Beyoncé made Grammy Award history Sunday evening, powered by her smash hit album “Renaissance” and the hit song “Break My Soul” to become the all-time leader in lifetime Grammy wins with 32 after snaring four more — but she missed out on the Recording Academy’s three major awards of Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
The superstar singer-songwriter went into the night as the record- holder for winningest woman of all time, with 28 Grammys overall — and with her fourth victory of the night, for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for “Renaissance,” she surpassed the late conductor Georg Solti as winningest artist of all time.
With a leading nine nominations going into the night, Beyoncé stood a strong chance of snagging at least four to become the Grammys’ winningest artist ever — but she was hoping to also claim one of the evening’s top honors, which have been elusive to her.
It didn’t happen — as Harry Styles captured Album of the Year for “Harry’s House,” Bonnie Raitt won Song of the Year for “Just Like That” and Lizzo took home for Record of the Year for “About Damn Time” — all categories in which Beyoncé was nominated.
Of Beyoncé’s previous Grammy wins, only one was in the general-music categories — a Song of the Year victory for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” Like Sunday, all of her other wins were in so-called “down-ballot” genre categories.
Her nine nominations also put Beyoncé in a tie with her husband, Jay- Z, for the most-nominated artists in Grammy history, with 88 nods each.
In Sunday’s other major award, Samara Joy won for Best New Artist.
While Beyoncé didn’t capture one of the Big 3 awards Sunday, she did get to make an emotional acceptance speech when she won the award for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for “Renaissance” — a multi-genre tribute to the culture and sounds of the Black queer club scene.
Comedian James Corden presented the award — and tipped his hand as he opened the envelope, saying, “This is an honor. We are witnessing history tonight.”
He went on to say, “Breaking the record for the most Grammy wins of all time … Beyoncé!”
Walking to the stage to a standing ovation and thunderous applause from the crowd at Crypto.com Arena, an emotional Beyoncé said, “I’m trying not to be too emotional, and I’m trying to just receive this night.”
“I want to thank God — thank you, God,” she said, fighting back tears. “I’d like to thank my parents — my father, my mother, for loving me and pushing me. I’d like to thank my beautiful husband, my beautiful three children who are home watching.”
And, she said, “I’d like to thank the queer community for your love and for inventing the genre. God bless you, thank you so much.”
Beyoncé’s other wins Sunday were for Best Dance/Electric Recording; Best Traditional R&B Performance (both announced before the broadcast) and Best R&B Song (“Cuff It”), which was announced during the show.
Styles, in accepting the Album of the Year award, paid homage to the other nominees in the category, saying “Man, I’ve been so, so inspired by every artist in this category. At a lot of different times in my life, I’ve listened to every one in this category.”
He went on to say, “It’s so important for us to remember that there’s really no such thing as best in music. I’m so, so grateful. This doesn’t happen to people like me very often, so thank you very, very much.”
Lizzo, the rapper who often addresses body-image issues in her songs, gave a rousing acceptance speech for Record of the Year, and dedicated her award to the late musician Prince.
“When we lost Prince, I decided to dedicate my life to making positive music,” she said. “This was at a time when positive music and feel- good music wasn’t mainstream and I felt very misunderstood. I felt on the outside looking in. But I stayed true to myself because I wanted to make the world a better place and had to be that change to make the world a better place.
“Now I look around and there’s all these songs that are about loving our bodies and feeling comfortable in our skin and feeling good. And I’m just so proud to be a part of it because in a world of a lot of darkness … I like to believe that not only can people do good, but we just are good — we are good, inherently.”
First lady Jill Biden presented the award for Song of the Year, a writing honor — and when she announced Raitt as the winner, a shocked Raitt remained in her seat for a few moments, her mouth agape.
When Raitt made her way to the stage, she said she was “totally humbled,” while adding, “I’m so surprised. I don’t know what to say. This is just an unreal moment.”
Biden also presented a new Grammy for Best Song for Social Change. It went to Iranian singer-songwriter Shervin Hajipour for his song “Baraye,” which Biden described as a “powerful and poetic call for freedom and women’s rights.”
Hajipour, Biden said, was arrested after a video of the song was posted on Instagram, drawing some 40 million views.
Trevor Noah hosted the CBS telecast, when all the top honors were presented. The vast majority of the 91 Grammys were announced during the Premiere Ceremony earlier in the day at the Microsoft Theater.
The main ceremony at Crypto.com Arena marked a return to the Grammys’ traditional home, following two years of COVID-related relocations. Last year’s ceremony was moved to Las Vegas due to surging infections in Los Angeles County. The 2021 event was scaled down due to the pandemic and held on an outdoor event deck at L.A. Live.
The show also featured an all-star celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop, introduced by LL Cool J.
Performing during the segment were Big Boi, Busta Rhymes with Spliff Star, De La Soul, DJ Drama, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Missy Elliott, Future, GloRilla, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Mele Mel & Scorpio/Ethiopian King, Ice-T, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne, The Lox, Method Man, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rahiem, Rakim, RUN-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella, Scarface, Swizz Beatz and Too $hort.
Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.
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