The 63rd Grammy Awards on Sunday was fun. Yes, fun. Here are some photo highlights from this year’s pandemic-era awards ceremony.
Part of the fun of an awards ceremony is that it gives the audience a chance to watch how celebs behave when they’re trapped in a room together for three-plus hours: Who do they hug? What do they laugh at? How do they react when their name is (or isn’t) called? So much of that appeal is lost in a pandemic. After all, how do you know what face a star is making when she wins an award if that face is hidden behind a mask?
Thankfully, the constraints of a socially-distanced ceremony didn’t totally upend the 63rd Grammy Awards on Sunday night. In fact, unlike previous pandemic-era awards shows, including the Emmys and Golden Globes, the event felt effortless—enjoyable, even!
That’s, in part, because executive producer Ben Winston didn’t try to recreate a virtual version of the Grammys-as-usual (which simply wouldn’t work), but instead, reimagined how the show would unfold altogether. Awards were presented in an open-air tent just outside the Los Angeles Staples Center, where the Grammys usually take place, and most performances went down separately on four indoor stages nearby. (Each artist acted as the other’s audience in rotating sets of four, which meant viewers still got the deliciously awkward reaction shots the Grammys are known for.)
Some segments and appearances were virtual, sure, but overall, the night was far from an A-list Zoom meeting.
Host Trevor Noah appears at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Image via Chris Pizzello/AP/Shutterstock.
Host Trevor Noah (center) onstage with Black Pumas lead singer Eric Burton (left) and Adrian Quesada (right) during a pre-taped segment for the 63rd Grammys at the LA Convention Center. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
Host Trevor Noah arrives at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with both live and prerecorded segments. Image via Jordan Strauss/AP/Shutterstock.
Some additional highlights from the evening . . .
No Pandemic Sweatpants in Sight
Was it charming when Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis wore a hoodie to this year’s Golden Globes? Yes. But, it’s also nice to see celebrities dress up like celebrities every now and then, especially when so many of us have been in some form of soft clothes for a year now—and the Grammys delivered on that in spades.
There Was Plenty of Edge
The red carpet wasn’t just about couture, however. It also delivered its fair share of rock-star moments, tongue included. (This isn’t the Oscars, remember.)
Masks Were the Ultimate Fashion Statement
You might assume that masks would distract from the fantasy of the evening. But, not only were those babies necessary for the good of public health—they were actually a highlight of the night.
Harry Styles in a matching mask and jacket at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
Taylor Swift appears in a floral mask at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Image via Chris Pizzello/AP/Shutterstock.
Megan Thee Stallion in matching mask and gown at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Image via Chris Pizzello/AP/Shutterstock.
Just think of all the high-end designers who made the most of their fabric scraps. Masks, but make it (sustainable) fashion.
Megan Thee Stallion Had a Huge Grammys Debut
The “Savage” rapper started off the night by winning Best New Artist, making her the first female rapper to win in that category since Lauryn Hill in 1999.
Megan Thee Stallion accepts the award for Best New Artist at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Image via Chris Pizzello/AP/Shutterstock.
“I really want to say ‘thank you’ to my mama,” Megan said in her acceptance speech (which was briefly interrupted by the sound of a car roaring past). “She’s not here with me today, but I know she is here with me in spirit and she always believed I could do it.”
Megan Thee Stallion accepts the award for Best New Artist at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
That alone would make for quite the Grammys debut—but Megan’s night was only just beginning.
She went on to give a show-stopping performance of “Savage (Remix)” and “WAP” (with Cardi B!), and capped things off by winning Best Rap Song for “Savage (Remix)” alongside Beyoncé, who features on the track.
Beyoncé Knowles and Megan Thee Stallion accept the award for Best Rap Album at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
Beyoncé Knowles and Megan Thee Stallion accepting the award for Best Rap Album at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
Beyoncé Knowles and Megan Thee Stallion holding court at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
“I definitely wanna say thank you to . . . Beyoncé,” Megan said. “If you know me, you have to know that ever since I was little, I was like, ‘You know what, one day I’m going to grow up and be the rapper Beyoncé.’ That was definitely my goal.”
Beyoncé Showed Up—and Made History!
Speaking of Beyoncé—she showed up! (It was unclear whether she would attend.) And, she made Grammy history! That’s right. Queen B’s win for Best R&B Performance for her single “Black Parade” made her the most decorated woman in Grammy’s history, with twenty-eight wins.
Beyoncé Knowles accepts the award for Best R&B Performance at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
“I am so honored,” she said. “As an artist, I believe it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect the times, and it’s been such a difficult time. So, I wanted to uplift, encourage, and celebrate all the beautiful Black kings and queens that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world.”
Beyoncé Knowles makes history with the Best R&B Performance, winning a career total of twenty-eight Grammys. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
She also gave a shout-out to her three children, including nine-year-old Blue Ivy Carter, who’s now a Grammy winner herself (!!!) for her role in the music video for “Brown Skin Girl.”
The Performers Gave It Their All
The real highlight of the evening (again, besides Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé) were the performances. Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, the artists gave the stage their all.
Harry Styles performed “Watermelon Sugar” shirtless (he had a leather jacket on, okay?). Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak seduced the world with “Leave the Door Open,” their sexy new track as duo Silk Sonic—and did so in ’60s-inspired brown suits, no less.
Country powerhouse Mickey Guyton delivered a rousing performance of “Black Like Me.” And, BTS beamed in from South Korea to help close out the nearly four-hour event with their explosive hit “Dynamite.”
Mickey Guyton performs for a pre-taped segment of the 63rd Grammys. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
The show must go on, as they say, even in a pandemic. And, overall, the Grammys proved that was actually possible (with masks and distancing).
Still, here’s to the future! When the world can actually see 2021 Album of the Year winner Taylor Swift flash her famous surprise-face, sans designer mask, the moment her name is called.
Taylor Swift accepts the award for Album of the Year at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
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Cover image via Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock.
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