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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

2021 Grammys: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Different Girls Win Massive

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The 63rd annual Grammy Awards mixed splendor, star energy and pandemic-era versatility on Sunday evening to have fun the music that emerged in a deeply difficult 12 months, highlighting the Black Lives Matter protests and — after years of pointed criticism for previous slights — the position of girls in pop music.

With touring artists grounded and followers caught at dwelling, and the music trade pulling in billions of {dollars} from streaming but criticized by artists over pay, the music world has been upended for the final 12 months.

However the producers of the present promised an evening of respect and togetherness, with a novel outside setting in downtown Los Angeles by which musicians confronted one another whereas performing — after which gathered, masked and socially distant, to politely applaud one another’s acceptance speeches.

Girls gained all of the evening’s main awards. Megan Thee Stallion, the sparkplug Houston rapper who described her younger ambition as to grow to be “the rap Beyoncé,” took finest new artist, and her track “Savage” — which featured Beyoncé as a visitor — gained for finest rap efficiency and for finest rap track.

“It’s been a hell of a 12 months, however we made it,” Megan Thee Stallion mentioned when accepting finest new artist, whereas downtown visitors roared.

Billie Eilish, the 19-year-old who swept the awards final 12 months, took report of the 12 months for “The whole lot I Wished,” and instructed Megan Thee Stallion: “You deserve this.”

Taylor Swift gained album of the 12 months for “Folklore,” which she made completely in quarantine. It was her third time profitable that coveted prize. (She misplaced every of the 5 different awards she was nominated for this 12 months.)

Beyoncé, the pop deity whose each transfer is hyper-analyzed on-line, gained 4 awards, bringing her lifetime whole to twenty-eight Grammys — greater than some other lady, and equaling the whole for the super-producer Quincy Jones.

Accepting the award for finest R&B efficiency for her track “Black Parade,” which was launched simply as protests have been breaking out final summer time, Beyoncé mentioned: “As an artist I consider it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to replicate the instances, and it’s been such a tough time.”

Even Beyoncé’s 9-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, took dwelling a Grammy, her first: finest music video for “Brown Pores and skin Woman” (which she gained along with her mom and WizKid).

In an upset, the singer-songwriter referred to as H.E.R. gained track of the 12 months — beating Beyoncé, Eilish, Swift and Dua Lipa — for “I Can’t Breathe,” a fist-in-the-air anthem for Black Lives Matter, with traces like “Stripped of bloodlines, whipped and confined/That is the American delight.”

“We wrote this track over FaceTime,” H.E.R. mentioned, accepting the award, “and I didn’t think about that my concern and that my ache would flip into influence, and that it will presumably flip into change.”

Different moments highlighted Black protest, delight and anger. Lil Child carried out his track “The Larger Image” as a dramatic showdown with riot police, and that includes a speech by which the activist Tamika Mallory mentioned: “President Biden, we demand justice.” And the rapper DaBaby, in a glittery white go well with and Chanel brooches, sang “Rockstar,” one other protest anthem, whereas conducting a choir of older white singers who danced alongside.

At different factors, the theme was togetherness amid the pandemic, with an undercurrent of tension for issues to get again to regular — particularly in music.

Accepting finest nation album, for “Wildcard” — a class by which all of the contestants have been girls — Miranda Lambert thanked the Grammys “for placing us collectively and letting us at the very least sort of be collectively and say hello,” after which known as out to her band and crew: “I miss the hell out of y’all.”

Dua Lipa gained finest pop vocal album for “Future Nostalgia,” and Harry Kinds’s “Watermelon Sugar” took finest pop solo efficiency.

The Grammys are often the music world’s massive second every year for glitz and self-congratulation, with flashy performances and the minting of latest pop royalty.

However this 12 months the present itself was buffeted by the pandemic. Initially deliberate for January, it was delayed by six weeks due to rising coronavirus numbers in Los Angeles. And the occasion, usually a mega-production contained in the Staples Middle, needed to be adjusted for security.

“Tonight goes to be the largest outside occasion this 12 months apart from the storming of the Capitol,” the evening’s host, Trevor Noah, introduced at the beginning of the present, televised by CBS.

Probably the most noticeable change was the efficiency configuration, by which performers confronted one another however stored at a distance. A shirtless Kinds, in a leather-based jacket and feathery boa, opened the evening as Eilish nodded alongside admiringly. The sisters of Haim and the rock-soul duo Black Pumas held their devices, ready their very own turns. They have been the sort of interactions that music followers used to see each evening, however have been starved for since March 12, 2020, when nearly all stay music shut down.

