Rapper Megan Thee Stallion quickly jumped out of the gates at Sunday’s socially distant Grammys and snatched two trophies including the prestigious award for best new artist at the music industry’s top awards show.
She shared her first statuette of the night, for best rap performance, with pop queen and leading nominee Beyonce for the TikTok smash “Savage”.
The usual glam soiree hosted by comedian Trevor Noah was scaled down due to coronavirus restrictions, but was still largely live, with a pack of stars playing on stage in the Los Angeles round, including a Harry Styles chest and bejeweled Billie Eilish.
The ceremony, which falls almost a year to the day after Covid-19 founded tours and forced venues to close, is an attempt by the music world to try to get past a smashing 2020 by celebrating its biggest stars.
In the pre-broadcast ceremony, when many of the Grammys were handed out, Beyonce captured her first trophy for best music video, which she shared with her eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, who was in the clip for “Brown Skin Girl”. “
The megastar did not zoom in to receive the award from the recording academy, which many say has failed her in the past, with repeated guys in recent years for critically acclaimed works.
But Eilish and her brother and co-star Finneas seemed to accept an award for “No Time To Die”, the theme from the upcoming James Bond movie of the same name.
They later performed her nominated hit “Everything I Wanted”.
Beyonce won her second prize for her collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion.
“Every artist nominated for this award is so amazing,” said the static artist, wearing a vibrant orange Dolce and Gabbana dress with a high-waisted slit, outside the Staples Center on a gentle Los Angeles afternoon as she accepted the best new Artist Award.
“It’s been a hell of a year but we succeeded.”
Beyonce’s sweeping “Black Parade” – released in June amid explosive nationwide anti-racism protests following a series of deadly police crackdowns on black Americans – has earned her the coveted Record and the Year of the Year award, which will be presented later in the night.
Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Roddy Ricch received six nominations each.
Swift and Lipa both lost in the field for best pop duo / group performance, which, however, went to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”.
South Korean phenomenon BTS was also included in that award; their loss raised hopes of a historic win for Asian pop music from the academy.
Many critics favor the overall chances for Lipa, who took a big risk to release a sparkling disco ball on a dance album just as the pandemic took hold – a venture that paid off.
Swift – a one-time Grammy’s sweetheart who has not won in five years – put in her nominations to release her surprising quarantine album “folklore”, a commercial and critical hit.
And rapper Ricch – who won a trophy last year for his collaboration with the late artist Nipsey Hussle – is a strong contender, including for Song of the Year, which honors songwriting, for his hit “The Box”.
Nas, Strokes first time winner
Brittany Howard – known for performing the band Alabama Shakes – won best rock song, as Fiona Apple received two awards for her album “Fetch The Bolt Cutters”, which many critics hailed as a masterpiece.
The notoriously withdrawn Apple said on Instagram that she would not attend the ceremony and declared that she was not ready for the review to participate in such a show entails.
Although most rock fields were dominated by unparalleled women, The Strokes won for best rock album for “The New Abnormal”, their first ever Grammy.
Rap legend Nas also won for the first time after 14 nominations, with his “King’s Disease” winning the best rap album.
Nigerian superstar Burna Boy was also a first-time winner of the best global music album and ecstatically accepted the award which he said “is a great win for my generation of Africans around the world.”
But it would not be the Grammys without controversy.
The Weeknd has promised to stop submitting music for the award predominantly after he surprisingly received no nominations, despite a big year commercially.
Rapper DaBaby dripped in diamonds when he performed his nominated hit “Rockstar”, and the Latin felling king Bad Bunny delivered a club-like rendition of his hit “Dakiti”.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion would bring their uneven bop “WAP” – a summer hit that celebrates female sexuality with immobile metaphors – later in the show, with the artists also performing their respective tracks “Up” and “Body.”
“I can ‘t wait for everyone to see us kill it tonight,” Megan tweeted after her rapper congratulated her on her victory.