LAS VEGAS – Tears, joy and much mutual respect among artists were conveyed backstage during Sunday’s Grammy Awards.
From Carrie Underwood choking back tears describing why her roots gospel album award win is so meaningful to Bonnie Raitt detailing her old friendships (with Joni Mitchell) and new (with Brandi Carlile), the winners from music’s biggest night wanted to share.
The show’s top winner – Jon Batiste, who hauled home five Grammys, the first of his career – was especially open-hearted as he talked about his wins and the personal challenges in his life right now.
Here’s a peek at all the moments you didn’t see on TV:
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Carrie Underwood breaks down in tears backstage
Underwood already possesses seven Grammy Awards, but her win for best roots gospel album moved her to tears.
“Man, I didn’t last any length of time, did I?” she said, blinking back tears as she detailed why a win for her “My Savior” album was so meaningful. The country star stopped by just after performing “Ghost Story” on the Grammys stage.
“I feel it’s some of the most important bodies of work I’ve wanted to do literally my whole career, and I got to. This just means the world to me,” she said.
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SZA fell out of bed just before Grammys
SZA may have won a Grammy for best pop duo/group performance with Doja Cat for their song “Kiss Me More.” But she revealed backstage she woke up on the wrong side of the bed not too long ago.
“It’s very funny, because I fell out of bed right before it was time to leave and get ready for this, like the day before,” she said, gripping crutches in one hand and her Grammy in the other. “But that’s the way it goes. Everything awesome in my life has always come with something very random, but it just adds to the energy.”
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Jon Batiste opens up about wife’s cancer
Though he led this year’s Grammy nominations with 11 and scooped up five – the most of the night — Batiste’s win in the crowded album of the year category (for “We Are”) was still a surprise, even to him.
The jovial R&B/jazz/soul musician took a deep breath backstage when pondering his accomplishment.
“I really don’t do it for the awards,” he said. “I was having such a good time hanging with my family when my name came up.” Batiste called it a “a full circle moment,” recalling that he played with presenter Lenny Kravitz when he was 16. “It was a whole vibe of , this is far out!”
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Batiste also acknowledged the health issues with his longtime partner Suleika Jaouad, who is battling leukemia for the second time. The pair recently secretly married.
“It puts it in perspective. Life has ups and downs and sometimes they occur at the same time,” he said. “When you have that happening, it lets you know by shaking your consciousness and saying be present, be here.”
Bonnie Raitt gushes over pals Joni Mitchell, Brandi Carlile
Raitt exchanged a quick handshake with Keith Urban in the hallway before coming back to talk more about her friends Mitchell and Carlile.
Raitt called Mitchell “a hero for me” and said their friendship extends back to the early ’70s.
“But I’ve been at some of her recent house parties with Brandi,” Raitt said, adding how Carlile has also become a good friend. “I’m so glad to have become one of her mentors of her. And what she’s done for Joni and helping her come back from her aneurysm, I have great admiration for her.
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TJ Osborne of the Brothers Osborne recalls how country fans embraced him after coming out
TJ Osborne of the Brothers Osborne teared up as he accepted best country duo/group performance for “Younger Me” with brother John. Osborne is the first openly gay artist signed to a major country label.
Backstage, he opened up about how country music fans embraced him after he came out last year.
“Seeing the crowds when we go out and perform, seeing the people who feel a sense of freedom to be whoever they are, whether that’s just letting their freak flag fly in any way or just having a room where there’s no judgment,” he said . “That, to me, going out and performing shows and seeing that happen every night, has been just so incredibly fulfilling.”
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BTS’ Jungkook flies into air, Lil Nas X schmoozes with Lady Gaga
During commercial breaks, music’s biggest stars got up from their tiny tables to mix and mingle.
Lil Nas X went over to Lady Gaga’s table, where the two posed for pictures after her performance. Carlile also struck up a conversation with Olivia Rodrigo, snapping photos with the “Traitor” singer, and Urban chatted up Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker as the trio exited after the show.
Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion recreate iconic Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey gag at Grammys
The event was also chock-full of fun, hectic moments in between artists’ performances. Jungkook from BTS could be seen propelling into the air in a harness just as host Trevor Noah began introducing the K-pop group’s performance of “Butter.” And after Jon Batiste’s electrifying performance of “Freedom,” his dancers from him, still in their bright, colorful costumes, paraded down the hallway outside the media room, singing and clapping away.
The Grammys were held this year at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas – which St. Vincent appreciated. The singer told USA TODAY that she was up to 400 in craps and was having a great time, despite always losing on roulette.
Contributing: Ralphie Aversa
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism