Beyonce captured her first trophy of the day for Best Music Video, an award she shared with her eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, who was in the clip for “Brown Skin Girl.”
Beyonce made Grammys history on March 14 by breaking the record for the most wins by a female artist, while rapper Megan Thee Stallion claimed her due with three awards at a socially distanced gala featuring an array of electrifying performances from music’s best.
Megan and Queen Bey earned two awards together, for their remix of the rapper’s smash hit “Savage.”
Megan Thee Stallion also served up a thirst trap of a performance with none other than Cardi B, with the audacious duo performing “WAP,” a gyrating, thigh-baring celebration of female sexuality that ended atop an enormous bed.
It was an eyebrow-raising, sweat-inducing show on a night of impressive performances by the industry’s brightest stars including Dua Lipa, DaBaby, Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny and Billie Eilish — and starting with a chest-baring Harry Styles.
Swift grabbed the award for Album of the Year for her surprise quarantine album, “folklore” — the third time she grabbed the coveted trophy.
The ceremony, which falls nearly a year to the day after COVID-19 grounded tours and forced performance venues to close, is an effort by the music world to try to move past a crushing 2020 by celebrating its biggest stars.
And there is perhaps no one bigger than Queen Bey, who made history with her 28th win for Best R&B Song for her “Black Parade,” giving her four wins on the night.
It was not even clear initially that Beyonce would attend the event, held outside in Los Angeles, when she declined to Zoom in to accept her first trophy of the day that she shared with her daughter Blue Ivy, for best music video for “Brown Skin Girl.”
But she set social media alight after appearing live on the Los Angeles stage, wearing a figure-hugging black leather mini wrap-dress to appear alongside Megan Thee Stallion to accept their prize for Best Rap Song.
“As an artist, I believe it’s my job and all of our jobs to reflect the times. And it’s been such a difficult time,” Beyonce said, with her husband Jay-Z looking on.
“So I wanted to uplift, encourage, celebrate all of the beautiful Black queens and kings that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world.”
British star Dua Lipa won Best Pop Vocal Album, after dropping her sparkly disco ball of a record just as the pandemic took hold — a bet that paid off.
“I felt really jaded at the end of my last album, where I felt like I only had to make sad music to feel like it mattered,” she said in accepting the award.
“And I’m just so grateful and so honored because happiness is something we all deserve and need in our lives.”
Nas, Strokes first-time winners
The soulful 23-year-old R&B performer H.E.R. pulled an upset in scooping the Grammy for Song of the Year for her justice-minded song “I Can’t Breathe,” which tackles Black pain and police brutality.
“I didn’t imagine that my fear and that my pain would turn into impact,” the musician said in accepting her trophy. “I want to thank God for giving me the gift of a voice and a pen and using me as a vessel to create change,” she continued.
Brittany Howard — known for fronting the band Alabama Shakes — won Best Rock Song, as Fiona Apple scored two awards for her album “Fetch The Bolt Cutters,” which many critics hailed as a masterpiece.
The notoriously reclusive Apple said on Instagram she would not be attending the ceremony, explaining she was not up for the scrutiny attending such a show entails.
Though most of the rock fields were unprecedentedly dominated by women, The Strokes won for Best Rock Album for “The New Abnormal,” their first Grammy ever.
Rap legend Nas also won for the first time after 14 nominations, with his “King’s Disease” winning Best Rap Album.
Nigerian superstar Burna Boy was also a first-time winner for Best Global Music Album, ecstatically accepting the prize which he said “is a big win for my generation of Africans all over the world.”
But it wouldn’t be the Grammys without controversy.
The Weeknd has pledged to stop submitting music for awards consideration after he surprisingly received no nominations, despite a big year commercially.