The Grammys makes history and controversy

A recap of the can’t miss music award moments

Image by: Amna Rafiq
Styles won Album of The Year.

The 65th annual Grammy Awards took place this past Sunday. In case you didn’t catch it, here’s a run-down of the can’t miss moments:

Best dressed: Cardi B 

The Grammy’s red carpet is always home to some of the best—and worst—fashion looks to date.

While most viewers are happy to see their favourite artists even make an appearance, I become most entranced by the bold statement looks the stars strut. The Grammy’s are the perfect fashion escape from the Aritzia jackets and leather pant seen on campus.

This year, while there were many standout pieces, including Harry Styles repping an open chest Swarovski sequence jump suit, and Bebe Rexha wearing a designer Moschino dress that projected a glamourized Barbie doll-princess look. One person’s look especially stood out to me: Cardi B.

Cardi B was dressed like her life depended on it. She wore a Gaurav Gupta couture dress that debuted only five days prior at Paris Fashion Week. It was a beautiful electric blue, avant-garde style dress that shaped her body. The shoulders were curated with mesh wiring so the dress morphed into a gorgeous head piece around her face.

This dress is now placed in my top three red carpet Grammy looks, ever.

Harry Styles: awards and controversy 

Harry’s House is an eclectic composition of music that deserves all the love and awards its received.

As a modern-day David Bowie, Styles’ created an album that is a collection of vulnerable lyrics and energetic sounds. His pure passion for music is evident in this album which was celebrated with awards in the Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Music Video, Best Song, and Album of the Year categories. 

Styles beat out Beyoncé’s Renaissance, Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti, and Lizzo’s Special, amongst others, for Album of the Year. Controversy arose over who was most deserving of this award; many were upset that Styles did not offer a diverse representation of talent within the music industry.

For example, Beyoncé’s album draws from LGBTQ+ influences, and Bad Bunny’s offers divergence away from solely Euro-centric lyrics and sounds by representing Latinx culture. While Styles’ privilege is obvious, he still offers a perspective that breaks gender norms and barriers, opening the doors for gender fluidity in mass media spaces.

However, the real issue came in Styles’ acceptance speech, in which he—in attempt to be gracious—noted “things like this doesn’t happen to people like [him].”

The internet had a field day with this statement, reprimanding his lack of self-awareness because let’s face it: these awards are predominantly given to white men like him.

In Styles’ defence, many artists in the industry are children of nepotism, and with that, are granted easier access into the competitive industry. I believe his words were in response to not having that same access, but rather coming from a lower income, single-parent household without prior connections in the industry.

The Grammy is still an accomplishment for him. I don’t believe he meant any harm by his comment, though he could have been better spoken.

Kim Petras and Beyonce make history 

The Best Pop Duo Performance was presented to Kim Petras and Sam Smith for their record “Unholy.” This win deserves celebration for the history behind it.

Petras is now the first ever transgender woman to win this award, which opens doors for the LGBTQ+ community in such a large media space. Petras’ acceptance speech played into this: it was humble and gracious as she thanked Madonna for helping make way for LGBTQ rights.

Plus, Petras and Smith were in matching-coloured outfits, which were iconic.

Beyonce also made history, setting a new all-time record for most Grammy wins with 32.

Queen B took home Best Dance/Electronic Recording, Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. Her album, Renaissance features artists such as Ts Madison, Honey Dijon, and Syd, making way for queer influence in mainstream media.

Song of the year award 

As always, the winner of large awards with even larger nominees come as a shock to some—which was definitely the case with Song of the Year.

Bonnie Raitt’s “Just Like That” beat out nominations like Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit,” Adele’s “Easy on Me,” Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5,” and Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul.”

While Raitt wouldn’t be the first expected choice, it’s representative that possibly—though I doubt it—the Grammy’s makes decisions based on talent rather than currency or popularity.

Raitt is incredibly talented. One of her most popular songs is “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which deserves all the recognition. It’s nice to see her getting recognized, especially when the Grammy’s are reputedly more focused on relevance than musical exceptionality. 

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For those like me who’ve slowly stopped loving watching the Grammy’s due to the politicized and barriered nature, you’re welcome: now you don’t have to spend hours scrolling on YouTube looking for the Grammy moments you missed. Catch you next year.

Tags

2023, Beyonce, celebration, Grammys, Harry Styles, Media, Music

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