Kendrick Lamar wins early Grammy award in race against Jay-Z

NATION-NOW     Grammys 2018 Ranking the best jokes from James Corden to Dave Chappelle     
       Ranking the best jokes from the 2018 Grammys

Jay-Z is the star of Sunday's show, leading with eight nominations, including album for the year for his revealing "4:44", song of the year for the title track and record of the year for "The Story of O.J".

Lamar's Humble.won best music video, beating rapper Jay-Z, while Mars scored for best engineered album with 24K Magic as celebrities began their way down the red carpet in NY for the main part of the show. It's not just going on in Washington.

"This song is about me finding peace in the fact that I can't control everything - because trying to control everyone was killing me", she wrote previous year.

But Mars' win still marked some growth for the Academy: His is one of the few R&B albums to win the top prize. Speaking from the stage, the rapper accepted by showing his respect for artists who came before him including fellow nominee Jay-Z.

Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne performed "Tears in Heaven", a moving tribute to the music fans who lost their lives during the attacks at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October and the Arianna Grande concert in Manchester, England last May.

Other artists that are up for major awards include Bruno Mars and Childish Gambino. The next most rewarded artist was Kendrick Lamar, the provocative and critically admired rapper from Compton, Calif., whose five wins included a sweep of the rap categories.




While the unspoken theme at last year's Grammys was timidly political, the elephant in the room this year dissolved early in the night into the form of dainty white roses as many on the Grammys red carpet - Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Lana Del Ray and more - wore flowers with their Grammy ensembles to show solidarity and compassion for victims of sexual harassment and the #TimesUp movement.

He'd already won for rap/sung collaboration (with Rihanna), rap performance ("Humble"), rap song ("Humble") and music video (ditto). Lamar started off with "XXX", before he was joined on stage by The Edge and Bono of U2.

Indeed, in his show-closing acceptance speech for his award-winning album, Mars, 32, singled out Babyface, Teddy Riley and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis - four of the most successful R&B songwriters and producers of the '80s and '90s - as key influences.

Little Big Town, who sang their Taylor Swift-penned No. 1 hit "Better Man", also won best country duo/group performance with the song.

Kendrick's recent recognition marks just another achieved milestone in his career after first gaining widespread fame with his album, "good kid, m.A.A.d city". - Best urban contemporary album: "Starboy" - The Weeknd. "I'm honored and completely blown away to win anything much less 4 Grammys".

The Grammys is airing live from Madison Square Garden.

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