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The 2023 Grammy Awards made major history

Beyoncé became the most awarded artist in Grammy history at the 2023 awards ceremony but lost in all of the major categories.
Beyoncé became the most awarded artist in Grammy history at the 2023 awards ceremony but lost in all of the major categories.

The 65th annual Grammy Awards shattered records and shimmered with larger-than-life performances on Sunday, Feb. 5.

The event, hosted by late-night comedian Trevor Noah, took place in the Arena in Los Angeles.

This year seemed more exquisite than past shows, with every table in the ballroom covered in bouquets and velvet. Perhaps The Grammys needed to boost its ratings and engagement again, because it also doubled-down on celebrity endorsements in its commercials.

The Big Four Awards

Jill Biden proclaimed the Song of the Year: Bonnie Raitt “Just Like That.”

A member of Coldplay presented Record of the Year to Lizzo for “About Damn Time.” She dedicated the award to Prince because she vowed to create positive music after his death.

2022’s Best New Artist Olivia Rodrigo passed the torch to Samara Joy, and Harry Styles wrapped The Grammys up by winning Album of the Year for “Harry’s House.”


Brand-new EGOT Viola Davis announced Beyoncé as winner for Best R&B Song for “CUFF IT.” Davis referenced the great Aretha Franklin while doing so, keeping in the vein of the show’s Black History Month commemoration.

In a making of history, late-night host James Corden gave Best Dance/Electronic Album to Beyoncé for “RENAISSANCE,” turning her into the most Grammy-decorated artist ever.

Sam Smith and Kim Petras

A popular song on TikTok, “Unholy” by Sam Smith and Kim Petras, scored Best Pop/Duo Group Performance. Petras became the first transgender woman to win in the category, so Smith stood back and let her speak endearingly about her German heritage and her hero, Madonna.

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Madonna eventually appeared to prime The Grammys for a performance of “Unholy,” inciting controversy by popping a bare leg. The two truly served their theme, surrounding themselves with demonic imagery all in red.

The ceremony, in order

Bad Bunny opened the night by leading a huge Latin ensemble through the crowd, offering the camera glances at the stars sitting nearby. He got everybody on their feet for it, but especially Taylor Swift, who grooved along with a group of the female dancers.

Then, Noah carried on with a long monologue, riffing off one singer to the next in a line of seats. To end the section with a memorable moment, he united Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Adele for their first time on global television.

Next, Brandi Carlile’s wife and two daughters called her to the stage to do a country-rock number. Carlile jammed on her guitar, morphing into the band instead of appearing solo.

Jennifer Lopez presented the first award, Best Pop Vocal Album, to Styles for “Harry’s House.” However, he heard a few shouts for Adele’s “30” right before.

To hype the audience up about the upcoming Album of the Year award, The Grammys implemented its premiere fan-feature segment. It recurred multiple times until the finale and each fan campaigned for their favorite nominee by telling a personal story about their experience with the music.

After actor Billy Crystal laughed the audience up, he made room for Stevie Wonder, a barbershop quartet of high schoolers and some eccentric jazz. Country music legend Chris Stapleton joined him, too.

Before SZA handed the Musica Urbana Album prize to Bad Bunny for “Un Verano Sin Ti,” Lizzo performed tracks from her newest album with an uplifting gospel choir.

Styles went after her with an interpretative, theatrical rendition of “As It Was.” Cardi B came out when he finished to present Best Rap Album to Kendrick Lamar for “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.”

Noah then spoke about the unifying power of music to begin the yearly tribute to fallen recording artists. Kacey Musgraves sang for Loretta Lynn with her signature guitar, Quavo sat in front of fellow Migos member Takeoff’s starry sky and Fleetwood Mac memorialized Christine McVie with a quieting piano ballad.

Later, LL Cool J initiated the Black Music Collective’s new Dr. Dre Global Impact Award to celebrate excellence and regenerative philanthropy for young people across the world. He continued the empowerment with a ten-minute special performance for the 50-year anniversary of hip-hop. 

Then, The Rock met his newfound friend Adele once more by delivering Best Pop Solo Performance to her for “Easy on Me.” Styles whistled cheerily for her.

In the final half-hour, Luke Combs provided an emotional, folksy piece with a desert backdrop and First Lady of the United States Jill Biden extended the new Best Song for Social Change award to Iranian singer/songwriter, Shervin Hajipour.

With its performances’ various genres and the shocking turnouts in some categories, music’s biggest night truly delivered this year.