A meaningful shoutout finally arrived more than three and a half hours into the broadcast through Ludwig Goransson’s acceptance speech. The Sweedish producer received the Record of The Year award for Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” After speaking on his own immigration story, he took time to thank 21 Savage, who contributed background vocals to the song.
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“No matter where you’re born or what country you are from, you connect with ‘This Is America.’ It speaks to people, it connects right to your soul; calls out injustice, celebrates life and reunites us at the same time,” he said. “We want to thank all the rappers on the song. 21 Savage – he should be here tonight.”
The other mentions were delivered offstage. Leon Bridges, speaking to press on the red carpet, labeled the rapper’s immigration troubles as a “disheartening” situation. “The foundation that he’s laid in his city and in music has been huge,” the crooner reflected. “Honestly, he’s one of my favorite rappers. I’m a man of faith so I’m praying he gets back in the States.”
Dua Lipa also expressed similar sentiments in the press room: “It’s quite upsetting given he actually hasn’t done anything and how much he’s done for American culture. Even for being a Brit.”