2023 Grammy Awards reactions and takeaways

Photo of a Grammy Award. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Luke Osciak | Arts & Entertainment Editor

The world anxiously anticipated the winners of the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 5. Not only because of who might win, but also because of what left-field picks the organization might’ve had for its winners.

Out of any annual award show, the Grammys are most infamous for deciding what the Academy wants, not necessarily what the people want, which is why this year’s Grammy Awards were such a big deal.

All eyes were on Beyoncé at the awards show. Before the show started, she had been nominated for nine categories. She only needed to win four for them to become the most awarded artist in Grammy history. Later in the night, she would break that record with a total of 32 Grammys awarded to her over the course of her career. She beat the previous record holder, conductor Georg Solti, who held the record, with 31 wins since 1997. In her emotional speech, she thanked the queer community, her husband Jay-Z, her children and her uncle Johnny, who inspired her 2022 album “Renaissance.”

There were a lot of others that achieved noteworthy awards. Viola Davis achieved EGOT status by winning the Grammy for best audiobook narration and storytelling. Her achievement is made more significant for being the third Black woman to attain EGOT status, along with Jennifer Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg.

One of the highlights of this night was Kim Petras being the first out trans woman to win a Grammy. She won the award for the pop duo/ group performance for her song “Unholy” with Sam Smith. In her speech, she thanked her mother, saying “I told her I was a girl, and she believed me, and I wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t.” Her acceptance speech is especially poignant because trans people are rarely given any voice on cable news networks and within the music industry.

The most shocking moment of the night, however, was, of course, for the album of the year award. The crowd went silent in anticipation of who might win. Beyoncé was easily the fan-favorite to win the category. This year marked her fourth nomination for album of the year, a category that she has not won the past three times she was nominated. Queen Bee lost the album of the year category a fourth time, losing to Harry Styles, who won the category for his album “Harry’s House.”

“I’ve been so inspired by every artist in this category with me, and I think on nights like tonight it’s so important for us to remember that there is no such thing as best in music,” Styles said in his speech. “I don’t think any of us sit in the studio making decisions based on what is going to get us one of these.”

It was a hectic, frantic and controversial night for anyone invested in the music industry this year. After struggling with COVID-19 the past few years, many artists are eager to release new music that can not only capture the audience, but capture the feelings that all of us have been experiencing the past couple years. Artists are eager to be at the forefront of the music industry going into a new decade, and that eagerness will bring new and ever-changing trends, sounds and styles.

As Grammy host Treavor Noah said on EW’s Awardist podcast, “It’s just a live volcano that’s erupting in front of our eyes, and it’s beautiful to be apart of.”

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