59th Annual GRAMMY Awards (2016)

During a period in our nation's history in which people are constantly reminded about the political and social issues that can divide us, the 59th GRAMMY Awards served as a convincing testament to the undeniable unifying power of music.

Adele, whose voice is a powerful force unto itself, emerged the top winner of the night, taking home five GRAMMYs: Best Pop Vocal Album and Album Of The Year for 25 and Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Hello." The now-15-time winner also made GRAMMY history by becoming the first artist to sweep Record, Album and Song Of The Year twice in her career.

Fittingly, it was Adele who ushered in Music's Biggest Night with a mesmerizing performance of her smash "Hello." A stark black backdrop provided a blank canvas over which the British singer/songwriter painted an aural masterpiece, her potent vocals reverberating throughout Los Angeles' Staples Center.

The mercurial David Bowie, who died just days before releasing his album Blackstar on Jan. 8, 2016, won four posthumous GRAMMYs, including Best Alternative Music Album. Greg Kurstin, Adele's producer and songwriting partner, also won four awards, including Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical.

Chance The Rapper earned three awards, including Best New Artist, making him the first streaming-exclusive artist to win a GRAMMY. "This is for every indie artist who's been doing this mixtape stuff for a long-a** time," the Chicagoan said during his acceptance for Best Rap Album for Coloring Book. He punctuated his GRAMMY debut with a feel-good performance medley of "How Great" and "All We Got," with his cousin Nicole and 59th GRAMMY winners Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann adding soulful flourishes.

Engineer/mixer Tom Elmhirst also won three GRAMMYs; Beyoncé, Drake, Sarah Jarosz, John Scofield, Franklin, and Hillary Scott & The Scott Family were among those winning two awards.

As presenter Celine Dion so eloquently quoted the legendary Stevie Wonder, "Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories." In addition to crowning recipients in 84 GRAMMY categories, the 59th GRAMMYs created many new memories in the form of signature GRAMMY Moments that spanned several genres.

Equal parts music, theater and spoken word poetry, a golden-clad Beyoncé radiated during her medley of "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles," two songs from her Best Urban Contemporary Album-winning opus, Lemonade. The trance-inducing performance, which was themed around the celebration of motherhood, featured her own mother, Tina Knowles, and daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, and closed on a poignant note with the pregnant Beyoncé reciting a line from a Warsan Shire poem: "If we're going to heal, let it be glorious/1,000 girls raise their arms."

Bruno Mars dazzled with his seductive "That's What I Like." Commanding the stage with aplomb, showcasing graceful dance moves and flaunting his rich tenor, Mars once again proved the breadth of his 24-karat talent.

Ed Sheeran turned in arguably the most energy-efficient performance of the evening. Armed with an acoustic guitar, synthesizer and a pedalboard that doubled as a looping device, Sheeran proved a veritable one-man band in multitasking his romantic ode "Shape Of You."

The Weeknd teamed with fellow GRAMMY winners Daft Punk for a medley of "Starboy" and "I Feel It Coming." The duo's trademark synthesizer soundscapes set the tone for a sci-fi inspired set, with The Weeknd's velvety voice drifting into space.

Katy Perry returned to the GRAMMY stage to debut her brand-new single, "Chained To The Rhythm," with reggae artist Skip Marley. Perry — who wore an armband emblazoned with the word "Resist" — earnestly delivered her new socially conscious anthem, which she closed by declaring "No hate!"

Best New Artist nominee Anderson .Paak and rappers Busta Rhymes, Consequence and A Tribe Called Quest joined for a politically charged medley of "Award Tour," "Movin Backwards" and "We The People." The latter song, A Tribe Called Quest's anthem addressing topics such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny, proved timely given the recent political climate. A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip put an exclamation point on the performance by shouting, "Resist! Resist! Resist!"

Metallica and Lady Gaga turned the volume up to 10 with a driving performance of the band's "Moth Into Flame." Despite a brief technical glitch with Metallica frontman James Hetfield's mic, the heat generated — stoked by pyrotechnics, headbanging and a stage dive from Gaga — set off a genre-bending explosion.

Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood went toe-to-toe for their love-affirming duet "The Fighter." GRAMMY-nominated newcomers Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham joined together for a seamless mashup of her "Peter Pan" and their "7 Years," which was up for Song Of The Year. R&B/soul legend William Bell, who earlier won his first career GRAMMY, teamed with guitar slinger Gary Clark Jr. for a gritty "Born Under A Bad Sign."

