Lady Gaga, Brandi Carlile among early Grammy winners
Lady Gaga, the Black Panther soundtrack, and folk singer Brandi Carlile took home early Grammy awards on Sunday ahead of a telecast hosted by R&B singer Alicia Keys.
Gaga's hit song Shallow from the movie A Star is Born took the Grammy for best song written for visual media, while her Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Going) won for pop solo performance.
Gaga, who is to perform later on Sunday, said on Twitter she was "in tears with honour and gratitude."
"I'm not gonna be able to wear any makeup tonight," she tweeted.
I’m not gonna be able to wear any makeup tonight. We just won our first of Grammy nominations for the night. I’m in tears with honor and gratitude. Thank you @RecordingAcad #Grammys #Grammy and my co-writers and Bradley I love you so much thank you 😭❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️—@ladygaga
Carlile, 37, took home three early trophies, two for her Americana music single The Joke and another for her album By the Way, I Forgive You.
An absent Ariana Grande, who pulled out of the Grammys show last week after a dispute with producers, won her first Grammy best pop vocal album for Sweetener.
The soundtrack for superhero movie Black Panther took best score for visual media, while Childish Gambino's searing This is America, about police brutality and racism, won the best music video trophy.
Gambino, the alter ego of actor Donald Glover, was one of several influential stars who were no shows at the biggest night in music.
Rappers vy for album of the year
Leading nominees Kendrick Lamar, who produced the Black Panther soundtrack, and Canadian rapper Drake will also be absent in what is seen as a snub by the three rappers of an awards show that has often shut hip-hop artists out of its top prizes, despite rap's dominance as the biggest music genre in the United States.
Cardi B, who will perform later on Sunday, could break that trend and take home not only her first ever Grammy but potentially become the first rapper since 2004 to win the coveted album of the year award for her Invasion of Privacy.
Only two albums by hip-hop artists have ever won the album of the year Grammy — Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999, and Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2004
Rappers Post Malone (Beerbongs & Bentleys) and Drake's best-seller Scorpion are also vying for the top prize. Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer, country singer Kacey Musgraves' Golden Hour, Carlile's By The Way, I Forgive You, newcomer H.E.R's self-titled H.E.R., and the Black Panther soundtrack round out contenders for album of the year.
Grammy organizers this year expanded the top four categories — album, record, song of the year, and best new artist — to eight nominees from five in a bid to diversify the contest.
Sunday's show will include performances by Diana Ross, Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, Dolly Parton, Janelle Monae, Shawn Mendes, Katy Perry, Ricky Martin and Red Hot Chili Peppers. There will also be a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, who died last August.
Canadian violinist score wins
Violinist James Ehnes has picked up two Grammy Awards for his contributions to Kernis.
The Brandon, Man.-raised musician was part of the classical violin concerto album, which won best contemporary classical composition. The honour is shared with composer Aaron Jay Kernis.
His second Grammy for best classical instrumental solo is shared with the album's conductor.
Other Canadians scoring Grammys during a pre-telecast ceremony included violinist Lili Haydn, who won as part of the quartet Opium Moon. The Canadian-American musician received best new age album win for the group's self-titled 2018 album.
Haydn accepted the Grammy during a pre-telecast ceremony saying she had "so much love and gratitude and respect" for other musicians nominated at the ceremony.
She said her fellow nominees "devoted literally countless hours of focus, passion and practice to making the most exquisite music we can make to sweeten this world."
Producer Greg Wells was among the team who won best compilation soundtrack for visual media for The Greatest Showman. The Peterborough, Ont.-raised musician helped shape the selection of songs from the Hugh Jackson-led Hollywood musical.
Willo Perron, who is from Montreal, nabbed the best recording package Grammy for his work on singer St. Vincent's 2017 album Masseduction.
The pre-telecast show is being hosted by Shaggy and streamed live on the Grammys website.