It was a smart move for the Grammys, which has been bleeding viewers as it struggles mightily to reflect the diverse state of popular music, to bring out the most popular woman in America to preach equality and empowerment. Still, it would have been an empty gesture had the night not actually made some strides toward those ideals.

In addition to the bevy of great performances by women, the awards themselves showed a bit more diversity than usual (though they still have a long, long way to go). None of the “big four” awards went to white men: Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, became the first hip-hop performer to win song of the year (he also won record of the year). Country artist Kacey Musgraves won album of the year, Dua Lipa won best new artist, while Cardi B became the first solo female to win rap album of the year.

But even as it tries to become more diverse, the Grammys are still constantly getting in its own way. Longtime executive producer Ken Ehrlich publicly feuded with pop star Ariana Grande in the days leading up to tonight’s show; Grande claimed the producers wouldn’t let her express herself creatively and sing what she wanted to sing. (And yet they allowed an abominable Post Malone collaboration with the Red Hot Chili Peppers?) Meanwhile, hip-hop icons Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Childish Gambino all declined offers to perform at the awards, though all three won at least one award.

The Grammys were better this year, but it was hard for them not to be. The real test will be if they can build on this progress next year and resist falling back into homogenous irrelevance.

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