Besting songs by Lil Nas X, Lil Baby & Gunna, Mustard featuring Roddy Rich and Young Thug’s “London” (featuring J. Cole and Travis Scott), the soul-stirring “Higher” from Khaled’s Father of Asahd album was part of a moving medley paying homage to Hussle earlier in the evening.
It also marked a high point for the beloved Hussle, who won another Grammy earlier in the evening for best rap performance for “Racks in the Middle,” featuring Roddy Ricch & Hit-Boy. With Khaled cradling the golden gramophone, Khaled raised the trophy high into the air and proclaimed, “this is for Nipsey Hussle. This is for hip-hop.”
Legend thanked Khaled for calling up to include him and Nipsey on the song, reiterating how awful it it so have lost him at such a young age while praising Hussle’s family for joining the duo on stage to pay tribute to Hussle’s legacy. “Let’s hold each other tight,” Legend said.
It was, ouf course, a bittersweet victory for the beloved L.A. rapper, who died from gunshot wounds on March 31, 2019; Nipsey was the subject of an all-star tribute earlier in the evening that included Legend Kirk Franklin,, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch and YG. For more, read Billboard‘s 2019 feature on Nipsey Hussle’s legacy, featuring interviews with collaborators throughout his career.