The Grammy Awards 24’ were eventful, from Tyla winning her first Grammy for “Best African Performance Award” for her hit song “Water” to Taylor Swift, yet again winning Album of the Year for the fourth consecutive year, inevitably making history. Hosted by Trevor Noah and held live on Sunday at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, the Grammys featured performances by Billy Joel, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, Burna Boy, Travis Scott, and more. The theme was “Embracing the Journey” which was reflected in the artist’s performances, speeches, and outfits. Here are some of the highlights of the night.
One of the most standout performances was SZA ‘Kill Bill’ which immersed the audience, with dancers dressed in assassins costumes coming from the crowds to the stage. Fans expressed that SZA’s mic was on, noting that she owned the Grammy stage with her presence. Meanwhile, Billie Eilish, who wore an outfit inspired by the 1960s vintage Barbie fashion, known as “Poodle Parade” delivered a soul ascending performance of “What Was I Made For,” earning her a well-deserved 7th Grammy for Song of the Year in 2024.
Tributes and Advocacy
Annie Lennox, a popular artist known for leading the Eurythmics and the hit song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” gave an emotion-provoking performance of “Nothing Compares 2 You,” paying homage to the late Sinead O’Connor. After Lennox’s performance, she announced “Artists for ceasefire – peace in the world” using her stage presence and platform to advocate for the inhumane genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
Shortly after Lennox’s well-needed call for a ceasefire, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. gave a speech on music being a safe space, referencing incidents like the Supernova music festival tragedy where Mason stated, “Over 360 music fans lost their lives and another 40 were kidnapped.” Mason then pointed out that his string quartet was composed of musicians of Palestinian, Israeli, and Arab descent.
Winners and Speeches
Chicago’s very own Lil Durk took home a Grammy for his collaboration with JCole, for Best Melodic Rap Performance for their song “All My Life.”
Victoria Monet’s win for Best New Artist was accepted with a heartfelt speech where Monet expressed gratitude to her team and her single mother, leaving us with some encouragement. “I just want to say to everybody who has a dream, I want you to look at this as an example.”
Twenty-four-time Grammy winner and 88-time nominee, Jay-Z alongside freshly-off tour Blue Ivy, was awarded the Global Impact Award. Joking that his latest gramophone is no longer needed as the “gold sippy cup” like the one he won back in 2014. Jay-Z then gave a powerful speech highlighting the struggle to get recognized by the academy, providing a throwback to his 1998 Boycott. Jay-Z also let the folks at Grammy’s know that his wife Beyoncé has thee most Grammy Awards in history but not one of them was for Album of the Year. Can someone please make that make sense? Beyoncé did end up taking home four awards, by the way, including Best Dance/Electronic Album.
The Grammy Awards 24’ was indeed a handful. The night unfolded with beautiful performances, history being made, and calls for unity, reinforcing the theme of “Embracing the Journey,” connecting the diverse speeches, performances, and moments throughout the night. Who was your favorite performance of the night? Let me know!
By Journey Powell, Freshman, Spelman College
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