NEW YORK — Social and political messages were prominent Sunday night as the music industry's biggest stars gathered in the city for the much-anticipated return of the Grammy Awards.
The show, which was held at Madison Square Garden, made its way back to New York for its 60th anniversary. The city last hosted the awards in 2003.
Bruno Mars took home six Grammy Awards on Sunday night: album of the year, record of the year, song of the year, best R&B song, best R&B performance, and best R&B album.
Kendrick Lamar also had a big night, collecting five Grammy Awards, including for best rap album.
Writer-director-actor Donald Glover, also known by his musical alter-ego, Childish Gambino, won a Grammy during the pre-telecast ceremony. Glover also won two Emmy awards last year, for acting and directing his TV series "Atlanta." His Grammy win Sunday brings him halfway to EGOT status — the title given to those who've won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award.
Alessia Cara was the winner of the Grammy Award for best new artist, and urged people to "support real music and real artists."
Brooklyn's own Jay-Z did not win a Grammy but had eight nominations, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year. Just last year, his wife Beyoncé held the top spot.
Cardi B, who is from the Bronx, was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for "Bodak Yellow," but lost both to Lamar.
Some attendees wore white roses to support women in a movement organized by the group The Voices in Entertainment. White was chosen as a symbol of hope, peace, sympathy, and resistance.
Security was extra tight at and around the Garden, as there were hundreds of city police department officers and sharpshooters on nearby buildings. Several streets in the area were also closed.
In one of the more striking moments of a pointedly political Grammy Awards, host James Corden gathered celebrity readers — including Hillary Clinton — to read from Michael Wolfe's best-seller "Fire and Fury" about President Donald Trump's White House.
In a pre-taped segment, Corden said a shoo-in winner to next year's Grammys would be the audio book recording to "Fire and Fury." Snoop Dogg, John Legend, and Cardi B were among those who tried reading from Wolfe's book. Cardi B said, "He lives his life like this?!"
But the star cameo was Clinton, who read a brief excerpt from the book.
Not everyone was a fan of the moment. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Halley tweeted that the moment ruined the Grammy-watching experience for her.
"I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it," she tweeted. "Don't ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it."
Three country artists who were on the bill at the country music festival that was the site of a mass shooting in Las Vegas in October joined to sing a somber version of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." Eric Church, Maren Morris and the Brothers Osborne performed before a backdrop with the names of shooting victims.
Singer Janelle Monae spoke up for women's rights in an introduction to Kesha's performance of her song "Praying," which is about fighting back against mistreatment. Kesha accused her former producer, Dr. Luke, of sexual assault. The charges were later dropped, but Kesha's song was a reference to her battle, and she was joined by about a dozen other women singers backing her up.
"To those who would dare try to silence us, we offer these words: 'time's up,'" Monae said.
Rapper Logic led a song calling attention to a suicide prevention hotline, joined by Alessia Cara and Khalid. "Black is beautiful, hate is ugly," he said at the song's conclusion.
Singer Camila Cabello, a Cuban-Mexican immigrant brought to the United States as a child, spoke in favor of legal protections for so-called "dreamers."
"This country was built by dreamers for dreamers," said Cabello, who introduced the rock band U2. In a pre-recorded performance of their song "Get Out of Your Own Way," U2 was on a barge in the New York harbor with the Statue of Liberty in the background.