As you may or may not know, the Grammy Awards aired last Sunday night, March 14th, 2021. Even amidst the pandemic, a decent number of artists showed up and performed, bringing back a small sense of normalcy to everyone watching from home. The Grammys are sometimes controversial because of who wins the awards, and who actually deserves to win the awards, and this year was no exception. A few popular artists actually pulled out and said they wouldn’t be submitting any of their music in the future, including the artist The Weeknd.
While the issues of race and gender are not new topics in the award show business, this year’s show was a bit better than usual. In fact, the three biggest awards of the night all went to women. Megan Thee Stallion took the best new artist award, and her song “Savage” — that featured Beyonce– won for best rap performance and best rap song. The record of the year winner was Billie Eilish, who won for her song “Everything I Wanted” but in her speech told Megan Thee Stallion that she should have received the award, “You deserve it, honestly, genuinely, this goes to her. Can we just cheer for Megan Thee Stallion, please?”
The other big award went to Taylor Swift for album of the year, with her album “Folklore” which she wrote exclusively during quarantine. Since winning this category for the third time, she is now the fourth artist in Grammy history, and the first woman ever, to win album of the year three times, putting her right up there with Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder. She performed a number of songs from her awarded album and some from her album “Evermore.” Even though she was nominated for five other awards this year, album of the year was the only one she received.
Another prominent female singer, Beyonce, added four more awards to her collection this year, which brought her total number to 28—more than any other woman. Last year as the BLM protests were beginning, she released her song “Black Parade” winning her this year’s best R&B performance award. Her music video for “Brown Skin Girl” which featured her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, won the best music video, giving the 9-year-old girl her first Grammy (which she won along with Beyonce and WizKid).
The show contained many other performances, which were a bit different than usual due to social distancing and mask wearing, and numerous other awards were given out. An overall theme of this year was the desire and anticipation to return to normalcy, for the music industry and in other aspects of life. All in all, it was an interesting experience, as most Grammys usually are. I think it is especially exciting that women had such an impact on the music industry this year, and that they were (for the most part) recognized and rewarded for their contributions.
Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty