Taylor Swift wins album of the Year Grammy for '1989'

Singer Taylor Swift accepts the award for the Album of the Year onstage during the 58th Annual Grammy music Awards in Los Angeles February 15, 2016. (AFP)

Pop superstar Taylor Swift on Monday won the Grammy for Album of the Year for her blockbuster '1989.'

Taking the stage, the 26-year-old country prodigy turned pop giant highlighted her success as the first woman to win the music industry's most prestigious prize twice.

AFP

Taylor Swift hit out at Kanye West as she accepted her gong for Album Of The Year at the Grammy Awards on Monday night.

The 26-year-old noted that she is the only woman in history to have won Album Of The Year twice in a thinly veiled attack against the rapper, after Kanye claimed last week that he made the pop star famous.

In an astonishing 15 tweet outburst last week, Kanye began by saying he 'did not diss' the singer and he has 'never dissed her'. But he then launched into a rant about how he called her on the phone, had an hour-long conversation with her about the song Famous, and said she found it 'funny' and gave him her blessing.

Furthermore, he defended the use of the word 'b****' in the song, saying it was an 'endearing term' in hip hop, like the word 'N****'. The track Famous, which also features Taylor's enemy Rihanna, Kanye raps: 'I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex.' And added: 'Why? I made that b*tch famous.'

AFP

"I want to say to all the young women out there - there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame," Swift said as she accepted the award.

"But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going, you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there," she said.

Accompanied by a major promotional campaign, '1989' was the top-selling album for the year.

Swift beat competitors that included Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' an experimental rap opus that touched on the state of US race relations, and R&B star The Weeknd's 'Beauty Behind the Madness.'

In 2010, Swift also made history when she won Album of the Year for 'Fearless,' becoming the youngest artist to take the prize as the album was recorded when she was 20.

Rising to fame as a teenage country singer, Swift on "1989" moved fully in a commercial pop direction as she worked with the hit-making Swedish production team of Max Martin and Shellback.

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Lyrically, Swift sang both about the complexities of romance and becoming an adult and at times cast herself as a feminist, winning her a particularly strong fan base about teenage girls.

But equally striking for the music industry, Swift through the album took on the growing industry of streaming as she refused to allow '1989' on sector leader Spotify, saying she believed it was wrong to effectively give the album out for free.

Swift later allowed '1989' to appear on Apple's new music streaming platform after a feud in which the technology giant agreed to improve compensation to artists, although conspiracy theorists in the industry wondered if the headline-grabbing exchange was staged.

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'1989' enjoyed the biggest debut in the United States in more than a decade when it came out in 2014, although her sales feat was topped a year later by British ballad singer Adele, who followed Swift in boycotting streaming, although less vocally.

Adele's '25' came out in November, too late to qualify for this year's Grammys.

Swift was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for 'Bad Blood,' a major hit off '1989,' but did not win in either category.

'Uptown Funk' wins

'Uptown Funk,' the retro party anthem by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars that is among the most successful singles ever on the charts, on Monday won the Grammy for the Record of the Year.

'Uptown Funk' beat out other chart-topping tracks including Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud' and Taylor Swift's 'Blank Space' to win the award, one of the most prestigious Grammys which recognizes songs including their performers.

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Ronson, a longtime producer from Britain who has notably worked with superstar Adele, found unprecedented success in his own right with 'Uptown Funk,' with its instantly catchy lines 'Girls hit your hallelujah' and 'Uptown funk you up.'

Featuring vocals by Mars, the song has the feel both musically and lyrically of the funky dance pop Minneapolis Sound popularized in the 1980s by Prince and quickly became a favorite both of dance clubs and of advertisers.

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'Uptown Funk' spent 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard singles chart in the United States, tying for second place on the all-time list. The song is also the fourth most streamed ever on Spotify.

Ronson and Mars won loud applause a week ago when they played the song at the halftime show of the Super Bowl, the most widely watched US broadcast of the year, where they joined Coldplay and Beyonce.

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The song also topped the charts in a number of other countries and won the Brit Award for British Single of the Year.

The Record of the Year goes to Ronson and Mars as well as producers including Jeff Bhasker, a fixture on the Los Angeles music scene who has worked with Kanye West, Swift and Beyonce among other stars.

AFP

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