Beyoncé made Grammy history on Sunday night, setting a record at the awards’ 65th annual ceremony for the most career wins by any artist, after picking up a string of trophies for Renaissance, her hit album that mined decades of dance music.
But she was once again shut out of the big categories, winning all four of her prizes for the night in down-ballot genre categories. Harry Styles took album of the year for Harry’s House, Lizzo won record of the year for her retro dance anthem About Damn Time, and song of the year went to Bonnie Raitt for Just Like That. It was Beyoncé’s fourth career loss for album of the year.
Styles seemed at a loss for words as he accepted his Grammy, opening his remarks with a stunned profanity.
Still, Beyoncé’s accomplishment resonated throughout the evening. Accepting her 32nd career award, Beyoncé thanked God and her family, and honoured her Uncle Jonny, a gay relative whom she has described in the past as her “godmother” and as the person who exposed her to LGBTQ culture.
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“I’d like thank the queer community for your love, and for inventing the genre,” she said to roars of applause from the crowd at the Crypto.com Arena as she won best dance/electronic music album for Renaissance, which was widely seen as a love letter to gay culture. (Even so, Beyoncé faced a backlash recently when she performed a private concert in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where homosexuality is illegal.)
With her latest wins, Beyoncé surpassed Georg Solti, the Hungarian-born classical conductor who died in 1997 and had long held the title of the most career wins by any artist.
Even Beyoncé’s competitors cheered her on. Accepting record of the year, Lizzo told a story of being inspired by seeing Beyoncé in concert (while skipping school).
“You clearly are the artist of our lives!” she shouted. (In 2017, when Adele beat Beyoncé for album of the year, she said almost the same thing.)
Beyoncé also won best dance/electronic recording (Break My Soul), traditional R & performance (Plastic Off the Sofa) and best R & song (Cuff It). She had been the most nominated artist of the evening, with nine nods.
Gender freedom was a theme running through the night. Not long before Beyoncé’s win, Sam Smith, a nonbinary singer, and Kim Petras, a trans woman, won the award for pop/duo group performance for Unholy, and Petras drew cheers when she said she was “the first transgender woman to win this award”.
“I hope that there’s a future where gender and identity and all these labels don’t matter that much,” Petras told reporters backstage. “Where people can just be themselves, and not get judged so hard and not be labelled so hard.”
After two years of shows that were disrupted and delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Grammy ceremony returned in full swing to its home court in Los Angeles (Crypto.com is the renamed Staples Center), bringing the music world together for glitz, competition and, behind the scenes, plenty of business schmoozing.
“We made it!” exclaimed its host, Trevor Noah. “We’re back!”
The power of stardom was another of the night’s big underlying themes. The show opened with a blast of brass and the hip-swaying rhythms of Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican superstar who represents the music industry’s hopes – he is a young celebrity with global appeal and large numbers, both on streaming services and on the road.
Walking through the aisles of the arena flanked by dancers in festive dress, he played two songs from his blockbuster album “Un Verano Sin Ti,” bringing both social commentary and party vibes, and getting stars like Taylor Swift dancing amid the bistro-style seating in front of the stage.
Accepting the award for best música urbana album for Un Verano, Bad Bunny gave his speech in Spanish and English.
“I just made this album with love and passion,” he said. “When you do things with love and passion, everything is easier.”
Old-fashioned song craft remains a key touchstone for Grammy voters. Raitt (73), was the surprise winner of song of the year – beating Adele, Beyoncé, Swift, Lizzo and Styles, whose songs were huge hits – for Just Like That, a tender meditation about an organ donation that had only modest commercial success. She accepted it as a recognition of the job of songwriting itself, and thanked other writers for providing her with material throughout her career.
“I would not be up here tonight,” Raitt said, “if it wasn’t for the great soul-digging, hard-working people that put these songs and ideas to music.”
Samara Joy, a singer who brought fresh interpretations to jazz classics, and began her career posting them online, won best new artist.
Styles performed his bubbly, pensive hit As It Was in a silvery sequinned suit with tassels that shook as he danced. Harry’s House also won Styles the award for pop vocal album.
Kendrick Lamar won three rap prizes: best performance and best song, for The Heart Part 5, and best album, for Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. Accepting the album award, he thanked his family “for giving me the courage and giving me the vulnerability to share my truth and share these stories.”
Brandi Carlile, a Grammy darling in recent years, won best rock performance and best rock song for Broken Horses, as well as best Americana album for In These Silent Days.
The 89-year-old Willie Nelson, who was not present, won for best country album for A Beautiful Time, and best country solo performance for the song “Live Forever.”
