2021 GRAMMYs: BEST OF THE NIGHT


In a year that made us all feel more distant than ever, music continuously brought us together in such a powerful way. This year's Grammy Award ceremony was a beautiful celebration of the music that kept us connected and got us through 2020. This show was structured very different than the way it usually is in order to comply with social distancing and COVID guidelines, but this new format worked out really well and was one of the best award ceremonies I have ever seen. The music was the sole focus of the entire show, with few on-air award presentations, but instead with dozens of incredible musicians performing back-to-back throughout the night. Often award shows can feel very long and drawn out, but this year's ceremony was so entertaining all the way through. The audience was seated outdoors and was very limited, only the nominees in the upcoming category were present, and most of the performances were either pre-recorded or done inside with five circular stages that rotated between acts to minimize contact, but also give the viewers an immersive experience. 

The show's opener is one of my absolute favorite artists and first time Grammy nominee, Harry Styles! He performed his #1 hit, "Watermelon Sugar", which also won Best Pop Solo Performance, as well! It was such a fun opening to the show and one of the artists that I was looking forward to seeing the most! Of course Harry is always known for his iconic fashion, and this night was no different! For his performance, he wore a stunning custom Gucci black leather suit, paired with a green boa, which was so unexpected and as always, effortlessly cool. Just like he brought back flare pants and pearl necklaces, maybe boas will be the next big fashion trend! 

Fine Line is one of my all-time favorite albums and has been a groundbreaking era for his career so far - I'm looking forward to what he releases next! I absolutely loved his performance and it was so exciting to see him not only be nominated, but also win his first Grammy! 

The next performer is another one of my favorites, as well as last year's record breaking Grammy winner, Billie Eilish! She performed her incredible song, "Everything I Wanted" on top of a car that looked like it was submerged in water, referencing the music video. "Everything I Wanted" also won one of the biggest awards of the night for Record of the Year, making this her second year in a row winning this award. Billie and Finneas also won for Best Song Written for Visual Media with "No Time To Die". I have been a fan of Billie and Finneas for so long and I always love seeing them get the recognition they deserve for their incredible talent!

Another one of my most anticipated performances was from Dua Lipa, who transformed the stage into a celestial Studio 54 while she performed a medley of her biggest songs off her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia. I absolutely love that album and it was so deserving of it's Best Pop Vocal Album win. That category was full of so many other incredible albums from artists like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, but Future Nostalgia is truly one of the best pop albums I have heard in a very long time. She has grown so much as an artist and performer over the past few years, and I am always looking forward to what she does next! 




My absolute favorite moment of the night was Taylor Swift's magical return to the Grammy stage with her performance of  "Cardigan", "August" and "Willow". The set was a recreation of the folklorian forest from the "Cardigan" music video, and featured her close collaborators, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner on stage with her inside a cute woodland cabin, as well. Her performances at the Grammy's over the years never disappoint, but this may be my new favorite that she has done ("Out of the Woods" in 2016 is a very close second though). Both Folklore and Evermore are incredible albums that mean a lot to me and it was so exciting to see both of them come to life for the first time together!

Taylor was also one of many historic winners of the night, taking home the Grammy for Album of the Year for Folklore, making her the first female artist in Grammy history to win that award three times (for Fearless in 2010 and 1989 in 2016). She is among only three other artists in history who also hold that title, including; Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon.  

In so many ways, Folklore reinvented not only Taylor as an artist, but also the way music is created and released in the time of a worldwide pandemic. She provided a sense of escapism in the music she released last year through her storytelling approach to the writing. Folklore is the defining sound of very strange times we are all living through right now and is so deserving of this recognition! 

There were many other female artists that dominated and made history at this year's ceremony- one of the most notable being Beyoncé, who is officially the most awarded female artist in Grammy history, with 28 wins throughout her career. Her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, also became the second youngest Grammy winner at just nine years old, for Best Music Video for "Brown Skin Girls", which features her vocals. Meghan Thee Stallion was also the first female rapper in over 20 years to win for Best New Artist, since Lauryn Hill in 1999. She and Beyoncé also won for Best Rap Performance, as well. H.E.R also won Song of the Year for "I Can't Breathe", a powerful song she wrote in honor of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande won for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Rain On Me", which makes them the first all-female duo/group to win this award.  All of the nominees for both Best Country Album and Best Rock Performance were also all female, as well! 

There were dozens of incredible performers throughout the night, that I loved watching, many for the first time. A powerful moment was from Lil Baby, who performed "Bigger Picture",  condemning police brutality and demanding change for the safety and equality of black people in this country. The performance also featured prominent activists; “Insecure” star Kendrick Sampson, Women’s March cofounder Tamika Mallory and Atlanta rapper Killer Mike. You can watch the full performance here

I also loved Haim's performance of "The Steps", their album Women In Music Part III is an album I recently discovered and have loved listening to it over the past few months!


In addition to the iconic musical moments, I always love to highlight some of my favorite red carpet fashion moments too!

B E S T  D R E S S E D

Taylor Swift


Megan Thee Stallion


Billie Eilish


Harry Styles


Dua Lipa


Finneas


Jhené Aiko & Big Sean


Ingrid Andress


Lizzo


H.E.R

Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! 
-Melissa ♡

For the complete list of winners, official clips from the show and every performance, check out the Recording Academy's website here.


Photo Credit:
CBS
Getty Images for The Recording Academy
TAS Rights Management


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