With every new Grammy award ceremony comes new experiences, milestones, and shockers that would probably trend for a long period of time before it becomes an obsolete topic on social media. The Grammy Awards 2023 was not an exception. The award ceremony took place on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by third-time host Trevoh Noah who opened up by thanking the organizers for the opportunity to be back as the host.
The 65th Grammy Awards saw sprawling performances from Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Kim Petras, Sam Smith, DJ Khaled, and Luke Combs including performances from the likes of LL Cool J, Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, Spliff Star, De La Soul, DJ Drama, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Missy Elliott to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. While there were so many highlights like Kim Petras and Sam Smith winning the award for Best Pop Duo with their collaboration “Unholy,” in usual style, there were some good old Grammy award shockers that left us in a state of hysteria.
From astounding performances to shockers and highlights, let’s take a look at how this year’s Grammy Awards went down.
Performances that made every piece of the night
What’s a Grammy Award ceremony without glamorous performances that would leave you with chills and stage executions from your favorite collaborations?
Puerto Rican rapper and singer, Bad Bunny opened up the stage on a high note with a lively performance of his songs “El Apagón” and “Después de la Playa” leading a troupe of dancers in papier-mâché heads and colorful skirts. Brandi Carlile took the stage to perform “Broken Horses” which was nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.
The legendary Stevie Wonder graced the stage for the night’s third performance with his song “The Way You Do The Things You Do” with R&B group WanMor, “Tears of a Clown” with fellow legend Smokey Robinson, and “Higher Ground” with Chris Stapleton.
Harry Styles brought the ubiquitous “As It Was” to this year’s show, along with a full band clad in a pale pink, sequined one-piece suit with copious fringe.
Still in high spirits from previous performances, the crowd was entertained by Lizzo who showed us she deserved the Record of the Year award with renditions from “Special” and the award-winning album “About Damn Time.”
A medley celebrating 50 years of hip-hop overseen by Questlove of The Roots provided one of the most exhilarating performances in Grammy’s history. The list included Black Thought, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Lil Baby, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Busta Rhymes, and a host of other rap legends. The performances ended with a major rap ensemble from DJ Khaled, Fridayy, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and Jay Z who performed their hit song “God Did.”
Highlights, milestones, and shockers
Beyonce was at the center stage of the highlights of the night. The singer set a new record for most Grammy wins of all time after winning four categories in the 2023 Grammy awards; Best R&B Song, Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best Dance & Electronic Performace, and Best Dance/Electronic Album with “Renaissance.” Making it a total of 32 Grammy wins of all time. However, when we thought the night belonged to Beyonce, the singer lost out of her main category, the album of the year to Harry Styles’ ‘Harry’s House‘.
This came as a huge shocker because there seemed to be a consensus that Beyonce’s Renaissance stood a huge chance of winning especially with how intentional Bey was about the album and not releasing any visuals to make sure people understood the essence of the project.
Nonetheless, Harry Styles walked up to the stage to acknowledge his win with all glory delivering a speech that might have appeared as a subtle jab. “I think on nights like tonight it’s important for us to remember there is no such thing as ‘best’ in music. I don’t think any of us sit in the studio making decisions on what is going to get us one of these,” Styles said, referring to the award in his hands, which he won for the album “Harry’s House,” he said.
Lizzo’s big win was another highlight of the night. The catching party record “About Damn Time” was one of 2022’s biggest and best pop songs, and the star’s win for Record of the Year provided one of the night’s great moments. Lizzo is known for knocking on award speeches and she did kill this one with a shouted shout to artists who inspired her, including Prince and Beyoncé, whom she called “the artist of our lives,” referencing Adele’s 2017 Grammy remarks about Beyoncé.
Kim Petras scored a major milestone by being the first transgender woman to win the Grammy awards for Best Pop Duo. The singer shared the prize with Sam Smith for their smash-hit collaboration, “Unholy.” During her speech, she spoke about how important the groundbreaking achievement was to her and paid tribute to her late friend Sophie, a Scottish-born music producer who was a trailblazer for the trans community.
Speaking of milestones, Viola Davis bagged home the “Best audiobook, narration, and storytelling recording” making her the 18th person to achieve EGOT status (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony).
23-year-old Samara Joy’s win for Best New Artist came as a shocker as well since it was a competitive spot with the likes of Anitta, Domi & JD Beck, Latto, Måneskin, Molly Tuttle, Muni Long, Omar Apollo, Tobe Nwigwe, and Wet Leg in the same category.
Another shocker was Bonnie Raitt winning song of the year for “Just Like That” over Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” and Adele’s “Easy on Me.” Astounded by the award, Bobby Raitt said: “I’m so surprised, I don’t know what to say.” “I don’t write a lot of songs, but I’m so proud that you appreciate this one,” she added. “I’m humbled.” She also paid tribute to the late singer-songwriter John Prine.
Now, 16-time Grammy award winner Adele won the category for Best Solo Performance with her hit single “Easy on Me.” As expected, Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr Morale & The Big Steppers” took home the title of best rap album with American songwriter and political activist Willie Nelson taking the win in Best Country Album.
Future Drake and Tems also won Best Melodic Rap Performance for their collaboration “Wait For U.” The award marked the widely acclaimed African artist Tems’ first Grammy award.
See the full list of all the Grammy 2023 Award winners here.