The Grammys: Kendrick Lamar Comes out in Chains; Kidjo Wins Award

The crème de la crème of the music industry gathered together for the 58th annual Grammy Award ceremony, which was held yesterday, February 15, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The event for the musical élite, was marred by technical glitches. The glitches affected the performances of Adele and Justin Bieber and the way the audience was able to view the live streaming show. Kendrick Lamar who won five awards, was touted as giving the “only performance that mattered at the Grammys” despite the hiccups. His performance through light, sound and the floetic verses of “Alright” and “The Blacker The Berry” was said to be a direct theatrical affront to a dismissive “White America”.

As USA today poignantly noted, people felt uncomfortable with Beyoncé having her dancers wear Black Panthers outfits? Lamar walked out in chains.

Nigerian-American recording artist Jidenna. Photo/Esquire Magazine

Up and coming Nigerian-American artist, Jidenna earned his first-ever nomination for his hit single “Classic Man” in the rap song collaboration category, although he did not go away with the win, his nomination marks a milestone not only in his career but for Nigerians as it brings the nation closer to the possibility of a Nigerian winning a Grammy in the future, which has not happened thus far.

The renowned Beninese singer and activist, Angélique Kidjo, was once again nominated in the “Best World Music” category for her album Sings. Kidjo took home the award last year and in 2008 for Djin Djin. Kidjo happened to win the award again this year.

South African all-male chorus Ladysmith Black Mambazo were among Kidjo’s contenders for the “Best World Music” award for their album Music From Inala. This is the group’s 16th nomination in a career that has spanned over 50 years. Their most recent win was in 2013 when they received the award for their album Live: Singing For Peace Around The World.

The Zomba Prison Project, an album conceived of by American writer and producer Ian Brennan with recordings by prisoners at the Zomba Central Prison located at the border of Malawi and Mozambique, is also nominated in the category.

Rocky Dawuni became the first Ghanaian to be nominated for “Best Reggae Album” for his latest project Branches of the Same Tree. He exclaimed on Ghanaian radio, prior to the award ceremony, his elation over the nomination “It’s a good day for Ghana and Ghanaian music”.

List of Nominees and Winners 

Record of the Year
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
Really Love – D’Angelo And The Vanguard
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Album of the Year
1989 – Taylor Swift
Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
Traveller – Chris Stapleton
Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Song of the Year
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge, written by Ed Sheeran
Alright – Kendrick Duckworth, Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears  and Pharrell Williams, written by Kendrick Lamar
Blank Space – Max Martin, Shellback and Taylor Swift, written by Taylor Swif
Girl Crush – Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose, written by Little Big Town
See You Again – Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth and Cameron Thomaz, written by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth

Best New Artist
Meghan Trainor
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly

Best Pop Solo Performance
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson
Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

Ship To Wreck – Florence & The Machine
Sugar – Maroon 5
Bad Blood – Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Ego Death – The Internet
You Should Be Here – Kehlani
Blood – Lianne La Havas
Wildheart – Miguel

Best R & B Performance
Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) – The Weeknd

If I Don’t Have You – Tamar Braxton
Rise Up – Andra Day
Breathing Underwater – Hiatus Kaiyote
Planes – Jeremih Featuring J. Cole

Best R & B Song
Really Love – D’Angelo and Kendra Foster, written by D’Angelo and The Vanguard

Coffee – Brook Davis and Miguel Pimentel, written by Miguel
Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey) – Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville amd Abel Tesfaye, written by The Weeknd
Let it Burn – Kenny B. Edmonds, Jazmine Sullivan and Dwane M. Weir II, written by Jazmine Sullivan
Shame – Warryn Campbell, Tyrese Gibson and DJ Rogers Jr, written by Tyrese

Best R & B Album
Black Messiah – D’Angelo and The Vanguard
Coming Home – Leon Bridges
Cheers To The Fall – Andra Day
Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan
Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson

Best Rap Performance
Alright – Kendrick Lamar

Back To Back – Drake
Trap Queen – Fetty Wap
Truffle Butter – Nicki Minaj Featuring Drake & Lil Wayne
All Day – Kanye West Featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney

Best Rap Song
Alright – Kendrick Duckworth, Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, written by Kendrick Lamar

All Day – Ernest Brown, Tyler Bryant, Sean Combs, Mike Dean, Rennard East, Noah Goldstein, Malik Yusef Jones, Karim Kharbouch, Allan Kyariga, Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Victor Mensah, Charles Njapa, Che Pope, Patrick Reynolds, Allen Ritter, Kanye West, Mario Winans & Cydel Young, written by Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney
Energy – Richard Dorfmeister, A. Graham, Markus Kienzl, M. O’Brien, M. Samuels & Phillip Thomas, written by Drake
Glory – Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens, written by Common & John Legend

Best Rap Song Collaboration
These Walls – Kendrick Lamar Featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat

One Man Can Change The World – Big Sean Featuring Kanye West & John Legend
Glory – Common & John Legend
Classic Man – Jidenna Featuring Roman GianArthur*
Only – Nicki Minaj Featuring Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown

Best Rap Album
To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

Forest Hills Drive –  J. Cole
Compton – Dr. Dre
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake
The Pinkprint – Nicki Minaj

Best Dance Recording
Where Are Ü Now – Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

We’re All We Need – Above and Beyond featuring Zoë Johnston
Go – The Chemical Brothers
Never Catch Me – Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar
Runaway (U & I) – Gallants

Best Reggae Album
Strictly Roots – Morgan Heritage

Branches Of The Same Tree – Rocky Dawuni
The Cure – Jah Cure
Acousticalevy – Barrington Levy
Zion Awake – Luciano

Angélique Kidjo taking home her award last year, 2015. Photo/CBS news

Best World Music Album
Sings – Angélique Kidjo*

Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo – Gilberto Gil
Music From Inala – Ladysmith Black Mambazo With Ella Spira & The Inala Ensemble*
Home – Anoushka Shankar
I Have No Everything Here – Zomba Prison Project, Ian Brennan, producer

Best Country Album
Traveller – Chris Stapleton

Montevallo – Sam Hunt
Pain Killer – Little Big Town
The Blade – Ashley Monroe
Pageant Material – Kacey Musgraves

Best Alternative Music Album
Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes

Vulnicura – Björk
The Waterfall – My Morning Jacket
Currents – Tame Impala
Star Wars – Wilco

Best Rock Performance
Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes

What Kind of Man – Florence + The Machine
Something From Nothing – Foo Fighters
Ex’s & Oh’s” – Elle King
Moaning Lisa Smile – Wolf Alice

Best Music Video
Bad Blood – Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar

LSD – ASAP Rocky
I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) – The Dead Weather
Alright – Kendrick Lamar
Freedom – Pharrell Williams

For a complete list of winners visit the official Grammys page here.
(With Information from