In a heated race to the finish with Beyoncé, Adele literally broke last year's Grammy Awards.
When the British pop powerhouse took the stage to accept album of the year for 25, she split her golden gramophone in half — an accident that many online interpreted as her "sharing" the honor with Queen Bey, whose Lemonade was the favorite to win.
The stakes don't feel quite as high going into this Sunday's show (CBS, 7:30 ET / 4:30 PT), although there are still a few question marks surrounding music's biggest night. Among them:
1. How will Me Too come into play?
Members of the music industry haven’t been quite as vocal in the ongoing conversations around sexual misconduct and the gender wage gap as those in Hollywood. But that could very well change at this year’s Grammys, where — with the exceptions of Lorde, Alessia Cara and Julia Michaels — women were shut out of the four top categories: album, record and song of the year, and best new artist. Key executives are calling on artists to wear white roses in support of the Time's Up movement, with artists including Dua Lipa and Halsey confirmed to do so. Talking to Yahoo!, Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich also suggested that Kesha's performance of Praying will reflect Me Too. (The singer is in the midst of a drawn-out legal battle with producer Dr. Luke, whom she accused of sexual assault.)
2. Who will put on the best performance?
Kendrick Lamar, Pink, U2 and Childish Gambino are just some of the top-shelf talent lined up for performances on the telecast. But we’d be lying if we didn’t say we’re most excited to see what Bruno Mars and Cardi B have in store when they bring their Finesse (Remix) to the Grammys stage. Mars’ slick, charismatic showmanship sounds like a winning combination with the exuberant, outsized personality of Cardi B, who’s continued her 2017 winning streak into the new year with a record-breaking run on the charts and two Grammy nominations, including best rap song and performance for Bodak Yellow.
3. Does Jay-Z need to watch the throne?
Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z are friends outside the studio, where they've shouted each other out on Twitter and taken in NBA games together courtside. But they’ll go head to head at Sunday’s show, where the two rap titans stand the best odds to win album of the year with efforts that couldn’t be more different: Lamar’s Damn, which takes on Trump and Fox News as he settles into his role as hip hop's foremost activist voice; and Jay-Z’s 4:44, a deeply personal meditation on infidelity, family and what it means to be a black man in America. Neither have ever won the Grammys' top trophy, which could picking favorites even more difficult for voters.
4. Could Carrie Fisher win a Grammy?
The late David Bowie was the biggest winner at last year’s Grammys, taking home five posthumous prizes for his haunting masterstroke Blackstar. This year, the Recording Academy has the chance to award another recently departed legend, Carrie Fisher, nominated for best spoken word for audiobook The Princess Diarist. A win in the category would be a fittingly amusing tribute to the late Star Wars icon, who's up against a random assortment of personalities including Bruce Springsteen, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bernie Sanders.
Other potential posthumous winners include Leonard Cohen, nominated for best American roots performance for Steer Your Way or best rock performance for You Want it Darker; and Chris Cornell, whose The Promise is up for best rock performance category.