Grammys turn up the volume on politics


The In Memoriam segment was opened with Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris performing Tom Petty's "Wildflowers", which drove the song up 536% (nearly 400 units).

Neither did the gala hold back from more light-hearted political commentary. More. Than. Sixty. Years. Ago. Broadway got its due with stellar performances by Ben Platt of "Somewhere" and Patti LuPone of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina".

U2 braved the cold to perform with the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop on their song "Get Out of Your Own Way".

"This country was built by dreamers, for dreamers, chasing the American dream", Cabello said before introducing U2.

Awards shows have also gotten increasingly political, with celebrity presenters and winners playing the role of firebrands at town-hall meetings. The rapper, 25, took to Instagram on January 29, where she showed off a new portrait of her and Bruno Mars, 32, that was sent to her by the celeb-obsessed fashion house, Fashion Nova. With help from artists including Cyndi Lauper and Andra Day, Kesha offered a gut-wrenching performance of her song "Praying", which alludes to her former producer and alleged abuser, Dr. Luke. He beat out Jay-Z, Tyler, the Creator and Migos. Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne delivered a first-rate "Tears in Heaven".

But if the Grammys were an outlier in almost across-the-board declines for awards shows and live sporting events, the law of gravity caught up this year.

Corden's bit began after the Best Comedy Album victor was announced. Chapelle would go on to win Best Comedy album after performances by Pink and Cardi B and Bruno Mars.

UNC suspends freshman guard Jalek Felton
His best performance came on December 6, when he hit for 15 points and five assists in a win against Western Carolina. In nine ACC games, he has played 10 minutes just once and failed to score more than 2 points in any game.

Cardi B is having the time of her life! ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY P!nk performs Wild Hearts Cant be Broken. He also won for best R&B song and best R&B performance for "That's What I Like", and best R&B album for "24K Magic". ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, featuring Zuleyka Rivera.

It's the song that ruled every radio station past year, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee performed "Despacito". Donald Glover, who truly is bringing the Childish Gambino chapter to an end, was also decked out and classy.

Gary Clark Jr. and Jon Batiste tribute to Fats Domino and Chuck Berry with "Ain't That a Shame" and "Maybelline": Too short.

Sam Smith, "Pray": With his lyrics more understandable, this performance had the potential to be better than Lamar's. ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY Host James Corden keeps things moving. ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY Rihanna shares in Kendrick Lamar's award for best rap performance. ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY Lamar kicks offthe 60th Annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden.

Despite Lamar's electrifying performance (which ended with dancers in hoodies cut down by the sounds of gunshots) and several other purposefully pointed moments, the Grammys never really found their footing.

And multiple Grammy victor Kendrick Lamar ended his performance with images of violence against African Americans.