Inspiring Moments from the 61st Grammy Awards

Last night’s 61st Grammy Awards had no shortage of tributes, surprises and get-on-your-feet musical performances from relative newcomers to iconic legends alike. One of the consistent themes of the night was the power of music to bring people together and inspire.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s surprise appearance to kick things off, along with Lady Gaga, JLo, Jada Pinkett Smith and host Alicia Keys reflected just that, setting the tone for a night that was all about celebrating and reflecting on the sounds and words that move us.

The evening’s tributes included an ensemble ode to Dolly Parton, with Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town taking turns crooning with the country music legend and, later, a fiery mashup with JLo, Smokey Robinson and Alicia Keys, honoring Diana Ross and Motown.

Watching Diana Ross celebrate her 75th birthday on stage following a heartfelt introduction from her grandson – surrounded by her family and the entire Staples Center standing, embracing and singing “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” – epitomizes why music, beyond any other form of entertainment, is a dire necessity for humanity and culture.

Last night, music transcended generations, genres and the niche communities in which music is born – and that’s really what it’s all about.

Drake, who won best rap song for “God’s Plan” had a powerful message for music artists everywhere:  ”The point is, you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero from your hometown, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows — you don’t need this right here. I promise you, you already won.”

Cardi B made history as the first female to win best rap album, taking her time on stage to thank her daughter and address the long nights that went into making the album before she was born.

Kacey Musgraves, who took home four Grammys including album of the year, answered questions backstage that addressed her little-to-no air time on country music radio and whether she felt that her hardware haul would change that.

“That’s not what I had in mind when I was making this album,” she said. “It’s been really amazing and incredible to see it do some really wild, gratifying, unbelievable things — going further than I ever thought that it could. I’m just really thankful. I think streaming was a big part of it… My publicist for working his a– off. My band and my road family working very hard. Ultimately, I feel like it just lets me know that it doesn’t really matter where someone hears your music, it’s if they connect or not.”

We agree, Kasey.

Congratulations to all of the winners, and to those who have big dreams of someday making it onto the Grammy’s stage…anything is possible.

Best R&B album – “H.E.R.” H.E.R.

Best country album – “Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves

Album of the year – “Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves

Record of the year

“This is America,” Childish Gambino

Song of the year

“This Is America,” Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson

Best new artist – Dua Lipa

Best pop solo performance – “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?),” Lady Gaga

Best pop vocal album – “Sweetener,” Ariana Grande

Best pop duo/group performance – “Shallow,” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

Best rap album – “Invasion Of Privacy,” Cardi B

Best rap song – “God’s Plan,” Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake)

Best country song – “Space Cowboy,” Luke Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)

Best R&B performance -“Best Part,” H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar