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7 moments from the Grammys: Women rule, from Dolly Parton to Janelle Monae

Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

Some high- and low-lights from the 61st annual Grammy Awards telecast Sunday night:

WOMEN FIRST

After last year's Grammys relegated women performers to a background role, the first 40 minutes of the broadcast were filled with an array of strong female voices: Camila Cabello, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton and a real rock star -- Michelle Obama -- who got the kind of ovation most of the night's performers could only dream about.

THE 'A STAR IS BORN' FREIGHT TRAIN

The Grammys love their Hollywood tie-ins, but as "A Star is Born" costar Lady Gaga accepted her best pop duo/group vocal performance for "Shallow," she used the opportunity to make a tear-filled plea. "I'm so proud to be part of a movie that addresses mental health issues... A lot of artists deal with that... if you see someone who's hurting, don't turn away."

HELLO DOLLY

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Amid a bevy of women whose careers she influenced, Dolly Parton demonstrated that she's still got a few more lessons to teach, whether investing her classic "Jolene" with mountain-soul heart-ache, bringing stripped-down poignancy to Neil Young's "After the Goldrush," or elevating her recent song "Red Shoes" to the gospel heavens.

ODDEST PAIRING

Post Malone somehow got shoe-horned into a Red Hot Chili Peppers song as a guitarist, which makes no sense at all, in the head-slapping tradition of Linkin Park and Paul McCartney (2006), Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers (2009), Deadmau5 and Foo Fighters (2012) and so many more.

A COUNTRY DETOUR WINS BIG

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