Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell stole the show; Miley Cyrus knocked it out of the park; Taylor Swift broke records , Billy Elish won best song, and Victoria Monet won for best new artist, Jay-Z spoke it, Billy Joel sang it, and 2023 artists’ passings were remembered.
“The show was particularly joyous, slick and thoughtful, featuring several striking performances and a few raw acceptance speeches. All in all, it captured pop music as it actually is — centerless, and subject to change at any moment.” reported the New York Times.
Jay Z issued a good humored admonition to the recording academy and encouragement to the musicians noting “You have to keep showing up, keep showing up.”
Accepting the best R&B song award for “Snooze,” SZA, ironically, almost missed her moment: Absent when Lizzo first read her name, she finally emerged from backstage, out of breath. “I was changing, and then I took a shot and I ran here,” she said. . .
Women won every competitive award given out during the telecast, and the biggest tallies of the night were all for women: three for SZA, Victoria Monét, “Barbie” and boygenius (plus a fourth for that band’s Bridgers). From Eilish’s heart-stopping performance of “What Was I Made For?” — wearing cat’s-eye sunglasses and a 1960s sweater like Peggy Olson from “Mad Men” — to Tracy Chapman’s watery eyes, Mitchell’s joy and Swift’s queenly confidence accepting her fourth album of the year, the narrative of the night was all about the excellence and the empowered voices of women.
Annie Lennox sang a tribute to Sinead O’Connor and called for a ceasefire in Gaza at the end of her rendition of Nothing Compares 2 You.
Billy Joel sings the new song, the first he’s written in 30 years. . . .
Full Winners List, Hollywood Reporter