Swift ended the night with one victory, best music video for All Too Well: The Short Film, but lost her three other nods – including her sixth career loss in song of the year for All Too Well (10 Minute Version), an extended remake of a song she first released in 2012.
The first lady, Jill Biden, announced the winner of a new award, best song for social change, which went to 25-year-old Iranian songwriter Shervin Hajipour, whose song Baraye became an anthem for the women’s rights protests there last year. The prize was chosen by what the academy described as a “blue-ribbon committee.”
Actor Viola Davis won best audiobook, narration and storytelling recording for her memoir Finding Me, making her the newest EGOT – the coveted acronym for the winner of an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
Among the new categories this year was songwriter of the year (non-classical), intended to recognise the writers who work behind the scenes. It was won by Tobias Jesso Jr., who has written songs for Adele, Styles and others. Stephanie Economou was the first winner for best score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media for her work on the game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok.
Grammys 2023: full list of winners
- Record of the Year: About Damn Time, Lizzo.
- Album of the Year: Harry’s House, Harry Styles.
- Song of the Year: Just Like That, Bonnie Raitt, songwriter (Bonnie Raitt).
- Best New Artist: Samara Joy.
- Best Pop Solo Performance: Easy on Me, Adele.
- Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Unholy, Sam Smith and Kim Petras.
- Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Higher, Michael Bublé.
- Best Pop Vocal Album: Harry’s House, Harry Styles.
- Best Dance/Electronic Recording: Break My Soul, Beyoncé.
- Best Dance/Electronic Music Album: Renaissance, Beyoncé.
- Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Empire Central, Snarky Puppy.
- Best Rock Performance: Broken Horses, Brandi Carlile.
- Best Metal Performance: Degradation Rules, Ozzy Osbourne featuring Tony Iommi.
- Best Rock Song: Broken Horses, Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile).
- Best Rock Album: Patient Number 9, Ozzy Osbourne.
- Best Alternative Music Performance: Chaise Longue, Wet Leg.
- Best Alternative Music Album: Wet Leg, Wet Leg.
- Best R & Performance: Hrs & Hrs, Muni Long.
- Best Traditional R & Performance: Plastic Off the Sofa, Beyoncé.
- Best R & Song: Cuff It, Denisia “Blu June” Andrews, Beyoncé, Mary Christine Brockert, Brittany “Chi” Coney, Terius “The-Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant, Morten Ristorp, Nile Rodgers and Raphael Saadiq, songwriters (Beyoncé).
- Best Progressive R & Album: Gemini Rights, Steve Lacy.
- Best R & Album: Black Radio III, Robert Glasper.
- Best Rap Performance: The Heart Part 5, Kendrick Lamar.
- Best Melodic Rap Performance: Wait for U, Future featuring Drake and Tems.
- Best Rap Song: The Heart Part 5, Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar).
- Best Rap Album: Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar.
- Best Country Solo Performance: Live Forever, Willie Nelson.
- Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Never Wanted to Be That Girl, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde.
- Best Country Song: ’Til You Can’t, Matt Rogers and Ben Stennis, songwriters (Cody Johnson).
- Best Country Album: A Beautiful Time, Willie Nelson.
- Best New Age, Ambient or Chant Album: Mystic Mirror, White Sun.
- Best Improvised Jazz Solo: Endangered Species, Wayne Shorter and Leo Genovese, soloist.
- Best Jazz Vocal Album: Linger Awhile, Samara Joy.
- Best Jazz Instrumental Album: New Standards Vol. 1, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Nicholas Payton and Matthew Stevens’
- Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra, Steven Feifke, Bijon Watson, Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra.
- Best Latin Jazz Album: Fandango at the Wall in New York, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring the Congra Patria Son Jarocho Collective.
- Best Gospel Performance/Song: Kingdom, Maverick City Music and Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Jonathan Jay, Chandler Moore & Jacob Poole, songwriters.
- Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: Fear Is Not My Future, Maverick City Music and Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Nicole Hannel, Jonathan Jay, Brandon Lake and Hannah Shackelford, songwriters.
- Best Gospel Album: Kingdom Book One Deluxe, Maverick City Music and Kirk Franklin.
- Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Breathe, Maverick City Music.
- Best Roots Gospel Album: The Urban Hymnal, Tennessee State University Marching Band.
- Best Latin Pop Album: Pasieros, Rubén Blades and Boca Livre.
- Best Música Urbana Album: Un Verano Sin Ti, Bad Bunny.
- Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album: Motomami, Rosalía.
- Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): Un Canto por México – El Musical, Natalia Lafourcade.
- Best Tropical Latin Album: Pa’lla Voy, Marc Anthony.
- Best American Roots Performance: Stompin’ Ground, Aaron Neville with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
- Best Americana Performance: Made Up Mind, Bonnie Raitt.
