Grammy Awards 2024 ceremony highlights: Speeches, performances and more
Author: Nick Bond
Source: News Corp Australia Network:
February 5, 2024 at 09:03
Taylor Swift made Grammys history in a night full of surprising moments - but Jay-Z’s on-stage rant was the biggest shock of all.
This year’s Grammy awards was a night full of surprises, with stunning performances by several rarely-seen legacy artists, a huge announcement from Taylor Swift, and a rogue on-stage rant by rapper Jay-Z.
Swift dropped a bombshell as she took the stage to accept her first award of the night, for Best Pop Vocal Album (check out the full list of all the night’s award winners here).
“I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I have been keeping from you for the last two years … Which is that my brand-new album comes out April 19th. It is called The Tortured Poet’s Department,” Swift revealed.
Swift finished her speech by saying she’d head backstage and immediately post more details of the album release – and sure enough, seconds after she left the stage, the album cover and pre-order link appeared on all her social media accounts:
And from that big news at the start of the show, to another big surprise to end the night: Canadian superstar Celine Dion took to the stage to present the final award, Album of the Year.
Dion, who has been forced to cancel touring commitments in recent years as she struggles with a diagnosis of the rare neurological disease stiff-person syndrome, earned a standing ovation as she made a rare public appearance.
And she presented the night’s biggest award... to Taylor Swift. It was a history-making win, making Swift the first person to win the coveted Album of the Year award on four separate occasions.
Earlier, Jay-Z took to the stage to accept the Global Impact award – and made a headline-grabbing speech of his own.
The legendary rapper called out the Grammys for never awarding his wife Beyonce, stood in the audience, with the Album of the Year gong. Beyonce is the most-awarded artist in Grammys history, but has never snatched the night’s top prize.
“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than anyone and never won Album of the Year. Think about that. That doesn’t work,” he said.
It was only at this point, two hours in the ceremony, that many viewers even realised Beyonce was in attendance. The superstar was flying near-incognito, hiding her face in a large cowboy hat and white-blonde wig and pointedly dodging the cameras at times.
Elsewhere,it was a night of highs and lows for one artist, with rapper Killer Mike picking up three awards for his song Scientists & Engineers – then getting arrested.
Footage from the event shows him being led out of LA’s Crypto.com Arena in handcuffs by police, shortly after his triple-win.
TMZ later claimed that Mike was detained after allegedly getting into some kind of physical altercation with a security guard at the event.
Only a handful of actual awards are handed out across the Grammys’ mammoth, three-and-a-half-hour televised ceremony. Instead, the bulk of the ceremony is dedicated to live performances, with most of the awards handed out in the hours before the show.
It makes for some anticlimactic wins: Aussie Kylie Minogue won the second Grammy of her career this morning, with Padam Padamtaking out Best Pop Dance Recording. Minogue found out she’d won while in her hotel suite, getting ready for the ceremony – sure would’ve been nice to see her taking the stage to accept the award.
Instead, the ceremony itself skewed heavily towards special, one-of-a-kind live performances.
Chief among them: a deeply affecting performance from legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, now 80 and 10 years on from surviving a near-fatal brain aneurysm, singing her seminal 1968 classic Both Sides Now.
Mitchell has performed live literally a handful of times this century. Seated on a throne, backed by a collection of adoring younger performers, she was in fine voice as she sang the world-weary the song she first wrote as a twenty-something. It was an almost impossibly moving performance that left many in the audience visibly emotional.
Earlier, the night’s first ‘wow’ moment: An equally rare live performance from Tracy Chapman, duetting with country singer Luke Combs on his hit cover of her classic song Fast Car.
Chapman, 59, quit touring in 2009 and since then, has only performed in public a handful of times. In fact, this is only her third televised performance in the past decade. There were massive cheers from the audience as Chapman began singing.
Viewers were truly moved by this rare, pitch-perfect performance from the music legend:
Another performer we hear singing live too infrequently nowadays, Annie Lennox, graced the stage later in the show for the In Memoriam segment, singing a moving rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s Prince-penned signature song Nothing Compares 2 U.
A visibly emotional Lennox ended her performance by raising her fist and delivering a simple statement: “Artists for ceasefire. Peace in the world.”
Later on in the In Memoriam segment, Oprah Winfrey introduced Fantasia Barrino for a joyful tribute to Tina Turner, performing the Tina hit Proud Mary as she stalked through the audience, even stopping for a dance with Dua Lipa:
And the rare performances just kept coming: Singer-songwriter Billy Joel, who has not released a new album since 2001, also took to the stage to perform his first single in 17 years, Turn The Lights Back On.
Eleswhere, Miley Cyrus and her enormous bouffant performed her inescapable hit Flowers. Cyrus revealed before the performance that, despite the song being arguably the biggest global hit of 2023, this is actually only the second time she’s ever performed it live.
Later on, Flowers took out one of the night’s biggest awards, for Record of the Year. After making her thank-yous, she ended the speech thusly: “I don’t think I forgot anyone... but I might have forgotten underwear. Bye!”