Courtesy of the New York Times

Harry Styles on stage for his concert residency at Madison Square Garden in New York, Aug. 20, 2022.

February 13, 2023

The Excitements and Disappointments of the 2023 Grammy Awards

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The 2023 Grammy Awards were exciting for some, but many music lovers felt underwhelmed and disappointed with the results and the show itself.  The Grammys have produced some baffling wins in the last few years and this year’s show was no exception.

Trevor Noah returned to host the show for the third year in a row, this time in Los Angeles after being held in Las Vegas the year prior.  Noah has definitely proved himself. The show featured a star studded lineup of presenters, including Jennifer Lopez, Olivia Rodrigo, James Corden and even first lady Jill Biden.  

The show opened with a performance by Bad Bunny, whose album Un Verano Sin Ti was the first Spanish language project to be nominated for Album of the Year.  Although he did not win, the album did receive Best Música Urbana Album.  His performance was a strong open number, with many stars getting out of their seats and dancing along.

Going into the night, many expected it to be a celebration of Beyonce, who was nominated for nine awards, including the prestigious Album of the Year award.  She was expected to break the record for the most number of Grammy wins held by an individual artist.  While she succeeded in doing that, viewers across the country were shocked to see her lose out on the Album of the Year award for Renaissance to British pop star Harry Styles, who received the award for his third solo album, Harry’s House.  Beyonce still managed to bring home four awards: Best Dance/Electronic Album, Best Dance/Electronic Recording, Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.  Although her record number of 32 Grammy wins is still an incredible achievement, it was a shock to see her lose the most prestigious category.

The other big awards in the general field were Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. Lizzo took home Record of the Year for “About Damn Time”  while Bonnie Raitt received Song of the Year for “Just Like That.”   Samara Joy was awarded Best New Artist.

While the Grammy Awards are known for their spotlight on pop music, hip hop definitely stole the show at this year’s ceremony.  The show contained a dedication to the genre titled “50 Years of Hip Hop.”  The performance was over 10 minutes long and featured 23 different hip hop artists, including Run-DMC, Missy Elliot and Lil Uzi Vert.  Before the performance, LL Cool J presented fellow hip hop artist Dr. Dre with the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award for the many achievements he has had in his multi-decade music career.

The ceremony also featured a performance dedicated to those in the music industry that passed away this year.  The performance, titled “In Memoriam,” featured tributes to Loretta Lynn, Takeoff and Christine McVie given by Kacey Musgraves, Quavo, Maverick City Music, Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood and Bonnie Raitt.  

Last year, the Grammy Awards were criticized for poorly acknowledging the real world issues that were occurring at the time, such as the war in Ukraine.  This year, the show did a bit of a better job, showing that the power of music unites us and is used in social justice movements.  However, there was also a lack of representation of women in the 50 Years of Hip Hop performance, which could have included more of the female artists that have shaped the genre in recent years.  Dr. Dre’s honor was also criticized due to his history of violence against women.

Although the ceremony won’t return for another year, music fans are already looking forward to what music will be nominated next year.  New music such as Taylor Swift’s Midnights was too recent to be included in this year’s nominations, but it is already one of the favorites for next year.

Ili Pecullan is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology. She can be reached at [email protected].