Beyoncé, Lizzo, Kendrick Lamar win big at the 2023 Grammys
Queen Bey and HBCU Tennessee State University made history; Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the legends of hip-hop delivered powerful performances.
Beyoncé made history on Sunday night at the 65th annual Grammy Awards by becoming the winningest artist of all time, yet she still couldn’t capture the ever-elusive Album of the Year award … again.
Beyoncé came in as the top nominee of the night with nine and took home four trophies, bringing her record total wins to 32. Her album “Renaissance,” which proved to be a critical and commercial success won Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. Three singles from the album also won awards: Best Dance/Electronic Recording for “Break My Soul,” Best Traditional R&B performance for “Plastic Off the Sofa” and Best R&B Song for “Cuff It.”
Despite the success of “Renaissance,” Beyoncé didn’t win any of the major categories she was nominated for, including Album of the Year, which went to Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House,” Record of the Year (Lizzo’s “About Damn Time”) or Song of Year (Bonnie Raitt’s “Just Like That”). Queen Bey has been nominated four times for Album of the Year. The Beyhive lit up social media to give her her flowers while also airing their feelings about the Album of the Year snub.
Lizzo, during her speech for Record of the Year, dedicated her award to Prince. “This is so unexpected. When we lost Prince I decided to dedicate my life to positive music,” she explained, saying she felt very “misunderstood” when her positive music was unpopular during the beginning of her career. “I like to believe that not only can people do good, but we just are good. We are good inherently.” She also shouted out Beyoncé for inspiring her entire career, recalling skipping school in the fifth grade to see the singer in concert.
Kendrick Lamar took home three awards — Best Rap album for his album “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” as well as Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for his song “The Heart Part 5.” In his acceptance speech for Best Rap Album, he thanked his family for giving him the “courage and vulnerability” for sharing his truth with his album. Calling it one of his toughest records to make, he said that he finally “found imperfection” with the album.
The coveted Best New Artist Grammy went to jazz singer Samara Joy. A 23-year-old artist from The Bronx, Joy started singing jazz at 18, before attending the conservatory of music at SUNY Purchase. Joy also took home Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Prior to the live broadcast, HBCU Tennessee State University made history of its own, winning Best Roots Gospel Album for “The Urban Hymnal,” the first marching band to win the category.
Like Grammys’ past, the show — hosted by Trevor Noah — also contained some must-see performances from some of the biggest names in music. Lizzo brought the crowd to their feet during an uplifting and church-inspired performance of her song “Special,” complete with a gospel choir. Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Chris Stapleton took the stage together for a Motown Tribute at the show, singing hits like ““The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “Tears of a Clown” and “Higher Ground.”
A highlight of the show was also the powerful In Memoriam tribute performance filed with artists across genres. Quavo and Maverick City Music stood out during their section dedicated to the life and legacy of Takeoff, performing the song “Without You” for the tribute.
Dr. Dre also received the inaugural award named in his honor, the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. “I am extremely moved by this award,” he shared in his speech. Honoring the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop, he continued, saying that the genre became a “lifeline” for him that turned into a 40-year career. Sharing advice, he ended his speech saying, “Never compromise your vision at all, pursue quality over quantity and remember that everything is important.”
Right after Dr. Dre’s speech, LL Cool J kicked off a thrilling performance in honor of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. Led by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the performance was a high energy journey throughout hip-hop history with over 30 performers, including Big Boi, Busta Rhymes Missy Elliott, Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Lil Baby, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, RUN-D.M.C., Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella, and Too $hort.
The show closed with a performance from DJ Kahled. Performing his song “God Did,” Fridayy, Jay-Z, John Legend, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross came together with a powerful rendition of the hit song.
Check out the full Grammys winners list here.
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