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Pianist and singer Jon Batiste was the biggest winner at the Grammy Awards

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Pianist and singer Jon Batiste was the biggest winner at last night's Grammy Awards ceremony in Las Vegas. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELECAST OF 64TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

JON BATISTE: (Laughter).

(CHEERING)

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Jon Batiste looked happy and almost a little stunned as he strode on stage to accept his fifth Grammy - the biggest prize of the night, album of the year, "We Are."

(SOUNDBITE OF TELECAST OF 64TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

BATISTE: I just put my head down, and I work on the craft every day. I love music. I've been playing since I was a little boy. It's more than entertainment for me. It's a spiritual practice. This is for real artists, real musicians. Let's just keep going. Be you. That's it.

(CHEERING)

BATISTE: I love you, even if I don't know you.

DEL BARCO: Batiste said he brought his grandfather, who's on the album, and his New Orleans family with him to the Grammys. He won for his song "CRY," his music video for "Freedom" and his work on the soundtrack for the Disney movie "Soul." Backstage, he said he was just thinking about giving a great performance.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELECAST OF 64TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

BATISTE: (Singing) When I move my body just like this, I don't know why, but I feel like freedom. I hear a song that takes me back, and I let go with so much freedom.

DEL BARCO: Freedom was also very much on the mind of Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who addressed the Grammys audience in a pre-taped speech, apparently from a bunker in Kyiv. He talked about Russia's ongoing war against the people in his country.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY: We defend our freedom to live, to love, to sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs - the dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story.

JOHN LEGEND: (Singing) Let it fly across the sky, a banner so high that even the rockets will see.

DEL BARCO: Zelenskyy's message led into a performance by John Legend, who was joined on stage by Ukrainian singer Mika Newton and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk. During her onstage performance, nominee Billie Eilish wore a T-shirt with the picture of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died suddenly last week. And throughout the night, there were scattered references to last week's infamous Oscars face slap by best actor Will Smith to comedian Chris Rock after a joke he told about Smith's wife's hair. Grammys host Trevor Noah lightly joked about it, and so did Questlove, who won a Grammy for music from his Oscar-winning documentary "Summer Of Soul." And during the ceremony before the telecast, comedian Nate Bargatze walked on stage wearing a helmet.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELECAST OF 64TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

NATE BARGATZE: They said comedians have to wear these now at awards shows during their...

(LAUGHTER)

BARGATZE: ...Joke parts.

DEL BARCO: There were other memorable moments. Olivia Rodrigo was crowned this year's best new artist. And she picked up the best pop vocal album award and best pop solo performance. The '70s throwback duo Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, also known as Silk Sonic, kicked off the show with a performance. And by the end of the night, they had won four Grammys, including record of the year. Each time, they got up from their tables in slow motion and glided to the stage.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELECAST OF 64TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS)

ANDERSON PAAK: We are really trying our hardest to remain humble at this point, OK?

(LAUGHTER)

PAAK: But in the industry, we call that a clean sweep.

BRUNO MARS: That's four for four.

(LAUGHTER)

DEL BARCO: .Paak told the nominees drinks were on Silk Sonic last night. And he gave Bruno Mars the last word.

MARS: God bless you all. Goodnight.

PAAK: We love you.

(CHEERING)

DEL BARCO: Silk Sonic's victory at the Grammys was real smooth.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News, Las Vegas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN")

MARS: (Singing) I'ma leave the door open. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.