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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

66th Grammys: women come out on top

Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, SZA and more reign supreme on music’s biggest night
James Munson

The 66th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was broadcast live on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 4. Commencing at 5 p.m., comedian and talk-show host Trevor Noah hosted the ceremony at the Arena in Los Angeles, California. According to audiences and critics, female musicians were the ceremony’s centerpiece in both prizing and presence. 

The Recording Academy, a group of musicians, music engineers, producers, and songwriters, presented the award ceremony annually since 1959. Traditionally, the academy presents the awards in two separate shows on the same day – a premiere ceremony and a main ceremony. The academy’s website describes the Grammys’ mission as recognizing “excellence in the recording arts and sciences,” decorating various forms of music released during each year’s October-September eligibility period. 

The academy presented a total of 94 categories during both ceremonies. CBS broadcasted only nine categories during the main ceremony: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best R&B Song, Best Country Album, and Best Música Urbana Album. All televised categories were awarded to female musicians.

British singer Dua Lipa opened the television broadcast by performing two singles, “Houdini” and “Training Session,” from her upcoming third studio album. Lipa also performed “Dance the Night,” a disco-pop track written for the “Barbie” soundtrack. Shortly after the host Noah’s opening monologue, the awarding commenced. Singer Mariah Carey presented the main ceremony’s first category ‘Best Pop Solo Performance’ award to Miley Cyrus for her chart-topping single, “Flowers,” which Cyrus performed later in the ceremony. 

Singer Christina Aguilera and Colombian artist Maluma presented the ‘Best Música Urbana Album’ category to Karol G’s “Mañana Será Bonito,” the Colombian songstress’s first Grammy win.

R&B singer SZA performed two songs from her critically acclaimed and commercially successful album, “SOS.” The musician performed the first song, “Snooze,” with a dim background accompanied by fire. The performance transitioned into her chart-topping single, “Kill Bill,” with the visuals and performance being an ode to the 2003 action film of the same name.

Singer Billie Eilish performed a stripped-down and emotional rendition of “What Was I Made For,” a song written for the “Barbie” soundtrack. The single had previously won ‘Best Song Written for Visual Media’ at the premiere ceremony. Eilish’s brother Finneas O’Connell and an ensemble of violinists served as instrumental accompaniment, with the former playing the piano.

The main ceremony also recognized the country and R&B categories. Country artist Kacey Musgraves presented ‘Best Country Album’ to Lainey Wilson’s “Bell Bottom Country,” while singer and rapper Lizzo presented ‘Best R&B Song’ to SZA’s “Snooze.”

SZA was the most nominated artist of the evening, being in consideration for a total of eight categories. She won three awards, one for ‘Best Pop Duo/Group Performance’ for her collaboration with musician Phoebe Bridgers in “Ghost in the Machine.” Bridgers became the most decorated artist of the night, winning four awards that included her work in the indie band Boygenius.

Singer Olivia Rodrigo performed “Vampire,” the lead single from her second studio album, “Guts.” While Rodrigo sang, the performance accurately matched the song’s title as viewers watched fake blood pouring out of the background walls.

Following Irish band U2’s performance, lead singer Bono presented the ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ award to singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her commercial-hit album, “Midnights.” During Swift’s speech, the singer announced her 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poet’s Department,” which she is releasing on Apr. 19. Jack Antonoff also won ‘Producer of the Year, Non-Classical,’ for his work with the likes of Swift during the premiere ceremony.

Stevie Wonder opened the ceremony’s ‘In Memoriam’ tribute, an annual performance dedicated to a list of the musical acts who died in the past year. Eurythmics lead singer Annie Lennox and musician Jon Batiste followed suit in the tribute. Lennox sang Sinead O’Connor’s famous version of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” as a tribute to O’Connor, who passed away in July 2023, while calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict as her performance ended. 

Singer Fantasia Burrino concluded the ‘In Memoriam’ tribute with a performance of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” which she dedicated to the rock singer who died in May 2023. Oprah Winfrey introduced the closing tribute number. 

Host Trevor Noah presented the ‘Dr. Dre Global Impact Award’ to rapper Jay-Z, in recognition of the rapper’s contribution to hip-hop music. During his speech, the rapper called out the Recording Academy for never awarding ‘Album of the Year’ to his wife, Beyoncé. “Most Grammys ever never won ‘Album of the Year,'” he said. “How does that work?”

Artists spanning multiple genres performed back-to-back throughout the evening. Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell sang her 1969 song, “Both Sides Now.” Accompanying Mitchell were musicians Brandi Carlile (who introduced the former) alongside Blake Mills, Lucius, Allison Russell, and Jacob Collier.

Last year’s ‘Best New Artist’ winner, Samara Joy, passed over the honor to R&B singer Victoria Monét. While accepting the award, Monét likened her artistic journey in the music industry to a planted seed that slowly grew. “I feel like today, I’m sprouting, finally above the ground,” Monét said.

Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift emerged victorious again during the main ceremony, particularly in the ‘general field’ categories. Lionel Richie presented ‘Song of the Year’ to Eilish for “What Was I Made For?” Presenting the ‘Record of the Year’ category were British record producer Mark Ronson and his mother-in-law, actress Meryl Streep, where the two announced Cyrus as the winner for “Flowers.” 

Vocalist Celine Dion presented ‘Album of the Year’ to Swift for “Midnights.” This win was a record-breaking achievement for Swift, as it makes her the first artist to win ‘Album of the Year’ four times, having previously won the category for 2008’s “Fearless,” 2014’s “1989,” and 2020’s “Folklore.”


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About the Contributor
Christian Core
Christian Core, Staff Writer
Christian Core is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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