February 10, 2023 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | By Katie Rowley
For most Colorado College students, their Sunday, Feb. 5 was spent finishing up their weekend essays or preparing for the dreaded week ahead, but while they were glued to their schoolwork, I was captivated by something much more important: the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
The show began with a high-energy medley by Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny and a questionable opening monologue by Trevor Noah, in which he made somewhat problematic references to Harry Styles’ “sex symbol status,” ensuring that the audience knew this was the most important night in music history. Despite countless controversies, in many ways this night was extremely important.
To me, everyone who is ‘seemingly relevant’ was in attendance, including Beyonce, Adele, Taylor Swift, and even Jill Biden (I know, I was shocked too). And the show, which lasted three-and-a-half-hours, was filled with performances from Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, Styles and many, many more. Despite those musical icons, the most impactful performances came in the forms of tributes.
The night paid tribute to those in the music industry who have passed away within the last year and celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of hip-hop. The in-memoriam homage honored artists such as Loretta Lynn, Takeoff, and Christine McVie with heartbreaking performances from Kacey Musgraves, Quavo, and Mick Fleetwood. I shed many tears.
The hip-hop tribute was much less lamenting, and, according to Rolling Stone, featured artists such as Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Missy Elliott, Lil Baby and Lil Uzi Vert.
Performances aside, many of the artists who took home awards made history Sunday night. Winning the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group performance with their song “Unholy,” Kim Petras and Sam Smith became the first trans woman and nonbinary artists to win that award.
Beyonce took home two awards: Best R&B Song, for “Cuff It”, and, Best Dance/Electronica Album, for “Renaissance”. With these two wins, she solidifies her title as most decorated Grammy winner, having received 32 Grammys in her career.
Despite these historic wins, the night was not void of a plethora of controversies and letdowns in the eyes of some.
Song of the Year, presented by none other than Biden (I am still processing that she was even there), was awarded to Bonnie Raitt for her song, “Just Like That”. This category was filled with songs by Beyonce, Harry Styles, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Adele, and Kendrick Lamar. It is safe to say that I, along with the majority of stan Twitter, was shocked that the academy would award Song of the Year to someone seemingly so unknown. This was especially shocking within a category that included Styles’ song “As It Was”, which broke many records on the Billboard Hot 100.
Speaking of Styles, he took home the first award and the last award of the night, winning Best Pop Album and Album of the Year, both for “Harry’s House”. As a die-hard fan of Styles, I was overjoyed and cried a lot over both of his wins. And thankfully, his winning Album of the Year quickly overshadowed the Song of the Year controversy.
From the moment he stepped up to the podium, the crowd was outraged, someone even yelling that Beyonce should have won from the audience. Over the following hours and days succeeding the night, news articles and tweets emerged calling Styles’ win a snub. I will remain adamantly on the contrary, disagreeing with all the hate Styles has received since winning.
The 65th Grammy Awards ended with a performance by DJ Khalid, but, completely uninterested and elated by Styles’ win, I shut off the broadcast before the song even started.