Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift Win Grammys in Pre-Telecast Ceremony

The top nominees at the 58th annual Grammy Awards all took home gold at the “Premiere Ceremony” at the Nokia Theatre on Monday afternoon.

In quick succession, 11-time nominee Kendrick Lamar won for best rap performance (for “Alright,” a track from his album), best rap/sung collaboration (for “These Walls,” a cut with Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat) and shared in the best rap song award (with Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams) for “Alright.”

The early ceremony began with seven-fold nominee Taylor Swift’s first win of the day, as her bestselling late 2014 set “1989” was named best pop vocal album. Jack Antonoff of fun., a co-producer of the album, called Swift on stage to inform her of her score.

Swift and Lamar shared the best music video award for their collaboration “Bad Blood.”

Vocalist the Weeknd, a seven-time nominee this year, scored best urban contemporary album for “Beauty Behind the Madness” and best R&B performance honors for “Earned It,” his cut from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack.

Breakout country performer Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller,” up for album of the year Monday evening, was tabbed for best country solo performance for the collection.

Rock unit Alabama Shakes, with four nods this year, grabbed best alternative music album for “Sound & Color”; the group-composed “Don’t Wanna Fight” was selected as best rock song. The act will contend for album of the year at the evening ceremony.

Jeff Bhasker was named non-classical producer of the year for his work with Mark Ronson, Nate Ruess, Elle King, Cam and others.

Bandleader-arranger Maria Schneider won the best arrangement award for her work on the original single version of David Bowie’s “Sue.” The song is also included in an alternate version on Bowie’s final album “Blackstar,” with members of Schneider’s big band providing backing. From the stage, she thanked Bowie for “letting us share your incredible experience.”

Schneider also won the award for best large jazz ensemble album, for her “The Thompson Fields.”

Country foursome Little Big Town’s controversy-inducing “Girl Crush” was named best country duo/group performance. The Hillary Lindsey-Lori McKenna-Liz Rose tune, also selected as best country song, will compete for song of the year Monday evening.

Renascent R&B performer D’Angelo swept up best R&B album honors for “Black Messiah,” his first release in 14 years, and best R&B song for the track “Really Love” (co-written with Kendra Foster).

Jason Isbell, a onetime member of the Drive-By Truckers, captured two awards, for his solo album “Something More Than Free” (best Americana album) and its track “24 Frames” (best American roots song).

Skrillex and Diplo collected back-to-back awards for best dance recording (“Where Are U Now”) and best dance/electronic album (“Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U”).

“Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit, took best pop duo/group performance, and also snared a trophy as best remixed recording for Dave Aude.

The Steeldrivers, Stapleton’s former band, picked up the best bluegrass album award for “The Muscle Shoals Recordings.”

Joni Mitchell collected the best album notes award for her work on her own “Love Has Many Phases.” The singer-songwriter is recovering from a life-threatening illness she suffered last year. She has received seven previous Grammys, including a share of the 2008 album of the year, Herbie Hancock’s “River: The Joni Letters,” which featured fresh interpretations of her music.

Sacred music star Kirk Franklin rolled up his tenth Grammy for the year’s best gospel performance/song, “Wanna Be Happy.”

“I’ll Be Me,” the moving documentary about singer-guitarist Glen Campbell’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, was feted with the best compilation soundtrack award. Campbell’s family recently announced that he was in the late stages of the illness.

Antonio Sanchez was the recipient of the best score soundtrack award for his work on “Birdman,” last year’s Oscar winner as best picture. John Legend, Common and Che Smith were acknowledged with the best song written for visual media trophy, for “Glory,” heard in “Selma.”

“Amy,” Asif Kapadia’s Oscar-nominated documentary look at the late multiple Grammy winner Amy Winehouse’s life and career, was named best music film.

The 79-year-old blues perennial Buddy Guy notched his seventh Grammy win with “Born to Play Guitar.” It was his sixth recognition for best blues album. Backstage, Guy tipped his hat to B.B. King, who died last May, calling the late singer-guitarist “the greatest to squeeze the strings.”

Husband-and-wife banjo players Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn triumphed in the best folk album category for their self-titled release. It was Fleck’s 14th Grammy win.

Another perennial winner, Tony Bennett, took the Nokia stage to pick up his 18th Grammy for his collaboration with pianist Bill Charlap, “The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern,” named best traditional pop vocal album.

Longtime international pop star Ricky Martin took home his third Grammy for “A Quien Quiera Escuchar,” named best Latin pop album. Tejano group Los Tigres del Norte, winners of seven previous Grammys, took home the best regional Mexican music album award for “Realidades.” Ruben Blades picked up his ninth trophy for “Son de Panama,” selected as best tropical Latin album.

Continuing a long-standing tradition of giving best spoken word album to ex-presidents, Jimmy Carter received the award for “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.”

For a second year in a row, the trio of designer Susan Archie, Revenant Records’ Dean Blackwood and Third Man Records’ Jack White received the best boxed or special edition package, for their work on the elaborate, aluminum-encased second volume of “The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records.”

Nine-time Grammy winner Judith Sherman was selected best classical producer, an award she won four times previously (including last year), for her work on nine separate recordings.

The late composer Stephen Paulus was remembered in awards for best classical compendium (for “Three Places of Enlightenment”) and best contemporary classical composition (for “Prayers and Remembrances”).

In one of the day’s dubious technical innovations, a small “Grammy Cam” was mounted in the base of the statuettes handed to winners on the Nokia stage to capture their reactions.

Providing entertainment at the afternoon ceremony were 12-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander, Tex-Mex rock unit the Mavericks, gospel legends the Fairfield Four (winners of the best roots gospel album for “Still Rockin’ My Soul”), soloist Tasha Cobbs, classical unit Takacs Quartet and rock trio Highly Suspect.

Country performer Hunter Hayes was a late scratch as “Premiere Ceremony” host; presenters included Schneider, Keali’I Reichel, Jidenna, Anoushka Shankar, Lianne La Havas and NARAS executive, producer and musician Jimmy Jam.

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  1. kendrick aint the king of rap, he aint the god of rap, he is rap itself born as a human being raised as a human being grew up to be the legend. if rap was religious, i would call u saint duckworth…. Kendrick is the best current rapper. I will be at his concert.

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