The 59th Annual Grammy Awards: An overview of the winners & nominees

Music can only ever be a reflection of the time it exists in. In no field does this statement stand truer than that of popular music. And so, in what can only be described as a fractious and tumultuous 12 months around the world, particularly that of pop music’s nerve-centre; the United States of America, 2017’s celebration of the previous year’s highest accolades in music served to be as high in drama and conflict as one might anticipate.

A running theme was set for the evening as James Corden took to the stage to present the show. As one of the many American loved Brits that would ultimately end up dominating the proceedings, it is safe to say that his level of talent set a bar so low that the real artists ahead would not have much work to do to raise it. A bumbling slapstick entrance followed by a jesting rap at the expense of Rihanna and Co. led way to a few sideways gags aimed at America’s new president. With all that out of the way, the serious business was given room to begin.

The real and unexpected star of the show was Adele. Breaking Beyonce’s heart, Adele scooped up three of the ‘big four’ categories, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The last time this feat was achieved was in 2012, once again, by Adele. Her evening was marred by a false start in a tribute performance to George Michael. Her cover of Michael’s 1996 hit single, ‘Fastlove’ quickly broke down, leading to a bold onstage apology and demands from the performer to start the song again. Opinion seems split on whether this was an embarrassing event or a seriously brave move. I have a tendency to lean towards the latter.

Further drama fell into her hands in the form of a Grammy for Album of the Year. Adele took stage with a sobbing confession that she did not believe that her album, ‘25’, deserved the award. Further, she made a strong attempt to dedicate the award to her rival nominee Beyonce, for her overlooked album, ‘Lemonade’. Questions have since been raised over whether the award was a racial snub, with the vast majority of category winners being of a caucasian background. Adele herself in her speech recognised and iterated, “the way you make my black friends feel is so empowering and you make them stand up for themselves and so I love you!”. Of course, these sorts of debates lend themselves to events of such magnitude, perhaps however it would be easier to believe that the awards were simply given on the merits of the individuals work being assessed. Who knows.

Posthumously, David Bowie was awarded 4 Grammys (Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance and Best Engineered Album) for work taken from his most recent studio album Blackstar. The album exists as his own eulogy, his departing to the next world taking place only 3 days after the album’s release. Putting the exceptionally high quality of music included on the album to one side, the Grammy’s awarding seems only fitting, to attach more esteem to one of the greatest performing artists to grace the Earth (and now, who knows which astral plain he chooses to grace).

Further history was made by Chance the Rapper, who became the first streaming-only artist to win a Grammy. In the end, he picked up three awards for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance and Best New Artist. His accolades are clearly representative of a shift in the listening habits of younger audiences. Not a single physical platform release has yet been issued and yet his legacy is only ever growing.

Performances on the night were as overblown and varied as ever, a personal highlight being the spectacle of Lady Gaga performing with Metallica. It made for a blistering interlude to the otherwise run of the mill turnouts from Katy Perry and Beyonce et al. who unfortunately seem unable to grasp the concept of less being more. The thunderous lights and dance routines have become so normalised now that they barely achieve their effect. A highly politicised rap performance from ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ made for an even higher statement as they called out for the tearing down of Trump’s wall. What a great stage to announce your motives upon as a musician. Their voices will always reflect our mood this year. Exciting times.

Highlights of this year’s winners and nominees can be seen below, but for the full list, you can visit

Author: Joe, York store

Album Of The Year:

  • WINNER: Adele – 25
  • Beyonce – Lemonade
  • Justin Bieber – Purpose
  • Drake – Views
  • Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

Record Of The Year:

  • WINNER: Adele – Hello
  • Beyonce – Formation
  • Lukas Graham – 7 Years
  • Rihanna ft Drake – Work
  • Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out

Song Of The Year:

  • WINNER: Adele – Hello
  • Beyonce – Formation
  • Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
  • Lukas Graham – 7 Years
  • Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza

Best New Artist:

  • WINNER: Chance The Rapper
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Maren Morris
  • Anderson .Paak

Best Alternative Album:

  • WINNER: David Bowie – Blackstar
  • PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
  • Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  • Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
  • Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Best Pop Album:

  • WINNER: Adele – 25
  • Justin Bieber – Purpose
  • Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman
  • Demi Lovato – Confident
  • Sia – This Is Acting

Best Rap Album:

  • WINNER: Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
  • De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody
  • DJ Khaled – Major Key
  • Drake – Views
  • Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
  • Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo

Best Pop Solo Performance:

  • WINNER: Hello – Adele
  • Hold Up – Beyonce
  • Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
  • Piece By Piece (Idol Version) – Kelly Clarkson
  • Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande

Best Dance/Electronic Album:

  • WINNER: Skin – Flume
  • Electronica 1: The Time Machine – Jean-Michel Jarre
  • Epoch – Tycho
  • Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future – Underworld
  • Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII – Louie Vega

Best Rock Performance:

  • WINNER: Blackstar- David Bowie
  • Joe (Live From Austin City Limits) – Alabama Shakes
  • Don’t Hurt Yourself- Beyonce Featuring Jack White
  • The Sound Of Silence – Disturbed
  • Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

Best Rock Song:

  • WINNER: Blackstar – David Bowie
  • Burn the Witch – Radiohead
  • Hardwired – James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich
  • Heathens – Tyler Joseph, songwriter
  • My Name Is Human – Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens

Best Rock Album:

  • WINNER: Tell Me I’m Pretty – Cage The Elephant
  • California – Blink-182
  • Magma – Gojira
  • Death Of A Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco
  • Weezer – Weezer

Best Alternative Music Album:

  • WINNER: Blackstar – David Bowie
  • 22, A Million – Bon Iver
  • The Hope Six Demolition Project – PJ Harvey
  • Post Pop Depression – Iggy Pop
  • A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead

Best R&B Performance:

  • WINNER: Cranes in the Sky – Solange
  • Turnin’ Me Up – BJ The Chicago Kid
  • Permission – Ro James
  • I Do – Musiq Soulchild
  • Needed Me – Rihanna

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

  • WINNER: Lemonade – Beyonce
  • Ology – Gallant
  • We Are King – KING
  • Malibu – Anderson .Paak
  • Anti – Rihanna

Best Rap Performance:

  • WINNER: No Problem – Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
  • Panda – Desiigner
  • Pop Style – Drake Featuring The Throne
  • All The Way Up – Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
  • That Part – Schoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

Best Rap Song:

  • WINNER: Hotline Bling – Drake
  • All The Way Up – Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
  • Famous – Kanye West Featuring Rihanna
  • No Problem – Chance The Rapper
  • Ultralight Beam – Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream

Best Country Album:

  • WINNER: A Sailor’s Guide To Earth – Sturgill Simpson
  • Big Day In A Small Town – Brandy Clark
  • Full Circle – Loretta Lynn
  • Hero – Maren Morris
  • Ripcord – Keith Urban

Best Music Video:

  • WINNER: Formation – Beyonce
  • River – Leon Bridges
  • Up & Up – Coldplay
  • Gosh – Jamie xx
  • Upside Down & Inside Out – OK Go