Image Courtesy of GRAMMY.com
By Angela Hickey
Often expressed as the most important and influential night in music, the Grammy Awards is one of the biggest social events of the year.
Hosted by comedian, producer, and political commentator Trevor Noah, the night was filled with stars, artists, and, of course, awards. With performances by Billie Eilish, who was up for awards in four categories, Dua Lipa, who was nominated for awards in eight, and Megan Thee Stallion, who was nominated in four categories.
The show itself was very COVID-19 conscious, with the awards ceremony held outside and all the award nominees wearing masks and social distancing, creating a rather intimate setting for those in attendance. Performances were done in an adjoining area, again, where artists were all at least six feet apart in order to follow social distancing guidelines.
The show opened with a performance done by first-time Grammy nominee Harry Styles, who sang his popular song “Watermelon Sugar” from his sophomore album, Fine Line. Later that evening, Styles was awarded the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. The first award of the night for Best New Artist, presented by pop sensation Lizzo, was awarded to rapper and first-time Grammy nominee, Megan Thee Stallion. Additionally, Stallion was awarded the Grammy for Best Rap Performance later on that evening for her song “Savage” featuring Beyoncé.
Famous singer, songwriter, and living-legend Taylor Swift was also featured that night, being nominated for awards in six different categories. The artist entertained audiences with a mashup performance featuring three of her songs: “Cardigan,” “August,” and “Willow.” Eventually, Swift’s album, Folklore, was awarded Album of the Year, making Swift the first woman in Grammy history to win three Album of the Year awards.
This was Swift’s first public performance since releasing her new albums, Folklore and Evermore, the release of her re-recorded song, “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)”, and since news broke of the releasing of her re-recorded album Fearless (Taylor’s Version).
Swift was also nominated in categories such as Best Pop Vocal Album, which ultimately went to pop star Dua Lipa’s album, Future Nostalgia, and Record of the Year, which was awarded by the end of the night to Billie Eilish for her song, “Everything I Wanted,” which she co-wrote and performed with her older brother and fellow singer/songwriter, FINNEAS.
The Grammy Awards also did a good job at highlighting those who have been hit especially hard by the ongoing pandemic, spotlighting many music venues whose long-term survival is being threatened by the lack of live music and performances during these difficult times. Employees from Nashville’s Station Inn, Los Angeles’ Troubadour and Hotel Cafe, and New York’s Apollo Theater were among those presenting awards that evening.
History was further made that night after the popular singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer Beyoncé had broken the record of the most awarded woman in Grammy history, overtaking singer Alison Krauss, with 28 awards, ultimately winning her record-breaking trophy for Best R&B Performance.
Overall, the Grammy Awards were a night to remember as usual, and even more so with pandemic restrictions altering the regular layout of the awards ceremony. Many music fans are left in awe as they anticipate new music for the remainder of 2021 and next year’s award ceremony