The Weeknd 2, Justin Bieber 1, Drake 0. That is the scorecard for the chief Canadian contenders at last night’s Grammy Awards. The result didn’t accurately reflect the dominance of international charts by Canadians over the past year, but is still a credible one.
The evening began very well for Canadian nominees. Several hours before the live broadcast of the show, it was announced that Joni Mitchell won for best album notes on Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced.
Jan Haust and Peter Moore each won a Grammy for best historical album for The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, featuring music of Bob Dylan and The Band. The duo shared the award with Americans Steve Berkowitz, Jeff Rosen and Mark Wilder. Also nominated in this category was Canadian music archivist Kevin Howes, for his work on the acclaimed Native North America compilation.
The good news kept on coming pre-show with word that The Weeknd won a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album (Beauty Behind The Madness) and Best R ‘n B Performance (for “Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)”, the hit song from that film’s soundtrack.
It was Justin Bieber’s turn next, as it was announced that he’d won his first-ever Grammy, for Best Dance Recording for "Where Are Ü Now," the Skrillex And Diplo track on which he guested.
Once the televised show began, it was The Weeknd back in the spotlight, and he rose to the occasion with class. An all too brief snippet of “Can’t Feel My Face” segued into a superb rendition of “In The Night,” accompanied primarily by a cellist and pianist Stephan Moccio, the noted Canadian songwriter/producer who has collaborated extensively with The Weeknd.
Bieber also performed on the show, delivering a ballad while playing guitar then joining Skrillex, Diplo and band for an adrenalized version of "Where Are Ü Now."
It became clear as early results rolled in that Drake would come away empty, and that it’d be a big night for his hip-hop peer Kendrick Lamar. Drizzy went O for 5 on the night, showing that the Key to the City in Toronto won't automatically unlock the hearts of Grammy voters.
And the winners are...
Record of the Year: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Album of the Year: Taylor Swift, 1989
Best New Artist: Meghan Trainor
Best Rock Performance: Alabama Shakes, "Don't Wanna Fight"
Best Musical Theater Album: Hamilton
Song of the Year: Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Best Country Album: Chris Stapleton, Traveller
Best Rap Album: Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Kendrick Lamar feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat, "These Walls"
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern
Best Pop Solo Performance: Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"
Best Alternative Music Album: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Best Rock Album: Muse, Drones
Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"
Best Rock Song: Alabama Shakes, "Don't Wanna Fight"
Best R&B Album: D'Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah
Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness
Best R&B Performance: The Weeknd, "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)"
Best R&B Song: D'Angelo and The Vanguard, "Really Love"
Best Traditional R&B Performance: Lalah Hathaway, "Little Ghetto Boy"
Best Dance/Electronic Album: Skrillex and Diplo, Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü
Best Dance Recording: Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber, "Where Are Ü Now"
Best Music Video: Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, "Bad Blood"
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Little Big Town, "Girl Crush"
Best Country Song: Little Big Town, "Girl Crush"
Best Music Film: Amy Winehouse, Amy
Best Rap/Song Collaboration: Common & John Legend, "Glory"
Best Pop Vocal Album: Taylor Swift, 1989
Best Country Solo Performance: Chris Stapleton, "Traveller"
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Tobymac, This Is Not a Test
Best Roots Gospel Album: The Fairfield Four, Still Rockin' My Soul
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album: Pitbull, Dale
Best Latin Pop Album: Ricky Martin, A Quien Quiera Escuchar (Deluxe Edition)
Best Comedy Album: Louis C.K., Live at Madison Square Garden
Best Spoken Word Album: Jimmy Carter, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety
Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: Birdman
Best Gospel Album: Israel & Newbreed, Covered: Alive Is Asia [Live] (Deluxe)
Best Gospel Performance/Song: Kirk Franklin, "Wanna Be Happy?"
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: Francesca Battistelli, "Holy Spirit"
Best Contemporary Classical Composition: Stephen Paulus, Paulus: Prayers & Remembrances
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano, Joyce & Tony - Live from Wigmore Hall
Best Classical Instrumental Solo: Augustin Hadelich, "Dutilleux: Violin Concerto, L'Arbre Des Songes"
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Eighth Blackbird, "Filament"
Best Choral Performance: Charles Bruffy, "Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil"
Best Opera Recording: Saito Kinen Orchestra; SKF Matsumoto Chorus & SKF Matsumoto Children's Chorus, "Ravel: L'Enfant Et Les Sortilèges; Shéhérazade"
Producer of the Year, Classical: Judith Sherman
Best New Age Album: Paul Avgerinos, Grace
Best Surround Sound Album: Roger Waters, Amused to Death
Best Orchestral Performance: Boston Symphony Orchestra, "Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow - Symphony No. 10"
Best Classical Compendium: Giancarlo Guerrero, Paulus: Three Places of Enlightenment; Veil of Tears & Grand Concerto
Best Regional Roots Music Album: Jon Cleary, Go Go Juice
Best Folk Album: Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Best Blues Album: Buddy Guy, Born to Play Guitar
Best Bluegrass Album: The Steeldrivers, The Muscle Shoals Recordings
Best Americana Album: Jason Isbell, Something More Than Free
Best American Roots Song: Jason Isbell, "24 Frames"
Best American Roots Performance: Mavis Staples, "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean"
Best Tropical Latin Album: Rubén Blades with Roberto Delgado & Orchestra, Son De Panamá
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): Los Tigres Del Norte, Realidades - Deluxe Edition
Best Children's Album: Tim Kubart, Home
Best World Album: Angélique Kidjo, Sings
Best Reggae Album: Morgan Heritage, Strictly Roots
Best Latin Jazz Album: Eliane Elias, Made in Brazil
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Maria Schneider, The Thompson Fields
Best Jazz Instrumental Album: John Scofield, Past Present
Best Jazz Vocal Album: Cécile McLorin Salvant, For One to Love
Best Surround Sound Album: James Guthrie and Joel Plante, Amused to Death
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk (Dave Audé Remix)"
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Best Historical Album: Various artists; The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: Various Artists, The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)
Best Album Notes: Joni Mitchell, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced
Best Recording Package: Sarah Dodds, Shauna Dodds & Dick Reeves; Asleep at the Wheel, Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: Maria Schneider, "Sue (Or in A Season of Crime)"
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: Avi Kaplin, Kirstin Taylor, Kevin K.O. Olusola; "Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy"
Best Instrumental Composition: Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, "The Afro Latin Jazz Suite"
MusiCares Person of the Year: Lionel Richie