Kendrick Lamar, U2, Dave Chappelle Open Grammys With Politically Charged Performance

CREDIT Matt Sayles  Invision  AP  REX  Shutterstock

But in a unusual and unfortunate way, Trump's outburst illuminated something big: that American rappers are among the most influential voices in our democracy, and that their music is more significant than most. I guess Recording Academy voters consider "turn around and drop it for a player" unbelievable lyricism.

This time around, some fans felt Jay-Z was - ahem - cheated after being nominated for eight categories, the most nods for any artist this year, and winning zero awards.

Mars was nominated in total seven categories, including one technical award of Best Engineered Album and scored in all. "I'm at the Grammys right now!"

Kicking off the show with a performance of "XXX", Lamar took the stage joined by masked dancers in military fatigues beneath screens displaying a waving American flag. Somehow, it all held together.

The night started out looking like it could go in a different direction.

He didn't win all the trophies, though. The performance, with best new artist victor Alessia Cara and Khalid, included a group of suicide attempt and loss survivors selected by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Nashville sensation Chris Stapleton won best country album for his handsome "From a Room: Vol. 1".

Along with his Best Rap Song win tonight, Kendrick's "HUMBLE." has also taken home the awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Music Video.

It was a bittersweet night for ascending Washington-area artists.

More news: Trump calls Mueller firing story 'fake news'

Mars gave an energetic and colorful performance of "Finesse" with breakthrough rapper Cardi B; Pink was a vocal powerhouse while she sang "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken"; and Rihanna, DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller teamed up for a vibrant performance of "Wild Thoughts". The GRAMMYs may rue overlooking her for BEST NEW ARTIST.

Pop duo/group performance: "Feel It Still", Portugal. She was joined by several other female singers, including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello and Andra Day.

There were other messages and memorials.

She was a surprise guest in a skit by host James Corden, supposedly auditioning for the spoken word recording of Michael Wolff's best-seller on President Donald Trump's administration, "Fire and Fury".

Ed Sheeran winning two Grammys: I respect Sheeran's talent, but in all honesty, his latest record was his weakest yet.

Jay-Z, who bared his soul on his "4:44" album, was not expected to perform on Sunday in a departure from Grammy tradition.

He also paid tribute to his album of the year rivals - Jay-Z, Lamar, Childish Gambino and Lorde - saying: "Thank you, guys, for blessing the world with your music".

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