Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' Becomes First Rap Song to Win Record of the Year Grammy

Childish Gambino won record of the year at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night (Feb. 10) for his political anthem "This Is America," making history with the first rap song to ever take home the honor, and rounding out a night of wins for the multi-talented Atlanta rapper. 

With Gambino -- a.k.a. Donald Glover -- notably absent from tonight's festivities, the prestigous award was accepted on behalf of co-writer and producer Ludwig Göransson, engineer/mixer Derek "MixedByAli" Ali and mastering engineer Mike Bozzi.   

"Creating music with Childish Gambino has been one of the greatest stories of my life," Göransson told the crowd. "As a kid growing up in Sweden, loving American music, I always dreamt of migrating here, working with an artist like Donald Glover.

"I really wish he was here with us right now, bcause this truly was his vision, and he desreves this credit," he continued. "No matter where you're born or what country you're from, you connect with it. It speaks to people. It connects right to your soul. It calls out injustice, celebrates life, and reunites us, all at the same time."

The producer also took a moment to shout-out rapper 21 Savage, who is currently being held without bond by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and therefore wasn’t able to perform at the Grammys. "21 Savage, you should be here tonight," Göransson added.

"This Is America," an intricately woven protest song that touches on racism, discrimination and mass shootings in the country, among other topics, also became the first rap track to win song of the year earlier this evening. That's not all -- the song also won best rap/sung performance and best music video for its Hiro Murai-directed viral clip, bringing Gambino's career total wins up to five. 

In the record of the year category, Gambino beats out Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin's "I Like It," Brandi Carlile's “The Joke," Drake's “God’s Plan," Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's "Shallow," Kendrick Lamar & SZA's "All the Stars," Post Malone feat. 21 Savage's "Rockstar" and Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey's "The Middle."

2019 Grammy Awards