Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Beyoncé received her 28th Grammy, breaking the record for most Grammys won by a female. The position had been held for many years by country music star Allison Krauss. The British musician Georg Solti, who died in 1997, remains the top Grammy winner of all time, with 31 awards.
The top four 2021 Grammys all went to female musicians, including Swift. She won album of the year for folklore, becoming the first female to win the award three times. She shares the record for most album of the year wins with Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon.
The artist H.E.R. won song of the year for I Can’t Breathe. The song explores police killings of Black Americans. It was written in honor of George Floyd, who was killed during an arrest by police last year. The event led to massive demonstrations around the country to protest abuse by police.
The record of the year honor went to Billie Eilish for Everything I Wanted. The musician accepted the award Sunday night but told the crowd that the honor should have gone to artist Megan Thee Stallion.
"You deserve this," Eilish said, addressing Megan Thee Stallion. "You had a year that I think is untoppable. You are a queen. I want to cry thinking about how much I love you."
Megan Thee Stallion still did quite well at the awards ceremony. She won three honors, including best new artist. She also won best rap song for Savage, becoming the first female to be honored in that category.
Although women have won all top four awards before, Sunday night was the first time four separate and solo women won the top four honors.
“I feel like there’s ... a lot of female empowerment and lots of women winning awards tonight. And so it’s been absolutely amazing to just be alongside all that, to feel that energy," Dua Lipa, who won best pop vocal album, said at the event.
Beyoncé picked up four honors, including best R&B performance for Black Parade, as well sharing best rap performance and best rap song with Megan Thee Stallion.
“As an artist I believe it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect time and it’s been such a difficult time,” Beyoncé said as she accepted the award for Black Parade, which was released on June 19th to mark the holiday Juneteenth.
She went on to say she created the song to honor the “beautiful Black kings and queens” in the world.
She added: “This is such a magical night.”
Beyoncé now ties producer and artist Quincy Jones for second place among all Grammy winners.
The Grammys featured pre-recorded performances that helped the nearly four-hour show run smoothly. Host Trevor Noah told jokes about the COVID-19 crisis and the year that was 2020. The show was live from Los Angeles with attendees wearing masks and sitting, socially distanced, at small round tables.
Country singer Mickey Guyton – the first Black woman nominated for best country solo performance – performed her song Black Like Me.
Black Parade was among several songs honoring the Black experience that won Grammys Sunday, including H.E.R.'s I Can’t Breathe and Anderson Paak’s Lockdown, which was also released on Juneteenth.
I’m Caty Weaver.
The Associated Press reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in This Story
category –n. a group of people or things that are similar in some way
solo –adj. involving or done by a single performer instead of a group
vocal –adj. of, relating to, or produced by the voice
reflect –v. to show (something): to make (something) known
host –n. a person who leads a ceremony or other event involving an audience
mask –n. a covering for your face or for part of your face
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