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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The 64th Annual Grammys took place on April 3rd, 2022 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This award show was highly anticipated as it was the first “back-to-normal” award show since the pandemic. In such fashion, this award show was filled with surprises as well as so-called “snubs”. Here are some takeaways from this year’s Grammys: 

Jon Batiste, the jazz pianist on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, finished the night’s award show with a whopping five wins, finalizing his success with Album of the Year  and beating out some of the largest names in the music industry. In fact, Batiste had a total of eleven nominations this year. Oddly enough, his album peaked at No. 86 on the Billboard charts, and social media definitely had a response to this. 

Other wins included Silk Sonic, who won Song of the Year and Record of the Year. While successful, peaking at No.1 on the Billboard charts, many experts were surprised to spectate a “sweep” when other more popular artists such as Olivia Rodrigo and Justin Bieber were “fan-favorites” for the wins. 

Expected wins include Olivia Rodrigo with the Grammys for Best New Artist, Pop Solo Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

However, Billie Eilish, formerly crowned at every Grammy ceremony since her debut, went home empty-handed while being nominated for seven awards. Just two years ago, she won all four major categories and came into this year’s ceremony with seven Grammys under her belt. Following her Oscars win for “No Time to Die”, many people were shocked by what they deemed a so-called “snub”. Other artists such as Justin Bieber, Lil Nas X, and BTS went home empty-handed to the surprise of the public and experts. 

As an aside, some of my highlight performances of the night were Billie Eilish’s rendition of her Grammy-nominated song “Happier Than Ever”  downed in a shirt tributing Taylor Hawkins, the drummer of the Foo Fighters, Jon Batiste’s vibrant performance of “Freedom” , and H.E.R’s performance with special guests:  Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Travis Barker, and Lenny Kravitz.

Even in the presence of the first fully in-person ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that the Grammys are still finding their footing in their award criteria and fulfillment of the public’s expectations. Last-minute changes to the top four categories have been expanded from 8 nominees to 10. Artists such as Drake and the Weeknd removed themselves from competitions for this year’s awards and future ones. Both artists have expressed ambivalence towards the show, implicating them in a history of bias. 

Batiste’s win, while deserving, seemed to shock much of the public. Theories have been spread across the Internet as to whether this was an attempt to refurbish the Grammys’ historic underrepresentation of Black artists. All of this discourse aside, I even took to listening to the album after the award show — and I admit, it’s pretty good. The album’s interpretation of modern jazz and funk styles was a truly immersive experience.

Nonetheless, awards shows, as a whole, have numerically seen a hit in viewership, and the audience has seen the numerous attempts of these bodies to revive these numbers. Each attempt poses whether the credibility of the awards lies in sales, makeup of the voting body, audience scores, or some other criterion that seems to change each year.

Hailey is a second-year Political Science major and English minor at UCSB, originally from Los Angeles, CA. Her passions include community service, public policy advocacy, reading books, and talking about movies or pop culture!
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