Beyoncé Makes Grammy History but Harry Styles and Lizzo Win Big


Beyoncé Makes Grammy History but Harry Styles and Lizzo Win Big; Beyoncé made history but left the 65th Grammy Awards without significant awards for herself or her collaborators, Harry Styles and Lizzo.

Album of the Year went to Harry’s House, by Styles, who beat out Beyoncé and Adele, two of the night’s biggest favorites. Record of the Year went to Lizzo for “Special,” while Song of the Year went to Bonnie Raitt for “Just Like That” in the night’s biggest shock. Samara Joy, a rising jazz soprano, earned the Best New Artist award.

There was some common sense among these 2023 Grammy Award winners, and there was also some pleasant surprise (except for maybe Raitt, who was just plain surprising). That’s because Beyoncé seemed to be the night’s overarching theme until around 30 minutes.

Read more: Once-Married Taylor Lautner Makes A Rare Comment On His Ex-Wife Taylor Swift.

The superstar was already poised to become the most-awarded performer in Grammy history before Sunday, and she did just that. Beyoncé has won 32 Grammys, more than the 31 by Hungarian conductor Georg Solti. Her most recent victories were Best Dance/Electronic Album, Best R&B Song, Best Traditional R&B Performance, and Best Dance/Electronic Recording. Riding that wave, it looked like Beyoncé may win one of the three big awards she’s been nominated for (she’s only won one, Song of the Year in 2010 for “Single Ladies”).

Voters at the Recording Academy showed they are still voters by honoring a trailblazer and two of pop’s hottest emerging talents. The three seemed somewhat surprised, or at least acutely aware of whoever they had just bested. In her acceptance speech, Raitt described the moment as “unreal,” while Lizzo acknowledged Beyoncé by saying, “You are the artist of our life,” and recalling how she had missed school to see her play when she was younger.

And then, with an exclamatory “Shit,” Styles began his remarks. What the hell.” He continued, “Every artist inspired me in this category with me. I’ve spent much time alone listening to these artists at various times. There is no “Best” music, and I think that’s especially crucial to remember on evenings like this.

In terms of the ceremony itself, the 65th Grammy Awards felt like the left’s righteous culture war salvo against the swelling flood of Republican bigotry and backward discourse on LGBTQ rights. Brandi Carlile’s husband, Catherine Shepherd, and their children, Avery and Finn, introduced her rousing rendition of “Broken Horses,” which brought the house down. Most significantly, Kim Petras made history as the first transgender woman to win Best Pop Duo/Group Collaboration for her blockbuster with Sam Smith, “Unholy.”

Petras remarked, “I grew up next to a highway in Germany,” after paying tribute to “transgender luminaries” like Sophie and LGBTQ supporters like Madonna. And my mom accepted that I was a female; without her and the rest of the people who believed in me, I would never have made it this far. (Later in the show, Madonna also introduced Petras and Smith’s delectably demonic version of “Unholy”)

Even Beyoncé acknowledged all this, choosing to celebrate her big night with the same community that has inspired so much of her songs. She thanked the LGBT community for their support and remarked, “I’d want to thank the gay community for your love and for developing this genre,” when she accepted the Best Dance/Electronic Music Album award.

(Not everything was sunshine and rainbows; Dave Chappelle won Best Comedy Album for his controversial Netflix special The Closer, which featured multiple transphobic jokes. To the Recording Academy’s credit, they didn’t hand the prize to Louis C.K. for a second year running.

Trevor Noah, who seemed totally at ease as he strolled through the audience during his opening monologue, presided over the event for the third year. In between gags about Harry Styles and the late green M&M, he introduced Adele to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and said that “Break My Soul” by Beyoncé was the impetus for him to leave The Daily Show.

Many aspects of this year’s Grammys were broadcast live online (even if the wins didn’t always coincide with the show’s presentation). TikTok’s influence on today’s top hits may not be as strong as it once was, but that didn’t stop Noah from joking about it during his monologue: “Every song on TikTok that you hear? Humans created the ones we use. Here they are!

