Music's biggest night was at New York City's Madison Square Garden for the first time in 15 years. Who created Grammy magic?
Kendrick Kicks Off The Show
Kendrick Lamar kicked off the night with "XXX." Dozens of dancers dressed as soldiers surrounded Lamar as the rapper fired his signature machine gun-like delivery. Bono and the Edge walked onto the stage and sang their part from his collaboration. As Lamar continued his performance, fireworks fell onto the stage, and the dancing soldiers performed choreography that was similar to Michael Jackson's "They Don't Care About Us." Comedian Dave Chappelle briefly interrupted the performance several times, but Lamar continued to perform.
Gaga Honors 'Joanne'
As Lamar exited the stage, host James Corden introduced Lady Gaga, who performed her latest single: "Joanne" with producer Mark Ronson. Gaga revealed that the song was about her father's late sister. She delivered one of her most emotional performances on the Grammy stage as the "Born This Way" singer also sang "Million Reasons" with an orchestra. While Gaga left the stage, living legend Tony Bennett joined John Legend for an impromptu a cappella performance of "New York, New York" and handed Best Rap/Sung Performance Grammy Award to Lamar and Rihanna for "Loyalty."
Sam Smith 'Prays'
After Corden acknowledged Jay-Z on receiving the 2018 Icon Award, he introduced the audience to Oscar and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith. Smith, dressed in all white, performed "Pray." The "Stay With Me" singer delivered an outstanding vocal performance that included a backing choir that took the Madison Square Garden audience to church.
Best New Artist And 'Better Man'
The Voice's newest coach Kelly Clarkson and Nick Jonas gave out the Best New Artist award to Alessia Cara, who beat out Julia Michaels, Khalid, and SZA for the award. Comedian Jim Gaffigan joked that his mom was Sir Elton John, while he introduced Little Big Town. The country quartet performed their Taylor Swift-penned hit: "Better Man."
Honoring Legends And Best Pop Solo Performance
Gary Clark, Jr. and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert music director Jon Batiste paid homage to the late Chuck Berry and Fats Domino with a medley of "Ain't That A Shame" and "Maybellene." The duo also announced that Ed Sheeran won Best Pop Solo Performance for "Shape of You" and accepted the award on his behalf.
Fonsi Plus Yankee Equals "Despacito"
Victor Cruz and Sarah Silverman introduced Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, who performed their global smash "Despacito." The Latin music superstars — along with a group of dancers — turned Madison Square Garden to Puerto Rico. While Fonsi and Yankee delivered an excellent performance, it would have been better if their colleague, Justin Bieber, joined the stage with them.
Childish Gambino's Grammy Debut
While Corden joked about Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's megahit, he also introduced actor-singer Childish Gambino. The Solo: A Star Wars Story actor performed his hit: "Terrified." While there were only a few performers that joined Gambino on stage, the Community alum brought the Madison Square Garden audience into his world.
Best Rap Album And P!nk
Chappelle gave the Best Rap Album to Kendrick Lamar's Damn, and the "HUMBLE" rapper gave a brilliant acceptance speech that acknowledged his heroes, Jay-Z, Nas and Diddy. Corden introduced P!nk, who performed "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken." P!nk's beautiful vocal performance gave the audience a taste of her upcoming appearance at the Super Bowl, where she will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Big Apple Twist And 'Finesse'
James Corden, Sting, and Shaggy hit the New York City subway rendition of Carpool Karaoke. Sadly, the New Yorkers were unwelcoming to the idea. Actress Katie Holmes introduced Bruno Mars and Cardi B, who performed their In Living Color inspired collaboration: "Finesse." Mars delivered a fantastic Grammy moment.
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah gave some political commentary before awarding Best Comedy Album to Chappelle, who received a standing ovation from the Madison Square Garden audience.
Sting And Shaggy Return
While Corden handed out the Best Comedy Album nominees consolation puppies, Sting delivered a rousing version of his classic song: "Englishman in New York." Reggae star Shaggy joined the "Brand New Day" musician on stage, as they celebrated being New York City residents.
Trustees, Lifetime Achievement, and 'Wild Thoughts'
After the Grammys acknowledged their Trustees and their Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, The Four: Battle For Stardom panelist DJ Khaled joined Rihanna and Bryson Tiller to perform their extensive collaboration: "Wild Thoughts."
Best Country Album And 'Tears In Heaven'
Actors Donnie Wahlberg and Hailee Steinfeld announced that Chris Stapleton's From A Room: Vol. 1 earned Best Country Album. As the duo walked off the stage, Eric Church, Maren Morris, and Brothers Osbourne paid homage to the music fans who lost their lives at both the Manchester concert and Las Vegas country festival massacre with a bold cover of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven."
Time's Up And 'Praying'
Before she introduced Kesha, Janelle Monae reminded the audience that they have the power to take down sexual harassment and inequality in the music industry. Kesha sang her comeback song: "Praying." The "Timber" singer-songwriter was joined by an all-star group of artists including Andra Day, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels, and Camila Cabello.
As the group hugged on stage, Corden introduced Cabello, who briefly talked about the Dreamers before she told the audience U2's location. The Irish rock band performed "Get Out Of Your Own Way" on the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty.
Song Of The Year, Plus Elton And Miley
Sting announced that Bruno Mars' "That's What I Like" won Song of The Year. Corden also auditioned performers such as Cardi B, Cher, DJ Khaled, Hillary Clinton, and Snoop Dogg for Fire and Fury's audiobook. He also tossed the microphone to Into the Woods costar Anna Kendrick.
Kendrick introduced Elton John who performed "Tiny Dancer." Cyrus, who wore a gorgeous magenta dress, joined Elton at the second verse. This performance comes days after Elton's announcement that he would retire from touring in 2021.
Celebrating Broadway Legacies
Corden introduced his parents to the crowd, who was annoyed that they would skip the show to see Hamilton. He introduced Grammy, and Tony-winning performer Ben Platt delivered an intriguing take on Leonard Bernstein's classic "Somewhere." Legendary Broadway icon Patti LuPone brought down Madison Square Garden by reprising her career-making performance of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" from Evita.
SZA And Record Of The Year
The Talk co-host Eve and CBS actor Shemar Moore introduced SZA. The soul singer performed "Broken Clocks." The Voice coach Alicia Keys campaigned to have the Grammys come back to New York next year. While she presented Record of the Year. Keys announced that Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" won the illustrious award.
The Final Performances And Album Of The Year
As the 2018 Grammy Awards wrapped up, Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harrs paid homage to the deceased musicians who passed away with Tom Petty's "Wildflowers." The final performance of the evening belonged to Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid who performed their hit: "1-800-273-8255." U2 awarded the last award of the evening, Album of the Year, to Bruno Mars's 24K Magic.