The edgy, avant-pop album that siblings Billie Eilish and Finneas created in a small bedroom made a big splash at the 2020 Grammy Awards, winning 11 honors for the musical family.
"When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" — created in the musicians' Los Angeles home — helped Eilish win the top four honors, including album, song and record of the year, along with best new artist. The 18-year-old is the youngest artist to achieve the feat and the first to do so since Christopher Cross did in 1981.
Finneas — who co-wrote, produced and engineered the album, walked away as Sunday's top winner with six. Eilish won five honors.
"We didn't write a speech for this because we didn't make this album to win a Grammy. We didn't think it would win anything ever. We wrote an album about depression and suicidal thoughts and climate change and being the bad guy — whatever that means — and we stand up here confused and grateful," Finneas said onstage.
Together, they also won best pop vocal album, while Finneas' individual honors included producer of the year (non-classical) and best engineered album (non-classical).
"This is my first Grammys. I never thought this would happen in my whole life," Eilish said. "I genuinely wanna say I am so grateful and I only wanna say that I am so grateful."
"This is to all the kids who are making music in the bedroom today — you're going to get one of these," Finneas added.
The bedroom where they created magic was brought to life when they hit the stage and performed "When the Party's Over," which featured Finneas on keys and Eilish singing in a soft, pitch perfect tone.
Los Angeles, where the show was held, had a central theme at the show Sunday: hometown heroes Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant, a global icon, were honored and celebrated at the show.
The Grammys kicked off with a performance in honor of Bryant, who died hours before the awards along with his daughter and seven others. And later in the show Hussle's collaborators and friends, including DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and YG, gave an all-star tribute to the man who died last year.
Hussle also posthumously won his first pair of Grammys on Sunday.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay introduced the performance, which featured band players, background dancers and Legend wearing traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean clothing in honor of Hussle's African roots. Mill performed a new song called "Letter to Nipsey" while others joined together for "Higher," which won best rap/sung performance.
"This is for Nipsey Hussle. This is for hip-hop," said DJ Khaled, who collaborated on the song with Legend and Hussle, whose family stood onstage.
"We all love him. We all miss him. It's terrible that we had to lose him so early," Legend said. "We've seen some tragedy today and last year ... let's hold each other tight."
The show — which took place at the Staples Center, Bryant's old stomping ground — began with a touching, emotional and a cappella performance of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by host Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men.
"Los Angeles, America and the world-wide world lost a hero," Keys said, adding that the audience was "heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
"Right now Kobe and his daughter Gianna ... are in our spirits, they're in our hearts, they're in prayers, they're in this building," she said. "Take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families."
Before the show officially honored Bryant, Lizzo performed the songs "Truth Hurts" and "Cuz I Love You," saying at the top of the show: "Tonight is for Kobe."
Lizzo won three honors, including best pop solo performance for "Truth Hurts" and two R&B awards.
"Hold on one second," she said, catching her breath. "Thank you to the academy. This is really (expletive) sick."
Lizzo was among the mix of newcomers and well-known acts who reached their goals of winning their first-ever Grammy Awards on Sunday, which also included Tanya Tucker, J. Cole, DJ Khaled, Eilish, Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michelle Obama, Sara Bareilles, Rosalía, 21 Savage and Tyler, the Creator.
"To my mother, you did a great job raising this guy," Tyler, who won best rap album, said to his mom, who was onstage and crying by side.
More crying took place Sunday.
Demi Lovato, who has mostly taken a break from the public since focusing on her recovery after reportedly overdosing in July 2018, gave a stirring, vocally top-notch performance that earned her a standing ovation. She was so emotional that she had to restart the song as a teardrop ran down her cheek.
Camila Cabello's performance of "First Man" — a song dedicated to her father — also induced tears. Cabello walked off the stage to her dad's seat to finish singing the song in front of him, while he teared up. Audience members were emotional, too, including Gwen Stefani.
