Entertainment Music

Finest and Worst Moments From the 2024 Grammys

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Essentially the most awards on the 66th annual Grammys went to Phoebe Bridgers, who picked up three together with her band boygenius and one for a characteristic on a SZA tune. SZA, who got here into the evening with probably the most nominations, was shut out of the most important honors — for album (which went to Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”), document (Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers”) and tune (Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?”) — however took residence three trophies. Victoria Monét was named finest new artist, and Swift’s album win broke a Grammy document for the class. The present was notably joyous, slick and considerate, that includes a number of putting performances and some uncooked acceptance speeches. All in all, it captured pop music because it really is — centerless, and topic to vary at any second.

Two of the evening’s strongest performances got here from younger girls utilizing pianos to accompany the wispy, stratospheric higher reaches of their registers — and to touch upon the tyranny of fragility and prettiness. The primary was Billie Eilish, beautiful the gang to silence with a sparse, deeply felt studying of “What Was I Made For?,” her “Barbie” ballad that later picked up tune of the yr. The second was Olivia Rodrigo, who nailed the vertiginous excessive notes that punctuate her rock-operatic smash “Vampire,” after which riffed on the tune’s theme as she smeared herself with spurting faux blood. Every efficiency, in its personal means, felt like a rebuttal to the constricting requirements to which so many younger girls are held. Eilish’s was concerning the ache of being perceived as an object; Rodrigo’s reimagined the identical form of stress as a horror film. Each understood the ability of a bit theatricality. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Joni Mitchell, 80, has been singing her prismatic people ballad “Each Sides Now” since she was 23, and but each time she performs it, she appears to be decoding its infinitely sensible lyrics anew. The rendition she carried out on the Grammys — her first-ever efficiency on the award present, which is smart given how underestimated and slighted by the trade Mitchell has felt all through most of her profession — was directly elegiac and nimble, backed by a unfastened jazz association that allowed her to riff on its acquainted melody. Exhibiting off a resonant tone and spectacular vary that she has labored diligently to strengthen since struggling an aneurysm in 2015, Mitchell’s efficiency was like a short, magical visitation from a musical deity. ZOLADZ

Jay-Z (22 wins, 88 nominations) and Beyoncé (32 wins, probably the most of all time) are Grammy mainstays, having occupied prime digital camera time on the awards over the previous decade-plus, so it wasn’t a shock that the couple appeared as shock attendees on Sunday evening. However as Jay-Z accepted the Dr. Dre world impression award, the rapper excoriated the evening’s host — the Recording Academy — for previous slights within the rap classes and for repeatedly snubbing Beyoncé within the all-genre album of the yr award. “We love y’all. We wish you to get it proper,” he stated, in brash and seemingly extemporaneous remarks. He referred to the mathematics behind Beyoncé’s whole wins, amassed largely in R&B and concrete up to date style classes: “So even by your individual metrics, that doesn’t work.” It wasn’t the primary time Jay-Z known as out the Grammys, having aimed a barbed lyric on the academy after the couple went 0-for-8 on the 2018 occasion. However his speech was pointed on one other evening when a Black artist, SZA, garnered probably the most nominations, however was shut out within the largest classes. ELENA BERGERON

Final yr’s Grammys featured a rollicking tribute to hip-hop’s fiftieth anniversary, with a really spectacular lineup — LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Ice-T and Posdnous of De La Soul, as much as GloRilla and Lil Uzi Vert — that was momentous sufficient to mark the event. Hip-hop this yr? It was primarily represented by Travis Scott, who was joined by Playboi Carti for an oddly cold efficiency of “My Eyes,” “I Know” and “Fein.” The efficiency constructed to a climax of flames and a few smashing of folding chairs, a scene that appeared like a reject from a “Mad Max” film. If the blokes couldn’t deliver it, possibly they shoulda had Ice Spice? BEN SISARIO

Accepting the very best R&B tune award for “Snooze,” SZA, paradoxically, nearly missed her second: Absent when Lizzo first learn her identify, she lastly emerged from backstage, out of breath. “I used to be altering, after which I took a shot and I ran right here,” she stated, starting an endearingly off-the-cuff speech that confirmed off her persona extra successfully than her busy, over-staged efficiency. The second appeared to hit her like a wave midway by means of, and she or he turned visibly verklempt. Then, interrupting herself midsentence and chopping her speech quick, she acquired in the very best one-liner of the evening earlier than dashing off the stage: “I’m not a horny crier — have a superb night!” ZOLADZ

The In Memoriam phase is all the time a difficult second for the Grammys — one that usually turns into a humiliation. This yr, it discovered the precise tone with the precise performers. Stevie Surprise opened with a tribute to Tony Bennett, whose model of “For As soon as in My Life” spurred Surprise’s very totally different hit model; years later, they’d document and carry out the tune as a duet. Surprise might have merely praised Bennett for his musicianship, however he additionally spoke warmly about Bennett’s early and lifelong dedication to civil rights.