- Best American Roots Song: Just Like That, Bonnie Raitt, songwriter (Bonnie Raitt).
- Best Americana Album: In These Silent Days, Brandi Carlile.
- Best Bluegrass Album: Crooked Tree, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway.
- Best Traditional Blues Album: Get On Board, Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder.
- Best Contemporary Blues Album: Brother Johnny, Edgar Winter.
- Best Folk Album: Revealer, Madison Cunningham.
- Best Regional Roots Music Album: Live at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Ranky Tanky.
- Best Reggae Album: The Kalling, Kabaka Pyramid.
- Best Global Music Performance: Bayethe, Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode.
- Best Global Music Album: Sakura, Masa Takumi.
- Best Children’s Music Album: The Movement, Alphabet Rockers.
- Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording: Finding Me, Viola Davis
- Best Spoken Word Poetry Album: The Poet Who Sat by the Door, J. Ivy.
- Best Comedy Album: The Closer, Dave Chappelle.
- Best Musical Theater Album: Into the Woods (2022 Broadway Cast Recording), Sara Bareilles, Brian d’Arcy James, Patina Miller and Phillipa Soo, principal vocalists; Rob Berman and Sean Patrick Flahaven, producers (Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist) (2022 Broadway Cast).
- Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: Encanto, Various Artists.
- Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: Encanto, Germaine Franco, composer.
- Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok, Stephanie Economou, composer.
- Best Song Written for Visual Media: We Don’t Talk About Bruno, from Encanto; Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Carolina Gaitán – La Gaita, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz and Encanto – Cast).
- Best Instrumental Composition: Refuge, Geoffrey Keezer, composer (Geoffrey Keezer).
- Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: Scrapple From the Apple, John Beasley, arranger (Magnus Lindgren, John Beasley and the SWR Big Band featuring Martin Aeur).
- Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: Songbird (Orchestral Version), Vince Mendoza, arranger (Christine McVie).
- Best Recording Package: Beginningless Beginning, Chun-Tien Hsia and Qing-Yang Xiao, art directors (Tamsui-Kavalan Chinese Orchestra).
- Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: In and Out of the Garden: Madison Square Garden ’81 ’82 ’83, Lisa Glines, Doran Tyson and Dave Van Patten, art directors (The Grateful Dead).
- Best Album Notes: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition), Bob Mehr, album notes writer (Wilco).
- Best Historical Album: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition), Cheryl Pawelski and Jeff Tweedy, compilation producers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Wilco).
- Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical: Tobias Jesso Jr.
- Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: Harry’s House, Jeremy Hatcher, Oli Jacobs, Nick Lobel, Mark “Spike” Stent and Sammy Witte, engineers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer (Harry Styles).
- Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Jack Antonoff.
- Best Remixed Recording: About Damn Time (Purple Disco Machine Remix), Purple Disco Machine, remixer (Lizzo).
- Best Immersive Audio Album: Divine Tides, Eric Schilling, immersive mix engineer; Stewart Copeland, Ricky Kej and Herbert Waltl, immersive producers (Stewart Copeland and Ricky Kej).
- Best Engineered Album, Classical: Bates: Philharmonia Fantastique – The Making of the Orchestra, Shawn Murphy, Charlie Post and Gary Rydstrom, engineers; Michael Romanowski, mastering engineer (Edwin Outwater and Chicago Symphony Orchestra).
- Producer of the Year, Classical: Judith Sherman.
- Best Orchestral Performance: Works by Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Valerie Coleman, Michael Repper, conductor (New York Youth Symphony).
- Best Opera Recording: Blanchard: Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Angel Blue, Will Liverman, Latonia Moore and Walter Russell III; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus).
- Best Choral Performance: Born, Donald Nally, conductor (Dominic German, Maren Montalbano, Rebecca Myers and James Reese; The Crossing).
- Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Shaw: Evergreen, Attacca Quartet.
- Best Classical Instrumental Solo: Letters for the Future, Time for Three; Xian Zhang, conductor (The Philadelphia Orchestra).
- Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, Renée Fleming, soloist; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, pianist.
- Best Classical Compendium: An Adoption Story, Starr Parodi and Kitt Wakeley; Jeff Fair, Starr Parodi and Kitt Wakeley, producers.
- Best Contemporary Classical Composition: Puts: Contact, Kevin Puts, composer (Xian Zhang, Time for Three and the Philadelphia Orchestra).
- Best Music Video: All Too Well: The Short Film, Taylor Swift; Taylor Swift, video director; Saul Germaine, video producer.
- Best Music Film: Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story,” Various Artists; Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern, video directors; Frank Marshall, Sean Stuart and Ryan Suffern, video producers. – This article originally appeared in The New York Times.