Adele and Beyonce were the big winners at Sunday night's Grammy Awards, but people are really talking about what they did onstage. Both ladies took home plenty of hardware: Adele collected five awards, including Song and Record of the Year for "Hello" and Album of the Year, while Bey snagged a pair, including Best Urban Contemporary Album for "Lemonade" and Best Video for "Formation."
Newcomer Chance the Rapper will also have to clear some shelf space, since he went home with three Grammys, including Best New Artist.
Adele kicked the evening off on a quiet, understated note with a sparse, on-the-money version of "Hello" and a simple, timeless outfit. She returned later to pay tribute to George Michael, keeping censors busy when she dropped a couple of f-bombs before restarting her cover of "FastLove."
A very pregnant Beyonce got a lot of buzz, pro and con, for staging a wildly theatrical ode to femininity and motherhood that brought in plenty of costumes, spoken word parts and choreography -- a huge spectacle that overshadowed versions of Lemonade tracks "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles."
Not surprisingly, there was a strong political tone throughout the evening -- from A Tribe Called Quest guest Busta Rhymes issuing a challenge to "President Agent Orange" before kicking into the anti-deportation rap "We the People" and Laverne Cox giving a shoutout to transgender teen activist Gavin Grimm to Paris Jackson talking about the Dakota Pipeline in her intro of The Weeknd. Even Jennifer Lopez got into the act, quoting author Toni Morrison to say that artists need to speak up about human rights now more than ever.
The Twenty One Pilots guys took the opposite path, dropping their pants on the way to the stage and accepting their Best Pop Duo or Group Grammy in their underwear -- keeping a pinky swear pact they'd made to each other years ago.
The fashion "highlights" from the Grammys included Cee Lo Green dressing like an Oscar statue, the guys from Twenty One Pilots taking off their pants to accept their award and Lady Gaga's giant back tattoo.
Host James Corden mixed physical comedy, like his pratfall-laced entrance, with the musicality he showcases on Carpool Karaoke -- a bit he drew on mid-show for an all-star version of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," featuring John Legend, Keith Urban, J-Lo and Neil himself.
Ed Sheeran kept it simple for his solo performance of "Shape of You," while The Weeknd enlisted Daft Punk for a futuristic update of "I Feel It Coming."
Bruno Mars brought his usual blend of smoothness and sass to an energetic take on the retro soul workout "That’s What I Like," and seduced the ladies in the crowd with a few shakes of his tracksuit-covered butt.
Katy Perry debuted her just-released, island-tinged single "Chained to the Rhythm" to a surprisingly lukewarm response.
Chance the Rapper, on the other hand, got an ovation for his choir-backed "How Great" -- a religious-themed song that echoed his spiritual acceptance speeches.
Producers milked the mashup-collaboration trend, stacking the show with twofers, some of which worked, some of which didn't. On the upside, Metallica and Lady Gaga tore the roof off a "Moth Into Flame" despite microphone malfunctions. Alicia Keys and country newcomer Maren Morris also hit a groove on "Once," but Lukas Graham and Kelsea Ballerini fell flat with their verse trading on a medley of "Peter Pan" and "Seven Years." Some of the highest musical peaks were scaled in the series of tributes scattered through the last half of the show. The roster included a high-energy Bee Gees segment highlighted by Demi Lovato's version of "Stayin' Alive" and Tori Kelly's "Tragedy" as well as a Prince homage that ended with Bruno Mars, dressed in tribute to the Purple One, ripping through a wild take on "Let's Go Crazy." Even Corden's parents got in on the act, sitting in the audience and snuggling with their "free pass" celebrities, Nick Jonas and Heidi Klum. Margaret and Malcolm Corden were there to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.
Song of the Year: Adele: "Hello"
Record of the Year: Adele "Hello"
Album of the Year: Adele: 25
Best Pop Album: Adele: 25
Best Pop Solo Performance: Adele: "Hello"
Best Pop Duo or Group Performance: Twenty One Pilots: "Stressed Out"
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Beyonce: Lemonade
Best Video: Beyonce: "Formation"
Best New Artist: Chance the Rapper