Swift has only one nomination for “Evermore” but it’s a big one: album of the year. Taking that home would put her on the top of that mountain by herself, since she’s currently tied with Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder with three wins each in the category.
Mega-popular BTS again looks to become the first K-pop act with a Grammy win – their hit “Butter” is up for best pop duo/group performance. And Rodrigo could sweep the four top categories – record, song and album of the year, plus best new artist – following in the footsteps of Eilish’s trophy haul two years ago.
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The big winner in the early Grammy premiere ceremony was Jon Batiste with four awards. But nominated in only three categories during the main show, he’ll fall short of the Jackson and Santana’s tied record of eight Grammys in one show. (Batiste had other big news to share Sunday: He revealed he’s been secretly married since February.)
Here are all the highlights and winners from the prime-time Grammys:
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Trevor Noah begins the “In memoriam” sequence with a tribute to Hawkins, the late Foo Fighters drummer, followed by an ode to Sondheim: Ben Platt performs “Not a Day Goes By,” Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr. sing “Send In The Clowns” and “West Side Story” star Rachel Zegler comes in to “Somewhere.”
The young singer’s “Sour” wins the category, and Rodrigo thanks her parents especially her mom “for being supportive of my dreams, no matter how crazy.”
Billy Porter presents Sullivan’s win, though she responds in her acceptance speech, “I don’t know what I heard. I almost didn’t believe it.” Sullivan says the album was inspired by “her own shame and decisions I made in my 20s that weren’t favorable. But what it ended up being was a safe space for Black women to tell our stories.”
Tony Bennett couldn’t appear but he introduces Gaga, who channels her inner swing goddess. She fronts a big band singing the uptempo “Love for Sale” then settles down for the string-laden ballad “Do I Love You.” She closes out her time with a message for Bennett: “I love you, Tony. We miss you.”
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos … but our music will break through anyway,” Zelenskyy says in a virtual appearance asking to “support us in any way you can” as his country continues to fight the Russian invasion. John Legend then sings “Free” as he’s joined by Mika Newton, whose sister is serving in the Ukrainian army, and Lyuba Yakimchuk, a poet from Donbas who fled Ukraine just days ago
“Nothing could prepare me for this moment tonight,” Keem says of nabbing the best rap performance Grammy, which goes to his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar. From there, switching genres on a dime, Stapleton takes the stage to sing “Cold” – which won the best country song Grammy earlier in the day.
The youngsters were gifted with an appearace from a legendary OG: With the help of a great horn section, rapper Nas performed a montage of tracks including “I Can,” “Made You Look,” “One Mic” and “Rare.”
With an opening from legends Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt, Carlile takes the stage to a stirring version of “Right on Time,” starting on piano and transitioning to guitar, accompanied by a string section.
Two previous winners in the Grammy category, Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion, welcome the next best new artist to their fold: Olivia Rodrigo. “Whoa. This is my biggest dream come true,” she says.
With her brother Finneas on acoustic guitar, the multi-time Grammy winner first sings her hit tune in a room where a couch is on the ceiling and she’s walking around in water and then winds up on the rooftop of this very strange home to rock out like a champ. Also of note: Eilish is wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Taylor Hawkins, the Foo Fighters drummer who was unexpectedly found dead while on tour last month.
After winning two Grammys earlier in the day, Chris Stapleton wins best country album for best country album. The dad of five says it’s his 4-year-old twins’ birthday so “I’m thinking a lot about a sacrifices,” he says. “I don’t know how it is for everybody. … It hurts sometimes but I hope it’s making the world a better place.”
Joined by Jack Harlow and rocking multiple glitzy costume changes, Lil Nas X performs a montage of his hits “Dead Right Now,” “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Industry Baby,” with voiceovers from his critics and a very large bust of his head in the middle of the stage. He owns it all, though, dancing up a storm in what’s best described as the coolest drum major outfit ever.
After one of the K-Pop crew shares a moment with Olivia Rodrigo, the mega-popular group launches into a performance of “Butter” with a whole bunch of smooth dancing to melt everyone’s hearts.
Questlove tosses out another Oscars slap joke – “I’m going to present this award and I hope that you people stay like 500 feet away from me – before song of the year goes to Silk Sonic. “Andy, I couldn’t be prouder of doing this song with you,” Bruno Mars says to partner Anderson .Paak. The duo’s tune also won for R&B song and tied for R&B performance.
Rodrigo begins seated behind the wheel of a spiffy car as she performs a tender-turned-rockin’ version of her huge hit song “Drivers License.” She also sings walking down a faux street looking like she’s lost on the way to the prom but she’s emoting like a champ so it’s OK. Noah jokes that Rodrigo captures “how heartbreaking it is to go to the DMV” before J Balvin is joined by Maria Becerra for “Qué Más Pues?” then launches into “In da Getto” with an army of dancing arms.
“Vegas, baby! I can smell the bad decisions up here already,” host Trevor Noah says kicking off the Grammys broadcast on top of the MGM Grand. He sends it to the Grand Garden Arena, where Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) plays a brassy rendition of “777” – and evokes some James Brown feels – in a jam that feels right at home in the land of craps tables and roulette wheels. Afterward Noah makes the first Oscars slap joke of the night: “We’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths all night!”
