63rd Grammys Review


Story by Peyton Tranas / Core Writer

Photos by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Los Angeles Times

On Sunday night, the Grammy Awards proved that it is possible to execute an in-person award show during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Many other award shows have taken the Zoom approach (and failed), but the 63rd Grammys was nearly entirely in person: there were multiple stages set up, and one outdoor stage dedicated entirely to nominees and their respective categories.

The show’s first performance of the night came from first-time nominee, Harry Styles (and his brightly colored feather boas). Styles opened the show with his now Grammy Award-winning song, “Watermelon Sugar.” Within the room, were three other performers that served as each other’s audience and support: Billie Eilish and Finneas, HAIM, and Black Pumas. Eilish and her brother Finneas also walked away with two awards that night, including Record of the Year for “Everything I Wanted.”

Harry Styles performing at THE 63rd ANNUAL GRAMMY® AWARDS, broadcast live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 14, 2021 (8:00-11:30 PM, live ET/5:00-8:30 PM, live PT) on the CBS Television Network and Paramount+. Photo: Francis Specker/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

One big winner and show-stealer of the night was Megan Thee Stallion. Megan walked away with three out of four awards she was nominated for, including Best New Artist. She also won two awards with Beyoncé, who is now the most decorated woman in Grammys history. Megan also put on a fantastic performance, entertaining the crowd alongside Cardi B for their notoriously feminist rap anthem, “WAP.” 

Beyoncé’s first appearance notably came almost out of nowhere. During one of the announcements for an award, she was suddenly spotted at a table with her husband Jay-Z. Not only did Beyoncé walk away with several wins, but so did her nine-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, for Best Music Video for their song “Brown Skin Girls.”

Taylor Swift finally broke her Grammy drought by not only performing a medley of songs, including “cardigan,” “august,” and “willow,” but also walking away with her first award since 2016: Album of the Year for “folklore.” Swift’s performance was unlike any she’s done before in Grammys past, featuring her album co-writers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dressner.

Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” won the 2021 Grammy for album of the year. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Dua Lipa’s performance of a medley of songs from her now Grammy Award-winning album “Future Nostalgia,” was one of the best performances of the night. With outfit changes, an appearance from collaborator DaBaby, and an overall show-stopping performance, Lipa walked away with many wins, despite only actually winning one award.

Lil Baby delivered a politically charged performance for his song “The Bigger Picture.” While I’m glad he was given a highly elevated platform to discuss the issues of police brutality and how Black people are mistreated in America, it also felt as if the Recording Academy was using it to show they are inclusive and diverse– despite completely snubbing The Weeknd, and having a history of racial inequalities within the Academy and their nomination choices.

Lil Baby performing at the 2021 Grammys, delivering a moving rendition of his song “The Bigger Picture.” 

The Academy also received backlash online for essentially using the K-POP group BTS for views. They were nominated for one award, which was announced during the pre-show, and lost. They also performed at the show, but were one of the last performances of the night, guaranteeing they would maintain views by keeping BTS’s fans waiting.

With many highs and lows, here are some of the key wins from last night:

Record of the Year

Winner: “Everything I Wanted” Billie Eilish

“Black Parade” — Beyoncé

“Colors” — Black Pumas

“Rockstar” — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch

“Say So” — Doja Cat

“Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa

“Circles” — Post Malone

“Savage” — Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

Album of the Year

Winner: “folklore” Taylor Swift

“Chilombo” — Jhené Aiko

“Black Pumas” (Deluxe Edition) — Black Pumas

“Everyday Life” — Coldplay

“Djesse Vol. 3” — Jacob Collier

“Women in Music Pt. III” — Haim

“Future Nostalgia” — Dua Lipa

“Hollywood’s Bleeding” — Post Malone

Song of the Year

Winner: “I Can’t Breathe” H.E.R.

“Black Parade” — Beyoncé

“The Box” — Roddy Ricch

“Cardigan” — Taylor Swift

“Circles” — Post Malone

“Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa

“Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish

“If the World Was Ending” — JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels

Best New Artist

Winner: Megan Thee Stallion

Ingrid Andress

Phoebe Bridgers

Noah Cyrus

Chika

D Smoke

Doja Cat

Kaytranada

Best Pop Vocal Album

Winner: “Future Nostalgia” Dua Lipa

“Changes” — Justin Bieber

“Chromatica” — Lady Gaga

“Fine Line” — Harry Styles

“Folklore” — Taylor Swift

Best Alternative Album

Winner: “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” Fiona Apple

“Hyperspace” — Beck

“Punisher” — Phoebe Bridgers

“Jaime” — Brittany Howard

“The Slow Rush” — Tame Impala

Best Rap Song

Winner: “Savage” Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé

“The Bigger Picture” — Lil Baby

“The Box” — Roddy Ricch

“Laugh Now Cry Later” — Drake featuring Lil Durk

“Rockstar” — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ashley Barrientos, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life

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