Grammys an overall success

Award show pulled off enjoyable and COVID-19 friendly event


CBS Photo Archive

Fair use from CBS.

Maren Wilsey

This year, many award shows have faced the challenge of putting on a show during the pandemic. The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards was no exception. Trevor Noah hosted this year’s show March 14 following a three-month delay from the original date in January. A large portion of the event was performances, with awards given out in between. 

One of the most exciting events of the night was Beyoncé becoming the most awarded female artist in Grammy history. After picking up four awards, she’s brought her total to 28 just three Grammys behind Georg Solti, who has 31. Taylor Swift also made Grammys history with her Album of the Year win for “folklore.” This brings her total up to three, the most wins in the category for a woman. Megan Thee Stallion won a well-deserved best new artist, H.E.R. took home Song of the Year for “I Can’t Breathe” and Billie Eilish won Record of the Year for “Everything I Wanted.”

One of the biggest challenges the Grammys had to face this year was how to create a COVID-19 safe ceremony. Many awards shows this year have tackled this with varying levels of success. In my opinion, the Grammys managed to host one of the most successful shows yet. Throughout the event, they paid tribute to music venues struggling during the pandemic, which was a thoughtful touch. Similarly, they spent a large portion of the event on performances, which were very well executed and fun to watch. 

Some of my personal favorites were Taylor Swift’s medley of songs from “folklore” and “evermore” set in a woodland cabin, BTS’s energetic performance of “Dynamite” from the top of a skyscraper and Dababy’s violin accompanied rendition of “Rockstar.” Another memorable moment was Lil Baby’s performance, which delivered powerful commentary on police brutality and the BLM movement. At one point during the performance, activist Tamika Mallory directly called out President Biden demanding justice.

Obviously, you can’t have the good without the bad, and there were a few performances that left a lot to be desired. While Bad Bunny’s performance with Jhay Cortez wasn’t bad, it was a bit boring in comparison to many of the other numbers from the night. Similarly, Miranda Lambert’s “Bluebird” was a fine performance, just very bland and forgettable.

 Doja Cat managed to pull off yet another performance of “Say So,” which would have been fine, except for the fact that she’s performed this many times in the past. Whether by her decision or not, the singer is pushing the limit for the number of times she can perform it consecutively. She’s still managing to make it entertaining, but it can only be done so many more times before we’ve all had enough. 

This year, the Grammys came under fire from The Weeknd after they failed to acknowledge his hit single “Blinding Lights” and album “After Hours.” Later on, Zayn Malik also tweeted condemning their actions. Both criticized the voting processes and demanded transparency from the Recording Academy. Many artists have accused the organization of biases including favoritism and racism in the past, and I agree with this sentiment. The Weeknd has already said he will no longer submit his music to the Academy for consideration, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other artists followed his example. Without musicians, the Grammys are nothing. If they wish to continue to hold any influence in Hollywood, they need to make some changes sooner rather than later. Harvey Mason Jr., the president and chairman of the Academy, spoke on the issue last night. He claimed that the Academy hears the demands for transparency and asked for help building “a new Recording Academy that we can all be proud of.” Those are nice words, but only time will tell to see if these promises can be fulfilled. 

As for the awards themselves, I don’t think I’m alone when I say Megan Thee Stallion deserved the awards she got last night. While Phoebe Bridgers and Doja Cat both were very successful this year, nobody deserved the award for Best New Artist as much as Megan Thee Stallion. She is also the first female rapper to win the award since Lauryn Hill in 1999. Unsurprisingly, Taylor Swift took home Album of the Year, another well-deserved win. “Folklore” was an album that embodied the spirit of 2020, with themes of escapism and solitude that was so desperately needed. In a surprising, but not undeserving turn of events, H.E.R. won the Song of the Year for “I Can’t Breathe.” 

Of course, there were some disappointments. Phoebe Bridgers, unfortunately, left without any wins, but I can’t really call it a snub, as Fiona Apple and Megan Thee Stallion both deserved their wins over her. Billie Eilish was clearly upset with her own Record of the Year win. Her acceptance speech consisted of repeated apologies to Megan Thee Stallion. She shouldn’t be the one apologizing, the Recording Academy is the one to blame. 

“The Grammys”: ★★★★☆