For the first time ever, an album released by David Bowie has won at the Grammys.
Before Sunday’s televised ceremony began, Bowie was posthumously awarded the Best Alternative Rock Album award for Blackstar, the album he released shortly before his death.
Blackstar won much acclaim and ultimately topped The Village Voice‘s annual Pazz and Jop poll. Many critics were amazed that, far from making a nostalgic career retrospective, Bowie had kept innovating to the end. As Bowie’s collaborator Donny McCaslin told EW’s Eric Renner Brown, “the music on that record is not cookie-cutter pop music. It’s progressive, boundary-pushing music.”
Heading into Grammys night, Bowie had received just one competitive trophy, for Best Music Video in 1985. (He had also been awarded a lifetime achievement honor in 2006.) But the late icon added five trophies to his victory total on Sunday, taking home Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance, Best Recording Package, and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.