New York made history at the Grammy Awards Sunday night, by way of the Bronx-proud Cardi B.
When the “Be Careful” artist won best rap album for her debut record “Invasion of Privacy,” she became the first solo female rapper to do so in the ceremony’s 61-year history.
Shaking with excitement and holding back tears, the Highbridge-born rapper started her first-ever Grammys acceptance speech with a winded, “Babe, I can’t breathe.”
Joined by rapper Offset on stage, Cardi dedicated the win to their daughter, Kulture. “I’m not just saying thank you because she’s my daughter,” she said. “It’s because, you know, when I found out I was pregnant, my album was not complete, like three songs that I was for sure having. And then you know, you know how it was, we was like, we have to get this album done so I could still do videos while I’m still not showing. And it was very long nights.”
Cardi was also nominated for album of the year, best pop duo for Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” best rap performance and record of the year. Her sole win came in the rap album category, which was previously dominated by male artists, with the exception of Lauryn Hill, who won alongside Wyclef Jean and Pras Michael of the Fugees in 1997.
Also representing New York City: Lady Gaga, whose “A Star Is Born” performance dominated the night’s first big category. The artist, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in the city and raised on the Upper West Side, took home a win for best pop/group performance thanks to her “Shallow” duet with Bradley Cooper.
Gaga’s critically acclaimed theatrical performance overshadowed a category with several other established artists, including Christina Aguilera, nominated for “Fall In Line” with Demi Lovato, and Tony Bennett, nominated for “‘S Wonderful” with Diana Krall. “Shallow” was also awarded best song written for visual media.
Visibly moved by her win, Gaga took the moment as an opportunity to address the mental health concerns covered in the flick.
“I’m so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues. They’re so important. And a lot of artists deal with that, and we’ve got to take care of each other,” she said. “If you see somebody that’s hurting don’t look away. And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you.”
The singer who once frequented Manhattan’s Cutting Room, The Knitting Factory and Mercury Lounge, also won best solo performance for her track, “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’). The win marked her ninth major category award since her first nomination in 2008 for the hit “Just Dance.”
“A Grammy for Joanne is more than me & my family could ever dream of. I sang that version in one take, & poured my entire life & soul into it. Thank you so much for this gift I am completely shocked. 2nd Grammy win of the night I am so overwhelmed by this kindness. #grammys,” Gaga tweeted Sunday night.
Drummer Steve Gadd, of Irondequoit, New York, also took home his first Grammy win during the ceremony, in the contemporary instrumental category for the Steve Gadd Band’s self-titled album.
For a full list of winners, visit Grammy.com. The 2019 Grammy Awards were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.