Grammys 2021: Final Thoughts

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

As usual, the Grammys caused quarrels, cries, and discussions. Amid the lines of great performances and deserving winners, we had things that we cannot ignore. So now let’s take a look and discuss the most essential points of this year’s Grammy.

A Grammy to go Down in History

This year’s Grammy was one to go down in history, and not just because we had the biggest snub of all time — we still haven’t forgotten you The Weeknd. Two of the big nominees of the night, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, left the night with historical records. Swift, despite having won only one of the six categories she was competing for, entered Guinness World Records as the first woman in history to win the Album of the Year award three times. In 2010, she won with Fearless, in 2016 with 1989, and this year with folklore. With that, Swift joins Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon as the only artists to achieve this. It is worth remembering that with her nomination for this year’s Song of the Year, with “cardigan,” Swift had become the artist with the most nominations in this category. On the other hand, Beyoncé left with 4 gramophones, including Best Rap Song, with her collaboration on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage”, and Best Music Video, with “BROWN SKIN GIRL.” With that, Beyoncé became the female artist with the most victories, totaling 28, behind only Georg Solti, with 31 victories. This year Beyoncé also reached 80 nominations, equaling her husband, Jay-Z.

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Was it… Comprehensive?

When the first winners were announced, as well as every year, everyone felt that something was not wrong. Beyoncé, for example, lost with Best Music Film. However, at the end of the night, analyzing all the winners, we realized something that had not been seen for years: nobody properly “swept” all categories. In general, everyone seems to have taken something. Dua Lipa came out with Best Pop Vocal Album, Taylor Swift with Album of the Year, and Billie Eilish with Record of the Year. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande came out with Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, H.E.R. with Song of the Year, and Harry Styles with Best Pop Solo Performance. Most of these categories could have been won by one person, Taylor Swift or Dua Lipa. However, different from what was predicted and expected considering the previous editions, this year it seems that the organization wanted to balance and find a way for each one to win at least. Of course, there were snobs and people who won even though they didn’t deserve so much, but in the end, nobody went back home empty-handed because the colleague won everything and didn’t even leave crumbs for you.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

New Format

When the Academy announced the Grammy it was still going to happen this year but two months after the expected date, we were all wondering how it would all work. Last Sunday we were able to see a different format, which in a way seems to have been more interesting than the conventional one. Unlike the classic theater that the Grammy takes place every year, this time we had a kind of restaurant in the open air where the nominees were seated in pairs or trios, usually singers with their collaborators. Without a doubt, the tables with fancy chairs, expensive towels, and buckets of champagne gave an even more chic touch to the ceremony. The artists who were going to perform were in a kind of dark hall, where there were five stages, side by side, organized in circles. After performing, they passed the tight red carpet, going to this “restaurant”, where the big winners were announced. Although it is not an easy and more appropriate format for when we can all go back to attending crowds, it is something that should be explored further.

Recording Academy and Grammys / Youtube

Performances

Something that also changed both because of this new Grammy stage scheme and the pandemic was the performances. Despite the obvious limitations, they had incredible ones. Cardi B teamed up with Megan Thee Stallion to sing “WAP,” after the three-gramophone winner performed “Body,” from her debut album, Good News. Meanwhile, Billie Eilish appeared on top of a car to sing the mysterious and depressing “everything i wanted,” Harry Style to bring “Watermelon Sugar,” to life and Bruno Mars debuted alongside Anderson .Paak, singing the lead single from their new project, Silk Sonic. But the highlight was Dua Lipa, who sang “Levitating” alongside DaBaby before singing her greatest song, “Don’t Start Now,” from her latest album, Future Nostalgia; and Taylor Swift, who alongside Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, sang folklore’s “cardigan,” nominated for Song of the Year, and “august” and evermore’s “willow” in a magic forest. 

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Whoever Won Should Really Have Won?

If we disregard what we discussed earlier about this edition of the Grammy having averaged among the winners, trying to give at least one prize to each, we can take a more critical look at the winners. The most controversial of all was perhaps Billie Eilish’s “everything i wanted” winning Record of the Year. Despite being an excellent song, both in lyrics and composition, considering that Beyoncé’s “Black Parade,” Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix,” and Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” were also nominated, we wondered if Billie deserved that much — she didn’t it. But this isn’t even the worst of all considering that Justin Bieber, who delivered one of the worst albums of last year, ended up winning Best Country Duo/Group Performance alongside Dan + Shay with “10,000 Hours.” We can also mention others who did not even win anything, which was the case of Phoebe Bridgers and Chloe X Halle, both great artists of the last year who left with nothing. Even Fiona Apple, who despite winning two categories, Best Rock Performance with “Shameika” and Best Alternative Music Album with Fetch the Bolt Cutters, and Taylor Swift, who won the Album of the Year with folklore, deserved to have won at least one more.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

We Anticipate it Right?

With all the change that the Grammy had in this year’s winner scheme, we missed a large part of the categories — in contrast to the year that went by when we got almost all of them right. Let’s take a look: 

We got it right: 

  • Album of the Year (folklore);
  • Best New Artist (Megan Thee Stallion);
  • Best Pop Duo / Group Performance (“Rain On Me”); 
  • Best Pop Vocal Album (Future Nostalgia);
  • Best Rock Performance (“Shameika”);
  • Best Rock Album (The New Abnormal);
  • Best Alternative Music Album (Fetch the Bolt Cutters); 
  • Best Rap Song (“Savage”);
  • Best Latin Pop or Urban Album (YHLQMDLG); 
  • Best Song Written for Visual Media (“No time to Die”);
  • Best Music Video (“Brown Skin Girl”)

In more exact calculations, we had an approximate 40% hit — a little low, but this year’s Grammy was something out of this world


At the End of the Day, Was it Good?

We could spend hours here talking about the people who were snubbed, both in the nominations and in the announcement of the winners. But at the end of the day, this year’s Grammy seems to have been a little fairer than last year, when Billie Eilish won several awards that could have been distributed to other artists who deserved it as much — some even more. Even with the Academy forcing some artists and saturating others and even some people who shouldn’t even be there — John Mayer — everything went relatively well. Fortunately, this year, Grammy took this new view. But, we still can’t forget how racist, sexist, and LGBTbofic the Academy and the Grammy are. In the end, we can only hope that each day they get better and better — or less and “less worse.”

TAS Rights Management 2021/Getty Images

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