Grammys 2024: Taylor Swift makes history with best album award

Taylor Swift stole the show at this year’s Grammy Awards, becoming the first performer to win the prize for album of the year four times.

The superstar had previously been tied for three best album wins with Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra.

She received the prize from Celine Dion, who made an unexpected appearance amid health fears. Swift also used the event to reveal a surprise new album.

Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish took the other top awards at Sunday’s ceremony.

The Los Angeles show was dominated by women, with R&B stars SZA and Victoria Monét and all-female indie supergroup Boygenius picking up multiple awards, and music icons Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell giving rare and poignant performances.

Killer Mike was the top male winner, taking three rap trophies. But his success was overshadowed by an apparent altercation backstage, which led to him being “booked for misdemeanor battery”, LA police said.

The top Grammy Awards

  • Album of the year – Taylor Swift, Midnights
  • Record of the year – Miley Cyrus, Flowers
  • Song of the year – Billie Eilish, What Was I Made For?
  • Best new artist – Victoria Monét

Celine and Taylor celebrated

Dion got a rapturous reception when she emerged to present the best album trophy, almost a year after she was forced to cancel all of her live shows after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder.

“When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” she told the audience.

There was an equally enthusiastic response when Dion announced Swift’s name as the winner of Best Album.

The historic achievement is one of many the star has notched up in recent years. She said she “would love to tell you that this is the best moment in my life”, but that simply finishing a song, rehearsing or preparing to play a show makes her equally happy.

Celine Dion at the Grammys
Celine Dion’s appearance will dispel some fears about the state of her health

“For me, the award is the work,” she said. “All I want to do is keep being able to do this. I love it so much. It makes me so happy. It makes me unbelievably blown away that it makes some people happy who voted for this award too.”

Swift previously won album of the year in 2010 for Fearless, in 2016 for 1989, and in 2021 for Folklore.

Big night for Billie and Barbie

Billie Eilish at the Grammys
Billie Eilish won song of the year and best song written for visual media

On Sunday, Midnights also won best pop vocal album – but Swift has curiously still never received the prizes for song or record of the year.

Eilish’s contribution to the Barbie film soundtrack, What Was I Made For?, beat Swift’s Anti-Hero to the song of the year title this time. Tracks by SZA, Cyrus and Olivia Rodrigo were also in contention.

Accepting the award with her brother and co-writer Finneas, Eilish told the crowd: “Everybody in this category – that was a crazy list of incredible people, incredible artists, incredible music. I feel crazy right now.”

The tune also won best song written for visual media, while the Barbie album – which was put together by producer Mark Ronson – picked up the award for best compilation soundtrack for visual media.

Miley’s Grammy breakthrough

Mariah Carey and Miley Cyrus at the Grammys
Mariah Carey presented Miley Cyrus with her first ever Grammy Award

Elsewhere, the record of the year award went to Flowers by Cyrus, which also picked up best pop vocal performance.

They were the star’s first ever Grammys, a fact she noted in her performance when she changed one of the song’s lyrics to: “I just won my first Grammy!”

And in her first acceptance speech, she told the story of a boy whose futile attempts to catch a butterfly ended when he stopped swinging around a net and stayed still.

“And right when he did is when the butterfly came and landed right on the tip of his nose. And this song, Flowers, is my butterfly,” Cyrus said.

Sizzling SZA

SZA at the Grammys
SZA (centre) had a hit with a song named after Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 film Kill Bill

SZA led the nominations with nine, and ended up with three prizes.

She also performed at the ceremony, staging a recreation of the Crazy 88 fight scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill to accompany her hit of the same name, which was named best R&B song.

She was joined by a phalanx of sword-wielding female dancers who swiftly dispatched hordes of men in suits – a reference to her tune’s comical tale of killing her ex.

Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa was up for song of the year for her Barbie song, Dance the Night

Billed as “music’s biggest night”, the Grammys are the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Dua Lipa opened the ceremony with an athletic medley of tunes including her contribution to the Barbie album, Dance the Night, which was also up for song of the year.

Rodrigo, Eilish, Burna Boy and Travis Scott were among the other performers, with stars like Beyoncé, Doja Cat and Meryl Streep in the audience.

But appearances by two music legends eclipsed the younger stars.

Spine-tingling moments

Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman’s hit Fast Car was rejuvenated last year when country star Luke Combs covered it

Chapman has only performed in public a handful of times since going into semi-retirement in 2009, but she joined country singer Luke Combs, who had a smash hit with a cover of her song Fast Car last year.

Then Mitchell gave a spine-tingling seated rendition of her classic Both Sides Now – her first Grammy performance at the age of 80.

The Canadian singer-songwriter had earlier picked up best folk album for a live album that captured her return to the stage in 2022 after a brain aneurysm.

That was one of many awards to be handed out during a four-hour “premiere ceremony” on Sunday afternoon.

Joni Mitchell performs with Brandi Carlile during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards
Joni Mitchell was joined on stage by Brandi Carlile

Kylie’s comeback

That pre-ceremony also saw multiple wins for Boygenius, whose debut album The Record combines 1970s California rock harmonies with lyrics about love and friendship.

Kylie Minogue won her second ever Grammy – best pop dance recording for the viral smash Padam Padam – two decades after her first.

Olivia Rodrigo at the Grammys
Olivia Rodrigo had six nominations but went home empty-handed

And South African singer Tyla made history by picking up the first ever award for best African performance.

The 22-year-old, who came fourth in the BBC’s Sound of 2024, won for her viral smash Water, which inspired a TikTok dance craze last summer.

 

Source: CNR

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