By James Currie
The presenter lineups for the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards® who took the stage included Christina Aguilera, Samara Joy, Lenny Kravitz, Maluma, Lionel Richie, Mark Ronson, Meryl Streep, Taylor Tomlinson, and Oprah Winfrey.
Broadcast live from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and hosted by Trevor Noah, Music’s Biggest Night® was without a doubt the biggest broadcast on Sunday night on the CBS Television Network. Prior to the Telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony® was broadcast live from the Peacock Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT and streamed live on live.GRAMMY.com.
Performances for the night included Burna Boy, Luke Combs, Billie Eilish, Billy Joel, Dua Lipa, Joni Mitchell, Olivia Rodrigo, Travis Scott, SZA, and U2 (from Las Vegas at the Sphere).
This year will go down in the books as the year of the woman, as the majority of winners (especially from the live performances) were woman in the music industry covering all the categories.
Highlights from the night started with a fierce and a acrobatic performance from Dua Lipa who opened the 2024 Grammys with a new song titled “Training Season” before performing her most recent single “Houdini.” In between the two songs, she delivered a quick line from her “Barbie”movie song “Dance the Night,” which was also nominated for two Grammys. During her performance, she sang with being twisted around on scaffold, keeping herself upright the entire time and in key.
The “In Memoriam” segment was a lengthly, emotional one and started off with Stevie Wonder doing a duet with Tony Bennett during a previously recorded live rendition of “For Once In My Life”. This kicked off the first of several emotional tributes of the night.
Next was Annie Lennox who honored Sinead O’Connor, who died last July, with a touching rendition of her song, “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Lennox was joined by Wendy and Lisa of Prince and the Revolution fame which made the tribute even more emotional and fitting as the two lost their former band leader as well who originally wrote the song that was shared with O’Connor.
Following a heartfelt introduction from Lenny Kravitz, Jon Batiste took the stage to honor Clarence Avant, who is hailed as “godfather” of Black entertainment. Along with singer Ann Nesby, Batiste, 37, performed a medley of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me” and “Optimistic.”
Finally, following a touching introductory remark from her friend Oprah Winfrey, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Tina Turner received a high-energy tribute from Fantasia Barrino who rolled on down into the audience and danced with Dua Lipa and others as she made her way to the center circle stage to complete her tribute performance.
Hitting a high note, and by far one of the memorable performances of this years awards went to the duo of Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman as they did her 1988 hit, “Fast Car”. Combs praised Chapman for her song writing abilities and said “Fast Car” was a song he’s been playing all his life and this was a real honor to be doing this live with her.
Miley Cyrus won her first Grammy for her 2023 summer hit, “Flowers” winning the best Pop Vocal Performance category. She pulled Mariah Carey (who presented her the award) and lamented on about how iconic it was to have her there for this.
Of course, of the most hyped and anticipated performances pre-announced was the appearance of legendary singer songwriter Joni Mitchell. Some how, in her 50+ year career, she never performed at a Grammy Awards. But that all changed tonight as the 80 year old sat stoic center stage in a classy vintage set and performed “Both Sides Now”. She was introduced and joined by Brandi Carlile for an emotionally powerful, and possible last live performance by the legend.
Ending the night, was a performance from Billy Joel. They intermixed a pre-taped video segment with Joel and his young protege friend who together, dropped a new song, “Turn the Lights Back On” live for fans on the awards show. Joined by his long time backing band, they ripped through the new song which was met with great reward as host Noah raved about it driving it home that it’s been 3 decades since Joel has released a new song and 2 decades since performing at the Grammys.
A new record was set as Taylor Swift becomes the first artist to ever win 4 Albums of the Year with the 2022 release, “Midnights”. This in conjunction with “Fearless”, “1989” and “Folklore”. Swift went on to say, “I would love to tell you that this is the best moment in my life. But I feel this happy when I’ve finished a song or when I’ve cracked the code to a bridge that I love or when I’m shot listing a music video, or when I’m rehearsing with my dancers or my band or getting ready to go to Tokyo to play a show,” she said, referring the continuation of The Eras Tour starting next week in Japan. “For me, the award is the work. All I want to do is keep being able to do this. I love it so much. It makes me so happy. It makes me unbelievably blown away that it makes some people happy who voted for this award too. All I want to do is keep doing this. So thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do what I love so much.” She also received her 13th Grammy award earlier in the night (reminding us about her favorite number) and a brief thank you and announcement of new album coming out in April called, “The Tortured Poets Department”.
