Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars win early awards

Attendance among the stars was spotty at the nontelevised ceremony where a majority of the awards were handed out. Mr. Lamar won best rap performance, best rap song and best music video, all for “Humble.” Mr. Mars won best R&B performance and R&B song for “That’s What I Like,” and best R&B album for “24K Magic.”

Mr. Lamar and Mr. Mars will face each other for both record and album of the year, although their greatest competition in those categories — and, for Mr. Mars, in song of the year, a songwriters’ award — may be Jay-Z, who now holds the position of a deeply respected elder. Despite 21 past wins, he has never taken home a Grammy in the top categories. Jay-Z had the most nominations of any artist this year, with eight, and was feted as an “industry icon” at Clive Davis’s glittery annual pre-Grammy party.

Ed Sheeran, who was snubbed in the top categories, was awarded best pop vocal album, in absentia, for “÷,” one of last year’s biggest hits. Childish Gambino won best traditional R&B performance for his song “Redbone,” a 1970s funk throwback that was a surprise hit at radio last year.

The country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton won two awards: best country solo performance for “Either Way,” and best country song for “Broken Halos,” which Mr. Stapleton wrote with Mike Henderson.

Ed Sheeran, who was snubbed in the top categories, was awarded best pop vocal album, in absentia, for “÷,” one of last year’s biggest hits. Childish Gambino won best traditional R&B performance for his song “Redbone,” a 1970s funk throwback that was a surprise hit at radio last year.

The country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton won two awards: best country solo performance for “Either Way,” and best country song for “Broken Halos,” which Mr. Stapleton wrote with Mike Henderson.

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