Music’s “biggest night” – The Grammys, saw megastar Beyoncé pick up four more prizes to take her total to a record-breaking 32 of the prestigious awards.
British acts had a good night with success for Harry Styles and Sam Smith, amongst others. There were emotional tributes to sadly departed stars such as Olivier Newton-John and Jeff Beck; plus some of the leading rap icons took to the stage to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop; whilst Viola Davis joined an exclusive club of stars achieving the EGOT, which is winners of a Grammy to go with a previous Emmy, Oscar, and Tony awards.
Comedian Trevor Noah was the host for the third time at the four hour long ceremony, which took place at the Los Angeles’ Crypto,com Arena.
Superstar acknowledges family member from before fame
Beyoncé actually missed some of the early presentations after getting gridlocked in downtown LA, but was in time to be able to pick up her honours, passing the record held by Hungarian-British conductor George Solti, whose 31 Grammys had stood as the most awards, for over 20 years. She gave special mention to her late uncle Jonny, who she said helped make her stage outfits before she became famous. It was his battle with HIV that influenced her interest in dance music, and its historical ties to the LGBTQ community.
Misses out again on Best Album
It is widely accepted that she has changed the way that pop music is written, produced, released, presented and promoted and prior to the ceremony she was level on 88 with her husband Jay-Z, as the most-nominated artist of all time, yet the really big prizes continue to elude her.
Of the 16 times she has been nominated in the major, all-genre categories, she has won just once, which was “Song of the Year” in 2010, for Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It). Her album Renaissance was heavily tipped for success, but for the fourth time in a row she missed out, this time being pipped by Harry Styles.
In his humble acceptance speech the British singer made the point that it was important to remember that: “There is no such thing as best in music.” Nevertheless, he was naturally delighted with the honour and said graciously: “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often, and this is so, so nice,” before declaring that the album had been the greatest experience of his life, stating: “From making it with two of my best friends to playing for people has been the greatest joy I could have asked for.”
Brits making their mark
More British success came the way of Isle of Wight indie duo Wet Leg, who won two prizes, “Best Alternative Album” and “Best Alternative Song” for their breakout single, Chaise Longue. Singer-guitarist Rhian Teasdale said: “This is so funny, what are we even doing here?”
Sam Smith won “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” with Kim Petras for their Unholy, but chose to allow his partner to take the microphone and the German-born singer said: “Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I am the first transgender woman to win.” The star went on to thank the late, transgender pop artist Sophie, as well as Madonna, before dedicating the award to her mother for her constant support.
Ozzy Osbourne having only just announced his retirement from touring, picked up two awards for his latest recording, Patient Number Nine, which was named “Best Rock Album”, while the song Degradation Rules won “Best Metal Performance”. The legend accepted his award in his typically brash manner, simply saying: “Thank you and [expletive] off.”
Tributes and celebrations
As well as tributes to the likes of Olivia Newton-John, Irene Cara, David Crosby Jeff Beck, and Loretta Lynn; Fleetwood Mac star Christine McVie was honoured with a performance of her signature hit, Songbird, by Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and Mick Fleetwood. On a lighter note rap artists: Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Missy Elliot, and Busta Rhymes helped celebrate 50 years of hip-hop with a 12-minute masterclass of some of the genre’s greatest hits.
EGOT list rises to eighteen
When Viola Davis was awarded “Best Audio Book, Narration and Storytelling Recording” for her autobiography Finding Me, she became the 18th individual to accomplish the EGOT, which is winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award, joining the likes of: Sir John Gielgud, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jennifer Hudson and John Legend.
Her previous successes had been for “Best Supporting Actress” to win an Oscar in 2016 for Fences. The Emmy came for her performance in the TV drama How To Get Away With Murder, and she received two Tony Awards for her theatre work, picking up “Featured Actress in a Play” for King Hedley II in 2001, and “Lead Actress” in a play for Fences in 2010.
Who won what?
The full list of winners on the night were as follows:
Album of the Year Winner: Harry Styles – Harry’s House
Record of the Year Winner: Lizzo – About Damn Time
Song of the Year Winner: Bonnie Raitt – Just Like That
Best New Artist Winner: Samara Joy
Best Pop Solo Performance Winner: Adele – Easy On Me
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Winner: Sam Smith and Kim Petras – Unholy
Best Pop Vocal Album Winner: Harry Styles – Harry’s House
Best R&B Song Winner: Beyoncé – Cuff It
Best R&B Performance Winner: Muni Long – Hrs and Hrs
Best R&B Album Winner: Robert Glasper – Black Radio III
Best Rap Song Winner: Kendrick Lamar – The Heart Part 5
Best Rap Performance Winner: Kendrick Lamar – The Heart Part 5
Best Melodic Rap Performance Winner: Future Featuring Drake & Tems – Wait For U
Best Rap Album Winner: Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Best Dance/Electronic Recording Winner: Beyoncé – Break My Soul
Best Dance/Electronic Album Winner: Beyoncé – Renaissance
Best Rock Performance Winner: Brandi Carlile – Broken Horses
Best Rock Album Winner: Ozzy Osbourne – Patient No 9
Best Alternative Album Winner: Wet Leg – Wet Leg
Best Alternative Performance Winner: Wet Leg – Chaise Lounge
Best Country Album Winner: Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time
Best Country Solo Performance Winner: Willie Nelson – Live Forever
Best Country Song Winner: Cody Johnson – ‘Til You Can’t
Best Country Duo/Group Performance Winner: Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde – Never Wanted To Be That Girl
Best Americana Performance Winner: Bonnie Raitt – Made Up Mind
Best Americana Album Winner: Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days
Best Música Urbana Album Winner: Bad Bunny – Un Verano Sin Ti
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Winner: Michael Buble – Higher
Best Musical Theatre Album Winner: Into The Woods
Producer of the Year (non-classical) Winner: Jack Antonoff
Songwriter of the Year, (non-classical) Winner: Tobias Jesso Jr (for work with Harry Styles, Adele, FKA Twigs)
Best Music Video Winner: Taylor Swift – All Too Well
Best Song Written for Visual Media Winner: We Don’t Talk About Bruno (from Encanto) – Lin Manuel Miranda
Best Audio Book, Narration and Storytelling Recording Winner: Finding Me -Viola Davis
Best Video Game Score Winner: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn Of Ragnarok – Stephanie Economou