The Bronx rapper's debut studio album Invasion of Privacy beat Pusha-T (DAYTONA), Nipsey Hussle (Victory Lap), Travis Scott (ASTROWORLD), and the late Mac Miller (Swimming), who had dated Grande for nearly two years. Shortly after Cardi accepted the award, Grande hopped on Twitter to call the decision "literal bullshit" and "trash."
Grande later clarified that she was not dismissing Cardi's work, but was more upset that Miller wasn't honored posthumously—especially because the Recording Academy had invited his family to the ceremony.
An emotional Cardi accepted the award next to her husband, Offset.
"Ooh the nerves are so bad," she said on stage. "Maybe I need to start smoking weed! [...] I want to thank my daughter. I'm not just saying thank you because she's my daughter. It's because, you know, when I found out I was pregnant, my album was not complete. I had like, three songs that I was for sure having—you know how it was. We was like, 'We have to get this album done so I could shoot the videos while I'm still not showing.' It was very long nights."
Cardi also thanked acts like Chance the Rapper, SZA, and Migos for appearing on the project and contributing to its success: "I want to thank all the artists that took their time and their verses for my album," she said.
The rapper shared more thanks in a video filmed backstage, specifically showing love to Miller and his family: "I read an article that Mac Miller family said that he don't win, they wanted me to win; so I'm sharing this Grammy with you motherfucker! Rest in peace!" she said in a video posted to Instagram.
The 26-year-old rapper received a total of five Grammy nominations this year: Album of the Year, Song of the Year ("I Like It"), Best Rap Performance ("Be Careful"), and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Girls Like You" with Maroon 5.