Beyoncé won four awards at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 5), upping her career total to 32, which is more than anyone else in Grammy history. Bey surpasses the late classical conductor Sir Georg Solti, who amassed 31 Grammys between 1963 and 1998. Solti died in 1997.
But Beyoncé lost album of the year for Renaissance. It’s her fourth loss in the category, following losses to Taylor Swift, Beck and Adele. Kendrick Lamar also lost album of the year for the fourth time (as a lead artist) with Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. Like Beyoncé, he did well overall, with three wins. But the losses in the top category are likely to rankle their fans.
Beyoncé was vying to become the first Black female artist to win album of the year as a lead artist since Lauryn Hill took the prize in 1999 for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Lamar was vying to become the first solo male rapper ever to win in the category. Only two rap or hip-hop albums have ever won the award – Hill’s acclaimed set and OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Only one other artist in Grammy history (besides Beyoncé and Lamar) has gone 0-4 in album of the year: Sting was nominated once with The Police and three times on his own and lost all four times.
Beyoncé and Maverick City Music were the night’s top winners with four awards each. Brandi Carlile, Kirk Franklin and Kendrick Lamar and Bonnie Raitt were close behind, with three each.
Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” won record of the year. It’s her first win in a Big Four category, but she’s a proven Grammy favorite. Her breakthrough smash “Truth Hurts” won best pop solo performance three years ago – resulting in Billie Eilish’s only loss on her big night, where she became the first artist in 39 years to sweep the Big Four categories.
Bonnie Raitt’s “Just Like That” was the upset winner of song of the year. It’s the first song of the year winner written by a solitary songwriter since Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” 15 years ago. This is Raitt’s second win in a Big Four category. At the 1990 telecast, Raitt’s Nick of Time was also an upset winner for album of the year. Grammy voters plainly love Raitt. “Just Like That” also won best American roots song. “Made Up Mind” won best Americana performance.
Samara Joy was an upset winner for best new artist. She’s the second jazz artist to win in the category, following Esperanza Spalding 12 years ago. Several of this year’s other nominees were thought to have a better chance of winning, especially Latto, Maneskin, Anitta, Wet Leg and Muni Long.
Adele won best pop solo performance for a record-extending fourth time for her smash ballad “Easy on Me.” She had previously won in the category with “Rolling in the Deep,” “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Hello.” Adele wound up going 1-6 on the night, but that shouldn’t be a source of concern for the singer or her fans. If she had swept the Big Three awards for a third time, that would likely have caused her more career woes in the form of backlash. Now people can relax and not blame Adele for blocking other artists’ path to Grammy glory.
Taylor Swift also had mixed results on the night. She lost song of the year for the sixth time, but “All Too Well: The Short Film” won for best music video. It’s the first video solely directed by the artist to win in this category. Four prior winners had been co-directed by the artist – Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control,” OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again,” Kendrick Lamar’s Humble.” and Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl” (a collab with Wizkid and Blue Ivy). Smith may well be nominated for song of the year – for what would be a record seventh time – next year for “Anti-Hero.”
Jack Antonoff won producer of the year, non-classical for the second year in a row. The only other producers to win consecutive awards in this category (which dates to 1974) are Babyface (1995-97) and Greg Kurstin (2016-17).
Ashley McBride & Ashley Pearce’s “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” won best country duo/group performance. It’s the first time an all-female group or collab has won in this category, which was introduced 11 years ago.
New artists did well in the voting. Four best new artist candidates won awards in their home categories. Wet Leg won two awards – best alternative music album for Wet Leg and best alternative music performance for “Chaise Longue.” Muni Long won best R&B performance for “Hrs & Hrs”; Samara Joy won best jazz vocal album for Linger Awhile, Molly Tuttle won best bluegrass album for Crooked Tree (a collab with Golden Highway).
Robert Glasper’s Black Radio III won best R&B album, 10 years after Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio took the prize. This marks the first time an album and a sequel to that album have both won in this category. The only other repeat winners in the category are Alicia Keys and John Legend, with three awards each, and TLC and D’Angelo, also with two.
Dr. Dre was the first recipient of the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. Dre has won seven Grammys in competition. In 2001, he became the first hip-hop producer to win producer of the year, non-classical.
Several artists achieved breakthroughs in their categories. Kim Petras won best pop duo/group performance for “Unholy,” a collab with Sam Smith, becoming the first transgender artist to win in the category. Germaine Franco won best score soundtrack for visual media for Encanto, becoming the first woman of color to win in that category. Michael Repper, conductor of the New York Youth Symphony, won best orchestral performance. In accepting the award, he said it was the first time a youth orchestra has ever won in the category.
Into the Woods (2022 Broadway cast recording) won best musical theater album, 35 years after the original production of the Stephen Sondheim show won in the category. Into the Woods is the fourth show to spawn two winning albums in this category. The first three were Gypsy, Les Misérables and West Side Story.
Judith Sherman won producer of the year, classical for the seventh time, which puts her in a tie with David Frost, Steven Epstein and David Frost for the most wins in the category (which dates to 1979). The producer of the year, non-classical award was launched five years earlier, but no one has won it more than four times. (Babyface is the only four-time winner.) And no woman has ever won it.
Viola Davis became an EGOT, thanks to her Grammy win for the audio book of Finding Me. Davis is the third Black woman to complete the EGOT, following Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Hudson. Davis is the 18th person to EGOT. Davis previously won a Primetime Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a dramatic series for How to Get Away With Murder (2015), an Oscar for best supporting actress for Fences (2016) and two Tonys — featured actress in a play for King Hedley II (2001) and lead actress in a play for Fences (2010).