Tonight was the final nail in the coffin for awards season 2022, a season that we’re cursed never to forget. Of course, we’re talking about the Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Casino in beautiful Las Vegas. But while there were no moments quite as earth-shattering as The Slap, the Recording Academy still tried.
The Grammys, like the other Academy, rushed through several awards during the pre-show, including honors for Joni Mitchell, Olivia Rodrigo, and Jack Antonoff. They also found the time to give awards to Louis CK and Kanye West. Great work, Academy. We’re happy to tune in again!
While the Recording Academy was rewarding the mediocre work of abusers, sex pests, and guys who no longer know how to put out a record, they did hand out trophies some to people that actually deserved them. The Foo Fighters took home three golden gramophones early in the night, winning for Best Rock Performance (Making A Fire), Best Rock Song (“Waiting On A War”), and Best Rock Album (Medicine At Midnight). It was a bittersweet victory for the group, which tragically lost their longtime drummer Taylor Hawkins just over a week ago.
The show kicked off in earnest with a performance by perhaps the night’s biggest winners, Silk Sonic—Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s funk band. With their wigs, shades, and sunglasses, the sight of Silk Sonic slowly exploding out of their chairs with sexual delight to accept awards became a common refrain. The collaboration between .Paak and Mars won Best R&B Song, Song Of The Year, and, in a surprising upset, Record Of The Year. Most probably assumed Jon Batiste was winning that one, but his time would come.
Batiste was the most-nominated artist of the evening, with 14 nominations, 11 for his album We Are and three for his work on the score for the Pixar film Soul. He took home the biggest award of the night, Album Of The Year for We Are, as well as four statues for Best Music Video, Best American Roots Song, Best American Roots Performance, and Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media.
Olivia Rodrigo also had a big night. With seven nominations, she took home the coveted Best New Artist Grammy, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album. If that wasn’t enough, she performed her hit “Drivers License,” which made us all feel like crap for not winning three Grammys at age 19.
Chris Stapleton and his impressive beard won Best Country Album for Starting Over. He took the stage and did a mean Boomhauer impression before resolving on “making the world a better place” or something. We anxiously await the transcript. Stapleton performed the Grammy-winning song “Cold” later in the evening. Good thing he’s got that beard to keep him warm.
Continuing the theme of rewarding accused abusers, Nas also performed tonight. The rapper already lost twice tonight, first to Tyler, The Creator for Best Rap Album, then to “Jail” by Kanye West. Baby Keem won his first Grammy, capturing Best Rap Performance in a stacked category that included Cardi B., Megan Thee Stallion, and Drake.
The most sobering moment of the night came when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced John Legend. President Zelenskyy appeared via a pre-recorded message that he reportedly filmed in a Kyiv bunker within the last 48 hours.
“The war. What is more opposite to music?” Zelenskyy said. “The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we’ll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters. But alive.”
“The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence. Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can’t hear them, but the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom to live, to love, to sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story.”
“To all our cities the war is destroying, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovkha, Mariupol, and others. They are legends already, but I have a dream of them living. And free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.”
That stage was filled with John Legend, who performed “Free” with Ukrainian singer Mika Newtown and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk. It was a strange way to show solidarity, but a thousand times more respectful than the Oscars’ Crypto.com ad, so we’ll take it.
Jazmine Sullivan won Best R&B Album for Heaux Tales. She picked up three Grammys, including Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album.
Doja Cat, who is apparently close to retiring, revealed that she had never taken “such a fast piss” in all her life (take note, Michael Keaton). Oh, she and SZA won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, which is exciting for someone on the verge of leaving the job. “It’s a big deal,” she said.
Grammy winner H.E.R did the coolest thing anyone can do: play the drums with water on the skins. It always looks incredible. She performed a trio of tracks, “Damage,” “We Made It,” and the Lenny Kravitz song “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” Travis Parker and Kravitz joined H.E.R. on stage, and she and Kravitz did a whole dueling guitar solos thing. Honestly, we could use a little more of this. And yes, Lenny’s pants held it together. H.E.R. was nominated for eight Grammys tonight, taking home one for Best Traditional R&B Performance. However, she should get an immediate Grammy for the solos.