By Joseph Rodriguez, Feb. 14, 2023
On Sunday, Feb. 5, the 65th annual Grammy awards at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles made music history. The night was filled with great performances, special tributes and Beyoncé broke the record for most Grammy wins of all time.
The show was hosted by comedian and former host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah. Noah did a great job of keeping the crowd engaged with timely humor and jokes on the world’s current events. One of the biggest laughs he got from the crowd was when he made references to the recent “spy balloon” from China that entered the United States.
“My job is to be your eyes and ears, I’ll be floating around this room,” said Noah. “Think of me like a Chinese spy balloon.”
Prior to Noah’s opening monologue, Bad Bunny started the show with a performance of his hit songs, “El Apagón” and “Después de la Playa.” The reggaeton sensation had the crowd moving as the camera at one point panned to Taylor Swift dancing to the music.
Another performance from the show caught the attention of everyone in the arena for a different reason. Sam Smith and Kim Petras did an act of their pop hit “Unholy,” which gave a literal meaning to the song’s title.
In the performance, Smith wore a top hat with horns and Petras was shown under eerie red lighting, surrounded by flames almost depicting a “hell-like” environment. After the song, Noah jokingly pretended to get a call from his mom telling her, “No mom it wasn’t the actual devil, they were just dressed as the devil, mom.”
The show drastically switched into a lighter atmosphere with tributes and a list of commemorations to musical artists that passed away. Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” was performed by Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and Mick Fleetwood to pay homage to the late Christine McVie. Rap artist Quavo also did a rendition of “Without You” in honor of his fallen nephew Takeoff who tragically died last November.
The biggest event of the night was when Beyonce made history, surpassing the late conductor Georg Solti through her win of 32 Grammys. Surprisingly her win came off of a nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album which is a music genre that’s very unique compared to her previous works. Beyonce gave a special thanks in her speech to the queer community for creating the dance genre and for their support as well.
Throughout the night, many hip-hop artists from the ‘70s to now collaborated for a commemoration performance in honor of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. From LL Cool J all the way to Lil Baby, the crowd got a special glimpse of the growth and evolution of one of the most popular genres of music in America.
The performance was curated by Questlove, whose vision was to show how hip-hop has grown over the 50 years it’s been around and how the genre still has a long way to go. Even though the Grammys has had a controversy with past winners of the rap category, they still managed to put on a great show for the world to see.
The night ended with Harry Styles and Lizzo coming up big in their respective categories. Lizzo was awarded “record of the year” for her song “About Damn Time” and Styles won the prestigious “album of the year” award for his third album, “Harry’s House.”
Other notable winners of the night were Kendrick Lamar for “best rap album” and 23-year-old jazz artist, Samara Joy who took home the coveted “best new artist” award.
The 65th Grammy Awards will go down as one of the more memorable shows in the event’s long history. The ceremony has always been a showcase of musical talent and artistic ability recognizing musicians and songwriters not only for their creative work, but also for their impact on the community. This year’s winners are the standard of what it means to be a great artist in music.
Feature image courtesy of Lauren Wong
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