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The good, bad and surprising moments at the 2024 Grammys

A graphic displaying some of the celebrities who attended the 2024 Grammy Awards ceremony. Comedian Trevor Noah hosted the 66th annual Grammys on Sunday, Feb. 4.  ILLUSTRATED BY JERRY WEINTRAUB/THE STATESMAN

On Sunday, Feb. 4, comedian Trevor Noah hosted the 66th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, which was filled with exciting wins and even some drama. 

Miley Cyrus won her first Grammy for her song “Flowers” and gave a speech where she insinuated that she may not have been wearing any underwear. 

Billie Eilish and her brother, FINNEAS, performed “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie” (2023), the highest-grossing film of the year. Later in the night, the siblings returned to the stage to accept the song’s win for Song of the Year, marking yet another achievement in their impressive careers

However, the ceremony highlighted broader concerns about the underrepresentation of Black artists at the Grammys. Beyoncé has won 32 Grammy Awards, the most ever won by any artist. However, she has yet to win the prestigious Album of the Year award, even though she has been nominated four times, including this year. In fact, of the “Big Four” Grammy Awards, Beyoncé has only won Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” in 2010. 

Jay-Z also shared his belief that the Grammys underrepresents Black artists, a view shared by other artists, including Kelly Rowland, a former member of “Destiny’s Child.” During his acceptance speech for the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, he proclaimed, “Some of you are going to go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category,” referring to his wife’s Beyoncé’s losses. Only three Black female artists — Lauryn Hill, Natalie Cole and Whitney Houston — have won Album of the Year. A total of just 11 Black artists, including Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, have won the award despite three of Spotify’s 2023 “Top Global Albums” being by Black artists. 

Another artist who is believed to have been robbed was Lana Del Rey. Del Rey was nominated for five Grammys this year for her song “A&W,” her album “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” and six for her works of previous years, but has never won any. Del Rey is one of the most influential artists in the United States. Her album “Born To Die,” released in 2012, stayed on Billboard’s Top 200 chart for over 520 weeks, and she is the only female artist to hold this record. Clearly, Del Rey has a popularity that is not reflected in her Grammy Award history. An anonymous Grammy voter wrote a comment as to why they did not vote for Del Rey for Album of the Year. They claimed, “I haven’t taken Lana Del Rey seriously as an artist since her infamous SNL performance and never will.” 

While giving her Album of the Year speech for her 10th studio album “Midnights,” Taylor Swift pulled Del Rey onto the stage and honored her, saying, “I think so many female artists would not be where they are and would not have the inspiration that they have if not for the work that she’s done. I think she’s a legacy artist — a legend in her prime right now.” This was a heartwarming moment for Swift as she made history as the first artist to win Album of the Year four times, while also honoring a fellow female artist who has inspired so many. 

The question “Who even is Killer Mike?” echoed across the internet after the award show. Rapper Killer Mike won three Grammys for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album before he was escorted away in handcuffs, which added more drama to the rapper’s exciting night at the Grammys. 

According to NBC News, “One of the law enforcement sources said the rapper twice pushed the security guard down and allegedly threw an elbow as she tried to prevent him and another person from skirting a security checkpoint.” However, as of Feb. 9, he has been released on bail until his court date on Feb. 29. The article also mentioned that Killer Mike claimed the incident was overblown, but there is not enough information on the situation to come to a conclusion. 

When memorializing and celebrating a controversial subject of the year’s best artists and music, there will always be disagreement with the results. However, the night included a lot of first awards and happy moments for many artists.

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