DJ Khaled’s velvet suit set the classic vibe, but Rihanna was the main attraction for their performance of “Wild Thoughts” with Bryson Tiller. Evoking a swinging speakeasy vibe by way of Carmen Jones, Rihanna and Khaled turned the stage into a tropical nightclub full of human statues and sizzling, sensual energy.
Rihanna didn’t win any awards last year for her groundbreaking album, Anti, but her fingerprints are all over the nominations for the evening. When Kendrick Lamar won the Best Rap/Sung Peformance for “Loyalty” from many-times nominated album DAMN., Rihanna joined him onstage to accept the hardware for her game-changing appearance on the song, which Kendrick Lamar says “gassed him up.” Rih Rih gave SZA the initial boost on “Consideration” that turned into the runaway fervor for SZA’s own CTRL debut, which is nominated for Best R&B Album.
While Rihanna didn’t have an album to enter into contention for the 2018 Grammys, she has been a fixture in each year she’s had an album out. Don’t be surprised if she does strut across that stage next year to collect her latest gramophone trophy. Meanwhile, enjoy her performance and check out the full list of this year’s winners continually updating throughout the night here.”