The Grammys

Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, SZA and Billie Eilish lead female-dominated Grammys

Author: Editors Desk Source: The Guardian
February 5, 2024 at 08:34
Grammys 2024: Taylor Swift makes history with best album award – video highlights
Grammys 2024: Taylor Swift makes history with best album award – video highlights

Swift makes history with record-breaking win, while Jay-Z calls out Grammys for never giving Beyoncé album of the year

Women ruled the Grammys this year with Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, SZA and Miley Cyrus taking home the night’s major awards.

Swift made history as the first artist to win album of the year for the fourth time, taking home the award for Midnights. She went up on stage with fellow nominee Lana Del Rey. “I would love to tell you this is the happiest moment of my life but I feel this happy when I’ve finished a song,” she said. “All I want to do is keep doing this.”

Earlier in the night, while collecting best pop vocal album, she joked: “OK, this is my 13th Grammy, which is my lucky number, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that.” Swift also used it as an opportunity to announce the release of her new 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, on 19 April.

The award for album of the year was presented by Celine Dion, who had recently stopped performing due to having stiff person syndrome. She received a standing ovation. “When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” she said.

Cyrus won for record of the year and best pop solo performance for Flowers, her first-ever Grammy awards. “I really hope this doesn’t change anything as my life was beautiful yesterday,” she said during her speech. She added at the end: “I don’t think I’ve forgotten anyone but I might have forgotten underwear!”

Eilish’s What Was I Made For? from Barbie was named best song of the year and best song written for visual media. “Damn, that’s stupid guys!” she said during her speech. “That was a crazy list of incredible people … I’m shocked out of my balls.” It was the first song from a movie to win the award since Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. Barbie was also named best compilation soundtrack for visual media.

SZA led the night with nine nominations and won three, in what host Trevor Noah called “a year to remember”. She performed a medley of her hits during the ceremony, paying tribute to the inspiration for Kill Bill with an action-packed sequence. “I came really, really far and I can’t believe this is happening,” she said during an emotional speech for best R&B song. She then joked: “I’m not an attractive crier.”

Best new artist was awarded to Victoria Monét, who also took home best R&B album. “I just wanna say to everyone who has a dream, I want you to look at this as an example,” she said.

Killer Mike, who won three Grammys including best rap album in the pre-televised portion of the night, was escorted out of the arena in handcuffs by LAPD officers. According to the Hollywood Reporter, it was for a misdemeanour charge from that evening with details still to be confirmed. “The only thing that limits your age is not being truthful about your age or what you’re doing,” Mike said backstage before he was detained.

Jay-Z with his daughter Blue Ivy Carter, accepting the Dr Dre global impact award. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Jay-Z with his daughter Blue Ivy Carter, accepting the Dr Dre global impact award. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Jay-Z was given the year’s Dr Dre global impact award for his personal and professional achievements. In his speech, he called out the Grammys for a spotty history with Black artists. “I’m just saying, we want y’all to get it right,” he said. He then added: “Obviously it’s subjective because it’s music,” but called out the recording academy on wife Beyoncé’s behalf. “I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has the most Grammys than everyone and never won album of the year,” he said. “So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Think about that: the most Grammys. Never won album of the year. That doesn’t work.”

The evening, taking place in Los Angeles, kicked off with a performance by Dua Lipa singing a medley as she was surrounded by semi-clad male dancers. Noah called her one of “the best performers of a generation” before referring to the Grammys as “the only concert that starts on time”. His opening monologue was crashed by late entrances from Swift and Meryl Streep, sitting next to her son-in-law and nominee Mark Ronson.

Tracy Chapman performed in public for the first time since 2009 alongside Luke Combs, who covered her hit Fast Car to great success in 2023. “It was my favourite song before I even knew what a favourite song was,” he said. He called it “such a cool, full-circle moment”. He lost out on the award for best country solo performance to Chris Stapleton.

Joni Mitchell performed at the Grammys for the first-ever time at the age of 80. In her introduction, Brandi Carlile called her “one of the most influential and emotionally generous creators in human history”. Mitchell also won the award for best folk album.

Joni Mitchell performs Both Sides Now. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters
Joni Mitchell performs Both Sides Now.
Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

There was also a unique set from U2, “one of the most groundbreaking and beloved bands of all time” according to Noah, performing from the Sphere in Las Vegas.

Stevie Wonder led a tribute to the late Tony Bennett, “someone I admired for so long” he said, while reminiscing about recording For Once in My Life. He spoke of his respect for Bennett and “his love for art, his love for peace, his love for unity and his love for civil rights”. He added: “I’m gonna miss you forever. I love you always.” An extended In Memoriam section, featuring performances from Annie Lennox, Fantasia Barrino and Jon Batiste, then remembered artists such as Sinead O’Connor, Clarence Avant, Wayne Kramer and Burt Bacharach. Oprah Winfrey also remembered her friend Tina Turner: “She was a special kind of role model.”

After her performance, Lennox said: “Artists for ceasefire, peace in the world.” It was a sentiment shared by boygenius, who wore pins on their suits asking for a ceasefire. The trio won three awards, including best rock song.

Kylie Minogue picked up her second Grammy, winning the inaugural best pop dance recording award for Padam Padam, beating out Bebe Rexha and fellow Australian Troye Sivan. The singer responded with excitement in an Instagram video.

Other female winners of the night included Lainey Wilson for best country album, Karol G for best música urbana album, Laufey for best traditional pop vocal album and Coco Jones for best R&B performance.

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Betsy Reed, Editor Headshot for Guardian US Epic
Betsy Reed
Editor, Guardian US


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