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January 29, 2018

Philly band The War on Drugs wins, Bruno Mars sweeps at Grammy Awards

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards aired Sunday night, marking an award sweep for Bruno Mars and an unexpected win for Philadelphia-based band The War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs was the surprise recipient of Best Rock Album for its fourth studio album, “A Deeper Understanding,” which was released last August. The band managed to beat out more seasoned rockers including Metallica and Queens of the Stone Age. The album is the band’s second release since parting ways with one of its founders, Kurt Vile, who left to embark on a successful solo career.

War on Drugs weren’t the only Grammy winners hailing from Philadelphia. Philly-born Benj Pasek, who helped compose the musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” won for Best Musical Theater Album, while the winner of Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Jeff Lorber, is also from the city. The Grammy award for Best Choral Performance went to The Crossing, a Philadelphia chamber choir.

Philadelphia-based rapper Lil Uzi Vert was among the nominees for Best New Artist, telling E! News that his post-Grammy plans included pop-tarts and shopping.

Kevin Hart was nominated for Best Comedy Album for “What Now?”, though Dave Chappelle ultimately took home the trophy.

As for Doylestown native Pink, who already has three Grammy wins to her name, she was a nominee for Best Solo Performance with her single “What About Us?” Ed Sheeran won the award, but Pink offered a heartfelt performance of “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” during the broadcast.

The biggest winner of the night was Bruno Mars, who won each of the six Grammys he was nominated for, including Best Album, Best Song, and Best Record of the Year.

Though Bruno Mars was the most frequent winner, Jay-Z had the most nominations of the night, with eight nods for work off his latest album “4:44,” though he took home no awards. Kendrick Lamar had the second most nominations of the night, with seven, and took home four wins, including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Kendrick Lamar also opened the Grammy’s with a politically-charged performance featuring Dave Chappelle and U2.

Like earlier award shows this season, including the Golden Globes, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements played roles in shaping the event. While introducing a musical performance from Kesha, who has been undergoing a very public legal battle for freedom from a producer she alleges sexually assaulted her, artist and actress Janelle Monáe gave a rousing call for an end to pay inequality and harassment.

“Just as we have the power to shake culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well. So let’s work together, women and men, as a united music industry, committed to creating more safe work environments, equal pay and access for all women,” Monáe said.

NPR has the full list of 2018 Grammy nominees and winners here.