Music’s biggest stars turned out in force at the Grammys on Sunday in Los Angeles — and a LOT happened.
Beyonce made history but lost the night’s biggest prize to Harry Styles. Bad Bunny opened the show with some serious reggaeton and First Lady Jill Biden showed up to honour an Iranian artist.
Bad Bunny, music’s most streamed artist, exploded into the Crypto.com Arena to open the night, performing a medley of hits off his blockbuster album “Un Verano Sin Ti.”
Host Trevor Noah greeted him in Spanish as the Puerto Rican trailblazer introduced himself simply by his first name, “Benito.” The room then erupted in color and rhythm as the audience was immersed in Latin sounds including bachata, merengue and mambo.
“I want to know if the Grammys are ready for the real party,” exclaimed the 29-year-old who has fast become the face of reggaeton, the genre he has globalized.
Donning a white tee shirt and jeans, Bad Bunny left no one unmoved, with even Taylor Swift launching into a few dance steps.
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“Now everyone wants to be Latino,” he quipped. “But they’re lacking flavor.”
Bad Bunny went on to win the Grammy for Best Musica Urbana Album.
In probably the most electric moment of the night, a parade of stars from the world of hip-hop — from Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC to Method Man, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot and LL Cool J — got the audience up on their feet to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the genre, seen as born in the Bronx in 1973.
The rapid-fire medley of hits across the decades — Nelly offered a few bars of “Hot in Herre,” Lil Uzi Vert closed the tribute with a bit of his “Just Wanna Rock” — had Jay-Z cheering from his seat.
The Recording Academy has long been criticized for failing to honour hip-hop artists in the main Grammy categories, and for being behind the times in terms of acknowledging hip-hop’s overall influence in music. The all-star performance certainly went some distance in putting the genre front and centre, at last.
The Grammys annual tribute to those the music industry has lost was even more emotional than usual, with Quavo of the hip-hop act Migos honouring his nephew Takeoff, who was murdered late last year in a shooting at the age of 28.
“Days ain’t the same without you / I don’t know if I’m the same without you,” sang Quavo. “I wish I had a time machine / Just so you can take a ride with me / I miss just how you smile at me / Unc and Phew until infinity.”
Kacey Musgraves opened the set paying homage to Loretta Lynn, the iconic country singer who died at 90, by covering Lynn’s iconic “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
And Mick Fleetwood was joined by Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow in a touching performance of “Songbird” by Christine McVie, the late Fleetwood Mac artist who penned many of the beloved band’s most famous songs.
In the night’s most political moment, First Lady Jill Biden came to Los Angeles to present a special Grammy for Best Song for Social Change.
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That award went to 25-year-old Iranian pop singer Shervin Hajipour for his “Baraye” — an anthem for the protests that have rocked Iran since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old ethnic Kurd arrested for an alleged breach of strict dress rules for women.
Hajipour was detained after his song went viral and later freed on bail. He is not allowed to leave Iran.
Biden called “Baraye” a “powerful and poetic call for freedom and women’s rights.”
Kim Petras and Sam Smith took home the Grammy for best performance by a pop duo or group for their hit collaboration “Unholy,” which made Petras the first openly transgender woman to win in the category.
“I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” Petras said after Smith, who is non-binary, urged her to accept the award.
“I grew up next to a highway in nowhere, Germany. And my mother believed me that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her,” she told the audience in a speech that elicited cheers from her peers.
Petras and Smith later delivered a blazing performance of the song — a hellish, red latex-clad show that featured flames, devil horns, whips and the German artist Petras in a cage.
Here is a list of winners in key categories for the 65th annual Grammy Awards, which were handed out on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Beyonce led the field with a total of nine nominations and scooped up four awards, making her the winningest artist in Grammys history.
Harry Styles won the Album of the Year award, while Lizzo, Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Brandi Carlile and Bonnie Raitt also took home golden statuettes.
Album of the Year: “Harry’s House,” Harry Styles
Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance of a song: “About Damn Time,” Lizzo
Song of the Year, recognizing songwriting: “Just Like That” — Bonnie Raitt, songwriter (Bonnie Raitt)
Best New Artist: Samara Joy
Best Dance / Electronic Music Album: “Renaissance,” Beyonce
Best Dance / Electronic Recording: “Break My Soul,” Beyonce
Best Pop Vocal Album: “Harry’s House,” Harry Styles
Best Rap Album: “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” Kendrick Lamar
Best Rock Album: “Patient Number 9,” Ozzy Osbourne
Best Pop Solo Performance: “Easy on Me,” Adele
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Unholy,” Sam Smith and Kim Petras
Best Americana Album: “In These Silent Days,” Brandi Carlile
Best Country Album: “A Beautiful Time,” Willie Nelson
Best Music Video: “All Too Well (The Short Film),” Taylor Swift
Best Global Music Album: “Sakura,” Masa Takumi
Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media: “Assassin’s Creed Ragnarok: Dawn of Ragnarok,” Stephanie Economou
Beyonce – 4
Bonnie Raitt – 3
Kendrick Lamar – 3
Brandi Carlile – 3
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