Kendrick Lamar Steals the Show With Iconic Grammy Performance

blame it on Patrick Glynn February 15, 2016

UPDATE (2/16): The 58th GRAMMY Awards have come to an end and there’s no debate Kendrick Lamar was the evening’s big winner.

No, he didn’t win “Record of the Year” (because Bruno Mars of course). No, he didn’t take home “Album of the Year” (because Taylor Swift of course). But the good kid from a m.A.A.d city still managed to deliver a show-stealing performance of “The Blacker the Berry,” “Alright,” and—what we’re assuming is—”Untitled 3.”

Earlier today, we reported Kendrick had a “chamber of music” that didn’t make the cut of To Pimp A Butterfly he wanted to share live, and this was one of them. Coming out in shackles, breaking free with a performance that will be the most talked about moment of the night and will go down in history as one of most iconic performances in the award show’s near 60-year run.

The production Kendrick and his fellow inmates walked out to was Iman Omari’s “Omari’s Loop” off High Loops & Higher Loops.

Continuing scrolling for a list of winners, performance clips, and a live play-by-play of the entire evening.

Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”
Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Kendrick Lamar’s “These Walls”
Best Music Video: Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” with Kendrick Lamar
Best R&B Album: D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s Black Messiah
Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness
Best R&B Performance: The Weeknd’s “Earned It”
Best Rap Album: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly
Song of the Year: Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”
Best Rock Album: Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color
Album of the Year: Taylor Swift’s 1989 (a.k.a not Kendrick)
Record of the Year: Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” (a.k.a TRINIDAD JAMES WON A GRAMMY FOR RECORD OF THE YEAR. Everything’s okay.) UPDATE: turns out he doesn’t get a direct win for Record of the Year — it goes to performers. Still, he had an influence, and that’s amazing. Who knows, maybe he does get a trophy.


UPDATE (7:15 p.m. EST): So far, The Weeknd has won two GRAMMYs (Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best R&B Performance “Earned It”), D’Angelo has won two (Best R&B Album and Best R&B Song for “Really Love”) and Kendrick Lamar has won FOUR awards: Best Rap Song (“Alright”), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“These Walls”), Best Rap Performance (“Alright”) and Best Music Video (for being in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video). Given the fact Kendrick is the only rap album in the Album of the Year category, he’s sure to win Best Rap Album.

UPDATE (7:56 p.m.): The show’s about to start. LL Cool J reiterates his belief Kendrick’s performance will be transcendent.

UPDATE (8: 02 p.m.): Taylor Swift started the show, so at least this is over with. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard her sing well live.

UPDATE (8:10 p.m.): After “How Much A Dollar Cost” played as Ice Cube and his son walked up, Kendrick Lamar won Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly.

UPDATE (8:18 p.m.): Thanks to Carrie Underwood and that other dude for allowing me to eat this burrito knowing nothing crazy was going to happen.

UPDATE (8:28 p.m.): Ariana Grande — the best visual representation of a spinner if I’ve ever seen one — introduced The Weeknd, who performed “Can’t Feel My Face” and a stripped down version of “In The Night.” He didn’t bring out Lauryn Hill, like we thought he might’ve. There’s still plenty of show left for her to take over.

UPDATE (8:39 p.m.): I was never a fan of Ellie Golding’s voice, but it paired pretty well there with Andra Day for a melody of “Rise Up” and “Love Me Like You Do.” That’s the best performance of the night so far. The vibe around Day’s vocal performance kind of reminds me when Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes performed a couple years ago. Hopefully Day blows up like Howard/the Shakes did.

UPDATE (8:56 p.m.): John Legend, Demi Lovato, Tyrese, Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan all came out to pay tribute to Lionel Richie. There was zero percent chance we didn’t get a cover of “All Night Long,” and that’s how it should be. The five sang “Easy,” “Hello,” “Penny Lover,” “You Are” and “Brickhouse” in addition to “All Night Long,” where Lionel came up to sing.

P.S.: Demi can SING, yo…

UPDATE (9:12 p.m.): Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix just performed a tribute to Maurice White — the late founder of Earth, Wind & Fire — covering “The Way Of The World.” They announced Song of the Year, which went to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” Kendrick’s “Alright” was nominated in the category.

UPDATE (9:19 p.m.): According to TMZ, Rihanna is NOT performing at the GRAMMYs due to bronchitis. The news outlet said she’s suffered from the illness over the past couple days and doctors suggested she shouldn’t perform. Welp. After what’s been done so far, she easily would’ve made watching this thing worth it.

UPDATE (9:29 p.m.): Thanks to Tori Kelly and this other dude for letting me catch up on some videos…

UPDATE (9:55 p.m.): Hamilton, a play on Broadway that fuses hip-hop with American history, won for best musical theater album. Hip-hop keeps winning.

UPDATE (10:14 p.m.): Was wrapped up in Kendrick for a bit, but shout out to Alabama Shakes for the win in the Best Rock Album category. Sound & Color was one of my favorite projects last year. Additionally, shout out to Miguel for presenting the award and performing Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out Of My Life” beforehand.

UPDATE (10:31 p.m.): Lady Gaga just covered a shit load of David Bowie songs as a tribute to the late legend. Nile Rodgers, who worked with Bowie years ago, was on stage with her, too. (Mek tells me Raphael Saadiq was there as well.) If I had any guess, he would’ve loved how weird things got. Maybe not how uncoordinated things got, but definitely how weird. The tribute ended with a performance of one of my favorite Bowie songs in my brief listening, an upbeat take on “Heroes.”

UPDATE (11:05 p.m.): Another tribute, this time from Alice Cooper, Joe Perry (Aerosmith) and Johnny Depp (yes, him) to Lemmy Kilmister, who formed Motorhead. Ninth grade me is upset at Lemmy the rock star’s passing. Post-college me is sad an important person in music passed.

Anyway, we still have Record of the Year and Album of the Year to find out. Stay with us.

UPDATE (11:21 p.m.): Kendrick Lamar lost Album of the Year to Taylor Swift… Welp.

UPDATE (11:25 p.m.): Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson won Record Of The Year for “Uptown Funk.” This is your annual reminder Trinidad James co-wrote that song.

For those that didn’t notice, Gwen Stefani also revealed a new video for her new single “Make Me Like You.” Here’s the kicker: the video was done live and in one take. Peep it below.