This year was pretty tame when I comes to live awards shows. No one got smacked. No one fell into the orchestra pit. No bad words went out over the air (that I can remember hearing anyway). But one low point was during the Global Impact Award with Jay-Z wanted to for some reason remind people about the time his wife, Beyonce, lost to Taylor Swift (years ago) for Album of the Year. It seems tribe and out of place for someone of his stature. If it was supposed to be a joke, it fell flat.
As for the 2024 awards:
Album of the Year: “Midnights” Taylor Swift
Record of the Year: “Flowers” Miley Cyrus
Song of the Year: “What Was I Made For? Billie Eilish
Best New Artist: Victoria Monét
Producer of the Year: Jack Antonoff
Songwriter of the Year: Theron Thomas
Best Pop Solo Performance: Miley Cyrus (Flowers)
Best Pop Duo / Group: SZA (Ghost in the Machine)
Best Pop Vocal Album: Taylor Swift (Midnights)
Best Dance / Electronic Recording: Skrillex (Rumble)
Best Pop Dance Recording: Kylie Minogue (Padam Padam)
Best Dance / Electronic Music Album: Fred Again… (Actual Life 3)
Best Rock Performance: BoyGenius (Not Strong Enough)
Best Metal Performance: Metallica (72 Seasons)
Best Rock Song: BoyGenius (Not Strong Enough)
Best Rock Album: Paramore (This Is Why)
Best Alternative Music Performance: Paramore (This Is Why)
Best Alternative Music Album: BoyGenius (The Record)
Best R&B Performance: Coco Jones (ICU)
Best Rap Performance: Killer Mike (Scientists & Engineers)
Best Rap Album: Killer Mike (Michael)
Best Country Solo Performance: Chris Stapleton (White Horse)
Best Country Duo / Group: Zach Bryan / Kacey Musgraves (I Remember Everything)
Best Country Album: Lainey Wilson (Bell Bottom Country)
Best Traditional Blues Album: Bobby Rush (All My Love For You)
Best Contemporary Blues Album: Larkin Poe (Blood Harmony)
Best Folk Album: Joni Mitchell (Joni Mitchell At Newport Live)
Best Musica Urbana Album: Karol G (Mana Sera Bonito)
Best Reggae Album: Julian Marley & Anteaus (Color of Royal)
Best Comedy Album: Dave Chappelle (What’s In A Name?)
Best Audio Book / Narration and Storytelling Recording: Michelle Obama (The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times)
Best Compilation Soundtrack: Various Artists (Barbie The Album)
Best Score Soundtrack: Ludwig Goransson (Oppenheimer)
Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games: Stephen Barton & Gordy Haab (Star Wars Jedi: Survivor)
Best Music Video: The Beatles (I’m Only Sleeping)
Best Music Film: Brett Morgen & David Bowie (Moonage Daydream)
Best Remixed Recording: Wet Leg & Depeche Mode (Wagging Tongue Remix)
Best Instrumental Composition: John Williams (Helena’s Theme)
For complete list: https://www.grammy.com/awards/66th-annual-grammy-awards-2023
The 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards was produced by Fulwell 73 Productions for the Recording Academy® for the fourth consecutive year. Ben Winston, Raj Kapoor and Jesse Collins are executive producers. On GRAMMY Sunday, fans could access exclusive behind-the-scenes GRAMMY Awards® content, including performances, acceptance speeches, interviews from the GRAMMY Live red-carpet special, and more via the Recording Academy’s digital experience on live.GRAMMY.com. Paramount+ Essential subscribers will not have the option to stream live but will have access to on-demand the day after the special airs in the U.S. only.
ABOUT THE RECORDING ACADEMY The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music’s history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards — music’s only peer-recognized accolade and highest. As the world’s leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.