The most prestigious honor in music, the Grammy for Album of the Year honors “artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales, chart position, or critical reception.”
The award was presented by two-time winners Bono and Dave “The Edge” Evans from U2.
“Deep down, you know, that Album of the Year is a very, very big deal,” said Bono. “The people who formed your musical imaginations are in the room, they’re watch, the engineers, the people who care about your craft.”
Added Evans: “We know how almost impossible it is to make a great record.”
Although originally presented only to the artist, the award is now shared with the main artist, the featured artist or artist, the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer.
Mars, who claimed he had been “celebrating” his prior wins, first thanked his fellow nominees. “Thank you guys for blessing the world with your music. You’re the reason I’m in the studio pulling my hair out.”
He then told of being 15 and opening a show called The Magic of Polynesia in Hawaii. “My job was to entertain 1,000 tourists from all over the world,” he said. He would put together a set list of about 15 songs.
But he found out later that songs in the performance were written by Babyface, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, or Teddy Riley. He saw people who had never met each other dancing to the songs in his Polynesian revue and had an epiphany reflected in his victory tonight. “That’s all I wanted to do on this album,was that,” making people dance. He called the songwriters “his teachers,” and said the award was for them.
Nominees in the Album of the Year category included Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino; 4:44 by Jay-Z; DAMN.by Kendrick Lamar; and Melodrama by Lorde.