President Donald Trump wasn't at the 59th Grammy Awards ceremony last night, but his presence was felt throughout the festivities as artists repeatedly reflected on his tumultuous presidency.
Before the first award was even handed out, there was a call to impeach The Donald on the red carpet. Johnny Stevens -- lead singer of Highly Suspect -- turned his back on photographers to reveal the word "IMPEACH" stencilled on the back of his black jacket.
Beyoncé took the high road in her acceptance speech for Best Urban Contemporary Album. The singer didn't mention the commander-in-chief while accepting the trophy for her album Lemonade, but the 45th president's ears should've been burning when she discussed the importance of portraying blacks positively in society today.
"It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families — as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves, and have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent and capable," Beyoncé said. "This is something I want for every child of every race. And I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes."
When Jennifer Lopez got the mic, she used the spotlight to call on artists to use their voices in these turbulent times.
"At this particular point in history, our voices are needed more than ever," Lopez said. "As Toni Morrison once said, this is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence and no room for fear. We do language. That is how civilizations heal. So tonight, we celebrate our most universal language, music, as we honor the voices of the past and the present."
Busta Rhymes was among the more combative artists last night. While introducing A Tribe Called Quest, Busta said, "I’m not feeling the political climate right now. I just want to thank President Agent Orange for perpetuating all of the evil that you’ve been perpetuating throughout the United States. I want to thank President Agent Orange for your unsuccessful attempt of the Muslim ban."
The New York hip hop collective then burst through a wall and performed 'We the People' -- a blistering commentary on racism in America -- alongside Rhymes.
But not everyone took swipes at Trump. Adele -- the night's big winner -- didn't mention or allude to The Donald while accepting her award for Album of the Year for 25. And Joy Villa showed support for the president by showing up to the event wearing a 'Make America Great Again' dress with "TRUMP" written around the train.
Based on these proceedings, it's safe to say that the Academy Awards ought to be a bumpy ride for Trump.