Photo of Chance the Rapper by Monty Brinton

Despite the absence of some A-list stars, Sunday night's 59th Annual Grammy Award attracted an impressive 26 million viewers.

That's the best audience for the music trophy show since 2014 and a 4 percent increase since last year's ceremony, which was held on a Monday due to the long President's Day holiday. This year's CBS broadcast also earned a 7.8 rating in the highly coveted 18-49 demographic, also up by 1 percent.

The show is still one of television's biggest events—and certainly "Music's Biggest Night," as its theme touts—but the Grammys slipped to a seven-year low last year. And while a slight increase in the 18-49 demo is important, a 7.8 share still means more than 92 percent of viewers under 50 were watching something else.

Sunday's telecast was not without controversy, before and during the show. Nominees Kanye West, Drake, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber were among the artists who skipped the ceremony, while would-be nominee Frank Ocean publicly boycotted the show and withheld his album Blonde from contention this year. 

Additionally, Adele won all five categories in which she was nominated, including Song, Record and Album of the Year, prompting the British star to reaffirm her long-documented love for Beyoncé, noting she believed Lemonade deserved the top honor. 

The night was also a big one for Chance the Rapper, who won Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album, before delivering one of the best performances of the evening.


Get the Latest in Your Inbox