The 62nd Grammy Awards opened with a tribute to Kobe Bryant after the retired basketball player was killed in a helicopter crash hours before the ceremony began.
The biggest night in music opened on a sombre note as a shell-shocked audience reflected on the death of Bryant, his teenage daughter and seven others in the Sunday morning crash.
Host Alicia Keys took to the stage and said the ceremony was cloaked in sadness following the deaths.
“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” she said. “Because earlier today Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero.”
Keys, standing in the same arena where former Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant spent much of his glittering career, added: “We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
She said all the helicopter crash victims are “in our spirit, our hearts, they’re in our prayers, they’re in this building”.
She asked the star-studded audience inside the Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles to remember the victims, adding: “We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this.”
Boyz II Men joined Keys on stage for a moving performance of their song It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.
Earlier, nominee Lizzo performed two of her hit songs, Cuz I Love You and Truth Hurts, saying before she began: “Tonight is for Kobe.”
Before the ceremony kicked off, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Lil Nas X were among the winners in the non-televised categories.
Rapper Lil Nas X scored the prize for best music video for his mega hit Old Town Road, with Billy Ray Cyrus.
Beyonce’s Netflix documentary detailing her vaunted 2018 headline performance at Coachella festival, Homecoming, took best music film.
Lady Gaga’s turn in a A Star Is Born earned two awards.
The song I’ll Never Love Again took home best song written for visual media, while A Star Is Born earned best compilation soundtrack for visual media.
Country star Dolly Parton picked up best contemporary Christian song for God Only Knows, a duet with pop duo King And Country.
Recording Academy chief executive Harvey Mason Jr opened the pre-show, where the bulk of the night’s 84 awards are distributed, by paying tribute.
He said: “As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today. Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence.”
Fans gathered outside the Staples Centre to pay tribute, leaving flowers and wreathes.