Swift sang a medley of songs from her twin pandemic albums “Folklore” and “Evermore” trying like a woodland heroine from a Maxfield Parrish print.

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B carried out their ribald hit “W.A.P.” — “Moist, moist, moist,” they sang, one of many many censored variations of a track that’s defiantly raunchy.

The Latin famous person Unhealthy Bunny sang “Dákiti” with purple and blue lights dancing off his chain-link vest, and the dance-pop queen Dua Lipa — the most effective new artist winner two years in the past — led her hit “Don’t Begin Now” surrounded by dancers in silvery face masks.

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak debuted their new challenge, Silk Sonic, like Seventies “Soul Practice” crooners in three-piece fits and vast lapels.

In an prolonged “in memoriam” section, Lionel Richie paid tribute to Kenny Rogers; Mars and Anderson .Paak feted Little Richard; Brandi Carlile sang John Prine’s “I Bear in mind The whole lot,” and Brittany Howard and Coldplay’s Chris Martin honored Gerry Marsden of the Merseybeat group Gerry and the Pacemakers.

At an early ceremony at which 72 of the evening’s 83 awards have been handed out, Eilish and her brother, Finneas, shared finest track written for visible media, for the theme track to the newest James Bond movie, “No Time to Die,” which was delayed by the pandemic and nonetheless has not been launched.

Early prizes additionally went to Fiona Apple, who gained finest rock efficiency for “Shameika” and different album for “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” an enormous crucial hit. (Hours earlier than the present started, Apple posted on-line that she wouldn’t be attending due to the scrutiny it brings.) The Strokes, amongst rock’s brightest lights within the early 2000s, gained their first Grammy, finest rock album, for “The New Irregular.”

This 12 months’s Grammys additionally dropped at fever pitch a number of the controversies which were surrounding the present and its dad or mum group, the Recording Academy, for years.

After the Weeknd, the singer of megahits like “Blinding Lights” — and the performer finally month’s Tremendous Bowl halftime present — was shut out of the nominations completely, critics of the academy famous the tendency for Black artists to lose out within the prime classes, and likewise attacked its academy’s apply of utilizing unaccountable knowledgeable committees to make the ultimate decisions about nominations in 61 classes.

The Weeknd himself (Abel Tesfaye) instructed The New York Occasions final week that he would boycott future Grammys in protest of these committees.

The awards additionally capped a tumultuous 12 months within the music trade, with musicians shedding the very important lifeline of touring however the enterprise that surrounds them driving the recognition of streaming to new monetary heights on the inventory market and in personal offers.

Some musicians, like Bob Dylan, Neil Younger and Stevie Nicks, reaped enormous rewards by promoting their track catalogs for sums within the tens and even a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars} — figures that appeared unimaginable only a decade in the past, when the music enterprise was extensively seen as a ruined ship, sinking in a sea of digital piracy.

To outlive, musicians have offered what belongings they might, doubled down on creating content material and toured through stay streams from their houses. Sarah Jarosz, who gained finest Americana album for “World on the Floor,” spoke to reporters on a Zoom name about making “a number of movies from right here, in my lounge, over the past 12 months.”

The Grammys additionally highlighted the struggles of impartial venues by having workers from 4 music spots — the Apollo Theater in New York, Station Inn in Nashville and the Troubadour and Lodge Café in Los Angeles — current 4 awards.

Prine, the people singer who died of Covid-19 final 12 months at age 73, gained two awards for his track “I Bear in mind The whole lot.” Chick Corea, the jazz keyboardist who died of most cancers final month at 79, additionally gained two. Each males’s widows accepted their awards on their behalf.

Even within the Grammy celebrations themselves, hints got here by of the tumult behind the scenes of the Recording Academy.

Controversies over the shortage of minority illustration on the Grammys went all the way in which down the poll to the youngsters’s music album class. Three of the 5 unique nominees dropped out as a protest as a result of no Black artists had been acknowledged.

Joanie Leeds, one of many two remaining nominees, gained for “All of the Women,” a tribute to nice girls, made with an extended checklist of feminine collaborators. In her acceptance speech she cited a current report in regards to the poor illustration of girls within the music world, and despatched a message to others in her discipline.

“We could also be a small style,” she mentioned, “however we’re actually highly effective. Let’s proceed to be the change that we need to see.”



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