On the evening of Feb. 5, the 2023 Grammy Awards premiered, recognizing musicians for standout albums, songs and performances. Awards span a wide range of genres and categories, but the most prestigious are those for album of the year, song of the year, record of the year and best new artist. This year, the Recording Academy’s ceremony was hosted by Trevor Noah.
For his latest album, “Harry’s House,” pop sensation Harry Styles took home the coveted Grammy for album of the year, beating the nine other nominees. Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt snagged the song of the year award for “Just Like That.” The record of the year award was given to Lizzo for her track, “About Damn Time.” Of note is the difference between record and song of the year; record of the year recognizes everyone who contributed to the recording process of the track, while song of the year specifically recognizes the songwriters. Bronx native Samara Joy won the Grammy for best new artist.
Pop icon Beyoncé broke the record for the most Grammys ever won by a single artist. Her four wins for best dance recording, best dance/electronica album, best traditional R&B vocal performance and best R&B song brought her total to an astounding 32. The artist who previously held this record was conductor Georg Solti with 31.
For their song, “Chaise Lounge,” as well as their self-titled debut album, Wet Leg took home the awards for best alternative music performance and best alternative music album. The indie rock newcomers beat out alternative mainstays such as Arctic Monkeys, Björk and Arcade Fire. This marked Björk’s 16th Grammy nomination without a single win.
Kendrick Lamar won the Grammy for best rap album for “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” his third win in the category. He also took home best rap song and best rap performance for lead single “The Heart Part 5.” Future’s team-up with Drake and Tems, “WAIT FOR U,” won the award for best rap/sung collaboration.
In addition to the award ceremony, the Recording Academy hosts performances from notable artists each year. This year was no different, with a sprawling assortment of artists taking the stage. Puerto Rican singer and rapper Bad Bunny opened the night with “El Apagón” and “Después de la Playa.” He would later go on to win best música urbana album for his LP, “Un Verano Sin Ti.”
Harry Styles performed his hit, “As It Was,” with a full backing band. In addition, Lizzo took the stage with “About Damn Time” and “Special.” Quavo performed the touching and emotional “Without You,” a tribute to deceased Migos member and nephew, Takeoff.
For their song, “Unholy,” Sam Smith and Kim Petras snagged the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance. Smith and Petras became the first nonbinary person and first openly transgender woman to win an award in that category, respectively. The duo performed the song at the ceremony.
The lineup of performances for the evening didn’t end there. Joined by Thundercat, Steve Lacy played his hit, “Bad Habit.” He took home the award for best progressive R&B album. Other notable artists that took the stage included but weren’t limited to Kacey Musgraves, DJ Khaled, Lizzo, Luke Combs, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Chris Stapleton.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop music, the Recording Academy presented an all-star performance with many of the genre’s greats. With an introduction from LL Cool J, narration from Black Thought and music provided by The Roots, a roster of hip hop’s figureheads gave performances. Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Future, De La Soul, Ice-T, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rakim, RUN-DMC, Method Man, Missy Elliott and many more took the stage to commemorate this special occasion.