5 biggest moments at the 2022 Grammys

TheGrio highlights the best performances and historic wins at the 64th Grammy Awards.

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Another year, another Grammy Award show in the books. The self-proclaimed biggest night in music took place in Las Vegas on Sunday featuring some amazing moments and historical events.

Hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, there were 16 total live performances during its broadcast.

From Lil Nas X silencing his critics with a medley from his Montero album to John Legend honoring Ukraine with a brand new song, the 2022 Grammys gifted viewers with plenty of amazing moments. TheGrio picked out five of those moments to highlight.

The Coronation of Silk Sonic

Anderson .Paak of Silk Sonic theGrio.com
Anderson .Paak of Silk Sonic performs at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

What better way to open the 64th Grammy Awards in Las Vegas than with Sin City’s biggest act today, Silk Sonic. Amid an epic Las Vegas residency, the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak with Mars on guitar and Paak on drums, performed “777” from their debut album, incorporating the S.O.H.O. classic dance track, “Hot Music.”

The performance set the tone for their triumphant night as their hit single, “Leave the Door Open” made a clean sweep of its four nominations, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance, and Best R&B Song.

Nas Performs Medley with Big Band

Nas performs onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards theGrio.com
Nas performs onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Lil Nas X wasn’t the only rapper to perform a show-stopping medley at the Grammy Awards. Nas did too, performing portions of some of his most classic tracks. From his’ 2002 hit “I Can,” to “Made You Look” and “One Mic” through to “Rare,” from his 2021 Grammy-nominated album, Kings Disease II, the Queensbridge MC was backed by an all-star big band. It was reminiscent of his 2018 performance Live From the Kennedy Center, where he performed Illmatic in its entirety with the National Symphony Orchestra. Led by Grammy-winning bassist/musical director Adam Blackstone, the band consisted of Grammy winners including pianist Robert Glasper, saxophonist Terrace Martin, and trumpeter Keyon Harrold.

Jazmine Sullivan Wins First Career Grammys

64th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Telecast
Jazmine Sullivan accepts the Best R&B Album award for ‘Heaux Tales’ onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Before the 64th Grammy Awards, Jazmine Sullivan accumulated 12 career Grammy nominations without a single win. All that changed on Sunday when the powerhouse R&B singer/songwriter won the first two Grammys of her career. She tied Silk Sonic for Best R&B Performance for “Pick Up Your Feelings,” and her 2021 project Heaux Tales took home Best R&B Album.

“I think that I wrote this project to deal with my own shame and unforgiveness around some of the decisions that I made in my twenties that weren’t favorable,” Sullivan said during her Best R&B Album acceptance speech. “But what it ended up being was a safe space for Black women to be able to tell their stories.”

H.E.R. Performs “Damage” With Jam & Lewis, Lenny Kravitz

H.E.R. and Lenny Kravitz perform at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Telecast
H.E.R. and Lenny Kravitz perform during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

H.E.R. graced the Grammy performance stage flanked by some of the most skilled musicians of all time. Opening things up with her Grammy-nominated hit “Damage,” she was accompanied by super-producers Jimmy Jam on keytar and Terry Lewis on bass.

“Damage” samples Janet Jackson and Herb Alpert’s 1987 collabo “Making Love in the Rain,” which was written and produced by Jam and Lewis.

In a further display of H.E.R.’s artistic versatility, she got on the drums to display her skills before picking up an electric guitar to accompany Kravitz on his 1993 rock classic, “Are You Gonna Go My Way.”

Jon Batiste Celebrates “Freedom,” Wins Album of the Year

Jon Batiste performs at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards - theGrio.com
Jon Batiste performs onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

No one had more Grammy nominations in 2022 than pianist/composer Jon Batiste, who is also the bandleader for Stay Human, the house band on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. The pianist/composer earned 11 nods. His live Grammy rendition of “Freedom” was as joyous and colorful as its accompanying music video.

Batiste won five Grammys on Sunday, including the coveted Album of the Year award for We Are. It was the first time a Black artist won Album of the Year since Herbie Hancock’s 2008 album, River: The Joni Letters, according to WBUR. Since 1991, only eight Black artists have taken home Album of the Year; Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Ray Charles, Hancock, and now Batiste.

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