A recap of the 2023 Grammy Awards

On Feb. 5 in Los Angeles, the 65th annual ceremony featured some obvious victories, as well as shocking surprises.


Kim Petras and Sam Smith receiving Best Pop Duo Performance (Pitchfork)

As it does every year, the Grammys have good, bad, and shocking moments. From Kim Petras being the first transgender artist to win a Grammy, Beyoncé being robbed of the album of the year, and Harry Styles’ controversial remark in his acceptance speech, it is nearly impossible to make everyone happy. Although there is voting that determines the winner of the Grammys, some say that it is a rigged system and a premeditated program.

To start off with a history-making win, Kim Petras, who is a transgender woman, won the best pop duo performance with Sam Smith for their single ‘Unholy’. Respectively, Sam Smith became the first non-binary person to win the award. The two of them walked on stage together, but Smith gave Petras the mic and let her give the speech. “I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” Petras said in reference to Sophie, a Grammy nominated music producer who died in 2020. Many found Petras speech moving and powerful, and her win an incredible win for the transgender community.

Many people were shocked to see that Bonnie Raitt’s single ‘Just Like That’ beat very popular artists like Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Harry Styles for Song of the Year. Raitt herself was shocked to receive the award among two other awards, as her song got significantly less plays than the others. According to Billboard, all nine of the other tracks except hers reached the top 20 on the Billboard Top 100. “Many people responded with confusion and even disgust,” said TIME. “Stop giving random people awards challenge,” wrote one user. There are many that support Raitt’s win, as the song was very touching and she has been awarded 13 Grammy’s between now and the 1990’s. “Song of the Year is supposed to be a songwriters award, and “Just Like That” was the only song on the ballot to only list one songwriter,” said Times.

When it comes to Beyoncé and the Grammys, people have mixed reviews. “Beyoncé set a record for the most career Grammys won by any artist but was once again shut out of the biggest awards as the ceremony returned to a Los Angeles arena,” said New York Times. Beyoncé won four Grammys this year for best dance/electronic recording, dance/electronic album, R&B performance and R&B song. Many say she was robbed of Album of the Year, her fourth career loss of the award. Regardless of the loss of Album of the Year, Beyoncé is now the artist with the most Grammys with a whopping 32 awards. Before Beyoncé, the late Hungarian- British conductor Georg Solti had the most Grammys with 31 awards.

Harry Styles receiving his award for Album of the Year (Grammy Awards)

With Harry Styles’ popularity, there wasn’t much surprise that Styles’ album ‘Harry’s House’ won Album of the Year. However, controversy struck when he gave his speech. “This is so, so kind. This doesn’t happen to people like me very often,” Styles said. “This is so, so nice. Thank you very, very much,”. People watching seemed to focus on the part where he says “people like me”. “Online commenters zeroed in on Styles’ mention of “people like (him),” suggesting that he was not acknowledging his privilege as a white man with that line,” said Today. “Commenters pointed out that the majority of album of the year Grammy winners have been cisgender white men like Styles,”. Harry Styles recently was awarded Artist of the Year at the BRIT awards and wanted to correct his word choice and phrasing by being very humble when accepting the award. Although we have yet to get a full explanation of what Styles meant when he accepted his Grammy, at the BRIT award, he stated, “I’m really, really grateful for this, and I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight,”  According to Huffpost, He shouted  out a few female-identifying artists who were snubbed for the award, like Rina Sawayama, Charli XCX, Mabel, Florence + the Machine and Becky Hill. Fans continue to wonder what Styles meant by his Grammys statement, but now he seems more aware of his privilege.

Email Rachael at @[email protected].

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