Los Angeles, Mar 15 (PTI) Women artistes were the big winners in the usually male-dominated top categories at the 63rd Grammy Awards as Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Billie Ellish made history with their trophy haul.
The pandemic may have dimmed some of the lustre of the ceremony, held in a hybrid manner at the Los Angeles Convention Center with COVID-19 protocols in place, winners and performers ensured entertaining evening.
The ceremony, considered to be music's biggest event, has often been criticised for sidelining female artistes in top categories, but the 2021 edition turned out be a departure from that as Beyonce became most awarded female artiste in Grammy history.
With 28 Grammy wins in total, Beyonce broke the record set by veteran singer Alison Krauss. She trails only classical conductor Sir George Solti, who still holds the all-time record with 31 Grammys.
She was nominated in nine categories and won in four, including best rap song with Megan Thee Stallion for 'Savage' remix, Best R&B performance for 'Black Parade' and best music video for 'Brown Skin Girl'.
'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. And so, I want to uplift, encourage, and celebrate all the beautiful Black queens and kings that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world,' she said.
Beyonce also congratulated her nine-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter, credited as a collaborator on the song, for becoming the second youngest act to win a Grammy in the show's history following Leah Peasall's win at the age of eight in 2002.
'I know my daughter is watching. …Blue, congratulations, she won a Grammy tonight. I’m so proud of you. And I’m so honored to be your Mommy,' she added.
Swift, who gave her first ever Grammy performance in five years singing a medley of songs from her albums 'Evermore' and 'Folklore', had a memorable year at the music gala.
She won the album of the year for 'Folklore', becoming the first female artiste to win the top honour thrice in her career. She also won it in 2010 for her album 'Fearless' and again in 2015 for '1989'.
The 31-year-old singer thanked her collaborators, Laura Sisk, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, and gave a shout out to boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, for helping her write the songs during the coronavirus pandemic.
'I had the best time writing songs with you during quarantine,' Swift said.
Alwyn is credited on 'Folkore' under the pseudonym William Bowery.
Musicians who have won the album of the year trophy thrice are Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon.
Eilish, last year's biggest winner, and her brother Finneas won the best song written for visual media award for their James Bond theme from unreleased 'No Time to Die' movie.
It was for the first time in the ceremony's history that a track from an unreleased film won the award.
The singer took home the record of the year trophy as well, making it her second consecutive win in the category.
In her acceptance speech, Eilish praised co-nominee Megan, saying the rapper deserved the award.
'You are a queen—I want to cry thinking about how much I love you... You deserve everything in the world, I think about you constantly... You deserve it,” she said.
H.E.R's political anthem 'I Can't Breathe' was also recognised by the Recording Academy.
The musician, whose real name is Gabriella Wilson, released 'I Can't Breathe' last year in June in the wake of Minneapolis police killing George Floyd.
In her acceptance speech, H.E.R said her aim has always been to bring about a positive change in the society through her music.
'We wrote this song over FaceTime, and I had no idea that my fear would turn into change. But that's why I write music, that's why I do this,' the musician said.
This was the singer's first song of the year Grammy win two nominations.
In the best new artiste category, loaded with popular young music sensations like Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Noah Cyrus, D Smoke, Doja Cat and Kaytranada, Megan emerged as the winner.
The 26-year-old rapper, who gave a jaw-dropping performance of her chartbuster song 'WAP' with Cardi B at the ceremony, also won the best rap song Grammy for her and Beyonce's 'Savage (Remix)'.
Pop stars Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande won the best pop duo/group performance for their maiden collaboration 'Rain on Me.' In the rock genre, Fionna Apple took home the best rock performance trophy for 'Shameika' and best alternative music album award for 'Fetch the Bolt Cutters'.
The section also saw Brittany Howard winning best rock song for 'Stay High' from her 2019 album 'Jaime'.
Actor Tiffany Haddish defeated Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr and Jerry Seinfeld for best comedy album for 'Black Mitzvah'.
Miranda Lambert led the country genre with the best album Grammy for 'Wildcard', while Dua Lipa was honoured with best pop vocal album for 'Future Nostalgia'.
Celebrated sitarist Anoushka Shankar and Mumbai-born singer Priya Darshini were the two Indian female artistes nominated for Grammys, but couldn't emerge winners in their respective categories.
'Love Letters' by Shankar, who was nominated for the seventh time in the best global music album category, lost out to Burna Boy's 'Twice as Tall'. While 'More Guitar Stories' by Jim 'Kimo' West topped the best new age album section Priya Darshini was nominated in.
Indo-Canadian social media personality Lilly Singh turned up on the red carpet in the 'I Stand with Farmers' mask to draw attention to agitating farmers in India.
The awards gala was adorned with performances by BTS, Harry Styles, Chris Martin, Lipa. Eilish, Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, psychedelic soul band Black Pumas, singers Brandi Carlile, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Mickey Guyton, Haim, Howard and Lambert. PTI SHD BK BK