Taylor Swift reacts as she3 is announced as winner of the award for album of the year for “Folklore” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Taylor Swift reacts as she3 is announced as winner of the award for album of the year for “Folklore” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The joy of music returns for Grammy winners, performers

Beyoncé’s four awards Sunday brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish made history at the Grammy Awards. Just as joyously, dozens of creators largely sidelined for a year due to the pandemic got to make music again.

The Grammys on Sunday broke through the Zoom trap that has bedeviled other awards shows with a surprisingly intimate evening that, at its best, felt like viewers were invited into a private club with their favourite musicians.

Four different women won the four most prestigious Grammys. Swift’s quiet surprise, “folklore,” was album of the year; Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted” was her second consecutive record of the year winner; H.E.R.’s topical “I Can’t Breathe” won song of the year and Megan Thee Stallion was named best new artist.

Beyoncé’s four awards Sunday brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist. Her celebration of Black history, “Black Parade,” released last Juneteenth, won best R&B performance and she shared two awards for collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion on “Savage.”

She ties Quincy Jones for second most Grammys ever and has the leader — the late conductor George Solti, who won 31 — in her sights.

Further crowding the family trophy case is husband Jay-Z, whose songwriting on “Savage” earned him his 23rd Grammy on Sunday, and even their 9-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who won best music video together with mom.

“This is such a magical night,” Beyoncé said.

Swift, who also found time during the pandemic to make another album and re-record one of her old ones, became the first woman to win the album of the year Grammy for the third time. Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra have also done it. She won in 2009 for “Fearless” and 2015 for “1989.”

She sang a medley of three songs on the Grammys, “cardigan” and “august” from “folklore” and “willow” from its follow-up disc, “evermore,” with collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner.

“I want to thank the fans,” she said. “You guys met us in this magical world that we created.”

After her sweep last year, Eilish became only the third artist to win back-to-back record of the year Grammys. Roberta Flack won in 1973 for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and in 1974 for “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” while U2 won in 2001 and 2002 for “Beautiful Day” and “Walk On.”

Then, when Eilish and her collaborator-brother Finneas accepted the award, she almost gave it away. She brought Megan Thee Stallion to tears by saying the rapper deserved the Grammy for “Savage.”

Because of the pandemic, CBS host Trevor Noah handed out the Grammys at an outdoor stage set up across from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, with relatively few nominees and guests in the audience.

Most performances took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but multiple artists were often on the cavernous stage at the same time, like when Harry Styles, HAIM and Eilish opened the show. Cameras caught artists enjoying their fellow nominees, like when country singer Mickey Guyton sang along quietly to Miranda Lambert, and Post Malone held up a red cup in glee at Cardi B and Stallion’s performance of “WAP.”

It made for an atmosphere unlike any other Grammy show, British singer Jacob Collier told reporters.

“There was something very special about how intimate it was and to have everything stripped back and just to be hanging out with those fellow nominees was just fantastic,” said Collier, who won his fifth Grammy. “To me, there’s something so special about communal celebration, especially after all this time of silence and being on our own.”

Lambert said that “I can’t wait to get out as a band.” Lizzo, even though she was giving out an award and not performing, couldn’t hold back: “I’m presenting because I L-O-O-O-V-E you,” she belted.

Some of the performances, like Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s Silk Sonic and Dua Lipa, felt like they were on the soundstage of “Soul Train” — ask your parents, kids.

Even with the stripped-down setting, there was still room for spectacle: the giant bed for “WAP” belongs in the Grammy hall of fame. Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture” had an elaborately choreographed scene recreating the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks and subsequent unrest.

The latter joined with “Black Parade,” which Beyoncé said was created to honour the world’s “beautiful Black kings and queens,” and H.E.R’s “I Can’t Breathe,” a reference to Black people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor who died at the hands of police, as songs and performances that recalled last summer’s social unrest.

“The fight that we had in us in the summer of 2020 — keep that energy,” H.E.R. said.

A particularly effective “in memoriam” section — lengthened because of coronavirus deaths — featured Lionel Richie paying tribute Kenny Rogers, Silk Sonic raising the spirit of Little Richard, Brandi Carlile honouring John Prine and Brittany Howard’s roof-rattling version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” accompanied by Chris Martin.

Other performances that impressed included DaBaby’s “Rockstar,” country singer Guyton, the first Black woman nominated for best country solo performance, on “Black Like Me,” and Black Pumas’ “Colours.”

H.E.R., Fiona Apple and Kaytranda won two Grammys each. Prine and Chick Corea also won two awards each posthumously.

Other notable Grammy winners were Kanye West, whose “Jesus is King” won best contemporary Christian album; Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, who shared in Dan + Shay’s country award for the collaboration “10,000 Hours”; and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who won best spoken word album for “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth.”

___

Associated Press music writer Mesfin Fekadu and entertainment writer Kristin M. Hall contributed to this report.

___

David Bauder, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library. (File Photo)
Sylvan Lake Municipal Library provides solution for youth seeking volunteer hours

Youth can fulfill their volunteer hour requirements by reviewing books

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

(File photo)
Boil water advisory continues in Sylvan Lake

AHS has made the boil water advisory mandetory, crews are still working ot fix the water main break

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among other encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read