History made at 63rd Grammy Awards
By Olivia Krumpe
On March 14, some of the biggest names in music came together for the Recording Academy’s 63rd annual Grammy Awards. Hosted by Trevor Noah at the Los Angeles Convention Center, this was the first Grammys held during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus causing a few changes to the usual setup.
The audience was limited to a few of the performers and nominees, all seated at separate tables to follow social distancing guidelines. Artists that performed did so virtually or in a separate room set up with stages. Finally, all in attendance wore masks unless performing, presenting or accepting an award.
The award show also took time to celebrate iconic performance venues impacted by the pandemic, such as JT Gray, the owner of Station Inn in Nashville, Tennessee, presenting the award for Best Country Album to Miranda Lambert for “Wildcard.”
The show began with Noah’s monologue, filled with jokes about the pandemic, listing the many performers of the evening and explaining how the show was set up and would work. Following the introduction, singer Harry Styles took the stage to open the show. Styles, who was nominated for his first three Grammys this year, performed his No. 1 song, “Watermelon Sugar,” which went on to win Best Pop Solo Performance later in the evening.
Immediately after, Billie Eilish performed her song “Everything I Wanted,” which received Record of the Year at the end of the show. The 19-year-old earned the same award in 2020, along with four others. This year, however, Eilish only went home with two: Record of the Year and Best Song Written for Visual Media.
While accepting her Record of the Year for “Everything I Wanted,” the “bad guy” singer shared that she thought Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” should have been the one taking home one of the most coveted awards of the evening.
“This is really embarrassing for me,” Eilish said. “Megan, girl, I was going to write a speech about how you deserve this, but then, I was like, ‘There is no way they’re going to choose me.’” She continued to sing Megan’s praises, calling for the audience to applaud the rapper’s talents and accomplishments, and finished by thanking her team and the Recording Academy.
The opening acts concluded with HAIM performing their song “The Steps,” which was nominated for Best Rock Performance. The three sisters were also nominated for Album of the Year for their latest LP, “Women in Music Part III.”
The award presentations began with one of the big four awards: Best New Artist. Chika, D Smoke, Doja Cat, Ingrid Andress, Kaytranada, Megan Thee Stallion, Noah Cyrus and Phoebe Bridgers all received nominations in this category. Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo presented the award to Megan Thee Stallion.
The 26-year-old received a standing ovation as she took the stage, emotionally giving her acceptance speech. She also won two of her other three nominations that evening in the categories of Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for her song “Savage Remix” featuring Beyonce, who made a surprise appearance and accepted the award with her.
Queen B also took home two solo Grammys that night: Best Music Video and Best R&B Performance. With these four additional awards from this year’s Grammys in her collection, Beyonce now holds the title for the most Grammy wins out of any female artist at 28, only three behind Georg Solti who currently holds the record with 31 Grammy awards.
After the presentation of Best New Artist, the show transitioned back into performances from Black Pumas, DaBaby, Dua Lipa, and Silk Sonic, a duo that consists of Bruno Marks and Anderson .Paak. Throughout the rest of the evening, fans also enjoyed performances from Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Bad Bunny, BTS, Miranda Lambert, Lil Baby, Maren Morris with John Mayer, and Post Malone.
The Song of Year award went to Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, known for her stage name H.E.R., for her song, “I Can’t Breathe.” She also took home Best R&B Song for “Better Than I Imagined.”
Finally, the last of the four major awards, Album of the Year, was given to Taylor Swift for her album, “Folklore.”
This is Swift’s third Album of the Year, joining a group of only three others who have accomplished this feat: Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. Swift also performed that night with a five-minute set consisting of “cardigan” and “august,” two songs from her Grammy-winning album, the former a Grammy-nominated song, and “willow,” the lead single off her most recent album “evermore.”
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards were historic in the revamped COVID-19 friendly format and with record-breaking wins from the likes of a star-studded roster of performers, giving people a taste of the live music they missed out on last year.