Since longtime producer Ken Ehrlich is leaving after the 2020 show, the Grammys have been attracting a younger audience. (Not that it wasn’t without its cringeworthy moments, such as the random roundtable chat with “genuine fans”). Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson performing their iconic hits with Chris Stapleton, as well as the monumental tribute to hip-hop with a brilliant mix of pioneers (Rakim, Chuck D, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah), and modern performers, were all highlights of the evening (Lil Wayne, Glorilla, Lil Baby).

But first, there was Bad Bunny before all that happened. The man kicked off the evening’s festivities, arguably the most prominent artist in the world, who performed a lively tribute to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic by covering the songs “El Apagón” and “Después de la Playa.” During Bad Bunny’s set, the stage and aisles were crowded with plena dancers, musicians, and cabezudos (characters with large paper maché heads usually seen at festivals) depicting numerous well-known Puerto Ricans, such as rapper Tego Calderón, poet Lola Rodrguez de Tió, and Felisa Rincón de, the former mayor of San Juan and the first woman mayor elected in a capital city of the Americas.

Despite Bad Bunny’s high standard, the night was filled with other unforgettable performances. Lizzo ripped through her recent singles, including “About Damn Time” and “Special” with a gospel twist. And to cap off the show in style, DJ Khaled rounded together Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, John Legend, and Fridayy to perform their posse cut “God Did” in the open air.

Kacey Musgraves sang “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn during the “In Memoriam” segment, and Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood, and Bonnie Raitt joined forces to perform “Songbird” in honor of Christine McVie. To remember his late nephew and fellow Migos bandmate Takeoff, Quavo performed “Without You” alongside gospel group/worship collaboration Maverick City Music.

Regarding the actual prizes, Kendrick Lamar completely swept the Rap categories this year, taking home gold for Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Song (both for “The Heart Part 5”). Styles also took home the Best Pop Vocal Album for Harry’s House trophy. At the same time, Willie Nelson’s A Beautiful Time won Best Country Album. They earned the legend the Best Country Solo Performance for “Live Forever,” and Adele’s “Easy on Me” won Best Pop Solo Performance.

Of course, most prizes were presented in the hours leading up to the broadcast’s start. Despite being overlooked in some of the more significant categories, Rosala did take up one of the two awards for which she was up for consideration: Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album for Motomami. Meanwhile, Wet Leg, a band from Britain, won their first Grammys for Best Alternative Music Album (Wet Leg) and Best Alternative Performance (“Chaise Longue”), besting indie and alt veterans such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Björk, Arctic Monkeys, and Florence + the Machine.

Cody Johnson won Best Country Song for “‘Till You Can’t,” while Muni Long and Steve Lacy both won Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album for their debut efforts, respectively. Ashley McBryde, a longtime favorite in the country music genre, earned her first Grammy for the song “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” which she performed with another first-time winner Carly Pearce. And “Wait for U” by Nigerian artist Tems won her first Grammy, which she shared with Future and Drake (who can’t seem to avoid the Grammys).

However, Viola Davis stood out among 2023’s first-time winners as the most impressive of the bunch. The iconic entertainer finally won the Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording Grammy for her autobiography Finding Me, making her the first person to win the EGOT.

Brandi Carlile won two awards in the rock category for her song “Broken Horses.” In contrast, Ozzy Osbourne won two for his album “Patient Number 9” and his “Degradation Rules” performance with former Black Sabbath member Tony Iommi.

Lastly, “Music’s Biggest Night” wouldn’t be “Music’s Biggest Night” without a little bit of Taylor Swift. Four prizes were up for grabs on Sunday, with the singer hoping to take home the trophy for Song of the Year for “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” Although that didn’t work out, Swift can now call herself an “award-winning director” thanks to the triumph of Best Music Video for All Too Well: The Short Film. When Midnights are finally allowed to compete at the Grammys in 2024, we should expect to see more of Swift there.