.'"
Twitter, of course, was all about it.
Chance the Rapper won Best New Artist, which sometimes has been the kiss of death.
He also made history, becoming the first artist to win a Grammy for a streaming-only album.
Chance also won Grammys for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance.
A stage-diving Lady Gaga joined Metallica for one of the night's most electric performances.
Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town and Andra Day honored the music of The Bee Gees.
David Bowie posthumously won Best Rock Song, for "Blackstar."
Accepting on his behalf was one of the category's presenters, Katharine McPhee, who said, "Like all our musical heroes, his music is forever."
Maren Morris' "My Church" won Best Country Solo Performance. "Eleven years ago, I went to the first-ever Grammy Camp," Morris said at the podium. "It was the first time I ever flew on a plane by myself to L.A., and it's crazy to be here a decade later."
Winners in other categories were announced in a ceremony held before Sunday's CBS broadcast.
Adele won Best Pop Vocal Album (for "25") and Best Pop Solo Performance (for "Hello").
Beyoncé's "Formation" won Best Music Video. In her career, she's won 22 Grammys, tied for the fifth-highest total for any music act.
Bowie's five Grammy wins in 2017 include Best Rock Performance and Alternative Music Album.
Cage the Elephant's "Tell Me I'm Pretty" won Best Rock Album.
Sturgill Simpson's "A Sailor's Guide to Earth" won Best Country Album.
Lalah Hathaway's "Lalah Hathaway Live" won Best R&B Album.