This year’s Grammy Awards celebrated not just music itself, but also the return to a pre-pandemic normality we seem to have forgotten. The ceremony took place last Sunday, April 3rd, in Las Vegas, and was hosted by American comedian Trevor Noah, who also hosted the 2021 Grammys.
The night held a lot of funny moments, mostly in the host’s monologue, even referring to Will Smith’s slap in the Oscars: “We’re gonna be listening to some music, we’re gonna be dancing, we’re gonna be singing. We’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths and we will be giving out awards all through the night”. The ceremony had amazing performances from multiple A-lists artists.
A highlight of the night was the amazing duo, Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak. They opened the event with an out of this world performance of “777”. The group transported the audience to the aesthetic they set in their project Silk Sonic, paying homage to Elvis Presley with their outfits.
The performance was followed by the Song Of The Year award, won by the duo for the single “Leave The Door Open”, released last year to start this new era in Paak’s and Mars’ career. Later, the duo also won the award for Record of the Year. Now, I love “Leave the Door Open”, but this category had Billie Eilish written all over – “Happier Than Ever” deserved like nothing else.
Oliva Rodrigo also rocked the stage, bringing the set of “Drivers Licence” to the stage and delivering a more mature performance with her amazing vocals. Billie Eilish wore a Taylor Hawkins shirt in his memory and made the best gig of the night, referencing the “Happier Than Ever” music video and making it rain at the Grammys. She and Finneas made the performance look fun and did a hole in the ceiling of the MGM Grand Garden Arena during the rock part of the song.
Lil Nas X made his brilliant appearance, and, as always, was the best dressed person in the award show. He started his performance rocking a crop top made of pearls, singing “Call Me By Your Name”. It really was a show to his haters and the things that were said about his sexy performances and the LGBTQ+ demonstrations in his music videos. He changed to a high school band suit also made of pearls to sing “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow, bringing choreography to the stage.
BTS algo hit the stage, with an entrance that was out of this world, involving everyone and taking Olivia Rodrigo back to the spotlight. Creating a spy vibe and remembering the 007 movies, the boys sang “Butter” and totally made it in looks and dance moves.
For the most important performance of the Grammys, we had John Legend, who sang his single “Free” with the help of Ukrainian artists. He even brought the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to pass a message about his country’s loss because of the horrible things war has brought out.
Enough of performances, let’s move to the awards given highlights. One of the biggest winners of the night was the young Olivia Rodrigo, who went home with 3 Grammys. Her first trophy was for Best New Artist, a title well deserved after the success her first album “Sour” made in 2021. Olivia also won awards for Best Pop Solo Performance, for “Drivers Licence”, and Best Pop Vocal Album.
We also had big names winning awards, such as Doja Cat and Sza with Pop Duo/Group Performance, for their single “Kiss me More” – a fever in Tik Tok and the whole world – and Tyler the Creator with Best Rap Album for “Call Me If I Get Lost”.
The big win of the night, the Album Of The Year category, went to Jon Batiste, for his amazing work with “We Are”, an album with a mixture of genres and uplifting songs. Batiste also performed the single “Freedom”, bringing the happiness and the colours to the Grammys.
But the Grammys being the Grammys, we had some sleep on artists such as for BTS, who deserved more nominations and lost the award of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Butter”. The same with Billie Eilish, who produced an amazing album and an amazing record with “Happier Than Ever”, mixing genres and showing all the maturing she did.
Last but not least, the amazing Lil Nas X, who made out of his debut album an experience, having great music videos and well made performances, with scenario, dance and acting. Montero was one the biggest albums of 2021, and was totally slept on, and that’s what the Grammys always do.
To close beautifully, the In Memoriam memory section paid homage to songs by Stephen Sondheing, who died in November of last year. Sondheign was one the biggest Broadway songwriters, left an amazing repertory and will forever be remembered. Taylor Hawkins, who died last March, was also remembered. And, for Brazilians, the singer Marília Mendonça was mentioned. She died in a plane accident in November of 2021, leaving a legacy of humbleness and crazy sad love songs.
This year’s Grammys were a great way to remember what it felt like a good award show in the pre-pandemic environment that we all had forgotten. The energy was uplifting during the whole show and it made a mark in the history of award season, breaking expectations and remembering very well how music still moves us and how it moves the world.
The article above was edited by Julia Queiroz.
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