Women owned the night at the 2024 Grammys as female acts took home all the night’s televised awards, including Taylor Swift — who became the first person to win album of the year four times — Billie Eilish for song of the year, Miley Cyrus for record of the year and Victoria Monét for best new artist.
Phoebe Bridgers was the night’s top winner, picking up four honors: three with her band Boygenius as well as best pop duo/group performance for “Ghost In the Machine” with SZA, who also won three honors. Women walked into the show dominating the top three categories, scoring seven out of the eight nominations.
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Swift even used her album of the year speech to highlight another talented female musician, Lana Del Rey, who was seated at the same table during the ceremony. Despite earning 11 Grammy nominations, Del Rey has never gone home with a Grammy, and Swift brought the alternative pop singer onstage as she won the coveted award.
“I think so many female artists would not be where they are and would not have the inspiration they have if it weren’t for the work she’s done. I think she’s a legacy artist, a legend, and in her prime right now,” Swift said.
The “Anti-Hero” singer previously won album of the year for Fearless, 1989 and Folklore. Her album Midnights also won best pop vocal album Sunday, bringing her career total to 14.
Celine Dion earned a standing ovation when she entered the stage to present the honor. The entire audience at the Crypto.com Arena stood up for the iconic singer, who has been battling a rare neurological disorder. “When I say that I am happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” Dion said. “Those who have been blessed to be at the Grammy Awards must never take for granted the tremendous love and joy that music brings to our lives and to people all around the world.”
Four different women won the top four Grammys, mirroring the 2021 Grammys when Swift, Eilish, H.E.R. and Megan Thee Stallion scored the big four awards. Sunday’s was a far cry from the 2018 event, when only two female acts won awards during the live show and Lorde, the only woman nominated for album of the year, didn’t get a performance slot. It was the same night former Grammys CEO Neil Portnow said women need to “step up” when asked backstage about the lack of female winners, drawing backlash that eventually led to his departure.
Some men did win during the show, but didn’t shine in the same way as the women. Jay-Z earned a noncompetitive Grammy, the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. Other male winners were honored as collaborators to female performers.
Finneas O’Connell, Eilish’s brother/producer/co-writer, won two awards alongside his little sister; Jack Antonoff, who scored his third producer of the year Grammy, shared two statuettes with Swift; several male producers and engineers won record of the year with Cyrus; and Babyface, Leon Thomas and others won best R&B song alongside SZA, who raced to the stage to collect her honor and embraced her friend and collaborator Lizzo, who presented the award.
“I’m sorry. I’m out of breath because I was changing, then I took a shot and I ran here,” said SZA, who also won best progressive R&B album for SOS.
She began to cry onstage, recalling a 2013 tour with Lizzo at a time when she was struggling to establish herself in the music industry. “You don’t really understand,” she said. “I came really, really far and I can’t believe this is happening and it feels fake.”
Looking into the crowd, she said: “Hi Taylor! I love you.” She then deadpanned, “I’m not an attractive crier,” before rushing off the stage.
Swift played cheerleader throughout the evening, singing and dancing while most of the performers hit the stage, from SZA to Olivia Rodrigo to Tracy Chapman, who surprised the audience by singing her hit “Fast Car” with Luke Combs, who is still having success with his cover version of the late ‘80s track.
The country singer bowed down to Chapman while Oprah Winfrey screamed from her seat. Jelly Roll and The War and Treaty’s Michael Trotter Jr. were also visibly excited as Chapman strummed her guitar as she and Combs traded vocals.
Joni Mitchell delivered a special performance, singing “Both Sides Now” from a chair, backed by Brandi Carlile, Jacob Collier and other illustrious musicians. The 80-year-old legend earned rousing applause from the audience, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Meryl Streep. During the Grammys preshow, she won best folk album for Joni Mitchell at Newport [Live].
Cyrus had a big night, winning her first pair of Grammys. She shimmied in a silver number and sang “Flowers” as John Legend and Chrissy Teigen danced in the audience, Kylie Minogue jumped out of her seat and Winfrey sang along. Cyrus slammed her microphone and its stand at the end of the performance.
Early in the night, she fangirled as Mariah Carey presented her with the best pop solo performance award, pointing out that they share the same initials. In her acceptance speech, Cyrus said she was running late because of the weather and feared she might not make it in time.
“Oh my God, I just got stuck in the rain and traffic and thought I was going to miss this moment,” she said, clutching her Grammy. “And I could have missed the award, that’s fine, but not Mariah Carey.”
Cyrus returned to the stage toward the end of the show to claim her award for record of the year: “This award is amazing but I really hope it doesn’t change anything because my life was beautiful yesterday.”
After rattling off thank-yous, she closed with: “I don’t think I’ve forgotten anyone but I might have forgotten underwear. Bye.”
Other female acts who won during the live show include Karol G, who picked up best música urbana album for Mañana Será Bonito, and Lainey Wilson, who won best country album for Bell Bottom Country.
Monét, who was previously nominated for her writing and producing work for Ariana Grande and Chloe x Halle, won three honors including best new artist. She earned a huge ovation from the audience, as her fellow nominees in the category, including The War and Treaty and a teary-eyed Coco Jones, cheered her on.
Monét, who also won best R&B album for best engineered album (nonclassical) for Jaguar II, said winning best new artist was “a 15-year pursuit.”
“I like to liken myself to a plant,” she said, “and you can look at the music industry as soil and it could be looked at as dirty or it could be looked at as a source of nutrients and water, and my roots have been growing underneath ground unseen for so long, and I feel like today I am sprouting and I’m finally above ground.”
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