March 1st, 2024

Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish help Grammys reach its largest audience since 2020

By Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press on February 5, 2024.

Phoebe Bridgers, from left, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus of boygenius pose in the press room with the awards for best rock performance and best rock song for "Not Strong Enough," and best alternative music album for "The Record." Taylor Swift, center right, and Jack Antonoff pose with the award for record of the year for "Midnights" during the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) – An average of 16.9 million viewers tuned in to see performances by Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish and watch Taylor Swift make history at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, the largest audience for the telecast in four years and another consecutive annual increase for a show that is recovering from its pandemic declines.

Ratings were up 34% on Sunday across CBS, Paramount+ and other digital platforms from last year, and with delayed watching included was expected to amass over 17 million viewers. The telecast peaked with 18.25 million viewers during the in memorium segment, with performances by Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Jon Batiste and Fantasia Barrino.

The numbers Sunday easily beat the 12.4 million people who tuned in to watch Harry Styles, Lizzo and Bad Bunny perform during the show in 2023, along with a tribute to 50 years of rap history.

That’s another year of growth seen under host Trevor Noah, who has hosted since 2021. Live viewership was 8.8 million in 2021 and 8.9 million in 2022. The numbers this year are closer to pre-pandemic levels: Music’s showcase night was seen by 18.7 million people in 2020.

The upward trajectory is in stark contrast to the fate of the Emmy Awards earlier this year: That telecast on Fox reached a record low audience of 4.3 million viewers.

This year, Grammy viewers watched Miley Cyrus powerfully belt out her megahit “Flowers, which won record of the year, and Billie Eilish’s gentle piano ballad from “Barbie,” “What Was I Made For?,” which was crowned song of the year. The album “Midnights” earned Swift her fourth career Grammy for album of the year, a record.

Live television viewership has declined across-the-board over the past few years, with pro football one of the few events to buck the trend.

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