Trevor Noah aims jibe at Will Smith as he kicks off Grammys

The ceremony is taking place in Las Vegas after suffering pandemic delays.
The ceremony is taking place in Las Vegas after suffering pandemic delays.

Silk Sonic have claimed the first major award of the night at the Grammys, after host Trevor Noah kicked off the show by referencing Will Smith and his Oscars controversy.

The R&B duo, made up of Bruno Mars and rapper and singer Anderson Paak, were named winner of song of the year for Leave the Door Open.

Opening the ceremony at the 17,000-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Noah quipped about Olivia Rodrigo having to show her “drivers license” to get in and celebrities doing Moderna and Pfizer “shots” during last year’s event.

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Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars of Silk Sonic (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

He then added: “It is going to be such a beautiful evening. Don’t even think of it as an award show, this is a concert where we’re giving out awards.

“We’re going to be listening to some music, we’re going dancing, we’re going to be singing, we’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths.”

At the Oscars, Smith had shouted at Chris Rock to get his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s name “out of your f****** mouth,” after the comedian made a joke about her hair loss.

Rodrigo then took to the stage in Las Vegas to deliver a performance of her international hit Drivers License, dressed in a white dress, fishnet tights and black boots, against the backdrop of a suburban street.

After that, Silk Sonic collected the first major award in the form of song of the year.

The award was presented by Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who earlier won his own gong for best music film for his documentary Summer Of Soul, which also won the prize for best documentary feature at the Oscars last week.

Referencing Smith slapping Rock, which occurred just before he won his award, Questlove said: “I will present this award and I trust you will stay 500 feet away from me,” before adding: “Just playing!”

Multi-genre performer Batiste has the most nominations with 11 but faces competition from the likes of Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Rodrigo.

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Olivia Rodrigo performs Drivers License (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Joni Mitchell was also among the early winners announced during a pre-show event.

Folk veteran Mitchell claimed the Grammy for best historical album for the record Joni Mitchell Archives, Volume 1: The Early Years, a five-disc box set.

Comedian Louis CK, whose appearance on the nominations list prompted criticism, won best comedy album for his record Sincerely Louis.

He previously admitted allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by five women were true.