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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(B.C. Government photo)
POLL QUESTION: Are you in favour of B.C.’s three-week ban on in-restaurant dining?

Dr. Bonnie Henry called the three week stoppage a “circuit breaker”

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Theatre manager Sophie L’Homme is ecstatic to share the news that Tofino’s aging Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre is finally getting upgrades. (Nora O’Malley photo)
BC Arts grant funding breathes new life into Tofino’s community theatre

“Once it’s done, it’s going to be a pride of the town.”

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

Pickleball is a favourite recreation for older adults on the West Coast. (Westerly file photo)
Pacific Rim Hospice releases older adult survey report

One key theme unearthed during the research process was the need for companionship

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read