2022 Grammys: Another Awards Ceremony Saved by Scandals and Speeches

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Even a move to Las Vegas couldn’t prevent Awards Ceremony fatigue at the Grammys

This Sunday marked 2022’s biggest night in music. Some of the world’s biggest stars were dressed up to the nines for the Grammys at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The industry’s top artists, including Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and BTS took to the stage to perform their fan favourite hits. However,espite a star-studded guest list, the night haemorrhaged viewers, as America decided not to tune in.

Lil Nas X at the Grammys
Lil Nas X from cnn.com

Some of the night’s biggest awards went to lesser-known artists. American singer-songwriter Jon Batiste picked up an award for Album of the Year, beating favourite and previous winner, Taylor Swift. Record of the Year and Song of the Year both went to Silk Sonic, for their funky track, ‘Leave the Door Open’. Although the Recording Academy’s recognition of smaller and upcoming artists is important, it’s not so great for ratings, as viewers expect to see their idols on screen.

There were some incredible performances throughout the night, including a tribute to Tony Bennett from Lady Gaga, who is battling late-stage Alzheimer’s. The performance follows a win for their jazz album, ‘Love For Sale’, which picked up a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. 36-year-old Lady Gaga has had a long friendship with Tony Bennett and this is their second album together. Gaga was clearly emotional throughout the performance, which helped the Grammys centre the night around art, which was welcomed following an outrageous Oscars ceremony last week.

Lady Gaga at the Grammys
Lady Gaga from NME.com

Although, there were some scandalous moments. Upon accepting the award for Record of the Year, Bruno Mars shocked viewers by lighting up a cigarette on stage. “Bruno Mars just lit a cigarette on the Grammys stage in the middle of accepting an award, can we talk about that instead of Will Smith now?” said one fan on Twitter. Others were furious, declaring Bruno puffing on a cigarette as an “inappropriate act,” in front of adoring and impressionable fans.

But this wasn’t the only smoking scandal at the 64th Grammys. Internationally adored K-pop band, BTS, hit headlines around the world as an image went viral showing band member, Kim Taechyung – who goes by ‘V’ – enjoying a cigarette next to a fire exit. Concerned fans took to social media to blast V’s habit. It seems that the highlights of this year’s Grammys were not the awards or the performers, it was the shocking bits in-between.

The evening took an unexpecting sombre turn as Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a powerful message to America. Based in Kyiv, the respected Ukrainian leader stated, “Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos,” referring to the ongoing war with Russia. He urged musicians to “fill the silence” left by Russian bombs “with your music”. The pre-taped video message was played to a humbled audience ahead of a moving rendition of Free, a new song by John Lennon. A powerful reminder of the power of music.

Some of the Grammy 2022 Winners

Record of the Year 

“Leave The Door Open,” Silk Sonic

Song of the Year

“Leave The Door Open,” Silk Sonic

Album of the Year 

“We Are,” Jon Batiste

Best New Artist 

Olivia Rodrigo

Best Pop Solo Performance 

Olivia Rodrigo

Best Pop Duo 

“Kiss Me More” Doja Cat feat. SZA

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

“Love for Sale,” Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

Best Pop Vocal Album

“Sour,” Olivia Rodrigo

Best Dance Recording 

“Alive,” Rüfüs Du Sol

Best Rap Album 

“Call Me If You Get Lost,” Tyler, the Creator

Best Rap Song 

“Jail,” Kanye West, Jay-Z

Best American Roots Performance 

“Cry,” Jon Batiste

Best R&B Song

“Leave The Door Open,” Silk Sonic

Best R&B Album

“Heaux Tales,” Jazmine Sullivan

Best Country Solo Performance

“You Should Probably Leave,” Chris Stapleton

Best Country Song

“Cold,” Chris Stapleton

Best Country Album 

“Starting Over,” Chris Stapleton

Best Rock Performance

“Making a Fire,” Foo Fighters

Best Rock Song

“Waiting on a War,” Foo Fighters

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