Rap scores Grammy breakthrough while girl power rules awards show

“This is America,” Childish Gambino’s searing indictment of police brutality and racism, scored a breakthrough for rap on Sunday at the Grammy awards, where the top prize went to country artist Kacey Musgraves.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the (Chicago) Southside to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama told the cheering celebrity audience in Los Angeles.

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Grammys 2019: Stand out moments

If only the Grammys had scheduled it a year earlier, when Cabello and Balvin's songs were current and award-eligible, it would have been a masterstroke.

Following criticism that women were sidelined at last year's Grammys, this year's ceremony established its feminist credentials right from the beginning. Host Alicia Keys invited "my sisters" Lady Gaga, Jada Pinket-Smith and Jennifer Lopez onto the stage, alongside Michaelle Obama, who towered over them all.

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Grammy Awards: Michelle Obama makes surprise appearance, Dolly Parton medley brings the house down

Before Obama's show-stopping appearance, Camila Cabello opened the show with a performance of her 2017 hit "Havana" featuring Ricky Martin and J. Balvin. Miley Cyrus and Sean Mendes followed with a performance of "In My Blood," while Kacey Musgraves did a moving rendition of "Rainbow" and Janelle Monae channeled a combination of Prince and Robert Palmer for "The Way You Make Me Feel" — complete with sexual dance moves and dancers wearing vagina pants.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte