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Madonna, dressed as a matador, performed “Living for Love” atop a platform surrounded by a plethora of background dancers wearing bull masks. A choir did most of the singing, while Madonna danced and the audience at the Staples Center clapped in unison. She ascended into the air as the performance finished.
West performed on a nearly pitch-black stage, with a light glowing from under his feet (he also sported the new sneakers he designed). He sang the new song about his late mother, “Only One.”
Annie Lennox was a powerhouse when she sang “I Put A Spell On You” and joined Hozier for “Take Me to Church,” nominated for song off the year.
Beyonce won best R&B song and R&B performance for “Drunk In Love” and surround sound album for “Beyonce.”
“This has been such an incredible year,” she said, thanking her “beloved husband” and “my daughter who is watching.”
In one of 23 performances, AC/DC kicked off the show with a performance of their latest single, “Rock or Bust,” and then transitioned into the classic “Highway to Hell.” It earned a rousing applause from Pharrell, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, who wore devil horns.
Ariana Grande gave a stripped, piano-led performance of “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” a song co-written by One Direction’s Harry Styles, while Miranda Lambert brought a rock-heavy vibe to “Little Red Wagon.” She won best country album for “Platinum.”
“I put my heart and soul in this record,” she said. “Thank you so much for this amazing night. I love y’all!”
Cash led the pre-show with three Grammys, while Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Chick Corea and the “Frozen” soundtrack earned two awards apiece.
“Reagan was president last time I won a Grammy,” said Cash, who won best American roots performance, American roots song and Americana album. “I just showed up for work for 35 years and this is what happened.”
Lamar, who lost in seven categories last year, marked a redemption by winning best rap performance and rap song for “i.” Eminem won best rap album, beating Common and Iggy Azalea. He also won best rap/sung collaboration for “The Monster” with Rihanna.
The late Joan Rivers won best spoken word album for “Diary of a Mad Diva,” and her daughter, Melissa Rivers, was on hand to accept the award.
“If my mother was here tonight, she would not only be honored and thrilled to be holding her first Grammy,” Melissa Rivers said. “She would most likely have it copied and on the air on QVC by 11.”
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