After paying Beyonce a teary tribute following her album of the year Grammy win, Adele went backstage and continued singing the “Formation” songstress’ praises.
“I thought it was her year. What the f— does she have to do to win album of the year,” Adele said.
Adele also recalled the moment she “fell in love” with Beyonce.
“I am a Beyonce stan. I remember when I was 11 years old, I was with some girlfriends, and we were practicing a song to do at an assembly. I probably suggested the Spice Girls, and they said have you heard (Destiny’s Child’s) ‘No No No’? And I was like, ‘no, no, no.’ I remember how I felt hearing her voice. I fell in love immediately with her. The way I felt when I first heard ‘No No No’ was exactly the same as when I first heard ‘Lemonade’ last year. … The other artists who mean that much to me are all dead.”
Adele also said she wrote a lot less on ’25’ than she did on ’21,’ “but that’s because I had a bad drinking habit on ’21.’”
Though shut out of the top Grammy categories, David Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar,” triumphed with a total of five wins, including for rock performance and alternative music album. Backstage at Staples Center, Bowie’s collaborators shared memories of working with him during his last year. “We were aware from day one of the recording of David’s condition, but it did not impede him. If anything it spurred him on,” said “Blackstar” engineer Kevin Killen. Bowie’s bandmate and collaborator Donny McCaslin was asked what Bowie would have made of the posthumous Grammy attention, having won only a single competitive Grammy during his lifetime, for music video. “I remember as the press was hearing ‘Blackstar,’ I know that it meant a lot to him to see the acclaim it was getting,” McCaslin said. “I don’t know how he felt about a Grammy award – when I learned that he’d only won one award for a video, that was shocking to me. But I’m so happy for his family and his fans. I think it means a lot to his fans in particular, and we’re his fans too.”
Solange, who won best R&B performance for “Cranes in the Sky,” recalled writing the tune eight years ago “in a period of desperation and weariness. So the fact that it’s been resonating the way it has eight years later, after it kind of got pushed to the side, is very special.” Reflecting on the forthright political and racial themes of her album “A Seat at the Table,” Solange cited her outspoken role models Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone. “I just honor the greats. I look to Nina, and it’s interesting that she’s been so celebrated (in recent years), because back then she was told to shut up and sing. Those are the artists that really paved the way – we’re not doing nothing new,” she said.
The original lineup of The Time — including splinter faction Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis — came backstage to discuss their Prince tribute segment with Bruno Mars. Time frontman Morris Day was all compliments: “Bruno ripped it up,” he said. “I don’t think there’s another artist who could have pulled it off with us as perfectly as Bruno pulled it off.” At which point Jam interrupted, “But we still kicked his ass.”
Songwriter Lori McKenna won her second consecutive best country song Grammy, for Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind,” and recalled its comically low-key origins. “It was a school-day song,” she explained. “I dropped my kids off at school in the morning and sat in the car in my yoga pants and started writing it, and I think I was done by dinnertime. I sent it to Tim that night, and didn’t hear from him for a while, then I saw him one day and he said, ‘oh yeah, I’m gonna cut that song.’”
Paul Jefferies, co-writer with Drake of best rap song winner “Hotline Bling,” recalled a similarly painless composition process for his tune. “It’s something I wasn’t in the studio for. I sent the idea to Drake, and 45 minutes later he said, ‘I’m done.’ I said, ‘what do you mean?’ He said, ‘I’m done.’ It was the quickest song we’d ever done.”
Producer and songwriter Greg Kurstin won his first Grammy with a splash, taking the producer of the year (non-classical) statuette, largely for his work with Adele. Asked to explain the genesis of “Hello,” he recalled: “The song came out of us just jamming in the room. We work in a studio in England, and I’ll just play chords and move around to different ideas. When we did ‘Hello,’ we’d written the chords, and she started singing what became the verse. I had three songs on the album and they were all written pretty much the same.”
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine noted that positive omens that the group won its first Grammy for best metal performance on its 12th nomination. “Good things come in twelves, like the disciples, packs of beer…” When a reporter started to pose a political-charged query, however, Mustaine cut him off. “I’m not gonna answer any political questions,” he said. “Whenever I answer political questions I get in trouble.”
Entirely willing to get political, best comedy album winner Patton Oswalt responded to a question from a Fox News reporter with a quick, “How are things in Mordor?” He went on to define his mission going forward, given the country’s political climate. (Oswalt has been a vocal critic of President Trump on social media.) “I’m gonna try to be goofy and funny, but right now it feels like reality is lapping us,” he said. “We’re kinda living in a first-draft Monty Python sketch. But we’re being steered by humorless people, which makes it way more fun to make fun of them.”
Joy, one half of Mexican brother-sister act Jesse and Joy (who won for best Latin pop album), was asked how the election of Donald Trump changed her view of music’s universality. “More than ever we feel like music is a great way of fighting hate,” she said. “It’s incredible to see how one person starts spreading a little bit of venom and it spreads like poison ivy… The least we can do is stand together and not let anyone bully us.”
Jazz vocal album winner Gregory Porter offered words of praise for jazz great Al Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy winner who died Sunday at the age of 76. “He was really part of the foundation of my understanding of music,” Porter said. Jarreau “gave me the OK to break out of the bounds of jazz, which was always an artificial boundary. Jazz is about freedom, and Al embodied that,” Porter said.
Robert Glasper, who won for his musical contributions to the film “Miles Ahead,” initially tried to beg off answering questions, as illness had left his voice as raspy as the pipes of the subject of the film. “I’m really hoarse, and it feels like I’m trying to sound like Miles Davis, but I’m not,” he said.
Best contemporary blues album winner Fantastic Negrito engaged in some playful back-and-forth with reporters about blues history and the blurring of genres, adding that he’d recently snapped a selfie with one of his elders, traditional blues album winner Bobby Rush. “I once talked to Robert Plant for an hour, and he knew more about blues than I did,” he said. “Listen to Robert Johnson – who was more gangsta rap than him? I don’t believe in genres at all. Music is the truest form of communication between human beings, and we’re either connecting with people or not.”
In a particularly touching moment, Rory Lee Feek of best roots gospel album winner Joey+Rory offered reminiscences of his wife and musical partner Joey Feek, who died last spring. “My wife always wanted to record an album of hymns” he remembered, “and before we recorded it she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. By the time the album came out she was in her final weeks. We watched the Grammys together, and she said, ‘If we get nominated next year, you have to promise you will go.’ I said I would, and she said, ‘If you win, I will know the answer before you will.’ ”