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Grammys 2023: Five takeaways from music’s biggest night

This year’s winners provided us a healthy mix of tearjerkers, jaw droppers, and joy bombs.

The 65th Grammys concluded with a wide variety of artists taking home trophies, ranging from expected winners to complete shockers. It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the action, so I’ve compiled a list of the top five takeaways from this year’s ceremony.

The Queen’s Reign Continues

Is it possible that Queen Bey just reached a higher level of … Queendom? Despite winning only four of her nine nominations this year, Beyoncé now has a total of 32 Grammys, the most by any artist in history. Her achievement surpassed the previously held record of 31 Grammys made by Hungarian-British conductor Georg Solti. This achievement further fuels the anticipation for her upcoming world tour, slated to begin this May.

Diversity is Celebrated

Kim Petras made history as the first transgender woman to win the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her collaboration with Sam Smith on the chart-topping track “Unholy.” Petras accepted the trophy alongside Smith, who promptly encouraged the audience to “stand up” as a sign of respect for their collaborator’s accomplishment. The celebration continued online following the ceremony, with Petras relaying her excitement on Twitter.

The Legends Make Their Presence Known

The chart toppers of today weren’t the only one’s making a splash at this year’s ceremony. Country trailblazer Willie Nelson was awarded Best Country Album for his 2022 release, A Beautiful Time. The award comes just months ahead of the star’s 90th birthday. Later on, in what may have been the biggest shocker of the night, Bonnie Rait took home the prize for Song of the Year, beating out heavyweights such as Adele, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Harry Styles. In a gracious acceptance speech, Raitt offered insights into her own inspirations on the song “Just Like That,” including the late singer-songwriter John Prine. Song of the Year was Raitt’s third win of the night.

The Latest EGOT is Crowned

In the pre-show ceremony (where the categories not shown on TV are awarded), Viola Davis became the latest member of the EGOT club, the prestigious term used to describe owners of all four major awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Davis completed her collection with a Grammy for Best Audiobook, Narration and Storytelling Recording for her best-selling 2022 memoir Finding Me. She joins the company of fellow EGOT members such as John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, and Whoopi Goldberg. 

Record of the Year Throws a Curveball

Well I’ll be damned, it was Lizzo’s time! Despite the heavily-favoured competition in the likes of Adele, Beyoncé, Harry Styles and Kendrick Lamar (I regretfully had to cut Lizzo from my own top 5), Lizzo took home the trophy for Record of the Year for “About Damn Time.” Lizzo bared all emotion during her acceptance speech; what began as tearful dedication to the late Prince quickly escalated into a sobbing recollection of attending Beyonce’s concert in fifth grade (couldn’t pass up the opportunity to acknowledge Queen Bey, who was sitting feet away). The speech concluded in classic Lizzo fashion, none other than a joyous cursing fit. A surprise among the night’s winners, but well-deserved nonetheless. 

Breezy Prochnau

Breezy is the 2023/24 Deputy Arts and Culture Editor. She's in the fifth year of her BSc in chemistry, minoring in philosophy. When she’s not working in the lab or writing papers, she enjoys surfing Spotify playlists to expand her eclectic music tastes or planning her next concert adventure.

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