A luminous St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) talks backstage about “Daddy’s Home,” her Grammy-winning best alternative music album. “I wanted the listener to feel like they were sitting in an old leather armchair with a glass of bourbon and luxuriate in the album,” she says.
Posing in a floor-length pink gown accented with feathers, St. Vincent was proud that more women have landed in the category since her 2015 win there as the first female to do so since Sinead O’Connor 20 years prior. “I’m glad the times are a-changin’,” she says.
Ye wins for best melodic rap performance “Hurricane” and rap song (“Jail” with Jay-Z) but loses the rap album Grammy to Tyler, the Creator’s “Call Me If You Get Lost.” Rodrigo’s breakout “Drivers License” is named best pop solo performance while Tony Bennettt and Lady Gaga’s “Love for Sale” wins for pop vocal album.
Dave Grohl’s band wins best rock performance (“Making a Fire”), best rock song (“Waiting on a War”) and rock album (“Medicine at Midnight”). Foo Fighters were supposed to perform at the Grammys but canceled their appearance as well as the rest of their tour after drummer Hawkins died unexpectedly last month. In addition, H.E.R.’s “Fight for You” is named best traditional R&B performance and Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” takes best R&B song and ties for R&B performance.
Winans pulls a hat trick and wins for gospel performance/song, contemporary Christian music performance/song and best gospel album while Carrie Underwood’s “My Savior” is named best roots gospel album. Plus George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary Edition” gets best boxed or special limited edition package, making it the first Grammy the former Beatle factored into since 2002, when “Marwa Blues,” from his final album “Brainwashed,” earned a nod for best pop instrumental performance.
“This album has really endured,” his widow, Olivia Harrison, says backstage. “It’s full of hope and inspiration and good rock ‘n’ roll and great musicians. It’s George’s seminal work. He got his first Grammy 58 years ago (with The Beatles, who won best new artist) and it’s amazing that 58 years later I’m standing here. People have told me how (this music) has helped and healed them.”
Batiste extends his streak, taking best music video for “Freedom.” “We just wanted everybody to see it and be transformed by joy,” he says of the video’s New Orleans setting. And exactly seven days after winning best documentary at the Oscars, “Summer of Soul” snags the Grammy for best music film. “What a journey for this film, from Sundance (Film Festival) until last week,” director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson says with a knowing laugh. (His Oscar win came directly after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock.)
After making an emotional return to the stage at Friday’s MusiCares pre-Grammys tribute, Mitchell receives a Grammy for “Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967).” “I didn’t expect this,” the legendary singer says, thanking Cameron Crowe (who did the liner notes) and “my angel,” her physical therapist who’s been helping her since she suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015.
Stapleton shouts out the house band when accepting his best country solo performance for “You Should Probably Leave.” “I was really slow so they had to play a long time,” quips Stapleton, who also takes best country song for “Cold.” And Brothers Osborne takes the Grammy for country duo/group performance for “Younger Me,” written in response to T.J. Osborne coming out. “I never thought I would be able to do music professionally because of my sexual orientation,” says the first openly gay artist signed to a major country label. “And I never thought I’d be onstage accepting a Grammy after something I thought would be life-changing in a negative way. (But) I am here with a man I love and who loves me back. I don’t know what I did to be so lucky.”
In addition, Batiste runs his 2022 Grammy haul to three, winning for American roots performance and roots song.
“This has got to be a first: a rock drummer in a new age category,” says Copeland, a founding member of The Police who wins for “Divine Tides” with Ricky Kej. Angelique Kidjo’s “Mother Nature” takes the Grammy for global music album and the late Chick Corea receives two honors: best improvised jazz solo for “Humpty Dumpty (Set 2)” and Latin jazz album for “Mirror Mirror” with Eliane Elias and Chucho Valdés.
“Tell the truth, you didn’t expect Kunta to be this fine, did you?” says host LeVar Burton, the “Star Trek” and “Roots” actor, to start the Grammys preshow. He points out the global unrest of the moment but also offers a positive message: “Music is a balm for all our souls.”
Batiste grabs his first Grammy of the day – for “Soul,” which ties with “The Queen’s Gambit” for score soundtrack for visual media. Bo Burnham’s “All Eyes on Me” snags best song for visual media, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” wins for best musical theater album and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” takes the honor for compilation soundtrack for visual media.
Two years after sweeping the major Grammy honors, Eilish returns with seven nominations this year, including album, song and record of the year for her “Happier Than Ever” and its title track. Rodrigo, the new kid on the scene, also has seven nods including those key categories. Plus she’s favored for the prestigious best new artist – yep, which Eilish won in 2020 – against a field that includes Glass Animals, Saweetie and Eilish’s own brother, Finneas.
You can tune into the premiere ceremony – when about 70 of the 86 awards are distributed – starting at 3:30 EDT/12:30 PDT at grammy.com and the Recording Academy’s YouTube channel. Red carpet arrivals will be streamed on grammy.com starting at 6:30 EDT/3:30 PDT; E! starts its coverage at 4 EDT/1 PDT, with “Live From E!: Grammys” starting at 6 EDT/3 PDT. And then there’s the prime-time show: That airs live on CBS and Paramount+ at 8 EDT/5 PDT, and is also accessible via CBS.com and the CBS app (with a cable subscription).
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Contributing: Melissa Ruggieri
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism