Missed the 2023 Grammys? These are the 6 must-see moments, from Beyoncé to Bad Bunny
LOS ANGELES — Former “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah led viewers through the 2023 Grammys in its star-studded return to Los Angeles on Sunday.
After the pandemic upended the previous two ceremonies, and last year’s event relocated to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the awards show took over the Crypto.com Arena, its usual home, in front of a full, live audience.
The ceremony was packed with historic moments, from Beyoncé's big record-setting moment, to Kim Petras scoring a trailblazing win for queer history, to hip-hop getting its due with a 50th anniversary tribute.
Here are six standout moments from the Grammys’ return to L.A.
Beyoncé breaks record for most Grammys ever
It’s official: Beyoncé is the Grammy G.O.A.T.
With her win for dance/electronic music album (“Renaissance”), the singer set a new record for the most Grammy wins ever with 32 victories. The record was previously set by orchestra conductor Georg Solti. The audience gave Beyoncé a standing ovation after “Late Late Show” host James Corden presented the award.
“Thank you so much. I’m trying not to be too emotional,” the “Break My Soul” artist said during her tearful acceptance speech, pausing to take a deep breath and holding back tears. “I’m trying to just receive this night.”
She later thanked the queer community “for your love and for inventing this genre,” a nod to the indelible influence of house music on the album. Although her “Renaissance” was considered a front-runner for album of the year, Harry Styles took home the award for “Harry’s House.”
Kim Petras makes history for transgender community
Petras also blazed a trail Sunday as the first transgender woman to win the Grammy for pop duo/group performance.
The singer shared the prize with Sam Smith for their smash-hit collaboration, “Unholy.” During her speech, Petras spoke about the importance of the groundbreaking moment and paid tribute to her late friend, Sophie, a Scottish-born music producer who was a pioneer for the trans community.
Sophie, whose full name was Sophie Xeon, died in January 2021 after she fell from the balcony of an Athens apartment in Greece.
“I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who’ve kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight — Sophie, especially,” Petras said. “My friend who passed away two years ago told me this would happen and always believed in me. Thank you so much for your inspiration, Sophie.”
Hip-hop greats unite for 50th birthday celebration
In 1989, the Recording Academy didn’t televise the first Grammy Award for rap music. A host of rappers, including LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa and DJ Jazzy Jeff, boycotted the show in protest.
More than three decades later, hip-hop took center stage at the 2023 ceremony with a 13-minute performance to celebrate the genre’s 50th anniversary.
Generations of hip-hop greats — from Run-DMC to Nelly and Ice-T to Lil Baby — hit the stage on a tour through the genre’s history. Busta Rhymes fired off his rapid-fire verse from “Look at Me Now,” while Method Man’s bars got Jay-Z joining in from the crowd.
The most electric performances came from its female rappers, with Salt-N-Pepa tearing up “My Mic Sounds Nice,” Queen Latifah bringing the crowd to its feet with “U.N.I.T.Y.” and then Missy Elliott getting the whole room shaking with a frenetic rendition of “Lose Control.”
Bad Bunny takes the Grammys to the Caribbean
Latino superstar and cultural icon Bad Bunny, dressed in a white T-shirt and dad jeans, opened the ceremony with a Caribbean one-two punch of a Grammys performance.
Backed by a folk dance group from his native Puerto Rico, he entered the room to the rumble of bomba percussions, kicking off with a track from his Grammy-winning album “Un Verano Sin Ti,” a fight song titled “El Apagón,” or “The Blackout.”
His performance included a bleeped-out word, “cabrón,” which is a slang term that roughly translates to “badass.” He then regaled the crowd — and even got Taylor Swift out of her seat to dance! — with his explosive mambo track, “Despues de la Playa.”
Bad Bunny later won the Grammy for música urbana album for “Un Verano Sin Ti.”
Bonnie Raitt is ‘surprised’ by upset win for song of the year
Raitt’s jaw dropped when she took song of the year with “Just Like That,” hardly the most popular contender in a field that also included songs by Lizzo, Harry Styles, Adele and Beyoncé.
Although somewhat of an upset, the legendary singer has been a Grammys darling for decades — amassing 13 wins and dozens of nominations.
She appeared stunned when she won the prize and got a standing ovation from the crowd. During her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to renowned folk musician John Prine, who died in April 2020 of COVID-19 complications.
The In Memoriam segment cues the waterworks
In the middle of music’s biggest party of the year, the Crypto.com Arena fell silent for somber tribute performances to musical artists who died in 2022.
Kacey Musgraves sang “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for country queen Loretta Lynn. Quavo, who was backed by Christian singing group Maverick City Music, performed “Without You” for his nephew, Takeoff of rap group Migos, who was killed in a shooting in Houston.
And Raitt, Sheryl Crow, and Mick Fleetwood performed “Songbird” for Christine McVie, one of Fleetwood Mac’s longtime members, who died in November. Fleetwood also spoke with The Times on the red carpet about his band’s future without McVie.
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