Ratings for Sunday’s politically-charged 60th annual Grammy Awards broadcast on CBS dropped dramatically from a year ago, reportedly reaching “an all-time low.”
Initial numbers, Deadline reports, show a 20% decline from last year’s Grammy ceremony:
With a 12.7/21 in metered market ratings, the Recording Academy’s big hootenanny was also way down from the early numbers for the LA-based February 13, 2017 59th annual show. By way down, I mean a just over 20% decline from last year to what looks to be an all-time low for the ceremony.
Music’s biggest night saw a series of political gestures in support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up anti-sexual harassment movements, as several stars wore white roses on their garments as a show of solidarity. Rapper Kendrick Lamar, who dominated the night winning five Grammys, kicked off the Madison Square Garden event with an explosive performance of his hit song “XXX,” which featured American flags on giant screens above him and military fatigue-clad background dancers marching and dancing behind him.
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) January 29, 2018
The rapper’s performance was interrupted by comedian Dave Chappelle, who addressed the crowd, saying, “Hi, I’m Dave Chappelle. And I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man being honest in America, is being an honest black man in America.”
Lamar later endorsed rapper Jay-Z for President during his Best Rap Album acceptance speech.
Perhaps the #MeToo moment of the night saw singer Janelle Monae give a fiery speech — “We come in peace but we mean business, and to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s Up” — before introducing singer Kesha, who performed her hit song “Praying.”
Immigration took center stage with singer Camila Cabello’s pro-amnesty speech, saying America was “built by dreamers” and “for dreamers.”
Cabello later introduced U2, who performed their political anthem “Get Out of Your Own Way” near the Statue of Liberty.
Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance toward the end of the show, reading excerpts of the anti-President Donald Trump book Fire and Fury, which was part of a skit for Best Spoken Word Album.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 29, 2018
Among the more surprising takeaways from the night were Jay-Z going home empty-handed, after being hyped to win big and only one female artist winning a major award on a night that heavily promoted gender politics.
Check out all the highlights from the 60th annual Grammy Awards here.