The 65th Grammy Awards were full of shocking losses, heartwarming tributes and record-breaking wins. Host Trevor Noah was funny but understated throughout, allowing each musician to have their moment. Some highlights of the night include Beyoncé officially being crowned as the artist with the most Grammys ever and Viola Davis earning EGOT status with a Grammy win for her audiobook, “Finding Me: A Memoir.”
The official ceremony was adorned with show-stopping performances by Bad Bunny, Lizzo, Kim Petras and Sam Smith. Brandi Carlile and Luke Combs left something to be desired in their respective performances, but Bad Bunny’s opening performance was one of the best the Grammys has ever seen, and Lizzo’s medley of “About Damn Time” and “Special” demonstrated her stunning, chill-inducing vocals. The lively music and dancing had the whole crowd on their feet — especially Taylor Swift, who was barely seen sitting all night.
However, the Grammys seem to have turned more into a concert than an award ceremony. Very few of the 91 total awards were presented during the official ceremony, leaving most of them to be broadcast prior via YouTube livestream.
Aside from the ceremony, the performances paying homage to artists who passed in the previous year were definitely something to remember. Kacey Musgraves gave a gorgeous rendition of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in honor of Loretta Lynn, and Takeoff’s tribute featuring Quavo and Maverick City Music was hauntingly beautiful, followed by an emotional performance for Christine McVie consisting of Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and Mick Fleetwood singing “Songbird.”
The Grammys also honored hip-hop’s 50th anniversary with an energetic, star-studded performance that is sure to go down in history. The 15-minute medley included Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, Flavor Flav, Ice-T, Busta Rhymes and many others singing some of hip hop's most iconic songs.
As for the wins of the night, reactions varied between expected and bewildering. Beyoncé rightfully earned Grammys for best R&B song, best dance recording, best dance/electronic album, and best traditional R&B performance. Lizzo and Adele’s respective wins for best record and best pop vocal performance were also well deserved. Yet, even those highs of the night couldn’t quite surpass some of the epic upsets.
Two of the night’s primary upsets included best album and best song. Many favored Beyoncé or Bad Bunny to win best album, so Harry Styles’ win came as one of the night’s biggest surprises (and seemingly to him as well, as evidenced by his rambling speech). Bonnie Raitt’s win for best song seemed to be a shock even to her, but her excitement would make even the most clueless of watchers’ hearts melt.
The night ended with a performance by DJ Khaled, John Legend, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross of “God Did” in the streets outside the stadium. However, after media outlets were teasing a surprise female performance to finish off the night, this performance was a letdown.
Overall, the Grammys offered the audience the concert of everyone's dreams with a couple of awards sprinkled throughout. Regardless, it made for an interesting night, sure to be the subject of many tweets for weeks to come.
This article was edited by Sara Winick, Kylie Bill and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis and Stella Guzik.