With The Grammy Awards happening later this year than usually planned, this meant the ceremony came just off the back of all the drama of the 2022 Academy Awards and it is safe to say that the prestigious awards ceremony brought less of a scene than its film equivalent. Nonetheless, the 64th annual Grammy Awards still provided a host of ‘must–see’ moments full of elation, accreditation, and some more sombre and bittersweet moments. So, let’s dissect my top five moments from this year’s award ceremony…
1. A speech from Volodymyr Zelensky
Among the glitz and the glamour of the evening came a sobering speech from Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. Discussing the ongoing war and the humbling truths of the situation between Ukraine and Russia, Zelensky delivered a powerful message to the audience insisting that we “fill the silence with (your) music. Fill it today to tell our story”.
This speech was followed by a performance from John Legend where he was accompanied on stage by talents from Ukraine, reminding us of the power that music can yield and why awards such as the Grammy awards exist – to celebrate such a unifying and empowering thing.
2. Olivia Rodrigo’s success
As a ‘Swiftie’ herself, it was an exciting night for Olivia Rodrigo at this year’s awards fans when history seemed to repeat itself as she took home 3 awards, emulating her idol Taylor Swift at the 52nd Grammy Awards where Taylor took home 4 awards.
As powerful as this parallel was to witness, what is even more powerful is the meaning of Rodrigo’s success for young women in the industry. Seeing a young woman at her first-ever Grammy awards dominate and win over not only in such a male-dominated industry but also in such male-dominated categories, her success is a true embodiment of female empowerment.
3. Doja Cat and SZA
Keeping up with the theme of girl power at the award ceremony comes Doja Cat and SZA’s win in the ‘best pop duo performance’ category. Arriving a few moments later to give an acceptance speech, what went from a moment of light-hearted comedy from Doja Cat came a heartwarming and humbling exchange between herself and the audience. Not only was this a sweet moment to witness, but this achievement means that Doja Cat and SZA are the first black female artists in Grammy history to win this category – things we love to see!
4. The rise of alternative music
Anyone who is a fan of the series ‘Bridgerton’ and is on TikTok will surely be aware of the names Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear. Whilst we may remember the crazy haze in which TikTok skyrocketed ‘Ratatouille’ the musical into a one evening online event, ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical’ marks a triumph for alternative music sources.
As suggested by the name, Bear and Barlow released an album of songs that would work in a hypothetical sense yet the two still went home with a GRAMMY for ‘Best Musical Theatre Album’. Not only does this mark a success for alternative forms of music being acknowledged on a mainstream platform, yet again, there is a serious sense of girl power with the two being the only women nominated in this category and also the youngest ever winners of the category at 23 and 20 years old.
5. A Tribute to Taylor Hawkins
As a fan of the Foo Fighters myself, a personal highlight of the Grammy’s was the tribute paid to Taylor Hawkins during the slot in which the band were due to perform. The loss of the band’s legendary drummer earlier in March sent shockwaves through the music community, among fans and fellow musicians, with Billie Eilish also commemorating his memory during her performance by wearing a Foo Fighters T-Shirt.
Along with a moving performance for the drummer, the band also took home 3 awards, a perfect celebration for the man who provided so many with iconic and powerful rock songs to last the ages.
An affair full of empowered moments, moving tributes, star-studded performances and a humbling reminder of world events, if there is anything to take away from the 64th Grammy awards, it is the powers of music in both the good and bad times as something that unites us all and something that should always be celebrated.
Words by: Olivia Feltus
Edited by: Tamikka Reid