Grammys 2019 highlights: Watch this year's main moments, speeches and performances

Katie Rosseinsky

Year after year, the Grammys is the biggest night in the music industry calendar, and 2019's ceremony did not disappoint.

As Childish Gambino and Lady Gaga swept up three trophies each and Cardi B made history as the first female solo artist to win Best Rap Album, viewers were treated to some standout performances from musical legends like Diana Ross and Dolly Parton, along with some headline-making acceptance speeches that didn't quite stick to the script.

After the Recording Academy attracted criticism last year for failing to recognise female talent, this year's show celebrated women in music, something which was underlined in spectacular style with a surprise cameo from former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Here are some of the biggest talking points from the night:

​Drake's speech is cut off

Drake is not the biggest fan of awards shows – and hasn’t attended the Grammys since 2013 – so it was a surprise to see the Canadian rapper at this year’s event. When God’s Plan scooped the Best Rap song award, he used his acceptance speech to throw a little shade at the Recording Academy, reminding the audience that music is “an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” and telling them that “you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown.”

But as his tirade started to gather steam, his mic was cut off and the telecast switched to a commercial break, leaving Twitter users furious that the “best speech” of the night had been curtailed.

​A meme is born

​Lady Gaga's performance of Shallow, the standout track from A Star Is Born, certainly divided viewers with an unexpectedly rock-y sound and some exaggerated dance moves, but fans could agree on one thing at least: that the final shot of the singer leaning over her microphone stand provided excellent meme material. Others suggested that the spectacle heralded a return to the larger-than-life ways of "old" Gaga, after the star toned down her image a little to do the rounds on the Hollywood awards circuit (where dressing up as an egg is generally frowned upon).

​Michelle Obama makes a surprise appearance

The former First Lady was invited on stage by Grammys host Alicia Keys, where she joined Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Jada Pinkett Smith to share personal anecdotes about the ways in which music has shaped her life. At one point during her speech, the applause in the Staples Centre auditorium was so thunderous that it threatened to drown out Obama’s remarks completely.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side, to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fuelled me through this last decade, music has always helped me to tell my story,” she told the audience.

Lady Gaga gets emotional in her acceptance speech

Emotions were running high for Gaga as she picked up the Best Pop Duo / Group Performance trophy for Shallow. Breaking down in tears when she spoke of how she "loved" singing with co-star Bradley Cooper (who represented A Star Is Born at the BAFTAs hours earlier), she went on to explain how "proud" she was to have worked on a project that addresses mental health.

She concluded with an impassioned plea for musicians to "look out" for one another, telling the audience: "If you see someone that's hurting, don't look away."

​Dua Lipa throws shade at the Recording Academy

​The only British star to take home an award in a major category, Lipa used her victory speech to make a subtle dig at the Grammys voting body, with president Neil Portnow's infamous 2018 comment that women needed to "step up" in order to win Grammys as her main target.

"I guess where I want to begin is by saying how honoured I am to be nominated among so many incredible female artists," she said. "I guess this year's we've really stepped up."

Diana Ross's grandson steals the show

The crowning glory of this year's Grammy show was a show-stopping performance from Diana Ross to mark her 75th birthday. The iconic singer treated the audience to two of her biggest tracks, Reach Out and Touch My Hand and The Best Years of My Life, but she had some serious competition in the scene-stealing stakes from her grandson Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick.

The nine-year-old danced onto the stage to introduce his grandmother, and jokingly took issue when Keys described him as a "little guy," responding with: "I'm almost four foot nine!"

Despite his young age, this wasn't even Kendrick's awards show debut: he previously danced alongside Ross at her 2017 AMA performance.