‘Famous’, a song on West’s new album The Life Of Pablo includes lyrics that claim he propelled “that b***h” Swift to fame. While West tweeted that the pop singer had given her approval, a representative for Swift said she had cautioned him for “misogynistic” language in the song and had not been aware of the actual lyric.
The American singer, 26, became the first woman to win album of the year twice, and had a message for “all the young women out there”. She told the audience in Los Angeles: “There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.
“But if you just focus on the work and don’t let those people sidetrack you, some day, when you get where you’re going, you will look around and know it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”
Swift won three Grammys, including one for best music video for ‘Bad Blood’, her collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar. He led the nominations with 11 nods in nine categories, and won five Grammys, including best rap album for To Pimp A Butterfly.
Ed Sheeran won his first Grammy at the ceremony, triumphing in the best solo performance category for his single ‘Thinking Out Loud’.
Collecting his trophy, Sheeran thanked his parents, saying: “They have flown over the past four years to come to the Grammys, and every time they go: ‘Maybe next year!’”
Sheeran’s friend Swift, who was also nominated in the category for her hit ‘Blank Space’, leapt to her feet and cheered as his name was announced before he ran over to embrace her.
British superstar Adele was accompanied by just a pianist for her performance of ‘All I Ask’ from her album 25 — but her performance was plagued with sound issues early on.
She remained unfazed and ended it with a tribute to Lamar, shouting: “I love you Kendrick, you’re amazing.” Later, she tweeted an explanation, telling her 25.2m Twitter followers: “The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Shit Happens. X.”
The evening featured a string of tributes to artists who have died since the last ceremony, including Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, Eagles musician Glenn Frey, Motörhead frontman Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, and David Bowie.
Lady Gaga performed an emotional medley of Bowie’s hits in tribute to her hero, who died earlier this year. She opened the performance dressed as Ziggy Stardust, complete with red hair, singing ‘Space Oddity’ before breaking into ‘Changes’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Suffragette City’, ‘Rebel Rebel’, ‘Fashion’, ‘Fame’, ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Heroes’. She said paying tribute to Bowie was probably the most challenging thing she’s done in her career because the icon influenced her greatly and helped shape her identity.
She said performing in his honour was a bittersweet way to say goodbye to one of her inspirations.
“When I was 19 years old... I started to live my life like him. I began to consume art and fashion and art history and a combination of those things, performance technique... and I only hung out with people that were artists and that was the way that he was and I learned that from him,’’ she said. ‘’What I’m trying to say is there’s people that love David Bowie, and then there’s David Bowie fans, and there’s Bowie kids, who live like him... and I can’t express to you... I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t have (him as) a figure in my life. I don’t know what my identity would be.”
Bowie died of cancer at age 69 on January 10. Gaga said she never met him but they “were pen pals”.