By Grace Mundy
The 63rd Grammy Awards recently took place on Sunday, March 14, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, rather than the usual Staples Center, due to restrictions from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, the Grammys operated very differently this year. They included both an outdoor area where the limited guests sat and awards were announced, and multiple stages indoors for performers. There was virtually no in-person audience for these performances, except for the few other artists at a time who were waiting to perform, or had already performed, during their allotted time.
During the awards, artists were seen wearing masks, except for when performing or giving speeches. These precautions factored heavily into the cost, and made this year’s Grammys one of the more expensive ones. Despite this, the Grammys managed to be relatively successful and had many defining moments.
Hosted by Trevor Noah, the Grammys included a variety of performances and record-breaking awards.
Many of music’s most prominent and popular artists took home awards that night. The highly coveted Record of the Year award went to Billie Eilish for her song “Everything I Wanted.” H.E.R won Song of the Year for her moving song “I Can’t Breathe.” Album of the Year went to Taylor Swift for “Folklore,” making her the first woman to ever receive the award three times.
Best New Artist, an award many famous musicians such as The Beatles, Alicia Keys, Adele, and Mariah Carey have earned, went to Megan Thee Stallion. She, along with Beyonce, also won the awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for their remix of “Savage.”
Beyonce made history at the Grammys, becoming the most awarded female artist of all time, with 28 awards. This year, she took home awards for Best R&B Performance and Best Music Video, in addition to her awards with Megan Thee Stallion.
Many performances also gained attention. Dua Lipa, who won Best Pop Vocal Album, gave an energetic pop performance with entertaining and complex choreography. She also performed “Levitating” with DaBaby, who is featured on the track and gave his own performance at the awards show. Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B gave a fun and lively performance of their hit song “WAP.”
There was also a more serious tone to some aspects of the night, including spotlights on various music venues across the country that have struggled due to the lack of live music this year. Additionally, there was a heartfelt tribute to artists who passed away within the last year, which included performances from Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, and Brandi Carlile.
However, the Grammys did earn some criticism regarding the lack of diversity in both nominees and winners. In the wake of nominations, many artists who had hit songs or successful years, including The Weeknd and Zayn, spoke out against the Grammys for their unclear methods of selecting nominees. Nicki Minaj has also been a notable critic of the Grammys, expressing her frustration at the lack of diversity in winners.
Despite this, the Grammys wanted to keep a positive and upbeat mood. When introducing the Grammys, Noah gave a lighthearted statement saying, “Tonight is about bringing us together as only music can. Well, music and vaccines.”