Adele ended her night at the 2017 Grammy Awards with back-to-back wins for album of the year and record of the year, but used her final moments on stage to salute Beyoncé and her "monumental" album "Lemonade." Beyoncé, meanwhile, wowed the audience with a spiritual performance and also took home the prize for urban contemporary album. Chance the Rapper was also among the top winners of the night, taking the prize for new artist as well as rap album.
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An easy rule for Grammy memorial tributes: don’t dress up like the guy you’re honoring. Unless you’re Bruno Mars, perhaps the one person at the Grammys who could credibly fill Prince’s purple suit.
Since Prince’s death last year, it’s clear that it’s usually a fool’s errand to even try and live up to his standards onstage (Shiela E. excepted, for obvious reasons). But if anyone could do it, it’s Mars, who already had one genial performance earlier.
He returned to the stage in full Prince regalia – was it blasphemy or audacious?
But the thing about Mars is, he’s got a similar mix of instrumental chops, stage presence and deftness with electro-funk that made Prince so exalted. Add a kickoff set from the Time, favored collaborators of the Purple One, for a medley of “Jungle Love/The Bird” into “Let’s Go Crazy,” and it all adds up to an homage that’s not just respectful, but flat-out fun and worthy of the benefactor.
After a year laced with so much death in music, that was no little achievement. Kudos to mars for sticking the toughest landing on the Grammy stage tonight.