Sunday night’s 59th Annual Grammy Awards featured plenty of references to the controversial Trump administration, subtle and otherwise. Katy Perry, a vocal Clinton supporter during the presidential election, donned a white pantsuit, synonymous with the former presidential candidate, and performed her new and explicitly political song “Chained to the Rhythm.” Perry was joined onstage by Skip Marley, grandson of the late reggae legend Bob Marley, as quotes from the U.S. Constitution flashed on a screen behind them, including the phrase, “We The People.” While Marley sang “We’re about to riot,” Perry belted out, “No hate,” before exiting the stage. In a direct reference to Elizabeth Warren’s recent refusal to be silenced by the Senate, Perry wore an armband with the word “Persist” emblazoned across it.
The evening was a triumph for female artists, most notably singer Adele who scooped up a total of five awards, including Album of the Year. In her acceptance speech she nonetheless bowed down to Queen Bey saying Lemonade was a more deserving winner than her own album, 25. “I can’t possibly accept this award,” she said. “The Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyoncé. It was so monumental and well thought-out and beautiful and soul-bearing… we appreciate that. All of us artists here adore you. You are our light.” She then went on to break her Grammy award in half, holding the second piece out to Beyonce who was sat in the audience with husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy.
Adele garnered further praise for her tribute to the late George Michael, which she stopped toward the beginning of the song and asked to start again.”I can’t do it again like last year,” Adele, in tears, said to a standing ovation. “I can’t mess this up for him. I’m sorry. I can’t.” The second performance was flawless and earned the singer a standing ovation from the star-studded crowd. Watch Adele’s full George Michael tribute below.