It was a history-making night for singer Billie Eilish, who swept the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (January 26), adding five new feathers to her crown. With four biggest prizes — best new artiste, record of the year, album of the year and song of the year — and the best pop vocal album in her name, she has also set up many firsts.
At 18, she is the youngest solo performer in the Grammys history to win the album of the year award for her debut, ‘When we all fall asleep where do we go’. With this, she also broke Taylor Swift’s record of winning the award at the age of 20 for ‘Fearless’. She is also the first artiste in 39 years to win the big four awards, the last being Christopher Cross in 1981.
“Can I just say that I think Ariana deserves this?” she said after accepting the album of the year award. Ellish also made her Grammys performance debut with a musical act on ‘Ocean eyes’.
“This is my first Grammys. I never thought this would happen in my whole life… I feel like I joke around a lot and I never take anything seriously at these kinds of things but I genuinely want to say I’m so grateful and I’m so honoured to be here amongst all of you,” she said.
Former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, bagged the best spoken word album of the year award for her memoir ‘Becoming’ during the preshow festivities of this year’s Grammys. ‘Becoming’ follows her growing-up days on the South Side of Chicago through her years as first lady of the US.
However, neither is she the first in the Obama family nor the first US first lady to bag this honour. Her husband and former US President Barack Obama had two Grammys for his two memoirs in 2006 and 2008. Also, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had taken home a Grammy in the same category for her book, ‘It Takes a Village’, in 1997.
A comeback for Lovato
In a grand comeback, singer Demi Lovato staged her first live performance since she was hospitalised in July 2018 due to drug overdose, at the Grammys on Sunday. The audience welcomed her with a standing ovation as she debuted with an emotional rendition of her new song ‘Anyone’. She had been teasing new music for months in the run-up to the Grammys.
Other winners included singer-songwriter Lizzo, who bagged the honour for the best pop solo performance for her ‘Truth Hurts’ and the best traditional R&B performance for ‘Jerome’. Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus won the award for best pop duo/group performance for his ‘Old Town Road’. Elvis Costello & The Imposters bagged the award for the best traditional pop vocal album for their ‘Look Now’.
Grammys for the best rock performance and the best rock song went to Gary Clark Jr for his ‘This Land’ while Tool bagged the honour for the best metal performance for their ‘7empest’. Cage The Elephant won it for the best rock album for their ‘Social Cues’. The Grammy for the best R&B performance was awarded to ‘Come Home’ by Anderson .Paak featuring André 3000.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) January 27, 2020
Willie Nelson bagged the honour for the best country solo performance for ‘Ride Me Back Home’ while Tyler, the Creator’s ‘Igor’ won the best rap album award. Grammys for the best rap/sung performance went to DJ Khaled featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend for ‘Higher’.
Tributes were showered on late music icon Prince at the Grammy Awards as part of the Record Academy’s upcoming home to the ‘Purple Rain’ singer. Accompanied by master drummer Sheila E, singer Usher led the tributes, beginning with a three-song performance that included a soulful rendition of Prince’s ‘Little Red Corvette’.
The duo also performed Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Kiss’, which won the Grammy for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals in 1987. Grammy-nominated singer and dancer FKA twigs joined Usher on stage as she performed a pole dance during ‘When Doves Cry.’ The tribute to Prince received a mixed response from the fans.
Rapper-activist Nipsey Hussle was also paid homage after he was posthumously awarded his first Grammy award for the best rap performance for ‘Racks in the Middle’. Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was fatally shot on March 31, 2019 at the age 33.
Towards the end of the tribute, DJ Khaled took the microphone to remember NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others hours before the award ceremony.
(With inputs from agencies)