Everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Adele to Willie Nelson and Beyoncé won the 65th Grammy Awards last night in Los Angeles.
Harry Styles took home the coveted award for Best Album, Viola Davis completed the EGOT, and Beyoncé became the most awarded female artist in Grammy history.
Here are five highs and lows from the ceremony, which had more twists and turns than a carefree hiding in a hall of mirrors.
1) What does Beyoncé have to do to win Best Album?
Every time Beyoncé releases a new album, she rewrites the rule book for everyone else.
From her self-titled visual album in 2013 and the confessional masterpiece that was 2016’s Lemonade to last year’s disco fantasy Renaissance, she has changed the way pop music is written, produced, released, presented and promoted.
She does this with the awe-inspiring admiration of her peers. “You are clearly the artist of our life!” Lizzo said at today’s ceremony, echoing Adele’s words in 2017.
During the ceremony, Beyoncé received a record 32nd trophy. She was already tied with her husband Jay-Z as the artist with the most nominations of all time (88 each).
But despite all this love, big prizes eluded her. Of the 16 times she’s been nominated in the major, all-genre categories, she’s won just once: Song of the Year in 2010, for Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).
This year, Renaissance became the leader of the competition for the title of album of the year. A deep and affectionate dive into black and gay dance culture, it was 2022’s most critically acclaimed release.
But for the fourth time in her career, Beyoncé won the highest award. This time Harry Styles got the crown. Previously, it was Beck, Adele and Taylor Swift.
What message are the Grammys trying to convey? Because it feels like, “Stop being so impressive and write music we’re comfortable with.”
This is a feeling that is not entirely uncharacteristic. The industry created the awards in 1958 to promote “good” music amid the terrible onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll, and since then the Grammys have lagged behind every mainstream in music.
The Beatles are known to have won more awards after they split than together; and until 1989 there were no rap categories.
So maybe one day when she’s in her 60s, Beyoncé will get her due.
2) Everyone should work on their speeches except Lizzo
Warning: Lizzo’s language contains profanity
It wasn’t a great night for performances.
Ozzy Osbourne made me laugh with a crude phrase: “Thank you and [лайку] away’, but otherwise there were lots of thanks to your mum and ‘such inspiration’ from all the other nominees.
Luckily, Lizzo was on hand to give everyone a pep talk.
“Let me tell you something,” she began, picking up Record of the Year.
“Adele and I are just having a good time, enjoying ourselves and rooting for our friends.
“But now that I’m here… I want to dedicate this award to Prince.
“When we lost Prince, I decided to dedicate my life to making positive music. This was at a time when positive and feel-good music wasn’t mainstream and I felt very misunderstood. I felt like I was watching from the outside. But I stayed true to myself because I wanted to make the world a better place.
“And now I look around and I see all these songs about loving our bodies and being comfortable in our skin and I’m just proud to be a part of that.
“Because in a world where there is a lot of darkness and fear [речей]I would like to believe that not only can humans do good, but we are simply good, we are inherently good.”
Special mention to Wet Leg drummer Henry Holmes who gave the most heartfelt speech of the night.
“It’s just a magical evening. My mind is blank and I feel like I could wet myself.’
3) Ben Affleck was not impressed
Don’t be fooled by his look / He’s just Benny from the block.
Newly married Mr. JLo arrived at the Grammys to support his wife and looked completely, clearly bored by it all.
The footage of him looking at Stevie Wonder unmoved (Stevie Wonder!) and Jennifer Lopez dancing in her seat, quickly went viral on social media.
“No matter how bad your day is, I promise you’re not as miserable as Ben Affleck at the Grammys,” one observer wrote.
“You can see his batteries draining in real time,” added another.
4) The Grammys belatedly realized that hip-hop is really good!
This August marks 50 years since DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy threw a party in the Bronx, considered the birthplace of hip-hop.
To mark the occasion, the Grammys held a special performance that filled the stage with legend after legend.
Opening with Grandmaster Flash’s Flash to the Beat and The Message, the 12-minute set made way for Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Public Enemy, De La Soul, DJ Jazzy Jeff (making his way through Rock The Bells) Rakim, Ice- T, Method Man, exquisite choreography by Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah and The Lox.
Busta Rhymes stole the show with a fast-paced, line-dropping verse of Look At Me Now, while Nelly upped the ante with Hot In Herrre.
Things were freshened up with Lil Baby’s Freestyle and GloRilla’s FNF (Let’s Go) before Lil Uzi Vert closed the set with a cut of Just Wanna Rock.
“We started in the Bronx,” declared LL Cool J above the bars. “And since then we’ve been everywhere,”
It was clearly the highlight of the night… but Drake and Eminem were notably absent, both boycotting the Grammys, saying it pushes hip-hop away from the mainstream categories.
To date, Childish Gambino’s This Is America is the only hip-hop song to win Song of the Year; while Speakerboxxx / The Love Below Outkast was the last rap album to win album of the year back in 2004.
A tribute is one thing, but the Grammys still have a long way to go.
5) It was a big night for Kim Petras
Sam Smith and Kim Petras won Best Pop Duo/Group Collaboration for their sexy melodrama Wickedness, which they also performed, with Smith dressed as the devil.
But the British singer ceded the microphone to Petras on the winners’ podium, proudly watching her speech,
“Sam kindly wanted me to accept this award because I am the first transgender woman to win this award,” Petras said, her face covered by a red satin veil.
She went on to thank the pioneers and activists who “opened the door” — a list that would include Wendy Carlos, the first transgender woman to win a Grammy back in 1970 for her pioneering synth album Switched-On Bach).
Backstage, she still couldn’t get over the feeling of the occasion.
“All these years I’ve had people running around in my head saying I’m going to be a niche artist because I’m transgender and my music will only be played in gay clubs – and what’s wrong with that because I love gay clubs – but now I won a Grammy for making gay club music with my friend,” she said.
“It’s the best feeling in the world.”