Rapper Kendrick Lamar and pop superstar Lady Gaga opened the Grammy Awards on Sunday with immediate if understated political touches.
With a US flag in the backdrop, Lamar launched into a fierce rap at New York’s Madison Square Garden, on a stage full of dancers clad in camouflage.
The number then transformed into a frenetic, kung fu-inspired routine in which his troupe fell to the ground as if hit by bullets.
U2 frontman Bono emerged behind him to join in their collaboration “XXX.,” whose lyrics include: “America, God bless you if it’s good to you.”
Lady Gaga quickly followed Lamar by performing her songs “Joanne” and “Million Reasons.”
In a nod to the growing women’s movement against sexual abuse, Gaga — who has spoken of being raped — whispered from the piano: “Time’s up.”