Childish Gambino on Sunday took home the Grammy for Song of the Year - honoring best songwriting for his politically charged This Is America, whose graphic music video carried a strong message on gun violence and racism.
The trap gospel song packed with social commentary nabbed one of the top awards of the night over heavyweights Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga.
Congrats Song Of The Year winner - "This Is America" #ChildishGambino (@donaldglover) #GRAMMYspic.twitter.com/ZFpmmHp6pL
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 11, 2019
The song's striking video from Childish Gambino - the alter ego of actor and recording artist Donald Glover, who has snagged three Grammys so far - racked up more than 35 million YouTube views in just two days last spring.
But Glover was not in attendance at the Staples Center, and organizers said he had declined an invitation to perform at the event.
Upon the video's release, social media lit up with comments over its intense allusions to oppression of black people and America's all-too-common mass shootings.
This Is America juxtaposes an up-tempo rhythm, layered with church hymns and Afrobeats with a heavier, more foreboding bassline in what is perhaps a metaphor for mainstream America's perception of black culture and the much darker undertones of its often more brutal reality.
The artiste's win is his first in a major Grammy category and fourth overall, after his hit Redbone won the prize for Best Traditional R&B Performance last year. Childish Gambino has notched 12 career Grammy nominations.
As an actor and producer, the California-born performer has garnered critical acclaim for his surrealist comedy-drama television series Atlanta in which he stars.