Swift makes history at Grammys

Updated: 2016-02-17 10:40


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Swift makes history at Grammys

Lady Gaga pays electrifying tribute to the late David Bowie, but Kendrick Lamar steals show.

Taylor Swift made history on Monday as the first woman to win the top Grammy twice, but rapper Kendrick Lamar took home five awards and delivered a politically charged performance that rocked the gala.

The Grammys also paid tribute to a number of artists who recently died-chief among them the rock icon David Bowie.

Lady Gaga appeared to transform on stage into Bowie, her face merging into his thunderbolt logo, against a three-dimensional backdrop of space imagery befitting the Starman.

She sang a medley of hits including Space Oddity, Changes and Let's Dance to guitar by Nile Rodgers of Chic fame, a longtime friend and collaborator of Bowie.

Other performers included British singer Adele, whose album 25 has smashed early sales records but came out too early for Grammys contention.

Adele sang her powerful new ballad All I Ask, although her performance was marred by a technical glitch when a microphone fell and she drifted out of tune.

"The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that's what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Shit happens," she tweeted.

One non-performer was the R&B superstar Rihanna, who canceled at the last minute, citing voice problems due to illness.

The top prizes on the music industry's biggest night mainly went to mainstream chart-toppers, with Swift taking the Album of the Year prize for 1989 and the retro party anthem Uptown Funk, by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars, winning Record of the Year.

Swift, who has transformed from country prodigy to pop superstar, won three prizes during the night, all for work off 1989, which was one of the best-selling US albums of the past decade.

The 26-year-old, who has fashioned herself as a feminist campaigner, spoke to her legions of girl fans as she accepted her second Album of the Year award.

"I want to say to all the young women out there-there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame," Swift said.

"But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going, you will look around, and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there," she said.

In 2010, Swift also accomplished a major feat when she won Album of the Year for Fearless, becoming the youngest artist to take the prize as she recorded it when she was 20.

Swift has also created waves in by becoming a foe of Spotify, the leading streaming service, which she charges is unfair by allowing a free tier.

The Recording Academy, which runs the Grammys, used the national broadcast to urge better compensation for artists.

Meanwhile, Lamar won the most Grammys. His album To Pimp a Butterfly focused on race relations with infusions of jazz and spoken word.