Rapper Kendrick Lamar lead the early winners at Monday’s Grammy awards with four accolades including one shared with Taylor Swift, while Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran celebrated their first Grammy wins.
Lamar, who has a leading 11 Grammy nominations this year, won best rap song and best rap performance for his anthemic “Alright” and best rap/sung collaboration for “These Walls,” but was not on hand to accept the early awards given out before the live telecast.
He also shared the best music video win for Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” which he collaborated on. Swift also won best pop vocal album for “1989.”
British singer Sheeran won his first Grammy for best pop solo performance for “Thinking Out Loud.” The single is also nominated for song and record of the year.
“I thought I knew what I was going to say, but I don’t,” the singer said on stage.
Bieber won best dance recording for his collaboration with DJs Skrillex and Diplo for “Where Are U Now.”
“Beliebers.. We did it! I love you. Now get ready for the show. Not done yet,” the Canadian singer, who is performing the song at the live show, tweeted to his fans after his win.
The Grammy Awards, in its 58th year, will see only a handful of its 80-plus trophies including top awards for album, song and record of the year, handed out during a three-hour live televised show, which is known more for pairing artists not typically seen together for performance spectacles.
In early awards, blues-rock group Alabama Shakes, nominated for album of the year, won two Grammy awards; best rock song for “Don’t Wanna Fight” and best alternative music album for “Sound & Color.”
“Two Grammys in one day? That’s crazy, we’re going to take these home and represent 256,” said lead singer Brittany Howard, referring to the telephone area code for the state of Alabama.
Canadian crooner The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, won best R&B performance for “Earned It” and best urban contemporary album for “Beauty Behind the Madness.”
British sensation Adele, while not nominated this year, returns to perform on the Grammy stage for the first time since 2012.
Swift will kick off the televised show in Los Angeles, hosted by LL Cool J, with a song from her album “1989,” followed by performances by Lamar, The Weeknd and a tribute to David Bowie performed by Lady Gaga. Bowie died in January from cancer at the age of 69.
Veteran musician Lionel Richie will be honored by artists Demi Lovato, John Legend, Luke Bryan and Meghan Trainor, while rockers The Eagles will pay tribute to late front man Glenn Frey with singer-songwriter Jackson Browne.