She hailed the importance "particularly for women to have our seat at the table, to represent the fact that we are so here and so incredible and we are the creators of our music". She responded on Twitter and said she "can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken".
As Gaga arrived on stage, she became very emotional.
"Thank you so much".
"It was when my creativity & self-expression was stifled by you that i decided not to attend. Thank you for being my island", she said. "I wish Bradley was here with my right now".
The Grammys have also struggled with gender inequality, an issue that came to its head previous year.
Six of the best new artist nominees are women, including H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith.
Get push notifications with news, features and more. Emily Lazar, one of the engineers who worked on the album and won alongside Beck, said onstage that she was the first female mastering engineer to win in the latter category.
But, if and when you hear her name tonight, in the context of nominees or as the victor, now you know a little more about who she is. It was also honored at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.
Since Best Rap Song honors the writers, not the performers, Drake was about to introduce his collaborators - Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels and Noah Shebib - but was cut-off. Drake's "Nice for What" lost to Anderson Paak's "Bubblin"' and Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake's "King's Dead", from the "Black Panther" soundtrack.
"It's our first time ever presenting an award, and also the Grammys so... yeah I stayed up all night", he added.
Camila Cabello kicked off the show with a performance featuring J Balvin, Ricky Martin and Young Thug.
Carlile, 37, took home three early trophies, two for her Americana music single The Joke and another for her album By the Way, I Forgive You. There will be awkward moments, but a planned tribute to Aretha Franklin, which will be performed by Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day, had better be one to remember.
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