By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Bruno Mars walked away from the 60th Grammy Awards Sunday with album, record and song of the year honors, in what was a pointedly political star-studded affair.
The night kicked off with an ovation-drawing performance from rapper Kendrick Lamar that had New York's Madison Square Garden on its feet as Lamar took the stage, flanked by a dance ensemble of black men dressed in military fatigues as the American flag waved in the background while Lamar sang "XXX".
He was joined shortly thereafter by U2's Bono and the Edge who added live instrumentals as the musical performance transitioned to a brief monologue from comedian Dave Chappelle.
"I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America, is being an honest black man in America," Chappelle said.
As soon as Chapelle finished his brief, Lamar resumed the musical menagerie with a Japanese drum-inspired performance.
"Is this on cable? CBS? Cause it looks like he's singing and dancing, but this brother's taking enormous chances. Rumble young man, rumble," Chapelle quipped.
Rumble Lamar did, as he resumed a fierce performance with his backup dancers dropping to the floor one by on as silenced gunshots rang out.
As the Garden reeled from his stunning performance, Lamar took home five Grammys, including best rap album and best rap/sung performance.
Mars, who netted Sunday night's biggest prizes, ended up with a total of six Grammys.
Veteran rapper Jay-Z did not take home a single award after being nominated in eight categories.
In one of Sunday night's more political moments, host James Corden had celebrities read out excerpts from Michael Wolff's best-selling "Fire and Fury", which chronicles the turmoil in the first year of the Trump White House, and which President Donald Trump has consistently lambasted.
Highlighted by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, other notable readers from the pre-taped segment were Snoop Dogg, Cardi B and John Legend.
"I can't believe this. I can't believe that he really... this how he lives his life?" Cardi B asked incredulously.
Below is a list of Sunday night's other major winners:
Best Alternative Music Album - The National, Sleep Well Beast
Best Comedy Album - Dave Chappelle, The Age of Spin and Deep in the Heart of Texas
Best Country Album - Chris Stapleton, From A Room: Volume 1
Best Latin Pop Album - Shakira, El Dorado
Best Music Video - Kendrick Lamar, HUMBLE
Best New Artist - Alessia Cara
Best Pop Solo Performance - Ed Sheeran, Shape of You
Best Rap/Sung Performance - Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna