Pandemic-Era Grammys offers a smoothly run night of performances

By Stephanie Swart, Photo Editor–

I’ve got to admit, I expected the Grammys to feel disjointed this year. I mean, trying to make a cohesive awards show that follows safety guidelines is quite the task. However, from the very start, the single continuous shot of host Trevor Noah walking and talking from the outdoor award presentation stage all the way inside to the semi circle of performance stages was impressive. This was an exceptionally well thought out and planned evening, and it almost felt normal. Noah explained the format that the audience should expect for the night. We usually don’t get to see how an awards show is run, but we got to see it all. Of course, an upfront explanation of safety protocol seems to be the new normal for any organized event these days.

Something about this year’s show felt more to the point, more focused on the actual music. There was less award presenter banter to fill the gaps and more musical performances. The show started off with a groovy performance by Harry Styles, adorned with a green feather boa and dressed in a custom black leather Gucci suit. For his Grammy debut, Styles performed his chart topping single, Watermelon Sugar alongside fellow Grammy nominated group, Black Pumas. This performance intertwined the song’s catchy rhythm with a bass, trumpet and saxophone solo while Styles danced with the backup singers. Black Pumas and Styles were a match made in heaven to start off the night. 

Harry Styles entered tonight with three nominations, Best Pop Solo Performance (“Watermelon Sugar”), Best Pop Vocal Album (Fine Line) and Best Music Video (“Adore You”), and he left with a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. Black Pumas had three nominations as well, Record of the Year (“Colors”), Best American Roots Performance (“Colors”) and Album of the Year (Black Pumas Deluxe Edition). In 2020, they were nominated for Best New Artist.

Immediately following this dance inducing performance was a more mellow but strong showcase of talent by brother and sister, Billie Eilish and Finneus Baird O’Connell. The night totalled in nineteen unique performances and multiple moments of Grammy record breaking for women artists. Beyoncé took home four Grammys, and her final of the night marked 28 wins, the most of any female artist in the history of the Grammys. Taylor Swift took home her third Album of the Year Grammy (folklore), making her the first female artist to do so. This year also marked the first time that all four of the top awards, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist, were taken home by four separate female artists. Eilish took home Record of the Year for “everything i wanted,” H.E.R. won Song of the Year for “I Can’t Breathe,” and Megan Thee Stallion started off the night winning Best New Artist.
The full list of winners can be found here.

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