Grammys’ return: a tribute to diversity, community in the arts


John Locher/Invision/AP

Olivia Rodrigo, winner of the awards for best pop vocal album for “Sour,” best new artist and best pop solo performance for “drivers license,” drops and breaks an award as she poses in the press room at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Phoebe Endslow, Guest Writer

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Trevor Noah, aired Sunday night, occurring in the shadow of an incredibly controversial Oscars ceremony only one week prior. 

Despite being rescheduled back in January due to the Omicron surge, the ceremony went down in style as usual. All of music’s biggest and brightest stars traveled to Las Vegas for a night full of long-awaited celebration, touching tributes, and vibrant performances. 

In recent years, the Recording Academy has dealt with internal disputes and accusations of backdoor dealing resulting in some of music’s biggest stars like Drake and The Weeknd publicly denouncing the Grammy’s legitimacy. In their place, however, a younger group of musical superstars have claimed their spot in the center of musical success at the 2022 Grammy Awards, from Olivia Rodrigo to Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish.

The night’s biggest surprise came at the very end of the show when jazz artist Jon Batiste won Album of the Year for “We Are.” Beating out a competitive slew of talented artists including Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber for the most coveted award of the night. All in all, Batiste won 5 Grammy awards of his 11 nominations, becoming only the second non-white artist to ever win the acclaimed award, after Bruno Mars in 2018. 

Silk Sonic, the duo made up of Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars, won both Song and Record of the Year for their smashing hit “Leave the Door Open.” Best new artist, Olivia Rodrigo, also took home the best pop vocal album for “Sour”, and pop solo performance for “Drivers License.” SZA and Doja Cat took home their first Grammys for best pop duo/group performance for their song “Kiss Me More” and the win was memorable for many reasons. From Doja Cat missing the award presentation because she was in the bathroom to Lady Gaga helping SZA onto the stage because she was on crutches, it was a win that won’t be easy to forget. But it was SZA and Doja Cat’s appreciation for one another that stood out the most. SZA and Doja Cat’s win marks only the second time two women have won this category. 

Set to pieces sung by Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, Rachel Zegler, and Leslie Odom Jr., the memorial tribute was touching, to say the least. The lovely tributes to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim did justice to the astounding talents.

While the awards may be what the Grammys are known for, the 2022 Grammy Awards put musical performances at the forefront Sunday night. Silk Sonic kicked the show off with a rendition of “777” from their debut album. At the top of their game, pop icons Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish utilized creative set designs for performances of their hit singles. K-Pop group BTS and Lil Nas X had the crowd on their feet with their hyped-up choreography. 

Several A-list performers were also introduced by members of their tour crew. The touching gesture was a welcome change of pace for the industry and highlighted just how essential those behind the scenes are to creating the onstage magic we know and love. From production managers to wardrobe supervisors, the touring industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 so honoring tour crews and their importance in this way was especially moving. 

Overall, The 2022 Grammy Awards stood out for all of the right reasons, the upbeat ceremony was high energy all around, highlighting the artists alongside their teams that have made the music industry what it is today.