Even without leading ladies Taylor Swift (couldn’t care less and was in London) or Ariana Grande (boycotting), the Grammys 2019 turned into a total parade of girl power.
Host Alicia Keys opened the show with help from Michelle Obama and Jada Pinkett Smith. A Dolly Parton tribute featured Miley Cyrus, and Cardi B whipped through a mini cabaret show before making history as the first solo female to win best rap album with Invasion of Privacy.
But before any awards were handed out – Childish Gambino’s This is America was the first hip-hop track to take out song of the year – in Los Angeles on Sunday night (US time), there was the red carpet.
At the Grammys, the unofficial dress code is always – gloriously – God Awful. And in 2019, music royalty was on song in timeless, tasteless fashion with a lot of musk-stick pink, cowboy accessories, cheap lace and confidence.
There were exceptions: Lady Gaga, St Vincent and Janelle Monae, take a bow.
But back to the fun stuff: Who did worst best?
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were up there. With a combined fortune of around $845 million, the couple held a budget meeting and decided to spend $37 combined on their outfits.
JLo teamed a bigger, bedazzled version of Melania Trump’s man-repeller hat with a dress that was part cheongsam, part Carry On, Cleopatra. A-Rod wore dancing-master patent shoes (patent!) and the sort of jacket a cruise director would wear for party night just before the ship docked.
Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson were also magnificent in their showbizzy flamboyance, from his ripped jeans and velvet jacket with chain lapel to her Wrest Point Casino dancer jumpsuit with boot cut leg.
The latex and pearls were pure burlesque, but the rest of Cardi B was a cross between a sea anemone and, weirdly, Snuffleupagus. The navel teardrop I cannot explain.
As usual, Travis Scott looked thrilled to be out with Kylie Jenner, who was not on-brand in a covered-up pantsuit – I know – with built-in washing up gloves and crossover neck that looked a teeny bit like she was trying to staunch a bleed.
No matter how many weird wings or sequins she sticks on her minis, Heidi Klum somehow never deviates from her signature look. If it were a movie credit it would say: Woman in bar at airport hotel.
Katy Perry came as a kewpie doll.
Hennessy Carolina’s balloon-sleeve ringmaster’s tails with overtones of an inflated life jacket was let down by the conventional lady heels.
Best rock song winner St Vincent was also best dressed in a floral mullet dress with kimono sleeve, bow and train with metallic platforms. Eclectic but classy.
And then there was Toni Braxton.
Post Malone was also aboard the pink train. In fact, he was driving it, in demure, studded leather suit with matchy-match boot and diamante belt.
Coolest person ever Janelle Monae slayed in her version of a dress for an afternoon royal wedding. Fun, sophisticated and glamorous.
Lady Gaga was restrained and over-the-top all in one in amazing sequinned Celine, and more than 100 carats of Tiffany & Co diamonds.
Camila Cabello also did the slinky sequin thing. Nice, but somehow she looked uptight or like a giant crayon.
H.E.R. was a shrinking violet in Hammer pants in a subtle fabric.
Andra Day hit a purple patch in retro wig, marabou-trimmed mini and stockings. Full car crash territory.
Ashanti’s skirt looked like someone had tried to stuff a sleeping bag back into its cover and failed.
A touch disappointingly, Miley Cyrus (black oversized Le Smoking look) and mum Tish (metallic wrap dress) played things straight. At least family patriarch Billy Ray kept up his end, ambling behind his ladies like a lost mountain man in hat, band T-shirt and leather jacket.