- 04 Apr 22
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise virtual cameo at this years Grammys ceremony, which took place in Las Vegas.
Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic and jazz musician Jon Batiste scored the top honours at the 64th Grammy Awards last night at a controversy-free ceremony.
Batiste's uplifting soul record We Are won Album of the Year, while Rodrigo won Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Album.
Jon Batiste closed the Grammys evening with, fittingly, a celebration of music for Album of the Year. “I believe this to my core: there is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor,” he said. “The creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most.”
— Opinionated Me (@opinion8dmecom) April 4, 2022
Silk Sonic's nostalgic anthem 'Leave The Door Open' took home both the Record and Song of the Year prizes.
“We are really trying our hardest to remain humble at this point,” Anderson .Paak of the groovy outfit (which also consists of Bruno Mars) quipped. “Drinks is on Silk Sonic tonight!”
Meanwhile, Doja Cat and SZA won Best Pop Duo Performance for 'Kiss Me More'.
“I have never taken such a fast piss in my whole life,” said Doja Cat, who apparently rushed from the bathroom to the stage to accept the gong. “I like to downplay shit,” she said through tears, “but this is a big deal.”
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) April 4, 2022
The three-and-a-half-hour mega concert predominantly steered clear of politics or the pandemic, interestingly.
“We’re gonna be listening to some music, we’re gonna be dancing, we’re gonna be singing, we’re gonna be keeping people’s names out of our mouths,” host Trevor Noah declared in his opening monologue, acknowledging Will Smith's Oscars slap in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. "Don’t even think of it as an awards show. This is a concert where we give out awards.”
The ceremony saw a tribute to Foo Fighters star Taylor Hawkins, and a poignant video speech from Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
In a pre-taped message, he urged musicians to "fill the silence" left by Russian bombs "with your music".
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a surprise video appearance at the music industry's star-studded Grammy Awards celebration in Las Vegas and appealed to viewers to support his country ‘in any way you can’ https://t.co/hwQYnEpLGx #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/dKTBCkfEB8
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 4, 2022
"Tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks and TV. But not silence. There’s nobody who could use a little hope right now more than the people of Ukraine."
“The silence of ruined cities and killed people," he added. "Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence,” he continued. “Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.”
His emotional words were followed by a performance by John Legend, accompanied by Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton - plus poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
The Grammys saw powerful performances from Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish and BTS, while folk icon Joni Mitchell made a rare on-stage appearance to introduce Brandi Carlile.
Rodrigo performed her record-smashing breakout hit 'Drivers License' from behind the wheel of a vintage Mercedes, with a full American suburban street set. Her debut album SOUR was expected to win more of the top categories, but scooped Best Pop Album, Best New Artist and Best Pop Solo Performance.
The 19-year-old dedicated her win to her parents, saying the award was "for you guys and because of you guys".
"When I was nine years old, I told my mom I was going to be an Olympic gymnast, even though I could barely do a cartwheel," she recalled. "The next week, when I told her I was gonna win a Grammy, she was very supportive, even though I'm sure she thought it was just a little kid pipe dream.
"I want to thank my mom for being supportive of all of my dreams, no matter how crazy; and I want to thank my mom and my dad for being equally as proud of me for winning a Grammy as they were when I learned how to do a back walkover."
Billie Eilish and FINNEAS delivered an epic performance of 'Happier Than Ever', which saw the pair wear Taylor Hawkins t-shirts to remember the drummer.
Batiste's album, We Are, is rooted in black music tradition, from the New Orleans jazz he grew up with, to the classic soul of Al Green, via modern R&B.
The title track was written in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 - and the album's themes of positivity and intergenerational wisdom landed Batiste 11 nominations heading into this year's edition.
Batiste kicked off a sprightly, retro-futurist performance of 'Freedom' with a starkly lit piano solo.
Lady Gaga paid tribute to long-time friend and collaborator Tony Bennett, who retired from live performances last year at the age of 95 due to Alzheimer’s.
Bennett became the second-oldest Grammy winner in history at 95, winning Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for the 14th time for Love for Sale, his collaborative album of Cole Porter songs with Lady Gaga.
"I love you, Tony," Gaga said into the mic, her emotions getting the better of her. "We miss you."
There were also three awards for Foo Fighters, including Best Rock Album for Medicine at Midnight. The win arrived just over a week after drummer Taylor Hawkins was tragically found dead in his Colombia hotel room at the age of 50. The Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform at the ceremony, but pulled out following the news.
Presenter Jimmy Jam accepted the prizes in the band's absence, "with prayers to their loved ones".
— FooFightersCo (@FooFightersCo) April 4, 2022
The remembrance kicked off the night’s In Memoriam segment: Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt, Wicked’s Cynthia Erivo, Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr and West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler sang a medley of songs by the late musical theatre titan Stephen Sondheim, who died last November at 91.
Kanye West decided not to attend the awards, after having his invitation to perform withdrawn for "concerning online behaviour".
However, the rapper picked up two awards in the rap categories: Best Rap Song for 'Jail' and Best Melodic Rap Performance for 'Hurricane'.
The most controversial award went to Louis C.K., whose 2020 comedy special in which he joked about the sexual misconduct revelations against him has won the award for Best Comedy Album.
Sincerely Louis CK, the disgraced comedian’s first special since 2017, was nominated alongside Lavell Crawford’s The Comedy Vaccine, Chelsea Handler’s Evolution, Lewis Black’s Thanks for Risking Your Life, Nate Bargatze’s The Greatest Average American and Kevin Hart’s Zero Fucks Given.