Ariana Grande had a lengthy performance — probably to make up for the drama that surrounded her axed performance last year. Run DMC joined forces with Aerosmith to rock the Grammys stage, while Usher, Sheila E. and FKA twigs paid tribute to Prince.
Lil Nas X brought the story of "Old Town Road" to life by performing alongside the artists who helped the song stay at No. 1 for 19 weeks through various remixes, including BTS, Mason Ramsey, Diplo and the track's main co-star, Billy Ray Cyrus.
Veteran rapper Nas then joined Lil Nas X for a new song, shouting out Bryant at the end: "Kobe, we love you."
A dark cloud loomed over ceremony since the Recording Academy announced it had put its recently hired CEO, Deborah Dugan, on administrative leave for misconduct. Dugan and her lawyers fired back at the academy, claiming that the awards show is rigged.
But no mention of Dugan was directly made during the three-plus-hour show.
Drama over fairness and inclusion at the Grammy Awards carried over to music's big night Sunday as newcomers and mainstays in the industry supported Sean "Diddy" Combs and his powerful speech putting the Recording Academy on a clock to fix the nomination process when it comes to rap and R&B in major categories.
"I think if they smart, they listen to Diddy," soulful singer Lucky Daye told The Associated Press on the red carpet.
British rapper Labrinth added: "Hopefully there's a conversation to really think about what's happened."
Just days ago, the academy's just-ousted CEO Deborah Dugan claimed that the awards are rigged and filled with conflicts of interest. At the Clive Davis gala Saturday night, Combs — who was honored — spoke for 50 fiery minutes, saying in part:
"So I say this with love to the Grammys, because you really need to know this, every year y'all be killing us man. Man, I'm talking about the pain. I'm speaking for all these artists here, the producers, the executives. The amount of time it takes to make these records, to pour your heart into it, and you just want an even playing field."
Legend Smokey Robinson had words of support for Combs, his friend, but he said he wasn't surprised about the Grammy criticism.
"Diddy could actually be a politician. I thought this speech was powerful. It touched on a lot of things people were afraid to say," he said.
Of Dugan calling out manipulation of the nomination process, he said, "It's not like it's news. We've known it all along. It's just coming to the forefront. All that is hidden will come to light."
Bluesman Keb' Mo', who has served on academy boards over the years, said his experiences on the inside have been "nothing but integrity." He added: "Nothing's perfect, but my experience is the Grammys trying to maintain integrity and the artistic process."
Others said Combs' words and support will hopefully go a long way.
"I believe that, you know, sometimes there's always a tweaking that can be done. ... I think sometimes you may have to just revisit the process," said gospel artist Tasha Cobbs Leonard. "I have hope that's what's happening now in every category."
The Grammys have been criticized over the years when Beyoncé, Kanye West, Eminem, Mariah Carey and other top stars have lost in major categories, including album of the year and best new artist. The rap and R&B stars often fall short of their pop, rock and country counterparts.
Boys Noize, along with Skrillex and and Ty Dolla $ign, also supported the cause on the red carpet.
"Everybody should be here. More black, more female," Boys Noize said.
Ty Dolla $ign added: "The people will rise for sure."
The 2020 Grammy Awards kicked off in tribute to basketball icon Kobe Bryant, who died hours before the show, with a touching, emotional performance led by host Alicia Keys.
Keys was joined by Boyz II Men on Sunday to sing an a capella version of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" at the Staples Center — Bryant's stomping ground — as the audience watched in awe.
"Here we are together on music's biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you we are all feeling crazy sadness right now," Keys said as she entered the stage, adding that "Los Angeles, America and the world-wide world lost a hero."
She said the audience was "heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
"Right now Kobe and his daughter Gianna ... are in our spirits, they're in our hearts, they're in prayers, they're in this building," she added. "Take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families."
Before the show officially honored Bryant, Lizzo performed the songs "Truth Hurts" and "Cuz I Love You," saying at the top of the show: "Tonight is for Kobe."
Lizzo was among the mix of newcomers and well-known acts who reached their goals of winning their first-ever Grammy Awards on Sunday, which also included Tanya Tucker, J. Cole, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus and late rapper Nipsey Hussle.
Michelle Obama, Sara Bareilles, Rosalía and 21 Savage also became official Grammy winners when the show handed out trophies during its pre-telecast ceremony.
Gary Clark Jr. and Eilish's brother, Finneas, walked away as the most awarded stars, so far, taking home three awards each.
Finneas — who co-wrote, produced and engineered his sister's debut album, "When We All Fall sleep, Where Do We Go?" — won best engineered album (non-classical), best pop vocal album (shared with his sister) and non-classical producer of the year.
"My heart is beating so fast right now," Finneas said. "This award belongs to my sister Billie for her trust and vision."
A number of acts won two awards in the pre-telecast, including Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Cyrus, Anderson .Paak, Lady Gaga, Tucker, Kirk Franklin and Jacob Collier. And Beyoncé, the most nominated woman in the history of the Grammys, won her 24th award.
Nipsey Hussle, who will be honored during the live telecast which begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, has posthumously won best rap performance for "Racks in the Middle," which features Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy.
Hussle's family, including his brother, grandmother and actress-fiancée Lauren London, accepted the honor during the pre-telecast.
"Nip did it, not just for the awards, but for the people," London said onstage.
Hussle was nominated for two other awards: He lost best rap song to J. Cole and 21 Savage. The third award will be presented during the live show, where Hussle will be honored with a tribute performance from DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill and others.
The pre-telecast ceremony, where most of the awards are handed out, opened with a brief remembrance of NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was killed earlier in the day in a helicopter crash in California.
Referring to the arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said, "Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence."
New stars like Lizzo, Eilish and Lil Nas X — the most-nominated acts Sunday — won their first Grammys of their careers and have chance to win more, though a cloud loomed over this year's awards.
Ten days before arguably the biggest night in music, the industry erupted when the Recording Academy announced it had put its recently hired CEO, Deborah Dugan, on administrative leave for misconduct. Dugan and her lawyers fired back at the academy, claiming that the awards show is rigged.
Tarriona "Tank" Ball of the New Orleans soul-funk band Tank and the Bangas, nominated for best new artist, said she's not letting the drama ruin the achievement for her band.
"I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be at, and I don't want anything taking away from all the nominees," Ball said. "This is our moment. This is our time."
Sunday's Grammys are airing live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. The show will be jam-packed with performances, including Ariana Grande, BTS, Camila Cabello, Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, Rosalia, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Tyler, the Creator, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Cyndi Lauper.
The show will also include special tributes to Prince and longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich, who is wrapping up his career with the show Sunday.
Lizzo, who walked into the show the most nominated with eight, will also perform.
Her major-label debut, "Cuz I Love You," is nominated for album of the year along with projects from Grande, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, H.E.R., Bon Iver, Eilish and Lil Nas X.
Lizzo's No. 1 hit, "Truth Hurts," is also up for song and record of the year. Eilish, who will perform, also scored song and record of the year nods for her No. 1 hit, "Bad Guy."
Other record of the year nominees include Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," Grande's "7 Rings," Post Malone and Swae Lee's "Sunflower," H.E.R.'s "Hard Place," Bon Iver's "Hey, Ma" and Khalid's "Talk."
Taylor Swift was shut out of album and record of the year, but she did score a nod for song of the year — a songwriter's award. Her tune "Lover" is nominated against "Truth Hurts," "Bad Guy," "Hard Place," Gaga's "Always Remember Us This Way" from "A Star Is Born," Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved," Lana Del Rey's "Norman (Expletive) Rockwell" and Tucker's "Bring My Flowers Now," which was co-written by Brandi Carlile.
The Grammys will hand out roughly 10 awards during the live show. Presenters this year include Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Billy Porter, Trevor Noah, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Cynthia Erivo, Ava DuVernay, Shania Twain and Common.
