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Socially-conscious Kendrick Lamar sweeps up five Grammys

The American hip-hop artist has performed a politically-charged rendition of his hit single "Alright" and won five Grammys. American singer Taylor Swift was awarded the Grammy for "Album of the Year" for "1989."

The music awards ceremony kicked off Monday night with Taylor Swift performing her hit single "Out of the Woods," with the US pop singer also winning the top prize of "Album of the Year" for "1989."

"There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame," Swift told attendees.

"But if you just focus on the work … someday, when you get where you're going, you will look around and know that it was you and the people who loved you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world," the artist added.

Earlier in the evening, Swift won another Grammy for "Best Pop Vocal Album."

English musician Mark Ronson and American singer-songwriter and musician Bruno Mars claimed "Record of the Year" for their single "Uptown Funk."

Swift opened the awards ceremony with Out of the Woods

Swift opened the awards ceremony with "Out of the Woods"

'We will live forever'

Meanwhile, rap icon Ice Cube presented hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar with the "Rap Album of the Year" for "To Pimp a Butterfly."

"This is for hip-hop … We will live forever - believe that," said Lamar.

The socially-conscious artist paid homage to Ice Cube, who presented the award, and classic rappers Nas and Snoop Dogg, who have never won a Grammy despite multiple nominations.

However, Lamar performed a politically-charged rendition of his song "The Blacker the Berry" and transitioned into "Alright," which has become an unofficial anthem for protesters against police brutality.

The 28-year-old ended his act in front of a map of Africa with the words "Compton" written on it, referring to the city on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

Lamar won five Grammys, including "Best Rap Song" and "Best Rap Performance."

David Bowie impacted Lady Gaga's life, the singer said

David Bowie impacted Lady Gaga's life, the singer said

'Live my life like him'

A day before her performance, American pop singer Lady Gaga told AP news agency that it was an honor to perform a tribute to the late David Bowie.

"When I was 19 years old … I started to live my like him. I began to consume art and fashion and art history and a combination of those things, performance technique," Gaga noted.

"What I'm trying to say is there's people that love David Bowie, and then there's David Bowie fans, and there's Bowie kids, who live like him … and I can't express to you, I don't know who I'd be if I didn't have (him as) a figure in my life. I don't know what my identity would be," Gaga added.

In January, Bowie died of cancer at the age of 69.

The Weeknd performed his hit-single Can't Feel My Face

The Weeknd performed his hit-single "Can't Feel My Face"

Best albums

Country singer Chris Stapleton won "Best Country Album" with "Traveller," while "Best Rock Album" was awarded to British rockers Muse for "Drones."

Skrillex and Diplo were awarded the Grammy for "Best Dance/Electronic Album" for their collaborative efforts in "Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U."

"Best Traditional Pop Album" was awarded to American singer Tony Bennett and American jazz pianist Bill Charlap.

Canadian R&B singer The Weekend took home the Grammy for "Best Urban Contemporary Album" for "Beauty Behind the Madness."

Meanwhile, American R&B singer D'Angelo and his group The Vanguard picked up "Best R&B Album" for "Black Messiah."

ls/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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