At the 2023 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé both won and lost in ways that made history.
Beyoncé was expected to have a big night at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, which took place on Sunday in Los Angeles at the Crypto.com Arena and was the biggest night in music. In some ways, it was kind of true. With four more Grammys, the diva is now the performer with the most awards in the history of the Grammys.
But two of Beyoncé’s awards were given out before the show on Sunday afternoon at the Premiere Ceremony, and she missed one of her on-air categories, the show’s host Trevor Noah said. Album of the Year was the biggest award of the night, and Renaissance was a strong favourite to win it for her. This was her fourth time being nominated for this award. In the past, she lost to Taylor Swift, Beck, and Adele, which caused a lot of controversy. But she lost to Harry Styles’s Harry’s House and came in second place.
The way it looked wasn’t good. It reminded me of the awkward Grammy moment in 2017 when Adele’s 25 won and the British singer spent most of her time at the podium saying that Beyoncé’s Lemonade had been stolen. Harry’s House was definitely one of the most well-reviewed albums of 2022. In Yahoo Entertainment’s year-end critics’ poll, it came in at No. 2, while Renaissance was at No. 3. Styles accepted the Album of the Year award on Sunday, but he didn’t seem very happy about it, even though he didn’t say nearly that much.
At some point in my life, every single musician in this group has given me something to think about. I’ve heard everything from everyone. “It’s clear that “best” doesn’t exist in music,” Styles said, looking a little confused. I don’t think any of us go into the studio with the goal of winning an award. What an amazing act of kindness. I’m really grateful.
Even though Beyoncé has won a record 32 Grammys, she has only won in one of the Big Four categories once, for “Single Ladies” in 2010. In 2017, the Album of the Year award went to Lizzo for “About Damn Time” and the Record of the Year award went to Bonnie Raitt for “Just Like That.” (Most of Lizzo’s speech when she won Record of the Year was about this. Sunday to talk about how great Beyoncé is and tell a funny story about how she skipped fifth grade to go to one of her concerts. Noah thought it was funny and said, “They should also give an award for Best Speech.”
Noah had joked earlier in the night that Beyoncé’s chances at the 2023 Grammys were “win-win” because “she gets to be Beyoncé,” and he was right. Even though Beyoncé gave Styles a standing ovation when he won, Sunday was still an emotional roller coaster for her and her fans who were hoping she would finally win.
Here are a few more of the best and worst parts of a very eventful Grammys night.
In a Loud Voice: Yo! At the Grammys, rap music is played.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, who gave a 45-minute speech at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy dinner in 2020 and told the Recording Academy, “You’ve got 365 days to get this s*** together,” said that hip-hop has usually been underrepresented at the Grammys. (Only two hip-hop acts have ever won Album of the Year: Lauryn Hill in 1999 and OutKast in 2004.) At this year’s ceremony, Questlove of the Roots put together an all-star medley called “50 Years of Hip-Hop.” This made it seem like the Academy was trying to make up for lost time. There were legends from both the old and new schools, like LL Cool J, De La Soul, Ice-T, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rakim, Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa reunited with Spinderella, the Grandmasters, Flash and Melle Mel, Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, the Lox, Method Man, Nelly, Scarface, and Too Short. Dr. Dre also got the first-ever Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, which was given by LL Cool J. Even though Combs didn’t take part, he had to be happy with the most exciting performance of the night.
Most likely, DJ Khaled’s last meal was just a bunch of calories that didn’t do anything.
Noah said that DJ Khaled’s “God Did” closing performance with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, John Legend, and Fridayy was one of the best in Grammy history. But after “50 Years,” which was a tour de force, this performance at the Grammys wasn’t even one of the best of the night. In all senses of the phrase, Khaled didn’t bring anything new to the table outside his normal forceful, motivational-speaker-style intensity. Even though Jay-verse Z’s performance was the only good thing about this eight-minute disaster, it didn’t matter because his wife had just lost the Album of the Year award.
Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” collaboration is making GRAMMY history
This year, “Unholy,” a song by British pop star Smith and German electropop pioneer Petras, topped the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first No. 1 single by an openly nonbinary solo artist and the first No. 1 single by a trans solo artist, respectively. On Sunday, their seductive duet won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the Grammy Awards. This was a big step in the right direction. Smith, who had already won four Grammys, let Petras be the first transgender woman to win the award and enjoy the “big event.” Petras thanked her mother and her idol, Madonna, for their unwavering support and gushed about “all the wonderful transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight.” As a surprise guest later in the evening, Madonna said, “Here’s what I’ve learned after four decades in music: If they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative, or dangerous, you are definitely on to something.” This introduction set the stage for Smith and Petras’s “Unholy” performance, in which they danced in cages and wore red leather. I can’t help but wonder if Madonna will be Petras’ next A-list partner.
The actress’s win for her memoir, “Finding Me,” which she “wrote to honour the 6-year-old Viola, her life, her joy, and her pain,” was a highlight of the Premiere Ceremony, even though her Grammy category, “Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording,” wasn’t shown live on TV. She exclaimed, “I just EGOT!” as she added a Grammy to the Emmys, Oscars, and two Tonys already displayed on her mantel.
Our opinion of people who watch the Grammys is low
The three-hour-and-45-minute Grammy Awards ceremony didn’t need any filler segments where fans of ABBA, Harry Styles, Beyoncé, Lizzo, and Kendrick Lamar argued about who should win Album of the Year. We could have gotten closer to three hours or shown more categories, including Davis’s, if we had cut out the boring part. Still, we can’t help but wonder what the Beyoncé fan thought of the unexpected win by Harry House.
TOP NOTCH: The In Memoriam is a moving and lasting tribute
Even though it’s sad to think about the many musical legends who die every year, the three beautiful musical tributes to them this year will be remembered for a long time. Kacey Musgraves paid a beautiful tribute to Loretta Lynn by singing “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood, and Bonnie Raitt paid a beautiful tribute to Christine McVie by singing “Songbird.” But Quavo’s dedication of “Without You” to his nephew and Migos bandmate Takeoff, who was shot and killed in November, was the most heartbreaking and gut-punching moment. Quavo sang, “Things ain’t the same without you/I don’t know if I’m the same without you” while the Christian band Maverick City Music played in the background. A spotlight shone on an empty stool and microphone stand. It was a sad reminder that Takeoff probably would have been with Migos at the “50 Years of Hip-Hop” concert, and Takeoff’s absence was felt deeply.
There aren’t many people who remember the In Memoriam
Naturally, if the Grammys were to include musical tributes to every business death, the show would last much longer than 225 minutes. There were some notable omissions from the In Memoriam segment, including former teen-pop idol Aaron Carter, Modest Mouse’s Jeremiah Green, Southern rap pioneer Gangsta Boo, and Atlanta rapper Lil Keed. Others, like Naomi Judd, Olivia Newton-John, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jeff Beck, and David Crosby, were mentioned only briefly. Even while the other two snubs were notable, Carter’s was the one that caused the most uproar because it came on a night dedicated to hip-hop.
A+ Because of how they do things, we think Smokey, Stevie, and Stapleton are awesome.
One of the 2023 MusiCares Persons of the Year, Smokey Robinson, and Motown legends Stevie Wonder and Chris Stapleton worked together on a concert. Smokey and Stevie’s versions of “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “The Tears of a Clown,” and “Higher Ground” would have been great even without Stapleton’s shredding, but he took them to a whole new level.