ENTERTAINMENT
02/15/2016 08:44 pm ET Updated Feb 16, 2016

Grammy Awards 2016 Highlights And Top Moments

From Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift to Adele and Lady Gaga -- these were the standouts.

Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Chris Stapleton were among the big winners of the 58th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in Monday night. 

But it were the performances that really shined throughout the three-and-a-half-hour ceremony. 

Swift kicked off the show with a performance of "Out of the Woods." Sporting a pixie cut and a sexy black body suit, the Grammy favorite warmed up the crowd with the hit single off her "1989" album. 

"Welcome to the 2016 Grammy Awards," she said in the midst of the performance. 

LL Cool J, the evening's host, then brought the ceremony's official welcome, taking the stage to talk about the power of music in his opening monologue. 

"With all that divides us today, our shared love of music unites us -- all of us," the rapper/actor said at the start of the show before recapping past Grammy highlights and previewing the evening's events to come. 

Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt launched the night's collaborations, with many other fun pairings to follow: James Bay and Tori Kelly; Justin Bieber and Jack Ü (Diplo and Skrillex); and Pitbull, Travis Barker and Robin Thicke. 

Kendrick Lamar's performance -- one of the night's best -- featured dancers, neon lights and fire and and a few expletive bleeps, too. The powerful rendition of "The Blacker the Berry" and "Alright" wrapped with a map of Africa, with the city of Compton imprinted in it -- and a standing ovation. 

Adele though, another highly anticipated performer, appeared to have trouble hitting the right notes while singing "All I Ask," leaving viewers scratching their heads over what might have gone wrong. 

Broadway made its way to into the night when the cast of Broadway’s "Hamilton" went live from New York City’s Richard Rodgers Theater during the broadcast, performing the production's first song, "Alexander Hamilton."

Rihanna, meanwhile, was slated to perform but backed out before the show, citing illness. 

Musical tributes poured in throughout the night, with John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor and Tyrese Gibson paying tribute to Lionel Richie, this year's MusiCares of the Year honoree. 

The mash-up included "Easy," "Hello," "Penny Lover" and "All Night Long (All Night)" -- and also featured a guest appearance by Richie himself.  

A capella group Pentatonix teamed with Stevie Wonder to remember Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, while the Eagles, joined by Jackson Browne, performed an excellent rendition of "Take It Easy" in honor of the late Glenn Frey

Miguel took on Michael Jackson's "She's Out of My Life" to commemorate the upcoming reissue of “Off the Wall” and its Spike Lee documentary.

Supergroup Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry, honored the late Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. 

But probably the biggest tribute highlight came when Lady Gaga -- decked out in full Ziggy Stardust attire -- performed a medley of David Bowie's hits, from "Rebel Rebel" to "Heroes." 

In between all of the live performances were a few live awards. The first honor handed out during the broadcast went to the Grammys' leading nominee Lamar, who took home Best Rap Album for "To Pimp a Butterfly." "Hip-hop, Ice Cube, this for hip-hop, this for Snoop Dogg ... this for Nas," he said. "We will live forever, believe that, alright?"

Ed Sheeran nabbed Song of The Year for "Thinking Out Loud," topping his pal Taylor Swift in the category. "We wrote it on a couch in my house," he said of the track, which also scored Best Pop Solo Performance.

After Alabama Shakes scored Best Rock Performance singer Brittany Howard thanked fans and said, "I promise that we'll keep going."

The 2016 Best New Artist honor went to a tearful Meghan Trainor, who beat out Tori Kelly, Courtney Barnett, Sam Hunt and James Bay for the honor. 

Swift walked away with Album of the Year for "1989," beating Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly," Alabama Shakes' "Sound & Color," Chris Stapleton's "Traveller" and The Weeknd's "Beauty Behind the Madness." It was speech, though, that got a lot of buzz. "As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice, 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," she told the crowd.

The Record of the Year honor went to "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. 

Many awards started rolling in even before the broadcast began on CBS. Swift picked up two early honors: Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Video for "Bad Blood" during the pre-telecast Monday.

Clearly, she and bestie Selena Gomez were excited about the win:  

"Where Are Ü Now" -- the hit song by Skrillex and Diplo, with Justin Bieber -- took home Best Dance Recording, marking Bieber's first-ever Grammy win.

Chris Stapleton's "Traveller" scored Best Country Solo Performance, adding to what's been a great run for the country crooner.

"I've never had one of these, and that's amazing," Stapleton said during the pre-telecast, per The Associated Press. "I've been sitting out in this audience a couple of different times, and the third time's a charm, I guess."

Stapleton also had the chance to grace the stage during the actual broadcast to accept Best Country Album. 

Prior to the show, The Weeknd won Best R&B Performance for "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)," as well as Best Urban Contemporary Album for "Beauty Behind the Madness."

Little Big Town's hit song "Girl Crush" took home Best Country Song and Best Country Group Performance ahead of the show. While on the red carpet, the group talked about the single's resonance, noting that "everybody's been rejected."

Going into the night, Lamar led this year’s nominations with 11 nods, followed by Swift and The Weeknd, who trailed behind with seven nominations apiece. 

This year’s presenters -- from TV, music and late-night -- include Stephen Colbert, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Ice Cube, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Anna Kendrick, Seth MacFarlane, Ryan Seacrest, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Common, James Corden, Cam and Kaley Cuoco. 

 

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