The Grammy Awards, music’s biggest party, are taking place tonight in Los Angeles, with Alicia Keys, a 15-time Grammy winner, as the host. In the year since the last awards, which came under fire for not representing many female artists in its nominees, the Grammys have restructured the membership and nominations process in an effort to be more fair.
Cardi B, who is nominated for five awards and will perform tonight, arrived with her husband Offset looking like a real-life version of Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. She wore a vintage dress from Mugler’s 1995 couture collection with strings of pearls wrapped around her neck, waist and in a cone-shaped headpiece. The extravagant look was not out of the ordinary for Cardi B. She recently appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and inside its glossy pages as a modern fairy-tale heroine, and she wore a 30-pound pearl-encrusted dress to the Met Gala last year.
Lady Gaga showed up in a glittering strapless Celine by Hedi Slimane dress. And Dua Lipa, who is nominated for best new artist, arrived in a silver, skintight dress that matched her nails, which were dripping with charms.
Camila Cabello, who performed the opening number, Kacey Musgraves and BTS all stopped for conversations with Ryan Seacrest. Ms. Cabello, who wore a shimmering pink dress, said: “The performance is based off of my grandma’s childhood.” BTS said they stayed up all night before their flight to Los Angeles working on their new album.
The Backstreet Boys arrived together; the group has been nominated eight times before. (This year they are nominated for best pop duo/group performance for the single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”) Though they have been a famous unit for 26 years now, the band members said they are able to live their lives as normal dads. “We go grocery shopping,” Nick Carter said. “We carpool,” Kevin Richardson added.
Dolly Parton, who was honored in a tribute performance, wore a red dress with a bejeweled T-shaped collar. Mr. Seacrest asked if Ms. Parton ever puts on a disguise and sneaks into Dollywood, the amusement park that she owns. Ms. Parton answered: “No, but I close the park down sometimes to sneak in.”
One notable absence from the red carpet was Ariana Grande.
Ms. Grande tweeted on Thursday that she would not be performing at the ceremony because Ken Ehrlich, the producer of the Grammys, had stifled her creativity and self-expression in limiting what was possible for her performance. (Mr. Ehrlich told The Associated Press that she was not performing because she had not prepared something in time for the show.)
The Grammys red carpet has a history of delivering outrageous sartorial concoctions. It is where Jennifer Lopez debuted her low-slung Versace dress and where Rihanna strutted in a bubble-gum-pink Giambattista Valli puff.
This year’s carpet delivered its own memorable moments, with Cardi B’s Venus on the half-shell get-up, Janelle Monáe’s structured Jean Paul Gaultier dress with oversize shoulders and Jada Pinkett Smith’s long feather train.
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