Friday, July 30

2021 Grammy Awards: Women Rule As Beyoncé and Taylor Swift Break Records | Grammy

It was a historic and triumphant night for women in music at the 2021 Grammys, as several female artists took home the top awards. HER took home the song of the year for the Black Lives Matter anthem I Can’t Breathe, Taylor Swift became the first woman to win album of the year three times, and rapper Megan Thee Stallion won the best award. New artist and best rap performance for her remix of Savage with Beyoncé, now the most awarded singer (male or female) and female artist of all time.

Executive Producer’s First Grammys Ben winstonThe 39-year-old, best known for turning James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke series into a viral staple and the first new producer since Ken Ehrlich took over the show in 1980, was mostly limited to live or pre-recorded performances alongside videos. highlighting new stars powered by the broadcast. The Covid precautions of the production: tables and chairs meeting the 1.8m below an outdoor terrace with garlands, five separate stages at the Los Angeles Convention Center, widespread testing. millions added to the show’s budget, but it helped the show avoid some of the glitch and Zoom awkwardness that plagued last month’s Golden Globes.

The cascade of performances and the success of black artists bypassed a growing wave of criticism about the opaque Grammy nomination process, alleged conflicts of interest and years of appearing to despise black art. The Canadian artist known as The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, led an anti-Grammy chorus that included artists such as Zayn and Drake, after his critical and commercial success album After Hours containing the biggest song of the year, Blinding Lights, was surprisingly excluded from the nominations. in a statement to the New York Times Last week, The Weeknd said it would boycott the awards from now on and order its record label not to submit its music for a future contest, citing anonymous committees with the final word on nominations.

But the controversy remained largely out of the picture on Sunday, save for a statement in the final 10 minutes from acting Grammys chairman Harvey Mason Jr, promising a renewed effort for diversity and asking artists to “work with us, not against us”. Instead, the 3.5-hour mega-concert was about “coming together like only music can,” said the night’s hot-headed host, Trevor Noah of the Daily Show, and “never forgetting what happened in 2020, but looking forward to what’s to come. come”. .

Billie Eilish and Finneas
Billie Eilish and Finneas. Photograph: Kevin Winter / EPA

Noah served primarily to line the roll of performances loosely grouped by genre, from pop / rock (Harry Styles, last year’s Grammy sweeper Billie Eilish, sister-act Haim), to country (Mickey Guyton, performing Black Like Me, a replica to a notoriously hostile genre for black and female artists, then Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris with John Mayer). Bad Bunny, the most streamed artist of 2020, heralded the reopening of clubs in a tunnel of light, while Dua Lipa, whose album Future Nostalgia took over the early quarantine in 2020, moved on to Studio 2054 complete with DaBaby for her remix. by Levitating.

The show highlighted several independent music venues tied up by deals lost during coronavirus shutdowns: JT Gray of The Station Inn in Nashville, Tennessee, presented the award for best country album (to Miranda Lambert); Los Angeles Troubadour’s Rachelle Erratchu Presented Best Solo Pop Performance To Harry Styles By Watermelon Sugar; Billy Mitchell of the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem presented the award for best rap song to Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé; and Candice Fox of The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles awarded Beyoncé Best R&B Performance for Black Parade.

The night was divided in two by a shadowy segment, extended in memoriam during the still ongoing pandemic. Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars channeled the roof-lifting energy of rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, Lionel Richie honored his friend, country star Kenny Rogers, and Brandi Carlile praised American legend John Prine with a cover of I. Remember Everything. . Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard, accompanied by Coldplay’s Chris Martin on piano, brought the segment home with a poignant rendition of her song I’ll Never Walk Alone.

Cardi B
Cardi B. Photograph: Kevin Winter / EPA

But the evening mostly belonged not to one superstar but to various women, particularly black women who celebrate black pride, from Megan Thee Stallion’s show-opening win for Best New Artist, to her jubilant (and heavily censored performance). ) from WAP with Cardi B, to The Final Grammy Note, a tribute to Beyoncé’s nineteenth anthem, Black Parade. HER won song of the year for I Can’t Breathe, a song written in the wake of the police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. “We are the change we want to see,” he said. “And that fight we had in us in the summer of 2020? Keep that same energy. “

Taylor Swift won the trophy for her third album of the year for Folklore, while Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia won the award for best pop vocal album. Billie Eilish took home the record of the year for Everything I Wanted, but dedicated her speech, at the end of the night, to Megan Thee Stallion. “You deserve the world, I think of you constantly, I always support you,” he said. “Can we just cheer on Megan Thee Stallion, please?”

Megan also used her time to thank her fellow female stars. Visibly giddy, she accepted the award for best rap performance recalling the mantra inspired by her childhood idol and fellow Houston-raised star: “What would Beyoncé do, but make it a bit of a trench.”

Beyoncé herself spoke while accepting her 28th Grammy for Black Parade. “I wanted to cheer, cheer and celebrate all the beautiful black kings and queens who have inspired me and the whole world,” he said.

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