The highs and lows of Grammys 2024 – and why Taylor Swift gained album of 12 months


SZA accepts the Best R&B Song award for "Snooze" onstage during the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, CaliforniaSymbol supply, Getty Photographs
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SZA was once one of the most giant winners on the 2024 Grammy Award

The 2024 Grammy Awards ended with a bang: Taylor Swift taking house her fourth album of the 12 months trophy.

It cements her place because the one of the most biggest songwriters of her generation – even supposing she was once gracious sufficient to make use of her speech to reward fellow nominee Lana Del Rey, calling her “a legend in her top” who has set the time table for a whole era of feminine artists.

Regardless of Taylor taking the principle identify, it was once a somewhat even-handed evening by way of Grammy requirements.

Favoured nominees like Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, SZA and Boygenius all went house with more than one prizes, whilst the most productive new artist went to R&B big name Victoria Monét – the primary time a feminine R&B act has scooped that award since Alicia Keys in 2002.

Alongside the best way, there have been various marvel appearances (Celine Dion!) and show-stopping performances (Burna Boy, Dua Lipa).

Listed below are the highlights, lowlights and takeaways from “song’s greatest evening”.

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TAKEAWAY: Taylor Swift wasn’t simply recognised for her song

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By way of any metric, it is an unbelievable feat: Taylor Swift has gained album of the 12 months thrice greater than The Beatles, two greater than Adele and yet another than Stevie Surprise.

In truth, she’s gained the prize greater than any person. Ever.

Her newest honour is for 2022’s Hours of darkness – a hazy, dream-scrubbed selection of songs about late-night obsessions.

On the time of liberate, it was once no longer her best-received album. And for this reason, many of us idea R&B big name SZA or indie band Boygenius had been much more likely to win.

However the Grammys don’t seem to be merely about musical benefit, and Swift is recently in the midst of an imperial segment. Her Eras excursion has damaged field place of job information, boosted native economies, brought on a central authority inquiry into Ticketmaster or even led to seismic process.

The singer has additionally been named Time Mag’s particular person of the 12 months, whilst her romance with Travis Kelce introduced new eyes to American soccer.

It is onerous to argue in opposition to her cultural dominance – nevertheless it all stems from the song.

That is an element the Recording Academy’s 11,000 citizens could have been keenly conscious about. They take songwriting extremely significantly, this means that they take Swift – who exists on the crossroads of industrial luck and sonic innovation – significantly as smartly.

So her fourth Grammy win was once all however inevitable, even though your most popular Taylor Swift album is Folklore (right kind solution), 1989 (additionally appropriate) or Lover (we want to have phrases).

HIGHLIGHT: A status ovation for Joni Mitchell

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Joni Mitchell’s song is sort of a language of its personal. It is uncooked, magical, virtually painfully stunning.

However during the last 10 years, the singer was once virtually robbed of language after a life-threatening mind aneurysm.

Following in depth rehabilitation, she returned to the level in 2022 on the Newport Folks Competition – and a recording of that live performance earned the singer the Grammy for ideally suited folks album on Sunday evening.

Mitchell adopted that up with a efficiency of Each Facets Now, supported by way of musicians Brandi Carlile and Jacob Collier.

To start with, her voice perceived to catch – however because the track endured, she settled right into a wealthy, dusky vocal tone.

They are saying, Joni, you have modified,” she sang, adapting the lyrics to the instance. “Smartly one thing’s misplaced, however one thing’s received / In dwelling each day.”

Wealthy with revel in, and encumbered with importance, the efficiency was once exceptionally transferring. It rightly introduced the gang to their toes.

LOWLIGHT: Travis Scott vs some chairs

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For certainly one of rap’s maximum bodily intense performers, Travis Scott’s set was once mystifyingly dull.

The big name carried out a medley of My Eyes, I Know? and Fein (key lyric: “Fein, fein, fein, fein, fein, fein“) shrouded in shadow, whilst a dancer wandered round in search of one thing to do.

There was once a short lived frisson when Playboi Carti joined him on level in a burst of pyrotechnics, nevertheless it all fizzled out with Scott flinging round plastic chairs like an escapee from a Eighties wrestling fit.

HIGHLIGHT: Jay-Z is going off script

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I say off-script, however I am not certain Jay-Z even ready a script.

Honoured with the Dr Dre International Have an effect on Award, which recognises black song creators, the rapper used his allocated time to ship a wide-ranging ramble concerning the Grammys typically.

Immediately off the bat, he reminisced about the use of certainly one of his earlier Grammy Awards as a “sippy cup” for his daughter Blue Ivy, who this time accompanied him to the level.

“Blue’s grown up now,” he added. “She does not take a sippy cup and she or he has her personal Grammys.”

However he did not forestall there. He joked about boycotting the 1998 Grammys as a result of his pal DMX have been snubbed. After which he went for the jugular – citing Beyoncé.

Famously, his spouse has extra Grammys than any person in historical past, with 32 in overall. However for all that obvious love, the massive prizes have eluded her. Of the 16 instances she’s been nominated within the primary classes, she has gained simply as soon as: track of the 12 months for Unmarried Women (Put A Ring On It) in 2010.

“I do not need to embarrass this younger woman, however she has extra Grammys than everybody and not gained album of the 12 months,” mentioned Jay-Z. “So even by way of your individual metrics, that does not paintings. Take into accounts that.”

HIGHLIGHT: Celine Dion’s marvel go back

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Watch: Celine Dion, Taylor Swift and Jay Z highlights of the Grammy Awards

Celine Dion surprised the target audience when she emerged to provide the most productive album trophy, virtually a 12 months after she was once pressured to cancel all of her are living presentations after being recognized with a unprecedented neurological dysfunction.

Dion was once there to announce the album of the 12 months prize, arriving on level to the sound of her hit unmarried The Energy Of Love.

However the importance of her look was once no longer misplaced at the crowd – who gave her an immediate status ovation.

“Thanks all, I like you proper again. After I say that I am glad to be right here, I truly imply it from my center,” mentioned the singer, whose situation reasons stiffness of the muscular tissues, affecting her limbs and vocal cords.

She just lately introduced a documentary about her go back to well being, and promised fanatics she was once at the “street to resuming my appearing occupation”.

HIGHLIGHT: Boygenius’s early life ambitions

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Boygenius (L-R): Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker

Alt-rock supergroup Boygenius had been additionally triple winners, for his or her debut album The Document, which updates the traditional Seventies California rock sound with an emphasis on solidarity, friendship and feminism.

“We had been all delusional sufficient as youngsters to suppose this would possibly occur to us,” mentioned Lucy Dacus, choosing up their first prize – ideally suited rock efficiency for the track No longer Sturdy Sufficient.

“Phoebe [Bridgers] would sing on the Guitar Heart, hoping that she would get came upon. Julien [Baker] sought after to play bought out stadiums. And I might observe writing an acceptance speech, and thank all of the individuals who’d been great to me – like my bus motive force and the fellow that held the door at church.

“So I believe more or less like a child, as a result of that was once the ultimate time that one thing like this felt conceivable.”

TAKEWAY: Ladies “stepped up”, however there is extra to do

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Feminine artists totally ruled this 12 months, taking house all of the primary prizes and many extra but even so.

Kylie Minogue gained ideally suited pop dance recording, and South Africa’s Tyla (pictured) picked up the inaugural award for ideally suited African efficiency.

In the meantime, the previously testosterone-soaked rock and choice classes had been ruled by way of Paramore (led by way of Hayley Williams) and Boygenius.

It is a mirrored image of a 12 months by which girls had been extremely a hit within the charts, and an important trade for the Grammys. As just lately as 2018, the rite was once embroiled in controversy when former chairman Neil Portnow mentioned girls wanted “to step up” in the event that they sought after a nomination.

So has the space been closed? Some distance from it. By way of some counts, handiest 20% of artists signed to a big report label are feminine. Final 12 months, handiest 19.5% of all songwriters around the Billboard Scorching 100 songs had been girls.

“What we wish is to be noticed as equals, no longer simply at the inventive facet however at the trade facet,” mentioned Dua Lipa at the crimson carpet. “We are nonetheless figuring that out however it is getting there slowly.”

HIGHLIGHT: Billy Joel’s brutal honesty

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Billy Joel attended the rite along with his spouse Alexis Roderick

Six-time Grammy winner Billy Joel was once again on the rite this 12 months to accomplish Flip The Lighting Again On – his first new track in virtually twenty years.

Talking at the crimson carpet, he defined why it had taken see you later to place pen to paper.

“I gotta pass into my cave and change into a caveman,” he advised CBS information. “It is not a amusing procedure for me. It is very self-centred. It is very lonely. And on occasion it is torture. However afterwards, I like having written.”

Joel added that he was once shocked to be invited again to the Grammys after his ultimate efficiency in 1994.

Again then, he paused his efficiency of River Of Goals mid-song in protest at Frank Sinatra’s speech being reduce quick previous within the demonstrate.

“I checked out my watch and I mentioned, ‘There may be a large number of treasured promoting time going by way of right here’,” he recalled. “I ended for a very long time… In order that they nonetheless could be mad at me for that.”

HIGHLIGHT: Tracy Chapman becoming a member of Luke Combs

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In a big coup for the Grammys, Tracy Chapman made her go back to the level to duet with nation big name Luke Combs.

The singer, who had a run of a hit albums within the Eighties and Nineties, has in large part have shyed away from the highlight since her ultimate excursion in 2009.

However she was once tempted again after Combs lined her signature track Speedy Automotive – a haunting folk-rock tale about seeking to break out poverty – and took it again into america most sensible 10 ultimate 12 months.

Their efficiency opened with Chapman choosing out the track’s unforgettable riff, then buying and selling verses with Combs prior to they united at the refrain.

Each singers seemed extremely joyful. Chapman grinned during, and Combs sang alongside off-mic all the way through her solos.

In a video clip forward of the efficiency, Combs mentioned: “Simply to be related along with her in any respect is tremendous humbling for me.”

Within the target audience, Taylor Swift and nation big name Jelly Roll sang alongside on the tops in their voices. A easy, however emotional, excitement.

LOWLIGHT: U2 in Las Vegas

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Glance, I am keen on U2. I am from Eire, the place it is almost a demand. However on occasion… oh, guy.

The band beamed in are living from The Sphere, the insane globular Las Vegas venue that is fabricated from 66ft LED displays and was once constructed at a price of $2.3bn (£1.83bn).

U2 are taking part in a residency there, and in case you dream of a gig the place you spend extra time gazing TV displays than gazing the band, then you might be welcome to the $750 price tag worth.

Their efficiency was once mainly an enormous ad for the venue, set to Atomic Town – an underwhelming unmarried they put out to coincide with their opening evening ultimate 12 months.

Honest sufficient that the Grammys must spotlight innovation in live performance era, however the whole lot about this was once disappointingly mediocre. If handiest they might performed Mysterious Tactics.

HIGHLIGHT: Nearly each different performer

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The Grammys is at all times a blended bag, however this 12 months’s hit fee was once prime. Dua Lipa bravely opened the demonstrate with a brand spanking new track, the pneumatic Coaching Season, whilst gyrating on steel scaffolding, and SZA recreated the Loopy 88 swordfight from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Invoice.

Billie Eilish’s rendition of song-of-the-year-winner What Used to be I Made For? was once suitably tear-jerking; and Burna Boy oozed aura all the way through his medley of On Shape, Town Boys and Sittin’ On Most sensible Of The International.

The In Memoriam segment was once specifically sturdy: Stevie Surprise paid touching tribute to his pal Tony Bennett, prior to Annie Lennox gave a stirring rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s Not anything Compares 2U – subsidized by way of Prince’s musical foils Wendy and Lisa.

However it was once Fantasia Barrino who stole the demonstrate, racing via an electrical efficiency of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary prior to strolling into the target audience and shimmying with Dua Lipa.

The Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll would had been proud.

LOWLIGHT: That one bizarre photograph everybody’s pressured to do

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It is Grammy regulation. When you win a trophy, you must pose awkwardly with it behind the scenes. Bonus issues in case you kiss it. Double bonus issues if in case you have an armful of the issues.

Who is aware of why at this level? It is most certainly some Illuminati factor.

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More than one award winners Boygenius, Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff

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Victoria Monét gained ideally suited new artist, ideally suited R&B album and ideally suited engineered album

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Karol G was the primary girl to win the award for ideally suited musica urbana album

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Lil Durk gained ideally suited melodic rap efficiency for his collaboration with J Cole, All My Lifestyles

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Kylie Minogue picked up her 2nd Grammy, for Padam Padam, twenty years after profitable ideally suited dance recording for Come Into My International

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Shankar Mahadevan of the band Shakti gained the most productive international song album award for This Second

HIGHLIGHT: Miley Cyrus vindicated

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In her 17-year song occupation, Miley Cyrus has had dozens of hits – from Wrecking Ball and The Climb to Not anything Breaks Like A Center and Nighttime Sky.

However she’d by no means gained a Grammy… till now.

The singer gained two prizes: report of the 12 months and ideally suited pop solo efficiency, each for the instant-classic break-up ballad Plant life.

Cyrus marked the instant with a brilliantly tortured metaphor.

“There is a tale I need to inform that sums up this second,” she defined.

“There was once a little bit boy and all he sought after for his birthday was once a butterfly. And so his oldsters gave him a butterfly internet and he was once so excited. He simply went outdoor, out within the solar, and began swinging and swinging, however with out a good fortune.

“Then he sat down at the floor, and he in any case let pass and he surrendered. He was once OK that he wasn’t going to seize this gorgeous butterfly.

“And proper when he did, is when the butterfly got here and landed proper at the tip of his nostril. And this track, Plant life, is my butterfly.”

Later, Cyrus carried out the track are living for the primary time, including some parenthetical asides to the lyrics.

“I did not need to go away you (however I did) / I did not need to combat (however we did) / Began to cry however then remembered… I simply gained my first actual Grammy!

She ended with a mic drop. And rightly so.



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