By Maria Sherman, The Associated Press on February 4, 2024.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hours before the 66th Grammy Awards will ai r live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, stars began arriving – and winning – at the Premiere Ceremony, a pre-telecast show.
Host/songwriter Justin Tranter set the scene – giving out the first award of the day, best pop duo/group performance, which went to SZA and Phoebe Bridgers for “Ghost in the Machine.” Bridgers wasn’t on stage for that but skipped her way up with her band boygenius – made up of her, Lucy Dacus and Julian Baker – clad in matching white suits, when they won their first Grammy as a group for best rock performance for “Not Strong Enough.”
“Oh my God I want to throw up,” said Dacus in their acceptance speech. “This isn’t real. Thank you.” “Music saved my life,” Baker jumped in. “Anyone can be in a band.” Minutes later, they walked back out on stage for best rock song and best alternative music album. Bridgers leads the day so far with four Grammys.
The first of three new categories in 2024, best pop dance recording, was given out shortly afterward and went to Kylie Minogue for “Padam Padam” – her first win in 18 years.
About 80 Grammys will be handed out pre-broadcast, which included Regional Mexican star Peso Pluma winning his first Grammy for his first and only nomination, for best mÃºsica Mexicana album for his “Genesis.”
Early on in the afternoon, “Barbie” took home two Grammys in quick succession: for compilation soundtrack for visual media and best song written for visual media.
Billie Eilish and Finneas arrived early in the afternoon to collect song written for visual media trophy for their “Barbie” ballad “What Was I Made For.”
“This is shocking to me,” Eilish said. “I was expecting to turn right back around and leave.”
“I want to thank our parents, our dad, who worked as a construction worker at Mattel Corporation for much of our childhood to keep food the table,” said Finneas.
Dozens of stars began arriving early, with the first arrivals giving the carpet a mix of classic black, shimmer and bold color.
Best African music performance, a new category which aims to highlight regional musical traditions and recognizing “recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent,” went to South African singer Tyla for her ubiquitous hit, “Water.” It marks her first Grammy nomination and win. “I never thought I’d say I won a Grammy at 21 years old,” she said in her acceptance speech. “Last year God decided to change my whole life.”
Jimmy Jam presented the bulk of the R&B and rap categories, which included best traditional R&B performance. That one went to PJ Morton and Susan Carol for “Good Morning,” – a sweet moment, but it meant Hazel Monét, Victoria Monét’s 2-year-old daughter, lost her opportunity to become the youngest Grammy award winner of all time.
Best rap performance went to Killer Mike Featuring André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane for “Scientists & Engineers.” It meant Killer Mike won first Grammy in 21 years, since “The Whole World” won for best rap performance by a duo or group in 2003. It is also a first nomination and win for Eryn Allen Kane. And how could they not win: the standout song featured Future’s hoarse vocals, Kane’s superb crooning and fine verses delivered by Mike and Andre 3000.
Soon afterward, they won for “best rap song.” Killer Mike also took home best rap album for “Michael,” cheering, “It is a sweep! It is a sweep!”
Brandy Clark, who has been nominated for 17 Grammy awards in her career – including six this year – took home her first Grammy for best americana performance for her track “Dear Insecurity.” “I thank my mom for always believing in me, whatever my crazy dreams had been” she said. “And mostly I want to thank Brandi Carlile for making this record with me.”
Women outpace men in the major categories, so expect to see a spotlight on its female nominees as the night continues.
Comedian Trevor Noah will host for a fourth year in a row, history could be made, and unlike those other award shows, the Grammys doubles as a concert featuring the biggest artists in the world.
HOW TO WATCH
The main show will air live on CBS and Paramount+ beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern. Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers can watch live and on demand. Paramount+ Essential subscribers won’t be able to stream the ceremony until the next day.
E! will broadcast its “Live From E!: Countdown to the Grammys” show, with a mix of fashion coverage and celebrity interviews starting at 6 p.m. Eastern, hosted by Laverne Cox and comedian Heather McMahan.
The Associated Press is streaming a red carpet show with interviews and fashion footage. It is available on YouTube, Twitter and the AP’s website beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern.
SZA is the lead contender with nine nominations, followed closely by Monét and Bridgers with seven. Bridgers’ band boygenius has six, as does Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Brandy Clark, Batiste and producer Jack Antonoff.
There are a few history-making opportunities as well: A Black woman hasn’t won album of the year since 1999, when “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was awarded the top prize. This year, SZA or Janelle Monae could change that.
If Swift takes home album of the year, she breaks the record of the artist with the most wins, ever, with four. Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus may win their first Grammys.
Karol G could become the first female artist to ever win in the best mÃºsica urbana album category if she wins for “MaÃ±ana SerÃ¡ Bonito.” Jack Antonoff could tie Babyface as the producer with the most consecutive wins in the producer of the year, non-classical category with a third win in 2024.
WHO WILL PERFORM?
A lot of people! The list includes: SZA, a first-ever Grammys performance from Joni Mitchell, and five-time Grammy winner and 23-time nominee Billy Joel.
The lineup also includes Grammy winners and current nominees Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, Burna Boy, Luke Combs and Travis Scott.
For more coverage of this year’s Grammy Awards, visit https://apnews.com/hub/grammy-awards