- Kathleen Maurer
The Grammys: Who Performed, Who Was Worth Watching, and Who Won?
Performances Worth Watching:
Megan Thee Stallion - “Body and Savage” I think that Megan Thee Stallion took a page out of Beyoncé’s book because this was the most lively and energetic performance of the night. The added brass and the regal stage filled with feathers and gold added a midas touch to this performance. Go and watch it now.
Doja Cat - “Say So” Daft Punk walked so that Doja Cat could RUN! Doja Cat really brought us into the future for this one and it was too good. I loved it so much.
Cardi B - “Up and WAP” You knew it was coming. I knew it was coming.
LET’S GO CARDI B! Up was so WEIRD! I really didn’t know what was going on. I just knew I wanted more. Then I got more. I think I got too much though. Cardi B went in. There was a pole. There was a giant shoe. There was even a laughing Post Malone making a cameo for a couple seconds. I have no idea what just happened. It’s worth watching mainly just because it’s indescribable. Warning though, it is NOT for the faint of heart.
Harry Styles - “Watermelon Sugar” This jazzed up pop song was beautiful and simple with nothing but excellent vocals and incredible sound.
Black Pumas - “Colors” Ok, Black Pumas went in. Like the guitar solo was hard and you could really hear the passion in the lead singer. He had total control and you could easily tell from his quick transition from full on yelling to perfect falsetto.
Dababy ft.Roddy Ricch - “Rockstar” The violins and choir in the back made me feel like I was watching Hamilton. It was weird but it was kind of great. I really can’t describe it, but I think it’s worth seeing.
Dua Lipa ft. Dababy - “Levitating/Don’t Start Now” The outfit changes, the song mashups, and the incredible dancers in the background made this a great performance that was clearly well put together.
Silk Sonic - “Leave the Door Open” Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have come together to make the sultriest group sound since Boys to Men. Between the burnt orange suits and the beat synced stars, this 80s inspired performance was passionate and very fun to watch.
Taylor Swift - “cardigan / august / willow” This performance was like watching an angel sing a lullaby in a meadow for fairies. Her voice was like silk. The stage was magnificent. The songs were so well blended that it conveyed an exceptional summary of evermore and folklore.
Maren Morris - “The Bones” This performance was way more dynamic than the original song. It just sounded alive. The instruments popped more, the vocals sounded way more real, and the addition of back up singers added excellent harmony. Was definitely worth listening to at the least.
Lil Baby - “The Bigger Problem” Lil Baby really gave a whole movie. There was a great beat, excellent drums, and a spoken word poem. He really killed it.
Roddy Ricch - “Heartless and The Box” This was way better live. The instruments sounded clearer and so did his voice. The songs sounded real. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mickey Guyton - “Black Like Me” SOOOOOO Good. You could hear all of the emotion in her voice and I’m always a sucker for a choir. Take me to church!
Post Malone - “Hollywood’s Bleeding” There was a choir. I love Post’s performances because he always puts his heart into it. This was such an emotional song and the darkness of the stage as well as the sadness in his voice was just amazing. I loved it and you will too.
I Could Have Done Without It:
Billie Eilish - “Everything I Wanted” The nightmare set song was beautiful and elegant. Although excellent, it sounded no different than the original song and was not worth the watch.
Haim - “The Steps” This 80’s inspired song was energetic yet somehow boring. It was not very exciting and I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.
Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez - “Dakiti” It was odd to say the least. The energy of the performance was really high and the song’s energy was really low. I think that the music video did a better job at matching ~vibes~ so I would recommend that instead.
Miranda Lambert - “Bluebird” The stage for this one was great and the vocals were very good but it sounded the same as the original and did not offer anything new. If you are not a fan already, it’s not worth the watch.
