The 2023 Grammy Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 5. Hosted by Trevor Noah, the most coveted award show in music brought another year of wins, snubs and surprises.
Among the categories announced before the aired ceremony were Best Music Video and Best Alternative Album — the first being won by Taylor Swift for her “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” ten minute-long short film. The short film was both written and directed by Swift, becoming her fourth self-directed music video for her own discography. The latter award went home to new alternative band Wet Leg for their debut album. The duo made waves with the album in 2022 and went on to open for Harry Styles for his “Love on Tour” arena tour.
The televised award show opened with an eclectic performance from Bad Bunny. He performed two songs from his latest album “Un Verano Sin Ti,” which made history as the first Spanish-language album to be nominated for Album of the Year at the awards ceremony. The performance included a full merengue band and papier mache-headed dancers.
Among the other performers this year was Lizzo with a two-track performance, “About Damn Time” and “Special,” from her sophomore album of the same name. Harry Styles performed his hit track and lead single “As It Was” from “Harry’s House,” utilizing a tilting stage and circling background dancers. Notably absent from the performers list were Adele and Beyoncé, even though they were two of the most nominated artists of the year.
The big four nominees were where the snubs and surprises came in. Bonnie Raitt took home the award for Song of the Year, the award show’s biggest honor for songwriting, beating other contenders like Taylor Swift’s ten-minute version of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” and Beyoncè’s “Break My Soul.” The win came as a shock to many, believing that it was a shoe-in between the previously mentioned songs. It became Raitt’s 13th win and was her 30th nomination overall.
Best New Artist went to jazz singer Samara Joy, who released her second studio album “Linger Awhile” in 2022. After her win, the album went on to top three Billboard charts, including Top Jazz Albums. Record of the Year was won by Lizzo for her hit “About Damn Time.” The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and dominated radio for months (and continues to do so).
Album of the Year went to Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House,” becoming his third overall win and first for the category. The win brought outrage from many, saying that Beyoncè’s club-infused “Renaissance” deserved the award. One voice from the crowd was even heard exclaiming so when Styles went up to accept the award. Styles’ album, a mix of his pop sound with more synth-based elements, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 200 and his Love on Tour is still selling out after months in venues.
Some monumental moments came from the ceremony. Kim Petras became the first transgender woman to win in the category for Best Pop Duo/Group Collaboration for her feature on Sam Smith’s “Unholy.” Beyoncè used her speech for Best Dance/Electronic Album to highlight the LGBTQ+ community for inspiring her dance-infused 2022 album. She also used her historic speech to honor her Uncle Johnny, who struggled with HIV throughout his life.
A few of the highlights from this year’s Grammys were Taylor Swift’s dance moves during Bad Bunny’s performance, Beyoncè breaking the record for most overall wins and newcomer band Wet Leg winning Best Alternative Album for their self-titled debut. Among the not-so-highlights were Harry Styles’ odd “someone like me” speech, mostly lackluster performances and Trevor Noah’s slightly awkward jokes. The next Grammys ceremony will take place in early 2024, and fans can’t wait to see what unfolds.