Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar were the biggest winners at this year’s Grammys ceremony grabbing most of the awards.
Bruno Mars took the album of the year trophy that most critics assumed would go to Kendrick Lamar’s rap tour de force, Damn.
However, Kendrick Lamar dominated the rap categories.
Alessia Cara won best new artist – making her the only female artist to win a major prize.
Female stars were overlooked, with only 17 awards (out of a total of 86) going to women or female-fronted bands.
The imbalance was particularly incongruous on a night that highlighted the #TimesUp and #MeToo campaigns.
Most performers arrived for the show wearing a white rose to symbolize their support for the movements, which tackle harassment and inequality.
Kesha also gave a powerful, stirring performance of her single Praying, which addresses her own experience of surviving abuse.
The singer was backed by an all-star choir, including Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello, who were dressed in white to reflect the white rose campaign.
The night’s other pivotal moment was a tribute to the music-loving victims of the tragedies in Manchester and Las Vegas.
Handwritten notes bearing the names of the dead were projected on the stage as country music stars Maren Morris, Eric Church and Brothers Osborne performed Eric Clapton’s Tears In Heaven.
All three acts played at the Route 91 festival last October before a gunman opened fire on the audience, killing 58.
By the end, Bruno Mars took a total of six trophies, including the three biggest prizes: Album of the year, song of the year and record of the year.
Speaking onstage, Bruno Mars paid tribute to his fellow nominees, saying: “You guys are the reason why I’m in the studio pulling my hair out.”
As well as the star’s own prizes, his recording engineers won a further award for their work on the album.
Bruno Mars’ victory robbed Kendrick Lamar’s more urgent, political album of the night’s main prizes – but the Compton-born star still took home five trophies, including best rap album, best rap song and best rap performance.
Kendrick Lamar’s victories came at the expense of rap veteran Jay-Z and his soul-baring album 4:44.
Jay-Z won none of his eight nominations and chose not to perform at the three-hour show. However, Kendrick Lamar tipped his hat to the elder star, declaring “Jay for president!” as he collected the best rap album award.
The night also saw performances from Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Pink and Patti LuPone, who sang Evita’s Don’t Cry For Me Argentina as part of a tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Ed Sheeran, who could not attend the ceremony, won two prizes – best pop vocal performance for Shape Of You and best pop album for Divide.
There were also posthumous awards for Leonard Cohen and actress Carrie Fisher, who won best spoken word album for the audio version of her memoirs, The Princess Diarist.