Who won: (You’re gonna wanna CTRL + F for this one)
Record of the Year: Finneas O’Connell, producer; Rob Kinelski and Finneas O’Connell, engineers/mixers; John Greenham, mastering engineer (Billie Eilish) - “Everything I Wanted”
Album of the Year: Taylor Swift - Folklore
Song of the Year: Dernst Emile II, H.E.R., and Tiara Thomas - “I Can’t Breathe”
Best New Artist: Megan Thee Stallion
Best Pop Solo Performance: Harry Styles - “Watermelon Sugar”
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande - “Rain on Me”
Best Pop Vocal Album: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: James Taylor - American Standard
Best Dance Recording: Kaytranada ft. Kali Uchis - “10%”
Best Dance/Electronic Album: Kaytranada - Bubba
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Snarky Puppy - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Best Rock Performance: Fiona Apple - “Shameika”
Best Metal Performance: Body Count - Bum Rush
Best Rock Album: The Strokes - The New Abnormal
Best Alternative Music Album: Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Best R&B Performance: Beyoncé - “Black Parade”
Best Traditional R&B Performance: Ledisi - “Anything For You”
Best R&B Song: Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Robert Glasper ft. H.E.R. and Meshell Ndegeocello) - “Better Than I Imagine”
Best Progressive R&B Album: Thundercat - It Is What It Is
Best R&B Album: John Legend - Bigger Love
Best Rap Performance: Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé - “Savage”
Best Melodic Rap Performance: Anderson .Paak - “Lockdown”
Best Rap Song: Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe, and Anthony White, songwriters (Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé) - “Savage”
Best Rap Album: Nas - “King’s Disease”
Best Country Solo Performance: Vince Gill - “When My Amy Prays”
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber - “10,000”
Best Country Song: Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna, songwriters (The Highwomen) - “Crowded Table”
Best Country Album: Miranda Lambert - Wildcard
Best New Age Album: Jim “Kimo” West - More Guitar Stories
Best Improvised Jazz Solo: Chick Corea - “All Blues”
Best Jazz Vocal Album: Kurt Elling ft. Danilo Pérez - Secrets Are the Best Stories
Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Chick Corea, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade - Trilogy 2
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Maria Schneider Orchestra - Data Lords
Best Latin Jazz Album: Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra - Four Questions
Best Gospel Performance/Song: Darryl L. Howell, Jonathan Caleb McReynolds, Kortney Jamaal Pollard and Terrell Demetrius Wilson, songwriters (Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music) - “Movin’ On”
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: Casey Beathard, Jonathan Smith and Zach Williams, songwriters (Zach Williams and Dolly Parton) - “There Was Jesus”
Best Gospel Album: PJ Morton - Gospel According to PJ
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Kanye West - Jesus Is King
Best Roots Gospel Album: Fisk Jubilee Singers - Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album)
Best Latin Pop or Urban Album: Bad Bunny - YHLQMDLG
Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album: Fito Paez - La Conquista Del Espacio
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): Natalia Lafourcade - Un Canto Por Mexico, Vol. 1
Best Tropical Latin Album: Grupo Niche - 40
Best American Roots Performance: John Prine - “I Remember Everything”
Best American Roots Song: Pat McLaughlin and John Prine, songwriters (John Prine) - “I Remember Everything”
Best Americana Album: Sarah Jarosz - World on the Ground
Best Bluegrass Album: Billy Strings - Home
Best Traditional Blues Album: Bobby Rush - “Rawer Than Raw”
Best Contemporary Blues Album: Fantastic Negrito - Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?
Best Folk Album: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings - All The Good Times
Best Regional Roots Music Album: New Orleans Nightcrawlers - Atmosphere
Best Reggae Album: Toots and the Maytals - Got to Be Tough
Best Global Music Album: Burna Boy - Twice as Tall
Best Children’s Music Album: Joanie Leeds - All the Ladies
Best Spoken Word Album: Rachel Maddow - Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth
Best Comedy Album: Tiffany Haddish - Black Mitzvah
Best Musical Theatre Album: The Original Cast - Jagged Little Pill
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media: Various Artists - Jojo Rabbit
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media: Hildur Gudnadottir, composer - Joker
Best Song Written For Visual Media: Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas Baird O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish) - “No Time to Die”
Best Instrumental Composition: Maria Schneider - “Sputnik”
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella: John Beasley - “Donna Lee”
Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier ft. Rapsody) - “He Won’t Hold You”
Best Recording Package: Doug Cunningham and Jaso Noto, art directors (Desert Sessions) - “Vols. 11 & 12”
Best Boxed orSpecial Limited Edition Package: Lawrence Azerrad and Jeff Tweedy, art directors (Wilco) - “Ode to Joy”
Best Album Notes: Bob Mehr, album notes writer (The Replacements) - Dead Man’s Pop
Best Historical Album: Lee Lodyga and Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Mister Rogers) - It’s Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: Drew Brown, Julian Burg, Andrew Coleman, Paul Epworth, Shawn Everett, Serban Ghenea, David Greenbaum, John Hanes, Beck Hansen, Jaycen Joshua, Greg Kurstin, Mike Larson, Cole M.G.N., Alex Pasco and Matt Wiggins, engineers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer (Beck) - Hyperspace
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Andrew Watt
Best Remixed Recording: Imanbek Zeikenov, remixer (Saint Jhn) - “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”
Best Engineered Album, Classical: David Frost and Charlie Post, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra) - Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, ‘Babi Yar’
Producer of the Year, Classical: David Frost
Best Orchestral Performance: Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic) - “Ives: Complete Symphonies”
Best Opera Recording: David Robertson, conductor; Frederick Ballentine, Angel Blue, Denyce Graves, Latonia Moore and Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; the Metropolitan Opera Chorus) - “Gershwin: Porgy and Bess”
Best Choral Performance: JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass and Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann and Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and UCLA Chamber Singers) - “Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua”
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Pacifica Quartet - “Contemporary Voices”
Best Classical Instrumental Solo: Richard O’Neill; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony) - “Theofanidis: Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra”
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: Sarah Brailey and Dashon Burton; James Blachly, conductor (Experiential Chorus; Experiential Orchestra) - Smyth: The Prison
Best Classical Compendium: Isabel Leonard; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer - “Thomas, M.T.: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke”
Best Contemporary Classical Composition: Christopher Rouse, composer (Giancarlo Guerrero and Nashville Symphony) - “Rouse: Symphony No. 5”
Best Music Video: Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, and WizKid - “Brown Skin Girl”
Best Music Film: Linda Ronstadt - “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice”