It wouldn’t be an awards show in 2017 without at least a little bit of politics taking center stage and a whole lot of drama.
James Corden, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Busta Rhymes and more all touched on the political climate at the 59th annual Grammy Awards, and Adele literally stopped the show to restart her tribute to George Michael before she took home album and record of the year — beating Beyonce.
Adele would finish the big winner of the night – winning for Album of the Year for “25” and Record of the Year for “Hello” – but the show didn’t start out with some shakiness.
The singer first opened the show with a straight-forward performance of her hit “Hello” before James Corden took the stage and things took a turn for the political
“The Late Late Show” host rapped the stars in the audience, and at the end of his rap Corden commented on politics, sharing a message of unity and quipping about President Donald Trump.
“…With President Trump we don’t know what comes next,” he said mid-rap. “We can survive by sticking together.”
After Corden finished his introduction, Jennifer Lopez presented the first award of the evening and also talked politics.
“At this particular point in history, our voices are needed more than ever,” she said hinting at the Trump presidency.
JLo presented the award for best new artist to Chance The Rapper.
Katy Perry went farther, taking the stage to perform “Chained to the Rhythm” with “We the people” written behind her and an armband that read “persist.” And later on, Tribe Called Quest chanted “resist” in a politically-charged performance. Busta Rhymes repeatedly called President Donald Trump “President Agent Orange” as the group sharply criticized Trump’s recent executive order attempting to freeze immigration from several Muslim majority countries and called it a “Muslim ban.”
Earlier, Adele, who had trouble with her live performance at last year’s Grammys, restarted her tribute to George Michael.
The famous singer cursed and then said with teary-eyes, “I can’t mess this up for him… Can we please start again?” She apologized for swearing when she won song of the year for “Hello.”
It wasn’t the only hiccup of the night. Lady Gaga’s mashup with Metallica got off to a slow start with James Hetfield’s microphone not working at all.
Throughout the night, a slew of other A-list stars performed such as Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.
Introduced by her mother, Beyonce took the stage in a glittered gown and headdress for a performance that began with a long, spoken video-enhanced presentation about mothers and children. The highly-anticipated performance by the pregnant pop star got a standing ovation from the crowd.
Corden had his own attention-grabbing moment when he showed up in the star-studded audience with a mobile Carpool Karaoke cutout car and prompted stars like Lopez, John Legend, Urban and Faith Hill to team up with him and Neil Diamond to sing “Sweet Caroline.”
Twenty One Pilots were early winners during the night. They accepted the trophy for best pop duo for “Stressed out” in their underwear, a move Corden mimicked when the show returned from a commercial break.
Beyonce took home the award for best urban contemporary album for “Lemonade,” and David Bowie won a posthumous Grammy for best rock song during the telecast for “Blackstar.” Meanwhile, Maren Morris won the award for best country solo performance for “My Church.”