Olivia Rodrigo made an impressive Grammy debut, Silk Sonic won two grand prizes and Jon Batiste had the most impressive win of the night, winning the grand prize at Sunday’s Grammy Awards.
atiste won five Grammys on Sunday, including album of the year for “We Are,” making waves in a loaded category filled with stiff competition from Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and the combined talents of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.
After his victory, the multi-genre performer honored the artists he defeated and told the audience that “the creative arts are subjective. Be yourself.”
“I just put my head down and I work at the craft every day,” said Batiste, who is credited for his song “Cry”, the video for “Freedom,” and his work with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on the soundtrack for “Soul.”
Silk Sonic – the all-star union of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak – took home awards in all four categories in which she was nominated, including Record and Song of the Year.
Both were ebullient as they accepted the honors towards the end of the ceremony.
Victories in both major categories brought Mars to the edge of history: he was the only artist, aside from Paul Simon, to clinch the year’s winning record three times. He tied the record for most song-of-the-year wins with two.
“We’re really trying our best to stay humble at this point,” .Paak said. “But in the industry, that’s what they call a clean sweep!” He later added, “Drinks are on Silk Sonic tonight!”
Rodrigo’s win for Best New Artist put her in distinguished company including Carly Simon, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tom Jones, the Beatles and Billie Eilish.
A veteran of the High School Musical series, she became the breakout music star of 2021, with her massive viral hit Drivers License leading the way, followed by single Good 4 U and aching album Sour. which she took Best Pop Vocal Album.
“This is my biggest dream coming true,” she said after winning Best New Artist. She thanked her parents for supporting her dreams, which once consisted of becoming an Olympic gymnast, and quickly turned to music.
“I want to thank my mom for being so supportive of all my dreams, no matter how crazy. I want to thank my mom and dad for being just as proud of me for winning a Grammy as they were when I learned how to walk backwards.”
The victory came after the night’s celebrations briefly dimmed as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the gathering with an update on the war, adding to his tally children injured and killed.
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos,” he said. “We are fighting against Russia, which brings terrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music.”
In conclusion, he said: “Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on television. Support us in any way you can, but don’t be silent. And then peace will come to all our cities.”
John Legend then performed “Free” with Ukrainian exiles including singer and actress Mika Newton and the poetess Lyuba Yakimchuk.
Silk Sonic opened the Las Vegas ceremony with their energetic, infectious blend of retro soul and funk by performing their “777.”
They returned to the stage a short time later to collect the song of the year trophy for “Leave the Door Open.”
Both Mars and .Paak jumped out of their seats, threw up their hands and danced to their song.
“We’re going to sing this song together for the rest of our lives,” Mars told .Paak
Host Trevor Noah kicked off the duo’s opening performance by saying that they were single-handedly bringing back the 1970s, “which might explain the inflation.”
Doja Cat and SZA delivered an emotional speech after winning the award for Best Pop Duo Group Performance for “Kiss Me More.” Cat told SZA that she is “everything to me” and the “quintessential talent” while trying to hold back tears.
“This is a big deal,” Cat said after storming onto the podium after using the restroom. SZA beat her by a few seconds, despite climbing onto the stage on crutches with the help of Lady Gaga.
“I feel like me and SZA are similar in the way we both grew up from spiritual backgrounds,” she continued. “But she was perfect for this song.”
It was a Family Affair from cousins Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, who won best rap performance for their song “Family Ties.” Lamar won his 14th Grammy and the first for Keem, who said “nothing could have prepared me for this moment” after taking to the stage to accept his trophy.
By the time the show began on CBS, Batiste had already taken home four Grammy Awards, including his first ever, during a pre-air ceremony.
“I’m so thankful for the gifts that God has given me and the ability to share them for the love of humanity,” Batiste said after accepting his music video award for “Freedom.” “We just wanted everyone to see it. Any depression, attachment, or darkness that has hung over your life will be completely removed just by the love and joy of the video.”
Chris Stapleton won his third Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance for You Should Maybe Leave.
Tony Bennett extended his record as the artist with the most traditional pop vocal album at 14 wins with Love for Sale, a duet album with Lady Gaga.
Dressed all in black, BTS took the stage with a flirtatious moment between V and Rodrigo before the group performed their hit single “Butter.”
They performed after one of the members tested positive for Covid-19. All seven members – Jin, Jimin, V, RM, J-Hope, Suga and Jungkook – pretended to be secret agents with neon blue lasers, dancing with smooth choreography before merging into a short rap section of the song.
Foo Fighters won three awards on Sunday but weren’t there to collect their trophies following the recent death of drummer Taylor Hawkins.
An extended tribute to Hawkins played prior to the show’s In Memoriam segment to honor deceased artists and music industry figures.
Eilish paid tribute to Hawkins during her performance by wearing a black t-shirt with his picture on it.
She took to the stage with her brother Finneas in an upside down house before stepping out into the rain to perform the title track from her “Happier Than Ever”.
TJ Osborne, who came out as gay last year, fought back tears as he and his brother accepted a Grammy for the Brothers Osborne song “Younger Me” during the pre-TV show. He noted that the song was inspired by his coming out.
“I never thought that because of my sexuality I would be able to make music professionally. And I never thought that I would be standing here on stage and accepting a Grammy after doing something that I thought would change my life, and possibly in a very negative way,” Osborne said.
“And here I am tonight not only accepting this Grammy Award with my brother who I love so much, but I’m here with a man who I love and he loves me back. … I don’t know what I did to get so lucky.”
The ceremony was moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas because of rising Covid-19 cases and the Omicron variant in January, with organizers citing “too many risks”.
https://www.independent.ie/news/everything-you-missed-at-the-grammys-olivia-rodrigo-makes-impressive-debut-silk-sonic-gets-two-major-awards-and-an-address-by-zelensky-41517979.html Everything You Missed at the Grammys: Olivia Rodrigo Makes Impressive Debut, Silk Sonic Receives Two Major Awards and a Speech from Zelensky