Without Oprah or Apple, the Russell Simmons documentary "On the Record" went ahead with its premiere Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, where the women who came forward with sexual assault allegations against the hip-hop mogul received one of the festival's most roaring receptions.
The lead-up to Sundance was especially rocky for "On the Record." Oprah Winfrey, an executive producer, on Jan. 10 withdrew from the film because she felt it needed more reporting. Her exit, which stunned the directors, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, also meant "On the Record" no longer had a distributor in Apple TV Plus.
Ahead of the film's premiere, Ziering thanked Sundance "for standing strong and never blinking."
"On the Record" is centered on the story of Drew Dixon, a former music executive for Def Jam Recordings, the record label co-founded by Simmons. It chronicles her decision to come forward and go on the record in a 2017 New York Times article, along with numerous other women, in accusing Simmons of harassment and rape.
Simmons has denied any wrongdoing. The filmmakers said he declined to be interviewed for the film.
More than a dozen other women, many of whom also appear in "On the Record," have also come forward with allegations of assault or harassment against Simmons. Along with Dixon, in attendance Saturday were Sherri Hines, a member of the all-female hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies who alleged that Simmons raped her in his office in the early 1980s; and Sil Lai Abrams, who has said Simmons raped her in 1994.
In the crowd in Park City was the actress Rosanna Arquette, who has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. Arquette stood up during the Q&A to salute the women in the film. "I'm so proud of you," she said.
"On the Record" also delves into the place black women have in the #MeToo movement and the racial dimensions of sexual assault. One audience member noted that the film, despite being about black women accusing a black man of rape, is directed by two white people.
"A lot of this is about power and ecosystems of power," Dixon said. "And all of us have kept our stories to ourselves for decades, and there are people within that ecosystem who knew our stories."
"Some of those people are filmmakers," she continued. "It's an entertainment industry story after all, right? But nobody told our story. Because the people who knew our story were subject to the same ecosystem. And to me, this is where allies matter. Allies who are not subject to that same dynamic. They have traction that they can use to pull you forward."
Ziering and Dick have made several documentaries before about sexual assault. Their "The Hunting Ground" focused on rape on college campuses. "The Invisible War" scrutinized sexual assault in the military.
"On the Record" depicts the personal struggle of coming forward and the years of pain and self-doubt that can follow sexual assault. Dixon says she ultimately retreated from the music industry after she said she was again harassed by another executive, L.A. Reid. Reid has denied it.
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, an attorney and civil rights advocate, after the film alluded to the history of black women who have accused public figures of assault, citing the treatment of Anita Hill and Desiree Washington, who accused Mike Tyson of rape.
"You've seen this film. The question is will anyone else see it?" Crenshaw said. "So whatever can be brought to bear to make sure that this doesn't get snuffed out — think of all the history of what has already happened and say never again."
Salma Hayek is apologizing for promoting a controversial new novel, Jeanine Cummins' "American Dirt," without actually reading it.
"American Dirt," published Tuesday, tells the story of a Mexican woman and her 8-year-old son fleeing to the U.S. border after numerous family members are murdered in drug cartel-related violence. The heavily publicized book has been praised by Stephen King and Ann Patchett among others and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club. On Saturday, it ranked No. 4 on Amazon.com's bestseller list.
But numerous Mexican-American writers have called "American Dirt" an ill-informed narrative about Mexico that reinforces stereotypes. Cummins, a non-Mexican, even acknowledged in an author's note that she had reservations about writing the novel. She has said she wanted to personalize the issue of immigration and be a "bridge" between different worlds.
Earlier this week, Hayek had posted a picture of herself on Instagram holding the book, and she praised Winfrey for "giving a voice to the voiceless & for loving harder in response to hate." But after facing criticism online, the Mexican-American actress pulled back Friday, writing that she was unaware of any controversy.
"I thank all of you who caught me in the act of not doing my research, and for setting me straight, because that means you know me and gave me the benefit of the doubt," she wrote, "I apologize for shouting out something without experiencing it or doing research on it."