Music

Grammys Pay Tribute, Billie Eilish Sweeps Four Major Categories

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The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards featured high-energy performances, emotional tributes and a historic sweep for Billie Eilish.

Eilish, 18, made Grammy history on Sunday by becoming the first female artist to win Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year in a single night. She is the second ever artist to do so, after Christopher Cross swept all four major categories in 1981. 

Eilish became the youngest artist to win Album of the Year, breaking the record previously held by Taylor Swift, who won for her album “Fearless” at age 20. Eilish also took home the award for Best Pop Vocal Album for her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

The program began on a somber note. Fifteen-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys honored basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna by calling for a moment of silence and prayer for the Bryant family. Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, were killed that morning in a helicopter crash in California along with seven others. 

Keys also sang a brief rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” with Boyz II Men. Overhead, the Staples Center in Los Angeles illuminated two jerseys bearing the numbers 24 and 8, which had been retired after Bryant left the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016. 

Lizzo gave the first performance of the night, announcing “This is for Kobe,” before singing an amped-up medley of  “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts.” She led her peers with eight nominations, and went home with the awards for Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album for her breakout album “Cuz I Love You.”   

The evening was filled with other tribute performances. Usher paid homage to Prince with a medley of “Little Red Corvette” and “Kiss,” and Camila Cabello sang “First Man,” a heartfelt song dedicated to her father, Alejandro Cabello, and her current beau, Shawn Mendes. Deceased rapper Nipsey Hussle was honored with a star-studded performance from artists including John Legend, Meek Mill and DJ Khaled. 

Bonnie Raitt sang “Angel from Montgomery” to honor singer-songwriter John Prine for his lifetime achievement award. Later in the evening, a host of artists including Gary Clark, Jr., Ben Platt, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello and Common honored longtime Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich with a performance of “I Sing The Body Electric.”

Other performers included the Jonas Brothers, BTS, Aerosmith and Run DMC, Tyler, the Creator, Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, Rosalía, Demi Lovato and Billie Eilish.

The ceremony provided a few surprise wins for artists in smaller categories, such as Sara Bareilles, Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello. The snubs were much more noteworthy. 

Ariana Grande walked away empty-handed in spite of her five nominations, and Lizzo lost more awards than she won. Lil Nas X also lost out on Record of the Year for his smash hit “Old Town Road,” despite being a strong contender for the award.

A complete list of all 84 Grammy categories can be found here.

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