The 2023 Grammy Awards was truly one for the books. From stunning red-carpet outfits to literal history being made on the awards stage, the program kept the audience on the edge of their seats. If you missed the historical night, here are the main highlights that make the Grammys as memorable as it was.
First and foremost, Beyoncé finally broke the record for most Grammy award wins with a staggering total of 32 awards. Having been nominated a total of 88 times, Beyoncé’s win for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for RENAISSANCE set her over the previously established record of 31 wins— previously held by Hungarian-British conductor Georg Solti. This is monumental for the star’s career, causing her to surpass even the most revolutionary of artists who came before her.
Beyoncé also took home three additional awards on Sunday night which were Best Dance Recording for “BREAK MY SOUL,” Best Traditional R&B Performance for “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA,” and Best R&B Song for “CUFF IT.”
Another stellar moment of the night consisted of Kim Petras becoming the first transgender woman to win in her category of Best Pop Group/Duo Performance. Accompanied by Sam Smith— who she collaborated with on “Unholy”— Petras shared that she “[wanted] to thank all the transgender artists who kicked the door open in order for [her] to be here tonight.”
Smith, who identifies as non-binary, also is credited for helping break barriers in regard to the LGBTQ+ community establishing themselves in prestigious award shows. In a statement by GLAAD’s (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Vice President of communications and talent, Anthony Allen Ramos, said that other artists such as “Brandi Carlile and Wet Leg [dominated] the rock and alternative music categories with multiple wins, [and in addition to] Steve Lacy’s win for best progressive R&B album, the Grammy Awards…[were] dominated by more openly LGBTQ artists and musicians than ever before.”
The night didn’t stop there: Viola Davis, with her win for Best Audiobook, Narration, and Storytelling Recording, established the famed EGOT status (somebody who has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards). This group of individuals includes stars such as Jennifer Hudson and John Legend, and is one of the most prestigious titles any artist can acquire for themselves.
Other notable wins include Adele winning Best Pop Solo Performance for her track “Easy on Me,” which marks her fourth time winning in that particular category. Her other winning track list consists of the mega hits “Someone Like You,” “Set Fire to the Rain [Live],” and “Hello.” Taylor Swift even became an award-winning director with the win of Best Music Video for “All Too Well: The Short Film.”
Last you heard from The Outlook about the Grammys, the performances were not yet announced— and perhaps the growing anticipation was worth it. Bad Bunny started off the night with a double performance of “El Apagón” and “Después de la Playa.” He later won the award for Best Música Urbana.
The legendary Stevie Wonder also took to the stage, sharing it with WanMor, Smokey Robinson, and Chris Stapleton for a triplet collection of songs. Lizzo, winner of Record of the Year with “About Damn Time,” performed a medley consisting of the winning track and “Special.” Harry Styles donned a glittering fringe jumpsuit to perform his hit “As It Was,” the first single from the winner of Album of the Year, Harry’s House. Other notable performances include Steve Lacy, Sam Smith and Kim Petras, and Kacey Musgraves.
Overall, the night clearly was one to remember. With a number of history-marking wins, both for artists individually and for the music industry, it seems this year’s award show will be tough to beat. The new year has just started, though, and perhaps upcoming music for the months ahead will set the stage for an even better 2024 Grammy Awards night.