Taylor Swift reacts as she3 is announced as winner of the award for album of the year for “Folklore” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Taylor Swift reacts as she3 is announced as winner of the award for album of the year for “Folklore” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The joy of music returns for Grammy winners, performers

Beyoncé’s four awards Sunday brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish made history at the Grammy Awards. Just as joyously, dozens of creators largely sidelined for a year due to the pandemic got to make music again.

The Grammys on Sunday broke through the Zoom trap that has bedeviled other awards shows with a surprisingly intimate evening that, at its best, felt like viewers were invited into a private club with their favourite musicians.

Four different women won the four most prestigious Grammys. Swift’s quiet surprise, “folklore,” was album of the year; Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted” was her second consecutive record of the year winner; H.E.R.’s topical “I Can’t Breathe” won song of the year and Megan Thee Stallion was named best new artist.

Beyoncé’s four awards Sunday brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist. Her celebration of Black history, “Black Parade,” released last Juneteenth, won best R&B performance and she shared two awards for collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion on “Savage.”

She ties Quincy Jones for second most Grammys ever and has the leader — the late conductor George Solti, who won 31 — in her sights.

Further crowding the family trophy case is husband Jay-Z, whose songwriting on “Savage” earned him his 23rd Grammy on Sunday, and even their 9-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who won best music video together with mom.

“This is such a magical night,” Beyoncé said.

Swift, who also found time during the pandemic to make another album and re-record one of her old ones, became the first woman to win the album of the year Grammy for the third time. Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra have also done it. She won in 2009 for “Fearless” and 2015 for “1989.”

She sang a medley of three songs on the Grammys, “cardigan” and “august” from “folklore” and “willow” from its follow-up disc, “evermore,” with collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner.

“I want to thank the fans,” she said. “You guys met us in this magical world that we created.”

After her sweep last year, Eilish became only the third artist to win back-to-back record of the year Grammys. Roberta Flack won in 1973 for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and in 1974 for “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” while U2 won in 2001 and 2002 for “Beautiful Day” and “Walk On.”

Then, when Eilish and her collaborator-brother Finneas accepted the award, she almost gave it away. She brought Megan Thee Stallion to tears by saying the rapper deserved the Grammy for “Savage.”

Because of the pandemic, CBS host Trevor Noah handed out the Grammys at an outdoor stage set up across from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, with relatively few nominees and guests in the audience.

Most performances took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but multiple artists were often on the cavernous stage at the same time, like when Harry Styles, HAIM and Eilish opened the show. Cameras caught artists enjoying their fellow nominees, like when country singer Mickey Guyton sang along quietly to Miranda Lambert, and Post Malone held up a red cup in glee at Cardi B and Stallion’s performance of “WAP.”

It made for an atmosphere unlike any other Grammy show, British singer Jacob Collier told reporters.

“There was something very special about how intimate it was and to have everything stripped back and just to be hanging out with those fellow nominees was just fantastic,” said Collier, who won his fifth Grammy. “To me, there’s something so special about communal celebration, especially after all this time of silence and being on our own.”

Lambert said that “I can’t wait to get out as a band.” Lizzo, even though she was giving out an award and not performing, couldn’t hold back: “I’m presenting because I L-O-O-O-V-E you,” she belted.

Some of the performances, like Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s Silk Sonic and Dua Lipa, felt like they were on the soundstage of “Soul Train” — ask your parents, kids.

Even with the stripped-down setting, there was still room for spectacle: the giant bed for “WAP” belongs in the Grammy hall of fame. Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture” had an elaborately choreographed scene recreating the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks and subsequent unrest.

The latter joined with “Black Parade,” which Beyoncé said was created to honour the world’s “beautiful Black kings and queens,” and H.E.R’s “I Can’t Breathe,” a reference to Black people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor who died at the hands of police, as songs and performances that recalled last summer’s social unrest.

“The fight that we had in us in the summer of 2020 — keep that energy,” H.E.R. said.

A particularly effective “in memoriam” section — lengthened because of coronavirus deaths — featured Lionel Richie paying tribute Kenny Rogers, Silk Sonic raising the spirit of Little Richard, Brandi Carlile honouring John Prine and Brittany Howard’s roof-rattling version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” accompanied by Chris Martin.

Other performances that impressed included DaBaby’s “Rockstar,” country singer Guyton, the first Black woman nominated for best country solo performance, on “Black Like Me,” and Black Pumas’ “Colours.”

H.E.R., Fiona Apple and Kaytranda won two Grammys each. Prine and Chick Corea also won two awards each posthumously.

Other notable Grammy winners were Kanye West, whose “Jesus is King” won best contemporary Christian album; Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, who shared in Dan + Shay’s country award for the collaboration “10,000 Hours”; and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who won best spoken word album for “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth.”

___

Associated Press music writer Mesfin Fekadu and entertainment writer Kristin M. Hall contributed to this report.

___

David Bauder, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Music

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

Town has passed the 2021 budget, with a five per cent spending increase. (Claire Palmer photo)
Town council approves 2021 budget and tax rate bylaw

The budget will increase by five per cent this year

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. to use remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for 2nd doses

Health officials say the change is due to the limited availability of the vaccine

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Capt. Arpit Mahajan of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Snowbirds 2 - shows off his ‘Jenn Book’ dedicated to Capt. Jennifer Casey. Zoom screenshot
Homecoming for B.C.-raised Snowbirds pilot training in the province

Capt. Arpit Mahajan flies Snowbird 2 in his first year as a solo pilot with the team

(Glenmore Neighbours/Facebook)
VIDEO: Parade of ducklings stalls Glenmore traffic

Duck and ducklings trek across Glenmore, guided to pond by residents

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Most Read