He was adopted by Annie Lennox, with rhinestone teardrops on her face, singing a deep, wrenching “Nothing Compares 2 U” in tribute to Sinead O’Connor — backed by Wendy and Lisa from Prince’s band the Revolution — and ending by proclaiming, “Artists for cease-fire, peace on this planet.” Jon Batiste and the singer Ann Nesby carried Invoice Withers songs from a starkly mournful “Ain’t No Sunshine” into full-tilt gospel with “Lean on Me.” And after a verbal tribute from Oprah Winfrey, Fantasia Barrino-Taylor had the lung energy and gold-lamé costume — although not fairly the high-heeled dance dexterity — to honor Tina Turner with “Proud Mary.” For as soon as, In Memoriam was about the way in which recorded music preserves a life pressure: about reminiscences, not endings. PARELES

Hair sprayed and stacked to the heavens, clad in exactly there Bob Mackie-like spangles, tossing out ad-libs in a vampy alto — this yr’s Grammy telecast was proof that the 31-year-old Miley Cyrus is slowly remodeling into Cher, in all the very best methods potential. Cyrus accepted two Grammys (the primary she’d ever received) in the course of the telecast and charmed together with her oddball speeches, however her star flip got here when she carried out “Flowers,” a comparatively staid and easy pop tune that she embroidered with vocal runs, antic charisma and hilarious asides. “Why are you appearing such as you don’t know this tune?” she requested the gang between lyrics, by no means lacking a beat. Hannah Montana continues to be a consummate entertainer! ZOLADZ

U2 performed its quite rote newest single, “Atomic Metropolis,” to provide the first-ever televised glimpse contained in the Sphere, James Dolan’s state-of-the-art, $2.3 billion Las Vegas enviornment. However the venue’s majesty was troublesome to seize on TV, and the director of the pretaped phase tried to make up for it by countless swooping, disorienting camerawork that left me feeling nauseous. They might as properly been performing “Vertigo.” ZOLADZ

After a yr of Taylor, “Barbie,” SZA, boygenius and Cyrus’s “Flowers,” girls have been all the time going to make a robust displaying on the Grammys. However they didn’t simply present up: They completely carried the night. Ladies received each aggressive award given out in the course of the telecast, and the most important tallies of the evening have been all for girls: three for SZA, Victoria Monét, “Barbie” and boygenius (plus a fourth for that band’s Bridgers). From Eilish’s heart-stopping efficiency of “What Was I Made For?” — carrying cat’s-eye sun shades and a Nineteen Sixties sweater like Peggy Olson from “Mad Males” — to Tracy Chapman’s watery eyes, Mitchell’s pleasure and Swift’s queenly confidence accepting her fourth album of the yr, the narrative of the evening was all concerning the excellence and the empowered voices of girls. No offense to Stevie Surprise or Billy Joel, who rocked it. But it surely was the women’ evening. And it was about time. SISARIO

An intro and video buildup promoted a efficiency by Luke Combs, who had a nominated nation hit single together with his trustworthy model of Chapman’s 1988 tune “Quick Automobile”: a tune about hope, low-wage work, eager for escape and crushing disillusionment. However when the cameras hit the stage, the acoustic guitar was within the fingers of Chapman herself, who had lengthy been alienated from the music enterprise and had not toured since 2009. She was smiling, serene and radiant, selecting the tune’s immediately recognizable introduction after which singing with calm authority, all of the melancholy depths of her voice intact. Combs traded verses together with her, glancing throughout the stage as if he couldn’t fairly imagine she was there, generally mouthing together with the phrases. Though they have been facet by facet, Chapman was the middle of everybody’s consideration — and rightly so. PARELES

Since her announcement over a yr in the past that she has stiff-person’s syndrome, a neurological illness, after which canceled all her live performance dates, Celine Dion — the Canadian diva who made the “Titanic” soundtrack and rejuvenated the very concept of a Las Vegas live performance residency — has remained largely out of sight. However she made a triumphant, and genuinely stunning, return as an unannounced presenter for album of the yr. Wrapped in a thick, golden-brown coat, she recalled profitable the prize for “Falling Into You” in 1997 after which opened the envelope and known as out Taylor Swift’s identify. It felt like an appropriately monarchical look for the event, and Dion’s look was a reminder that, even when she shouldn’t be singing, she’s nonetheless right here, nonetheless a star. SISARIO

Performances by Combs, SZA, Scott, Cyrus and Joel have been launched by elaborately produced interview segments. In the event that they have been meant to construct anticipation, they didn’t — they felt like stalling. I couldn’t assist pondering that with every one, a special musician had misplaced a slot to carry out. PARELES