By the time Taylor Swift took the stage to open the 58th annual Grammy Awards, the multi-talented entertainer had already heard her name called twice in the winners category. Clad in a bedazzled bodysuit, Swift belted her latest single “Out Of The Woods.”
During the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony, Swift earned Best Pop Vocal Album for 1989, and the clip for “Bad Blood” (ft. Kendrick Lamar) earned an honor for Best Music Video.
Swift later earned Album of the Year for her project 1989.
“I want to thank the fans for the past 10 years,” said Swift. She thanked Max Martin and all of her collaborators. She also took the opportunity to strike back at her opponents and encourage young dreamers.
“As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammy’s twice, I want to say to all the young women out there, 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 you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”
Chris Stapleton’s musical momentum steamrolled right to the Grammy stage. During the show, Stapleton picked up the honor for Best Country Album for Traveller, which was co-produced by Dave Cobb. He earned a trophy earlier in the evening for Best Country Solo Performance, for the song “Traveller.”
“I’d like to thank Taylor Swift for glitter bombing me before I got up here for this,” Stapleton said during his acceptance for Best Country Album. “This is something you would never dream of and I’m so grateful for it,” said Stapleton. Newcomer and Grammy nominee Cam also made an appearance during the evening, presenting the Best Country Album honor.
“Thanks to our families for putting up with us and thanks to Chris for letting me get in the studio with him,” said Cobb.
The Grammy awards showcased two of Nashville’s most popular artists early in the show, pairing Sam Hunt and Carrie Underwood for a smoldering mashup of Hunt’s “Take Your Time,” with Underwood’s “Heartbeat.”
Though Hunt didn’t win the all-genre Best New Artist award, another artist with Nashville ties—“All About That Bass” singer Meghan Trainor—did. Trainor is signed with Nashville publishing company Big Yellow Dog, and was a Nashville resident during the recording of her album, Title.
“Oh I’m a mess,” said Trainor through tears. “I have to thank L.A. Reid for looking at me like an artist instead of just a songwriter. My mom and dad for always believing me. I’m a mess. I have to go cry. Thank you to The Grammys. I love you so much.”
Alabama Shakes earned Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for “Don’t Wanna Fight.” The group’s lead singer Brittany Howard has a home in Nashville. During the pre-telecast, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jason Isbell picked up Grammys for Best Americana Album (Something More Than Free) and Best American Roots Song (“24 Frames”).
Country performers graced the Grammy stage throughout the evening.
Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild more than held the crowd’s attention with her strong alto, blended with the lush harmonies of her bandmates on “Girl Crush,” complemented by a full string orchestra.
The group’s song garnered two trophies during the 48th annual Grammy awards. “Girl Crush” earned the honors of Best Country Song for the songwriters (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose) and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for Little Big Town during the pre-telecast festivities.
This is the band’s second Grammy, following a 2012 trophy for “Pontoon.”
Luke Bryan paid tribute to Lionel Richie with a rendition of “Penny Lover,” in a collaboration with Meghan Trainor, Tyrese Gibson, Demi Lovato, and John Legend. Legend led the tribute with a piano-based offering of the Commodores breezy 1977 hit “Easy,” followed by Lovato’s soulful take on “Hello.” Gibson led the crowd in a rendition of The Commodores’ classic “Brick House.”
Chris Stapleton lent his burly vocals and easygoing guitar skills to a tribute to the late blues legend B.B. King. Stapleton was joined by Bonnie Raitt, and Gary Clark Jr. on “The Thrill Is Gone.”
For Swift, Stapleton, Little Big Town and Trainor, the thrill of a Grammy win is just beginning.
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