Silk Sonic and Jon Batiste lead the eclectic 2022 Grammy Awards

Jon Batiste, Olivia Rodrigo and Silk Sonic each took home big awards at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, a joyous and drama-free ceremony following last week’s Academy Awards chaos.

Batiste, 35, the bandleader of “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and most-nominated artist of the year, won five of his 11 nominations, including album of the year for “We Are.”

“I firmly believe that there is no best musician, no best artist,” he said on stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. “The creative arts are subjective and reach people at a point in their lives when they need them most.”

Retro funk/R&B duo Silk Sonic, consisting of Grammy favorite Bruno Mars and Oxnard’s Anderson .Paak, took home song and record of the year for their spirited “Leave the Door Open.” Rodrigo, the 19-year-old Southern California-raised 2021 breakout star of the year, took home awards for Best New Artist, Pop Vocal Album and Pop Solo Performance based on her epic play teen melodrama Drivers License”. her debut album “Sour” with upbeat pop punk and pleading piano ballads.

The top winners were notable for their multiracial bonhomie: Black, Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Jewish ancestry were all represented in big wins.

Batiste took home the most Grammys on Sunday, winning five. Silk Sonic won four, and Rodrigo, country star Chris Stapleton and gospel singer CeCe Winans each won three.

In an awards season still reeling from Will Smith’s shocking slap in the face onstage by host Chris Rock last Sunday, the Grammys reaffirmed their ambitious values, music heals everything. “We’re going to dance, we’re going to sing, and we’re going to keep people’s names out of our mouths,” joked host Trevor Noah, in a slight nod to the Oscars.

Pop music’s wild card, Album of the Year nominee Kanye West, did not perform or participate. West won two Grammys for rap song and rap melodic performance at the premiere party earlier this afternoon.

The biggest surprise of the evening came from a pre-recorded message from the distressed-sounding Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who asked the audience, “What is the opposite of music? … Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing for the wounded in hospitals.” He implored the Grammy crowd to do more to help his country against the Russian invasion, asking, “Support us in any way you can, but not with your silence.” John Legend, who performed the new song “Free” with Ukrainian musicians and poets Siuzanna Iglidan, Mika Newton and Lyuba Yakimchuck, nailed the point.

The ceremony, forced to move to Las Vegas from its January 31st date at LA’s Crypto.com Arena following this winter’s Omicron surge, rewarded ambitious young pop acts like chart-topping Rodrigo alongside Legends like 95-year-old Tony Bennett, whose Cole Porter album sets standards with Lady Gaga, Love for Sale, won for the traditional pop album, making it the second-oldest Grammy winner in history. (Bluepianist Pinetop Perkins won a Grammy at age 97.) Bennett, who has Alzheimer’s, was unable to attend the ceremony.

Jon Batiste performs on stage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards

Jon Batiste performs at the 64th Grammy Awards. Batiste has won five Grammys, including Album of the Year.

(Valerie Macon/AFP, via Getty Images)

In 2021, COVID-19 turned the show upside down, which was held without an audience for the first time. This year, the Grammys returned to old virtues. With Noah returning as host, the show crowned Batiste as an uplifting virtuoso, Silk Sonic as a stylish throwback and Rodrigo as Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish’s heir apparent. However, some big names went away empty-handed: Justin Bieber lost all eight of his nominations; Eilish, who won the top four categories at the 2020 Grammys, went clean for seven; and Lil Nas X, nominated for four Grammys, was also disqualified.

Earlier in the evening, Noah brought out Eilish’s executive producer, Nicole Massey, to introduce Eilish’s fiery rendition of “Happier Than Ever” with her brother and fellow contestant Finneas. Massey was one of several tour executives and other street vets to be honored onstage on the television show, a sharp contrast to the Oscars, who garnered many under-the-line awards during their show. “I gave up my job and my entire touring family for two years during the pandemic,” Massey said. On Sunday, she introduced Eilish, “the best 20-year-old boss in the world,” on stage.

Silk Sonic opened the show with a sequined and wig-adorned performance of “777” while Rodrigo sang a royal rendition of “Drivers License.” One of the world’s most popular live acts, K-pop group BTS performed their smashing Hot 100 hit “Butter” (with a memorable dive into the crowd from the group’s Kim Tae-hyung to chat with Rodrigo) .

