The 2023 Grammy rundown

Feb. 15, 2023, 4:18 p.m. | By Lillian Paterson | 1 year, 3 months ago

With wins from Beyonce to Bad Bunny, this Grammy was one to remember

Musicians like Kim Petras, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Mary J Blige, and Sam Smith stunned at the Grammys (Courtesy of Time)

The 65th annual Grammys was held Sunday, Feb. 5 in Los Angeles. With Trevor Noah as its host, this history-making show featured explosive performances, expected and unexpected wins from a variety of artists and a whole lot of music appreciation! Let’s take a deep dive into the show. 

Poppin’ Performances

The performance line up for this Grammys was stacked. Bad Bunny took the stage first for an energetic mashup performance of “El Apagón” and “Después de la Playa,” songs from his now Best Musica Urbana Grammy winning album “Un Verano Sin Ti”. After Brandi Carlile’s powerfully sung “Broken Horses” performance, the living legend Stevie Wonder stepped up to the stage for some Motown hits. 72 years old, but with a voice still going strong, Wonder captured the crowd, accompanied by fellow musician Smokey Robinson. The energy continued with great performances from Lizzo, Harry Styles, Steve Lacy, Kim Petras, Sam Smith and Mary J Blige.

The most special part of the show was a celebration of 50 years of hip hop, kicked off by LL Cool Jay. With artists like Wu Tang Clan, Outkast member Big Boi, and Queen Latifah performing, this showcase was an electrifying expression of the history of hip hop and rap. After starting with covers of some of the original hip hop legends like Busta Rhymes and Black Thought, the performance moved through the years, ending with verses from Baby Keem and Playboi Carti. It was by far the best and most memorable performance of the night.

Making History

Not only was this Grammy full of amazing performances commemorating the history of music, but there was also history to be made. Before the show even started, Viola Davis achieved EGOT (a recipient of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards) status. Later on in the night, Kim Petras and Sam Smith won Best Pop Duo or Group Performance for their song “Unholy,” making Petras the first transgender woman to win in the category ever. 

Lizzo won Record of The Year, becoming the first Black woman to win the award since Whitney Houston's “I Will Always Love You” in 1994. 

Finally, after winning four Grammy awards during the show, Beyonce surpassed the previous record holder Orchestral Conductor Georg Solti, with a total of 32 Grammy awards, becoming the individual with the most wins ever. This is not at all surprising, as during all parts of her career, Beyonce has been revolutionary, and that won’t ever change.

Wins and Snubs

It’s impossible to talk about the Grammys without talking about the unexpected wins that made people’s heads turn, and say “huh?”

The first of these “huh” moments was Adele’s win of Best Pop Solo Performance with her single “Easy on Me.” No matter what, the British pop singer always seems to take home some award and this Grammys was no different. Even so, “Easy on Me” was hardly the best choice for the award, with artists like Steve Lacy and Bad Bunny on the nomination list with songs that created much bigger waves than “Easy on Me.” Even so, this was hardly the most confusing win of the night. 

When Jill Biden presented the award for Song of the Year, the energy of the Grammys shifted entirely. Bonnie Raitt’s “Just Like That” took home the prize for this award. Not only was this song relatively unknown out of most of the nominee’s, it was also a surprising win for folk music. Even before the show started, there was loads of anticipation building up to who might win this award. “Just Like That,” was never on the radar -- nominees like Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” and Taylor Swift’s “All too Well” seemed to be the top contenders. All the suspense was let down with “Just Like That,” an underwhelming winner. 

The final and perhaps most epic snub of the night was the Album of the Year award. With the amount of popular albums that came out in 2022, there were a lot of options for winners this year. The fan favorite out of all of the nominated records seemed to be Beyonce’s “RENAISSANCE.” After being nominated but not winning Album of the Year a total of four times, many fans believed that 2023 might be her year. 

Harry Styles's “Harry’s House” won.

“Harry’s House” is a well-written, well-produced album. It’s emotionally vulnerable, powerful and beautifully sung. Despite this, it is a fairly traditional pop album. Out of all of the nominees, it wasn’t impossible as a winner, but still unexpected. It was a surprising snub to nominees that stood out more, like “Un Verano Sin Ti” by Bad Bunny and “RENAISSANCE” by Beyonce. 

There is no possible objective way to decide who wins and who doesn’t. It’s entirely based on the preferences of The Recording Academy, a panel of older, predominately white music industry leaders which is why the Grammys has historically been controversial. This isn’t the first time groundbreaking albums by people of color have been snubbed, and it unfortunately won’t be the last. 

The Grammys will always be controversial because everyone has a different music taste. Despite debate surrounding the winners, this year's Grammys was one for the books, with a good share of satisfying and not-so-satisfying wins, history making victories and excellent performances by a wide range of musical artists. Overall, it was a night to remember!

Last updated: Feb. 17, 2023, 9:54 a.m.

Tags: Grammys

Lillian Paterson. Hey, I'm Lillian (she/her) and I'm a co-sports and co-op-ed editor for SCO. When I'm not being totally consumed by school work I like to play guitar and read! More »

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