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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

What to know about this year’s Grammy Awards

Olivia Reid
Two students catch up on the Grammys in UMass Boston’s West Residence Hall lounge. Photo by Olivia Reid / Mass Media Staff

With two major awards shows coming out back to back, it can be difficult not to compare the two. The Oscars came and left people feeling somewhat confused or frustrated at an awkward night, at best. Coming out the following week, many people were intrigued at what the Grammys had to bring. Would it be a disaster? Would everything simply work out? Well, the show has come and gone, and one can confidently say that the latter is much more true than the former. So, let’s take a look at some of the wins, performances and moments in between.

The big winner of this year’s Grammys was probably Olivia Rodrigo. Winning Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance, this was undoubtedly a big night for the teenage star. The song that she performed, as well as being the one that made her famous, was “driver’s license.” As it came out just last year, the moment was a strange reminder of how much things have changed for live performances. 2021’s Grammys were held virtually. This year’s show was held live and in person, with seemingly no mask in sight.

Rodrigo wasn’t the only star winning awards last night. Both the awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year went to Silk Sonic. As for Album of the Year, that honor went to Jon Batiste for his album, “We Are.” In his acceptance speech, Batiste interestingly commented on how art is subjective, seemingly undermining the importance of an award for the “best” anything. This isn’t to imply that his speech wasn’t positive. It absolutely was. He ended it by telling the audience, “I love you even if I don’t know you.”

Another memorable acceptance speech came when Doja Cat and SZA won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song “Kiss Me More.” As it turned out, Doja Cat heard about her win while she was in the bathroom and immediately rushed to the stage. “I have never taken such a fast p[ee] in my whole life,” she commented.

While the Grammys may seem like a bit of an escape, it unexpectedly televised something extremely relevant and heartbreakingly real: The President of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky, recorded a message specifically for the Grammys. He talked about the current Russian invasion of Ukraine and said, “Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos…but our music will break through anyway.” This was followed by John Legend performing a song fittingly titled “Free.”

Switching to the more upbeat parts of the show, the performances were visually exciting and the performers seemed to be having fun. The set-pieces were excessively large, colorful and overall bonkers, but that’s the point, and why they’re fun to watch. Of course, if that isn’t your thing that’s completely valid. However, I can’t imagine someone extremely into minimalist music and performances to care all that much about the Grammys, so it evens out in a way.

If there was one theme or idea that persisted throughout the entire show, it was the musical artists’ excitement at being able to play live again. Having spent two years inside, away from the crowds they long to hear cheering for them, everyone in the music industry is probably desperate for a return to normal. As a safe ride through a road traveled many times before, this year’s Grammys were just that: normal. Whether this will last into next year remains to be seen.

About the Contributors
Kyle Makkas, Humor Writer
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor