"Just knowing that so many women are nominated this year, looking back from last year to this year when I was on the stage at the Grammys, you could see that I was frustrated about the opportunities and about our visibility as women", said Monae, who gave powerful speech last year ahead of Kesha's emotional and striking performance celebrating sisterhood and women's rights. This marks yet another rough year for the Grammys.
Ariana Grande, with two nominations in the pop field, pulled out of the show late last week after a dispute with producers over which songs she would perform. Grande was quick to refute this account on Twitter, her chosen medium for handling such matters. "Know that I support you - win or lose", Monae said. "Thank you @RecordingAcad #Grammys #Grammy and my co-writers and Bradley I love you so much thank you", the pop star wrote Sunday night before the show. She ended the tweet with her trademark black heart emoji.
"I've got nothing to say, I'm speechless", she said.
"I know i'm not there tonight (trust, i tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and i know i said i try not to put too much weight into these things. but (expletive). this is wild and handsome. thank you so much", she tweeted after learning about her win. The glittering ceremony will be hosted by Alicia Keys at 8pm ET.
Grammy organizers this year expanded the top four categories - album, record, song of the year, and best new artist - to eight nominees from five in a bid to diversify the contest. In addition to other general field categories, Glover, Drake and Lamar all earned record of the year nominations for This Is America, God's Plan and All the Stars, respectively.
"This is going to be a special Grammys".
The First Night of AAF Football
The Legends will head back to Atlanta to regroup before heading out next week to play the San Diego Fleet on the road. Other startup football leagues like the USFL and XFL did fantastic ratings right away, and then those fizzled quickly.
There was a tie for best rap performance, and Drake was surprisingly not one of the winners.
Keys told CBS news this year's greater representation from women was "far overdue". Despite receiving eight nominations that year - the most of anyone - he went home empty-handed. Emily Lazar, one of the engineers who worked on the album and won alongside Beck, said onstage that she was the first female mastering engineer to win in the latter category.
The Grammys have also struggled with gender inequality, an issue that came to its head previous year.
At a pre-Grammy brunch honoring Janelle Monae, a few hundred music industry players and performers packed tightly in a room to hear the singer speak passionately about women being the backbone of the music industry and dominating in nominations at Sunday's show.
Taylor Swift, who has just one nod for her best-selling 2017 album "Reputation", is filming in London. He later acknowledged that it was a "poor choice of words", and it forced the academy to launch a new task force focused on inclusion and diversity. Portnow announced later in the year that he would not seek to extend his contract, which ends this year. The annual event will be hosted by 15-time Grammy victor Alicia Keys.
The red-carpet, followed by the full event, can be watched live on Grammy's official website as well as on the CBS website.