NEW YORK - Rapper Jay-Z did not come up roses at the Grammys (Jan 29 morning, Singapore) in Madison Square Garden, coming up empty-handed in all eight categories he was nominated for.
Instead, the thunder, on an evening when many turned up with white roses to support women's equality and freedom from sexual harassment, was stolen by funk revivalist Bruno Mars and rapper Kendrick Lamar.
Mars bagged six prizes, including the prestigious Record of the Year for his party anthem 24K Magic, Album of the Year (24K Magic) and Song of the Year for That's What I Like.
He denied Lamar and Jay-Z the honour of becoming the first hip-hop artist in 14 years to bag the coveted album of the year prize.
Rap last year surpassed rock as the dominant genre in US music.
In the rap category, Lamar elbowed out Jay-Z in all the major segments, from Best Rap Album to Best Rap Performance.
But heavyweights Foo Fighters prevailed with their Run netting Best Rock Song while Alessia Cara cemented her status as a new voice to watch out for with her Best New Artist gong.
She beat Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels and SZA for the honour, a major career leap after she first caught notice with YouTube videos with humorous but accurate impersonations of top singers including Amy Winehouse and Taylor Swift.
Since finding her own voice as a singer, Cara's songs have detailed the struggles of young people struggling to blend in.
But it was not all song and dance at the three-hour event.
Pop singer Kesha led a fierce performance of Praying, her own account of abuse, with A-list back-up from a chorus of stars. Praying is an autobiographical song clearly directed at Dr Luke, the producer whom she has accused of raping and psychologically tormenting her.
Earlier, the show planted a political marker when Lady Gaga performed her songs Joanne and Million Reasons. The singer, who has spoken of being raped, whispered from the piano: "Time's up."
Country singers Brothers Osborne, Eric Church and Maren Morris gave a haunting rendition of Eric Clapton's ballad Tears In Heaven, in front of a backdrop lit up with the names of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting last year.
Morris also paid paid tribute to the 22 people who were killed when a suicide bomb was detonated at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May.
But there was also room for celebration, with Mars not able to restrain his joy.
Addressing his father from the podium, he said: "Look at me, Pop, look at me! I'm at the Grammys right now!"
He had said once in an interview that "for me, 95 per cent of music is about love. That's why cavemen were hitting stones - to get everybody around the fire and get them feeling sexy".
At the Grammys, the voters awarded him handsomely for doing that.