64th annual Grammy Awards features stunning musical performances


Photo via Associated Press

Jon Batiste accepts the award for album of the year.

Katherine Daly, Staff Writer

The 64th annual Grammy Awards were held on April 3 at MGM Grand Garden. The event was hosted by television host, actor and political commentator Trevor Noah for the second year in a row. Among the popular performers were Lady Gaga, Chris Stapleton, Olivia Rodrigo, BTS and Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak.  


The show opened with Silk Sonic, the retro soul-funk project of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, playing “777,” about the high-rolling, Sin City side of Las Vegas.  

Later in the night, the group won song of the year for “Leave the Door Open,” a throwback to smooth early soul. Olivia Rodrigo also shared a song as she performed her signature song “Driver’s License” in an onstage Mercedes. She was nominated for seven awards and took home three. She won GRAMMYs for Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Vocal Performance. After other performances, K-pop heroes BTS went full magician for their rendition of their hit 2021 single, “Butter.” There was even some magic involved: while milling through the crowd mid-performance, V produced a card from behind Olivia Rodrigo’s ear.  


As award shows go, it only really works when there’s a traditional live audience for the sake of mass-energy feedback. While the 2021 GRAMMYs were celebrated as a back-to-basics, no-nonsense celebration of music, there was something missing. Now that the audience is back, Chris Stapleton got to bring the house down. The  

country singer performed “Cold,” from his 2020 album Starting Over. Stapleton was nominated for GRAMMYs for Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song and Best Country Album and won in all three categories. 


In the night’s most powerful moment, John Legend performed a touching song, “Free.” After a pre-recorded speech by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky about choosing sound over silence, John Legend was accompanied by three talented Ukrainian artists: Siuzanna Iglidan, Mika Newton and Lyuba Yakimchuk. As Legend belted the lyrics, his emotion was evident in his deep voice.  


The sweetest moment of the night was a tribute performance for Tony Bennett performed by Lady Gaga herself singing “Love for Sale” & “Do I Love You.”  Bennett bowed out with 2021’s excellent Love for Sale, his second collaborative album with Lady Gaga, but she did him justice with this lavish tribute. The pair’s album won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album which is their second win in the category, following their collaboration in 2015.  


Other performances included Billie Eilish, and Finneas singing “Happier Than Ever,” Justin Bieber performing “Peaches” and Brothers Osborne playing “Dead Man’s Curve.” The night’s biggest winner was jazz pianist Jon Batiste, who won five awards, including Album of the Year. Overall, the night was a success for the music world, as plenty of great musicians performed and took home awards for their talent.