Michelle Obama Brought the Crowd to Their Feet at the 2019 Grammys

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys

But Gambino, alter ego of actor Donald Glover, as well as Canadian rapper Drake and Kendrick Lamar, were among several influential stars who were no-shows at the biggest night in music.

"Music is what we cry to, it's what me march to, it's what we rock to, it's what me make love to", Alicia said with a wry smile. Suddenly, out came Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama! The cheers from the crowd were deafening. The four stars talked about how music unites the world and brings to peace to people who are struggling.

Lopez received a standing ovation - that backflip! - after her Motown tribute with NE-YO, Alicia Keys and Smokey Robinson.

Folk singer Brandi Carlile, 37, was also among the early winners, taking two Grammys for her Americana music single The Joke and another for her album By the Way, I Forgive You.

"Alicia Keys called a musical artist a mongol (sic) instead of a mogul". While Gaga, Smith and Lopez were able to allude to their own experiences as entertainers to highlight how powerful music can be, Obama had to put a hold on her own remarks as she was met with roaring applause immediately after uttering her first words.

The Grammys this year expanded the major categories of album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist from five nominees to eight, some say in response to the lack of diversity among nominees in previous years. No one knew what to expect from an Alicia Keys-hosted Grammys, but now we know. Though the ceremony went host-less from 2006 to 2011, LL Cool J and James Corden steered the ship in the following seven years. It was exactly what the show needed to get away from last year's controversial remarks from Recording Academy president Neil Portnow. "Celebrating so many incredible nominees, particularly women nominees ... is so incredibly magnificent and so many are my friends", said Alicia.

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