Grammys 2021: Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion, Taylor Swift win

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Megan Thee Stallion, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish had been the massive winners on the 63rd Grammy Awards on Sunday, after a yr of lockdown and protests that rattled artists, followers and the music enterprise.

The large 4 awards had been break up amongst a few of the prime girls in music. Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion gained for greatest new artist; singer-songwriter-guitarist H.E.R. took track of the yr for her protest anthem “I Can’t Breathe”; Swift gained the album of the yr trophy for her acclaimed quarantine file “Folklore”; and Eilish, who swept final yr’s prime classes, repeated her victory in file of the yr for her moody “The whole lot I Needed.”

Beyoncé, who gained 4 awards on Sunday, broke the all-time file for many Grammys for a feminine artist. Her twenty eighth Grammy topped country-bluegrass artist Alison Krauss, who’d beforehand held the file with 27 wins. She additionally tied the legendary Quincy Jones for second on the all-time listing for many Grammy wins. (Hungarian composer Sir Georg Solti gained 31 Grammys.)

Beyoncé gained for R&B efficiency, for her Juneteenth single “Black Parade”; rap track and rap efficiency, for her function on fellow Houstonian Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage”; and music video, alongside her daughter Blue Ivy Carter, for “Brown Pores and skin Woman.”

Megan Thee Stallion gained three Grammys on Sunday, whereas Eilish took residence two awards, as did Fiona Apple, for her acclaimed “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” album and its monitor “Shameika.” Dua Lipa, nominated for six Grammys, gained for pop solo album.

Finneas and Billie Eilish on the red carpet at the 63rd Grammy Awards in L.A.

Finneas and Billie Eilish on the crimson carpet on the 63rd Grammy Awards in L.A.

(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Occasions)

The primary pandemic-era Grammys arrived battered from all sides. COVID-19’s wreckage included shuttered venues, excursions grounded and lifelong professionals left destitute. This yr’s Grammys’ “In Memoriam” section reportedly had 800 business veterans in consideration for inclusion alongside beloved artists Little Richard, John Prine, Kenny Rogers and dozens of others.

Add that to a dramatic change of the guard for the telecast, from the Grammys’ 40-year producer Ken Ehrlich to 39-year-old British TV government Ben Winston. Then throw in a public reckoning over how the Recording Academy (and its tightly guarded 12,000 voters and style committees) declined to appoint R&B/pop star the Weeknd, who in flip referred to as the Grammys “corrupt” on social media and vowed by no means to permit his music to be submitted for consideration.

Given the chaos behind the scenes, the practically four-hour present, hosted by “The Each day Present” host Trevor Noah, made an efficient case that music could be each a balm amid despair, and a rallying cry for the oppressed throughout instances of racial and social upheaval.

Some Grammy favorites collected main awards. Swift gained for album of the yr for “Folklore,” her quarantine-embodying LP made in relative isolation that, with its lonely moods and storytelling, outlined a frightful summer season. She’s now tied with Stevie Surprise, Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon for many album of the yr Grammys, and she or he grew to become the one girl to win the award thrice.

When final yr’s Grammy darling Eilish accepted the award for file of the yr, she spent most of her speech shouting out Megan Thee Stallion, who was nominated for “Savage” that includes Beyoncé.

“That is actually embarrassing. Megan, you deserve this,” Eilish stated. “Genuinely, this goes to her, can we simply cheer for Megan?”

The pandemic-mandated diminished scale and sense of intimacy at this yr’s Grammys labored in its favor.

From the beginning, host Noah, located on a platform outdoors Staples Heart with just some masked stars at tables in entrance of him, acknowledged the shortage of glitz. The telecast was “the most important outside occasion of the yr in addition to the storming of the Capitol,” he quipped. As Megan Thee Stallion — one of many evening’s huge winners — accepted her award for greatest new artist, her speech was briefly drowned out by a automobile rushing via downtown L.A.

With a public skeptical of the Grammys’ backroom voting processes, the ceremony argued for its extra noble intentions.

Taylor Swift won a Grammy for album of the year, her third all-time in that category.

Taylor Swift gained a Grammy for album of the yr, her third all-time in that class.

(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Occasions)

Swift leaned into the cottagecore aesthetic of “Folklore” by performing in a hobbit shed with producers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner. Eilish, Harry Types and Haim performed for each other in-the-round, which made for good-hearted response pictures of artists trying as in the event that they’d fortunately wandered into the mistaken rehearsal room.

All through the evening, the Recording Academy gave the highlight over to Black music, which thrummed within the streets of final yr’s protests towards police violence.

Singer Mickey Guyton, nominated for nation solo efficiency, performed a regal and resplendent efficiency of “Black Like Me.” On the conference middle decks, rapper Lil Child re-created the scene outdoors the burning Atlanta fast-food restaurant the place Rayshard Brooks was killed throughout his efficiency of “The Larger Image.” And H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe,” a seething but weak protest ballad, gained track of the yr in a serious upset.

“I feel individuals are going to think about this track once they consider Breonna Taylor, once they consider the entire folks that we’re nonetheless preventing for,” H.E.R. stated backstage.

“As an artist, I consider it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to replicate the instances,” Beyoncé stated in her acceptance speech for R&B efficiency. “It’s been such a troublesome time. So I wished to uplift, encourage, have a good time the entire lovely Black queens and kings that proceed to encourage me and encourage the entire world.”

H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas settle for the award for track of the yr.

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Occasions)

Not the entire present was so weighty. The debut of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s ‘70s-soul-indebted duo Silk Sonic felt as inviting as a tremendous gown and a glass of brandy, and Doja Cat’s disco romp “Say So” showcased her cyborg-precise dancing. Although Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s reside efficiency of their sex-positive anthem “WAP” did with out its splendidly filthy hook on broadcast TV, that they had a energetic go at it beneath a five-story stiletto heel.

Whereas Grammy voters’ intentions and the telecast’s decisions don’t at all times align, the Grammys tried to reflect pop’s borderless and language-agnostic current, giving formidable display screen time to Puerto Rican movimiento star Dangerous Bunny (who took residence his first “gringo Grammy,” for Latin pop or city album) and to South Korean megastars BTS.

BTS misplaced to Woman Gaga and Ariana Grande in pop duo/group efficiency, however performed a high-kicking set that consoled followers who vowed that BTS was already greater than the Grammys anyway.

Many awards shows had been, relatively than handoffs from fellow pop stars, delivered from the again bars of threatened golf equipment just like the Troubadour and Lodge Cafe in L.A. and the beloved Apollo in New York Metropolis. Listening to from workers there on the highest-profile evening of music was affecting and pressing.

“Individuals don’t need to be wherever else however [The Troubadour],” stated the membership’s evening supervisor, Rachelle Erratchu.“Individuals are going to speak about these reveals 40, 50 years later.”

But when legacy was on the Recording Academy’s minds, they nonetheless should confront a construction that’s opaque at greatest and suspicious at worst to the famous person acts they should maintain the present related.

“Take part, work with us, not towards us,” Recording Academy interim Chief Government Harvey Mason Jr. stated in his telecast speech. “We would not be capable to get it proper 100% of the time, however we’ll protect music and educate the subsequent era and advocate for the rights of all creatives.… Our work is essential as a result of music is essential.”
TextEditor

Ilana Kaplan contributed to this report.

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