First-time GRAMMY host James Corden got into the musical act as well. During his opening skit, Corden delivered a free-style rap that name-dropped everyone from President Donald Trump to Drake, Rihanna and Sturgill Simpson. "The Late Late Show" host also sped through a hilarious impromptu GRAMMY edition of Carpool Karaoke. Driving a cardboard cutout vehicle, Corden was flanked by Jennifer Lopez, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Ryan Tedder, John Legend, Blue Ivy, Jason Derulo, and Neil Diamond for a singalong of the latter's classic "Sweet Caroline."

In addition to Corden's bits, Twenty One Pilots provided some unexpected comic relief when they accepted their first career GRAMMY for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Stressed Out" in their underwear. Underneath the humor, the duo from Columbus, Ohio, conveyed an important message to musicians of all stripes. "Anyone from anywhere can do anything," said Pilots singer/songwriter Tyler Joseph.

It was also a night of firsts for breakout country star Maren Morris. Not only did she make her GRAMMY performance debut with "Once" alongside Alicia Keys, she won her first GRAMMY for Best Country Solo Performance for "My Church," making her the first GRAMMY Camp alumnus to win a GRAMMY.

Music's Biggest Night also provided moments of reflection in the form of tributes.

An all-star troupe paid homage to five-time GRAMMY winners the Bee Gees, who will be celebrated this spring via the CBS TV special "Stayin' Alive: A GRAMMY Salute To The Music Of The Bee Gees." Demi Lovato glided through "Stayin' Alive" while Tori Kelly showcased her impressive singing and guitar chops on "Tragedy." Little Big Town were in perfect harmony for "How Deep Is Your Love" and Andra Day bottled the essence of Studio 54 during "Night Fever." The group closed with a vibrant "Stayin' Alive" coda, with Barry Gibb looking on in delight.

Sturgill Simpson and the Dap-Kings convened for "All Around You," a song from Simpson's Best Country Album-winning A Sailor's Guide To Earth. During his introduction, Dwight Yoakam lauded the late singer Sharon Jones, who worked with the Dap-Kings throughout her career.

In recognition of George Michael, who died Dec. 25, 2016, Adele returned to the stage for a dramatic, orchestrated version of "Fastlove," the final Top 10 hit of Michael's career. The tribute paused abruptly as Adele stopped mid-song, feeling that her performance was not up to par. "I can't mess this up for him," she confided to the audience. Adele reset herself and delivered a moving memorial. The audience obliged with a standing ovation.

Morris Day and the Time did the honors in introducing a special GRAMMY tribute to the late Prince. A true showman, Day bobbed and weaved the band through the Time's funky "Jungle Love" and "The Bird." Mars then returned to the stage for a regal reimagining of "Let's Go Crazy." Armed with a Purple Rain-inspired suit, makeup and white guitar, Mars channeled vintage '80s-era Prince, right down to his authentic take on the song's spectacular unaccompanied guitar cadenza.

The In Memoriam segment featured John Legend and GRAMMY-winning "The Color Purple" cast member Cynthia Erivo delivering a rendition of the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," which served as a solemn musical prayer to many other individuals the music community lost during the past year.

The GRAMMY show was also marked by heartfelt, if unexpected, tributes to fellow nominees. In her final acceptance speech of the evening for Album Of The Year, a visibly moved Adele used her platform to acknowledge and thank fellow nominee Beyoncé.

Adele Wins Album Of The Year | Acceptance Speech | 59th GRAMMYs

"My artist of my life is Beyoncé," Adele said as a tearful Beyoncé looked on. "The Lemonade album was just so monumental and so well-thought out and so beautiful and soul-bearing. … All us artists here, we f***ing adore you. You are our light.

Music's Biggest Night beamed into the homes of more than 26 million viewers, representing a 4 percent year-over-year increase and the highest viewership since 2014. The luster extended well after the Sunday telecast, with several winners, nominees and performers benefiting from the GRAMMY Effect.

Digital sales of songs performed on the show saw a 140 percent increase in download sales, with Urban and Underwood's "The Fighter" experiencing a 574 percent gain. On-demand streams (audio and video combined) of songs performed rose 30 percent, including Mars' "That's What I Like" spiking 99 percent. Adele's 25 returned to the Top 10, rising to No. 6 with a 137 percent sales increase. Combined with the other Album Of The Year nominees (Beyoncé's Lemonade, Justin Bieber's Purpose, Drake's Views, and Sturgill Simpson's A Sailor's Guide To Earth), all five albums saw a collective 91 percent increase in equivalent album sales. Following his GRAMMY performance with Perry, Skip Marley became the first member of the Marley family to score a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

More than just impressive statistics, these sizable GRAMMY Effect gains give additional credence to the 59th GRAMMY Awards telecast remarks of Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow, who during his impassioned speech delivered to the new administration an important unified message on behalf of the music community.

"The Recording Academy, together with America's music makers, call on the president and Congress to help keep the music playing by updating music laws, protecting music education and renewing America's commitment to the arts," said Portnow. "It's our collective responsibility to preserve what binds us and to ensure that the whole world continues to benefit from one of our most unique [and] economically and spiritually important assets — and exports: American music."

Record Of The Year
Adele, GRAMMY winner

Greg Kurstin, producer; Julian Burg, Tom Elmhirst, Emile Haynie, Greg Kurstin, Liam Nolan, Alex Pasco & Joe Visciano, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Randy Merrill, mastering engineers

Album Of The Year
Adele, GRAMMY winner

Danger Mouse, Samuel Dixon, Paul Epworth, Greg Kurstin, Max Martin, Ariel Rechtshaid, Shellback, The Smeezingtons & Ryan Tedder, producers; Julian Burg, Austen Jux Chandler, Cameron Craig, Samuel Dixon, Tom Elmhirst, Declan Gaffney, Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Emile Haynie, Jan Holzner, Michael Ilbert, Chris Kasych, Greg Kurstin, Charles Moniz, Liam Nolan, Alex Pasco, Mike Piersante, Ariel Rechtshaid, Rich Rich, Dave Schiffman, Joe Visciano & Matt Wiggins, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Randy Merrill, mastering engineers

Song Of The Year
Adele, GRAMMY winner

Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)

Best New Artist
Best Pop Solo Performance
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Willie Nelson
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin
Best Dance Recording
Don't Let Me Down

The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya

The Chainsmokers, producers; Jordan "DJ Swivel" Young, mixer

Best Dance/Electronic Album


Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Culcha Vulcha

Snarky Puppy

Best Rock Performance
Best Metal Performance


Best Rock Song
David Bowie

David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)

Best Rock Album
Cage The Elephant, GRAMMY winners
Tell Me I'm Pretty
Best Alternative Music Album
Best R&B Performance
Cranes In The Sky


Best Traditional R&B Performance
Best R&B Song
Lake By The Ocean

Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Best R&B Album
Lalah Hathaway
Lalah Hathaway Live
Best Rap Performance
Chance The Rapper, GRAMMY winner, Lil Wayne
No Problem

Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

Best Rap/Sung Performance
Hotline Bling
Best Rap Song
Hotline Bling

Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)

Best Country Solo Performance
Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton

Best Country Song
Humble And Kind

Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)

Best Country Album
Sturgill Simpson
A Sailor's Guide To Earth
Best New Age Album
White Sun II

White Sun

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

John Scofield, soloist

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Take Me To The Alley

Gregory Porter

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Country For Old Men

John Scofield

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom

Ted Nash Big Band

Douglas Brinkley, Herschel Garfein & Kabir Sehgal, producers;

Rob Macomber, engineer/mixer

Best Latin Jazz Album
Tribute To Irakere: Live In Marciac

Chucho Valdés

Best Gospel Performance/Song
Kirk Franklin
God Provides

Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, songwriter

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
Thy Will

Hillary Scott & The Scott Family; Bernie Herms, Hillary Scott & Emily Weisband, songwriters

Best Gospel Album
Kirk Franklin
Losing My Religion
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Love Remains

Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

Best Roots Gospel Album


Best Latin Pop Album
Un Besito Más

Jesse & Joy

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album


Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Un Azteca En El Azteca, Vol. 1 (En Vivo)

Vicente Fernández

Best Tropical Latin Album
Donde Están?

Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo

Best American Roots Performance
House Of Mercy

Sarah Jarosz

Best American Roots Song
Vince Gill
Kid Sister

Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)

Best Americana Album
This Is Where I Live

William Bell

Best Bluegrass Album
Coming Home

O'Connor Band With Mark O'Connor

Best Traditional Blues Album
Porcupine Meat

Bobby Rush

Best Contemporary Blues Album
The Last Days Of Oakland

Fantastic Negrito

Best Folk Album

Sarah Jarosz

Best Regional Roots Music Album
E Walea

Kalani Pe'a

Best Reggae Album
Ziggy Marley
Ziggy Marley
Best World Music Album
Yo-Yo Ma
Sing Me Home

Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble

Best Children's Album
Infinity Plus One

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox

Carol Burnett

Best Comedy Album
Talking For Clapping

Patton Oswalt

Best Musical Theater Album
Jennifer Hudson
The Color Purple

Danielle Brooks, Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson, principal soloists; Stephen Bray, Van Dean, Frank Filipetti, Roy Furman, Joan Raffe, Scott Sanders & Jhett Tolentino, producers (Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis, composers/lyricists) (New Broadway Cast)

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Robert Glasper
Miles Ahead

(Miles Davis & Various Artists)

Steve Berkowitz, Don Cheadle & Robert Glasper, compilation producers

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
John Williams
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

John Williams, composer

Best Song Written For Visual Media
Justin Timberlake
Can't Stop The Feeling!

Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar)

Best Instrumental Composition
Spoken At Midnight

Ted Nash, composer (Ted Nash Big Band)

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
You And I

Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

Best Recording Package

Jonathan Barnbrook, art director (David Bowie)

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
Edith Piaf 1915-2015

Gérard Lo Monaco, art director (Edith Piaf)

Best Album Notes
Sissle And Blake Sing Shuffle Along

Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle)

Best Historical Album
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol.12 (Collector's Edition)

Steve Berkowitz & Jeff Rosen, compilation producers; Mark Wilder, mastering engineer (Bob Dylan)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
David Bowie

David Bowie, Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen & Tony Visconti, engineers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer (David Bowie)

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Greg Kurstin

• Cheap Thrills (Sia Featuring Sean Paul) (S) • Hello (Adele) (S) • Love You To Death (Tegan And Sara) (A) • Million Years Ago (Adele) (T) • Something In The Way You Move (Ellie Goulding) (T) • Water Under The Bridge (Adele) (T)

Best Remixed Recording
Tearing Me Up (RAC Remix)

André Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses)

Best Surround Sound Album
Dutilleux: Sur Le Même Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L'instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement

Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, surround mix engineers; Dmitriy Lipay, surround mastering engineer; Dmitriy Lipay, surround producer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

Best Engineered Album, Classical
Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles

Mark Donahue, Fred Vogler & David L Williams, engineers (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra)

Producer Of The Year, Classical
David Frost
David Frost

• Bach: The Cello Suites According To Anna Magdalena (Matt Haimovitz) • Bates: Anthology Of Fantastic Zoology (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra) • Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 5 (Jonathan Biss) • Brahms & Dvořák: Serenades (Boston Symphony Chamber Players) • Fitelberg: Chamber Works (ARC Ensemble) • Ispirare (Melia Watras) • Overtures To Bach (Matt Haimovitz) • Schoenberg: Kol Nidre; Shostakovich: Suite On Verses Of Michelangelo Buonarroti (Ildar Abdrazakov, Alberto Mizrahi, Riccardo Muti, Duain Wolfe, Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus) • Shadow Of Sirius (Jerry F. Junkin & The University Of Texas Wind Ensemble)

Best Orchestral Performance
Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow - Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9

Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording
Blanton Alspaugh
Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles

James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus)

Best Choral Performance
Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1

Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
Steve Reich

Third Coast Percussion

Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway

Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony)

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
Schumann & Berg

Dorothea Röschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist

Shakespeare Songs

Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano, accompanist (Michael Collins, Elizabeth Kenny, Lawrence Power & Adam Walker)

Best Classical Compendium
Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer

Best Contemporary Classical Composition
Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway

Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)

Best Music Video

Melina Matsoukas, video director; Nathan Scherrer video producer

Best Music Film
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week The Touring Years

(The Beatles)

Ron Howard, video director; Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Scott Pascucci & Nigel Sinclair, video producers