It was a huge night for women at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards this Sunday, with female artists sharing the love across the “Big Four” categories (Album, Record, and Song of the Year, plus Best New Artist), and Beyoncé and Taylor Swift setting new records and making Grammy herstory.
This year’s Best New Artist winner, Megan Thee Stallion, and Beyoncé hit a major milestone before the televised awards even commenced, during the pre-show Premiere Ceremony, when they became the first all-female collaboration to win Best Rap Performance for their mega-hit “Savage.” Later, when “Savage” also won Best Rap Song midway through the CBS telecast, host Trevor Noah declared, “Before you leave the stage, we want everybody to know that right now Grammy history has been made!”
Noah was understandably excited that Beyoncé had just tied Alison Krauss’s Grammy record, with 27 wins. But Noah spoke too soon, because a 28th Grammy loomed in Queen B’s very near future — when subsequent presenter Jimmy Jam announced that her political solo song “Black Parade” had won for Best R&B Performance. And with that, Beyoncé set a new record for the most Grammy wins ever by a female artist — and by any singer, male or female.
“Oh my God, I am so honored, I'm so excited,” Beyoncé gushed as she returned to the podium. “Thank you. As an artist, I believe it's my job and all of our jobs to reflect the times. And it's been such a difficult time. So, I wanted to uplift, encourage, celebrate all of the beautiful Black queens and kings that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world. This is so overwhelming. I have been working my whole life, since nine years old. And I can't believe this happened. It's such a magical night, thank you so much. I know my daughter is watching. … Blue, congratulations, you won a Grammy tonight.”
The proud mom was referring to her “Brown Skin Girl” video — co-starring Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter — which also picked up a trophy for Best Short Form Music Video during Sunday’s Premiere Ceremony. This win established Blue Ivy, who is nine years old herself, as the second-youngest Grammy recipient ever (after O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack singer Leah Peasall, who was eight years old at the time of her 2001 win.)
Meanwhile, Swift became the first woman to win the Album of the Year award three times, a feat achieved previously by only three other artists: Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon. Swift’s win for her quarantine album Folklore followed her respective 2010 and 2016 Album of the Year accolades for Fearless and 1989. Swift accepted her third Album of the Year trophy alongside her Folklore collaborators, the National’s Aaron Dessner (who described her as “one of the greatest living songwriters”) and producer Jack Antonoff.
Along with Megan’s Best New Artist and Swift’s Album of the Year victories, the other two “Big Four” honors went to women. H.E.R. won with her timely, George Floyd-inspired protest song “I Can’t Breathe,” and another Grammy darling, last year’s big winner Billie Eilish, picked up the night’s final prize, Record of the Year, for “Everything I Wanted.” In a sweet show of sisterly solidarity, Eilish devoted almost her entire acceptance to Megan, arguing that “Savage” should have won for Record of the Year instead.
“This is really embarrassing for me. Megan, girl, I was going to write a speech about how you deserved this, but then I was like, ‘There is no way they will choose me!’” Eilish exclaimed, while a flattered Megan blew Eilish kisses from her seat. “You deserve this. You had a year that I think is un-toppable. You are a queen. I want to cry thinking about how much I love you. You so beautiful, you are so talented. You deserve everything in the world. I think about you constantly. I root for you always. You deserve it, honestly, genuinely; this goes to her. Can we just cheer for Megan Thee Stallion?”
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards took place on March 14, after being delayed from its original Jan. 31 date due to coronavirus concerns. The Noah-hosted ceremony was staged outdoors, without an audience, in the Los Angeles Convention Center area next door to its usual Staples Center location. For a full list of winners, click here.
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