It was also a notable year for gay male artists in atypical genres at the Grammys. Lil Nas X carried the gleefully subversive sensibility of his video for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” into “Dead Right Now” and “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow. “He raps, he sings, he definitely pisses off your homophobic uncle,” Noah said of Lil Na’s X group performance, the first openly gay artist to receive the award.

The Grammys tried – if sometimes in vain – to recognize global pop. BTS and Nigerian singer Wizkid lost out on their major nominations, although Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny continued his winning streak of three albums in a year with a win for “El Último Tour Del Mundo” in the Música Urbana album category.

Drake left the rap categories when the superstar withdrew his album Certified Lover Boy from competition earlier this year. But LA darling Tyler, the Creator once again won the genre’s highest award for rap album, for his hard-hitting “Call Me If You Get Lost,” and confirmed Baby Keem’s win for rap performance (featuring a guest verse from cousin Kendrick Lamar). this youthful energy of contemporary hip-hop.

Olivia Rodrigo.

Olivia Rodrigo accepts the award for Best New Artist.

(Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival documentary Summer of Soul continued its awards season with a Grammy-winning musical film about Black Woodstock. “Summer of Soul” was also a winner at the Oscars last week, though Questlove was lucky enough to follow immediately after Smith’s rock hit.

Jazmine Sullivan won for the R&B album and praised the tradition as “a safe space for black women to tell our stories, to learn from each other and not be exploited… Salute to all black women just living their lives and being beautiful.” .” Batiste performed a raucous, candy-colored version of “Freedom,” and Doja Cat’s tearful acceptance speech for pop duo/group performance with SZA, “Kiss Me More,” enchanted the room.

Some stars had game-changing nominations but narrowly missed out on Sunday night. Mickey Guyton, whose “Remember Her Name” continued her streak of inflammatory singles during a burgeoning year for black women in country music, lost the country album, song and solo performance to Grammy favorite Chris Stapleton.

Beneath the benign facade of a return to normalcy, the ceremony was marred by losses, most notably by Taylor Hawkins, the Foo Fighters’ beloved drummer, who died on March 25 at the age of 50. Tod, won three Grammys for rock performance, song and album for “Medicine at Midnight”.

The Grammys performed a Hawkins video montage to start the In Memoriam segment; Earlier in the evening, during her performance of “Happier Than Ever,” Eilish wore a t-shirt with Hawkins’ face on it. A slew of Broadway stars including Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ben Platt and Rachel Zegler paid tribute to the late composer Stephen Sondheim during the In Memoriam section, performing his songs Not a Day Goes By, Send in the Clowns” and “Somewhere”.

Slain SoCal rapper Drakeo the Ruler was omitted from the In Memoriam montage.

Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt.

Joni Mitchell, left, and Bonnie Raitt present a performance by Brandi Carlile at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Joni Mitchell, this year’s MusiCares Person of the Year, presented Brandi Carlile on the TV show On Stage With Bonnie Raitt – one of Mitchell’s first appearances on stage since suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015.

This year’s awards were not free of controversy. Disgraced comedian Louis CK won for the comedy album after admitting a long-standing record of sexual misconduct. West, who was barred from performing at the Grammys after being threatened on social media, won the rap song for “Jail,” which he co-wrote with alleged sex offender Marilyn Manson.

Last year’s Grammys were an elegy for a lost year in live music, with several performances filmed at then-closed clubs like the Troubadour and Hotel Cafe. Most acts in 2022 seemed relieved to be back on stage in a relatively normal Grammys environment. Leading the way was Recording Academy executive director Harvey Mason Jr., who paid tribute to the concert workers, tour managers, producers and others who have kept live music going through its most difficult time.

“We’re here because music serves the world,” he said. “Tonight we not only saw great artists, but also some of the people behind these great artists.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-04-03/grammys-2022-silk-sonic-jon-batiste-olivia-rodrigo Silk Sonic and Jon Batiste lead the eclectic 2022 Grammy Awards

Caroline Bleakley

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