February 26th, 2024

Grammys open with high-octane Dua Lipa performance and Miley Cyrus wins her first Grammy

By Maria Sherman, The Associated Press on February 4, 2024.

FILE - SZA, winner of the award for best pop duo/group performance for "Kiss Me More," poses in the press room at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas. SZA is nominated for nine Grammy Awards. The 66th annual Grammy Awards will take place Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Mariah Carey presented the first award of Grammy Awards, for best pop solo performance to Miley Cyrus for “Flowers,” the singer’s first ever Grammy.

Cyrus said she almost missed the start of the show because of driving rain that is pounding Los Angeles and said she was glad she didn’t miss her chance to be onstage with Carey. Cyrus has been nominated eight times previously.

Afterwards, Luke Combs’ performed “Fast Car” with Tracy Chapman ““ his cover of the Chapman classic has dominated country radio and won him song of the year at the 2023 CMAs. In 1989, Chapman won best pop vocal performance, female for the song.

Dua Lipa opened the show with a high-octane medley: first, a tease of her forthcoming single, “Training Season,” then, her most recent single, “Houdini,” and finally, her disco-pop “Barbie” hit “Dance the Night.”

From the stage at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, four-time Grammy host – and two time nominee – Trevor Noah greeted an excited crowd, starting things off with a kiss on the cheek from Meryl Streep. “The Grammys are gonna win as Oscar,” he joked about the moment.

Women outpace men in the major categories, so viewers can expect to see a spotlight on its female nominees as the night continues. SZA leads with nine nominations, followed closely by Victoria Monét and Phoebe Bridgers with seven. Bridgers’ band boygenius has six, as does Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus, Eilish, Clark, Batiste and producer Jack Antonoff.

Other performers include SZA, a first-ever Grammys performance from Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Eilish, Rodrigo, Burna Boy and Travis Scott.

Bridgers took an early lead at the Grammys, quickly winning four trophies ahead of the main telecast, with her and her boygenius bandmates bringing an infectious energy to the Premiere Ceremony.

Songwriter Justin Tranter gave her the first award Sunday, best pop duo/group performance, which went to SZA and Bridgers for “Ghost in the Machine.”

She 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.

Newcomer Coco Jones won best R&B performance for “ICU” in a stacked competition where she was up against SZA’s “Kill Bill” and Victoria Monét’s “How Does It Make You Feel.” SZA’s second win of the night came in the form of the best progressive R&B album for “S.O.S.”

Jack Antonoff took home producer of the year, non-classical for a third year in a row, tying Babyface as the only other producer to do so consecutively. “You need the door kicked open for you,” he said in his acceptance speech. “Taylor Swift kicked that (expletive) door open for me,” referencing their work together.

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 were handed out pre-broadcast. Regional Mexican star Peso Pluma won his first Grammy for his first and only nomination, for best música 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 Lipa and Monét among the stunning looks on the arrivals carpet.

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.”

And Michelle Obama won her second Grammy, this time for best audio book, narration, and storytelling recording for “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times,” beating Meryl Streep, Williams Shatner, Rick Rubin and Sen. Bernie Sanders. When the nominations for the category were first announced, some fans were shocked Prince Harry’s memoir “Spare” evaded recognition.

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For more coverage of this year’s Grammy Awards, visit https://apnews.com/hub/grammy-awards

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