2021 Grammy Awards: Top moments from the night
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday were stacked with performances from some of the biggest artists in the industry.
After a year without live concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, music lovers were craving performances from their favorite artists — and the Recording Academy delivered with unique pairings, memorable solo moments and beautiful tributes to music legends lost in the last year.
History was also made, as Beyoncé cemented her status as a music icon as she became the performer with the most Grammys wins.
Throughout the night, the Grammys also highlighted live music venues across the country that have struggled while being shut down.
Check out some of the top moments from the night:
Amazing performances from BTS, Cardi B, Harry Styles and more
Harry Styles kicked off the award show with a captivating performance of his hit song, “Watermelon Sugar.” Billie Eilish then delivered an equally stirring performance of her 2019 single, “Everything I Wanted.”
Grammy-nominated rapper DaBaby appeared onstage for a few of his chart-topping collaborations. First, he was joined by Roddy Ricch for a performance of their single, “ROCKSTAR.” Then DaBaby hit the stage with Dua Lipa to sing their song, “Levitating.”
Lipa also sang “Don’t Start Now” from her 2020 album, “Future Nostalgia.”
Another fun collaboration was Maren Morris and John Mayer’s performance of her smash hit, “The Bones.”
Lil Baby included references to police brutality, racial injustice and more during his performance of his song, “The Bigger Picture,” which he released in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police.
Taylor Swift performed a medley of recent hits, including “Cardigan” and “August” from “Folklore,” the album she released last July, as well as “Willow” from “Evermore,” the album she released in December. The pop star was joined in a whimsical setting by her co-producers, Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff.
BTS also delivered a high-energy performance of their hit “Dynamite,” their first song to be released completely in English.
So many more artists brought out incredible performances during the 2021 Grammys. From Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s performance of “WAP” to sister trio Haim’s loved rendition of their hit, “The Steps,” the night did not disappoint.
Music legends honored
One of the most special moments of the 2021 Grammy Awards was the “In Memoriam” tribute.
The Recording Academy honored the many incredible artists within the music industry that the world lost in 2020 and 2021.
Some of the late artists included in the powerful tribute were “Ain’t No Sunshine” singer Bill Withers, Little Richard, Eddie Van Halen, The Supremes’ founding member Mary Wilson, Bonnie Pointer, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Chick Corea, Charley Pride, Betty Wright, K.T. Oslin, Tony Rice and more.
During the tribute, several artists took the stage to sing some of the late performers most well-known hits. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak paid tribute to the legendary Little Richard while performing his songs, “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Long Tall Sally.”
“We love you, Little Richard,” Mars said at the end of their performance.
Lionel Richie also delivered an emotional tribute for his late friend Kenny Rogers. He sang “Lady,” a song he actually wrote for Rogers. Richie closed out his performance by saying, “I miss you, Kenny. I miss you, man.”
Brandi Carlile sang “I Remember Everything” for John Prine, and Brittany Howard took the stage with Chris Martin to perform “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Beyoncé making history
There’s a reason they call her Queen Bey.
Beyoncé — already the most-nominated female performer at the Grammys — made history by becoming the performer with the most wins in Grammys history. Heading into the night with 24 wins, she scored four more to bring her total to 28.
Doing this, she surpassed bluegrass performer Alison Krauss, who currently has 27 wins.
“I’m so honored. I’m so excited,” Beyoncé said, beginning her acceptance speech. “As an artist, I believe it’s my job and all of our jobs to reflect the times, and it’s been such a difficult time. So I wanted to uplift and encourage all of the Black queens and kings.”
“I can’t believe this happened, it’s such a magical night,” Beyoncé continued, shouting out the three children she shares with husband Jay-Z. “I know my two daughters and my son are watching.”
Honoring local venues
The Grammys used the platform of national television to spotlight iconic live music venues across the U.S. that were forced to close their doors when COVID-19 hit. Representatives from these locations educated viewers of these important places and how the pandemic has affected them during the past year before presenting various categories.
First up was JT Gray from The Station Inn, a legendary bluegrass venue in Nashville, who presented the award for best country album to Miranda Lambert for “Wildcard.” Next was Rachelle Erratchu of L.A.’s The Troubadour, who presented the award for best solo pop performance to Harry Styles for “Watermelon Sugar.”
Then there was Billy Mitchell from Harlem’s The Apollo Theater, a New York City venue important to the history of Black music, who presented the award for best rap song to “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé. Finally, Candice Fox of L.A.’s Hotel Café presented the award for album of the year to Taylor Swift for “Folklore.”
For more information on how you can help the Recording Academy in assisting live music venues such as those previously mentioned and the people who create music, visit here.
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