The 2023 Grammys: Songs and Surprises


On Sunday, February 5, the Grammys were held in Los Angeles. Many famous stars performed at the ceremony, including Bad Bunny, who opened the show with his song “El Apagón” to celebrate Puerto Rican culture, Kacey Musgraves, who performed “Coal Miner’s Daughter” as a tribute to Loretta Lynn during the In Memoriam portion, and many hip hop musicians (including Run-DMC, Missy Elliott, Nelly, and Lil Baby), who performed a 13-minute medley to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hip hop genre. 

There were also a few historic moments at the ceremony. First, Beyoncé won her 32nd Grammy (Best Dance/Electronic Album for Renaissance), making her the most awarded artist in Grammy history. Two Grammy firsts happened when Kim Petras and Sam Smith won Best Pop Duo Performance for their song “Unholy.” Petras became the first ever transgender woman to win a Grammy, and Smith became the first non-binary person to win. (Smith had previously won Grammys, but this was their first time to win after coming out as non-binary.)

However, for many people, the most anticipated part of the Grammys was announcing the results for the 4 main awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year. Record of the Year went to Lizzo for her song “About Damn Time.” In her acceptance speech, she thanked Prince and Beyoncé for inspiring her to make positive music and talked about how she is proud to live in a world where people are celebrating themselves and their bodies. Samara Joy, a 23-year-old jazz singer, won Best New Artist and thanked her supporters and mentors for inspiring her to be herself and express that feeling in her music. Many people were shocked at the results of the last 2 awards: Song of the Year and Album of the Year. Many famous pop stars were nominated for Song of the Year, including Adele (“Easy on Me”), Harry Styles (“As It Was”), and Taylor Swift (“All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”), but the award shockingly went to folk-blues singer Bonnie Raitt for her song “Just Like That.” After the ceremony, Raitt commented on her win by saying the other nominees were “massively talented, great tunes that represented tremendous excitement of the public” and that she was “so glad to be nominated” and “very surprised.” The Album of the Year award was also very controversial, with Harry Styles winning for his album Harry’s House. Many Beyoncé fans started heckling Styles during his speech, claiming that Beyoncé was snubbed, so Taylor Swift, who faced a similar experience at the 2009 VMAs when Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech for Best Female Video to argue that Beyoncé should have won the award instead, stood up to support Styles. Styles’ acceptance speech also faced backlash, particularly when he talked about how winning the award “doesn’t happen to people like me very often.” Many people were outraged and confused at the remark because the Grammys gives awards to white men fairly often, as opposed to other demographics, like people of color. Overall, the Grammys was an exciting, shocking, and, most importantly, musical night that left many people talking about their favorite (or least favorite) musicians and the music they love to listen to.