The 66th Grammy Awards were hosted by Trevor Noah, setting the opening scene with Dua Lipa’s medley performance of “Training Season,” “Dance The Night” and “Houdini.” Tracy Chapman surprised audiences with a rare appearance alongside Luke Combs, duetting her 1988 single “Fast Car.” Notable artists like SZA, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and Olivia Rodrigo also graced the stage to perform their nominated hits. Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Jon Batiste and Fantasia Barrino gave tribute to late artists such as Tony Bennett, Sinéad O’Connor and Tina Turner.
A lot of firsts were seen at the 66th Grammy Awards on Sunday. Burna Boy made history as the first Afrobeats artist to perform at the Grammys. Joni Mitchell triumphantly sang “Both Sides, Now” from her 1969 album Clouds for her first-ever Grammy set. Billy Joel played “Turn the Lights Back On,” his first song released in 30 years, just before Taylor Swift became the first person to win Album of the Year four times.
Best New Artist was awarded to Victoria Monét, who has written for the likes of Ariana Grande, Nas, Chloe x Halle, Brandy and Fifth Harmony. Song of the Year, presented by Lionel Richie, was given to Billie Eilish for “What Was I Made For?” from the soundtrack of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. Record of the Year went to Miley Cyrus for “Flowers,” her second Grammy win ever and of the night. Céline Dion bestowed the highly-coveted Album of the Year award to Taylor Swift’s Midnights, breaking her tie for best album wins with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon. When presented earlier with the award for Best Pop Vocal Album, Swift had excitedly announced her forthcoming album The Tortured Poets Department and its release on April 19.
SZA, the most nominated artist of the night, won three awards out of nine categories; her wins include Best R&B Song, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album. Phoebe Bridgers won alongside SZA for the collaboration “Ghost in the Machine,” as well as with her bandmates in boygenius for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Performance.
Jay-Z, honored with the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, addressed the Recording Academy directly: “I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but [Beyoncé] has more grammys than everyone and never won album of the year. So, even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work.” Including her wins with Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé has a record total of 32 grammys and 88 nominations. In 2022, Beyoncé tied with her husband Jay-Z as the most grammy-nominated artist of all time. She has lost the Album of the Year category four times.
Although this year’s Grammy Awards welcomed many thrilling firsts, the Recording Academy has a long way to go when it comes to recognizing all artists fairly and accordingly.