The 66th Grammy Awards were held at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Feb. 4. Trevor Noah returned for the fourth consecutive year to host. This year the Grammys had 20 performances — which included SZA, Joni Mitchell, Olivia Rodrigo, Billy Joel, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Travis Scott and U2.
Trevor Noah’s opening monologue
Noah opened his monologue by cracking a joke about the rain saying, “We’ll give everyone a moment of silence later.” Noah made sure to praise all of the room, with attendees from Meryl Streep to Terry Crews getting a shoutout.
He then acknowledged the dominance of women in the major categories this year; seven out of the eight nominations for both album of the year and record of the year were led by women.
Making only a few more jokes — and just one NFL/Taylor Swift reference — Noah kept his monologue brief and relevant.
Dua Lipa opens the show
A performance by singer Dua Lipa started the show. She teased the debut of her new song “Training Season,” before jumping into her hit single “Houdini.” She took the stage in all leather, surrounded by several dancers, with blue and red lights lighting up the stage, making it an engaging opening performance.
Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman perform “Fast Car”
Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman team up to perform “Fast Car.” Combs’ cover became one of the biggest hits of 2023, with over 46 million worldwide streams within days of releasing the song. The crowd erupted in cheers as the lights shined on Chapman when she opened the song.
Taylor Swift announces new album and sets record
After receiving her 13th Grammy — which is the artist’s lucky number — Taylor Swift announced her new album “The Tortured Poets Department,” which is set to be released April 19. This surprised Swift fans, as many of them thought she would announce her “ Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” album.
Later in the evening, Swift broke a record for being the first person to win Album of the Year four times — the most recent win being for her “Midnights” album.
Song of the Year
Billie Eilish and songwriter, and brother, Finneas took home the Song of the Year award for “What Was I Made For?” This was the third win for the “Barbie” soundtrack and Eilish’s second win for this song.
Killer Mike arrested
Grammy winner, Killer Mike, was handcuffed and questioned by police backstage after an altercation, as shared by a Hollywood Reporter on X. The altercation came after he won three Grammy awards at the pre-show Premiere Ceremony for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album.
The most nominated artist, SZA, took the stage to perform hits from her album “SOS.” She opened the set with “Snooze,” before transitioning into “Kill Bill.” With the use of weapons and martial artistry outfits and backgrounds, it was made for a standout performance. SZA went home with three awards for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Progressive R&B Album and Best R&B Song.
At the beginning of the show Cyrus won her very first Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance of “Flowers.” Shortly after receiving her award, she performed “Flowers” to which she said in the middle of her song, “I just won my first Grammy!”
Later in the evening, Cyrus received Record of the Year for “Flowers,” which was handed out by Lizzo — who Cyrus said has been a huge inspiration on her life.
Honoring artists we lost
Stevie Wonder did a “duet” with the late Tony Bennett. During the performance, Wonder played the piano and sang, while a video of Bennett singing played in the background. This performance also honored other artists who passed away over the past year.
Oprah took the stage to honor Tina Turner, who passed last May. Oprah called Turner “the eternal goddess of rock ‘n’ roll.” She then introduced Fantasia who delivered a powerful performance to “Proud Mary.”
Who took home the most awards?
Phoebe Bridgers took home the most wins this year, with four. Bridgers won a solo Grammy, two with SZA and one with Boygenius. Boygenius, SZA, Victoria Monét and Killer Mike all tied for second with each receiving three awards. While Miley Cyrus won two out of the six nominations, “Barbie” soundtracks won three out of the 11 nominations, Taylor Swift won two out of the six nominations, SZA won three our of the nine nominations and Victoria Monét won two out of the seven nominations—one of which included Best New Artist.
Jay-Z receives the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award
Jay-Z received the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. As he brought his daughter, Blue Ivy, on stage to accept his award, Jay-Z called out The Recording Academy saying, “We want you to get it right, at least get it close to right.” Then adding, “She (Beyoncé) has more Grammys than anyone and ella never won album of the year.” Before leaving the stage he added, “Some of you don’t even deserve to be nominated,” leaving viewers to speculate who he was talking about.
Joni Mitchell performs
Joni Mitchell took the stage for the first time ever at the Grammys. Brandi Carlile introduced Mitchell, sharing that the 80-year-old singer has learned to walk three times, after surviving Polio. On stage, Mitchell sat in a throne-like chair and accepted her 10th Grammy as she was surrounded by a string quartet. Following her performance, it seemed as though there was not a dry eye in Crypto.com Arena.
Billy Joel takes the stage
Legendary singer Billy Joel took the stage to perform, for the first time in nearly 20 years, his single, “Turn the Lights Back On.” Taking the stage in a leather jacket and sunglasses, Joel’s voice sounded as strong as ever, as he showcased his piano skills. As the stage lit up throughout his performance, his single reflected on his legacy to his fans, leaving the crowd erupting in applause.
Surprise guest Celine Dion
Celine Dion took the stage to give out the Album of the Year award. Dion suffers from Stiff Person Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes muscle stiffness and spasming. She announced her status in 2022 and, because of her status, canceled the remainder of her European tour. After receiving a standing ovation, and announcing Swift’s “Midnights” as the Album of the Year, some fans and viewers were disappointed in Swift for seemingly ignoring Dion on stage, despite posing with her backstage.
Karol G and Tyla take home awards
Receiving an award for Best Música Urbana Album was Karol G. She received this award for “Mañana Se Bonito,” making her the first female reggaeton artist to win a Grammy. Tyla took home a new award for Best African Performance for her performance of her song “Water.”
Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, took the stage for a speech about the power of music to unify people. He has acknowledged attacks at music events in Paris, Manchester, Las Vegas, as well as the Oct. 7 attack on a music festival in Israel. He concluded his speech by saying, “Take the string quartet: As individuals, they sound really good, but together they achieve something beautiful. These musicians of Palestinian, Israeli and Arab descent are here playing together. Now’s the time for us, for humanity, to play together and to come together with empathy and with love.”
Burna Boy’s Afrobeats performance
Burna Boy brought an Afrobeats performance to the Grammys stage for the first time ever. Accompanied by 21 Savage and Brandy, they performed Burna Boy’s track, “Sittin’ on Top of the World,” which is a sample of Brandy’s 1998 song “Top of the World.” This also marked the first time 21 Savage performed at the Grammys.
A full list of winners can be found here.
This story was written by Sophie Goldstein. She can be reached at [email protected].
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