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The most memorable moments from the 63rd Grammy Awards

On Sunday, the 63rd Grammy Awards show hosted by Trevor Noah aired on television. As one of the biggest nights for music in Western media, it certainly left its viewers with a lot of mixed emotions. There were certainly achievements to be celebrated, but the Grammys also left viewers feeling rightfully dissatisfied by the Recording Academy.

Despite the happiness or complete disappointment that many people felt throughout the night, the 63rd Grammy Awards was truly memorable for artists and viewers as COVID protocols were enforced, history was made by a number of artists, records were broken, and artists gave us great performances.

With all of this in mind, let’s talk about five of the most memorable moments from the 63rd Grammy Awards:

1. BTS making history and giving ARMY an amazing performance

It was clear after Jimmy Jam announced the winner for Best Pop Duo/Group performance during the Grammy Awards Premiere Show that many BTS fans around the world were going to need a hug. I know, I definitely needed one.

Although BTS did not receive their first Grammy like many of us hoped they would, it remains true that BTS still made history at the Grammy Awards. In 2019, BTS was the first K-pop group to attend and present an award at the Grammys. Last year, they were the first K-pop group to perform on the Grammy stage with Lil Nas X. Now, they have even performed an amazing solo stage of their Billboard Top 100 Hit Dynamite

BTS not receiving a Grammy this year certainly does not diminish their amazing accomplishments in the slightest bit. Their performance of Dynamite was captivating. Their suits, their stages, and their voices were beyond perfection. They truly lit up the stage and we could not be more proud of everything that they have accomplished!

2. Beyoncé’s surprise appearance and record-breaking Grammy wins

I think it is safe to say that we were all in shock when we saw Beyoncé and Jay-Z. As soon as the viewers at home saw them sitting at their table, “Jay and Bey” started trending on Twitter.

It was announced earlier in the day during the Grammy Awards Premiere Show that Beyonce, her 9-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter, and Wizkid won a Grammy for Best Music Video with Brown Skin Girl. Then Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion took home two Grammy wins for Savage Remix. It was also great to see the two of them take the stage together, although we are still waiting for them to perform Savage Remix live! 

With her 28th Grammy win for Black Parade, she became the most decorated female artist in Grammys Awards history! 

Beyoncé’s awards are well deserved as her work is incredible and uplifting to the Black community. During her acceptance speech for Best R&B Performance, she said, “As an artist, I believe it’s my job and all of our jobs to reflect the times and it has been such a difficult time. So, I wanted to uplift, encourage, and celebrate all of the beautiful Black queens and kings who continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world.”

3. Megan Thee Stallion went home with three Grammys and performed WAP with Cardi B

Megan Thee Stallion had such a great night. She won three Grammys and her orange dress was absolutely everything!

Megan won the first Grammy of the night, becoming the first Black woman since Lauryn Hill in 1999 to win a Grammy for Best New Artist! Her speech when she won the Grammy for Best New Artist had us all crying! Also, Megan’s reaction when she saw Beyoncé after it was announced that they won the Grammy for Best Rap Song for Savage Remix was absolutely priceless! 

Most importantly, let’s not forget her performance with Cardi B, where they both pulled out all the stops from Megan’s Cotton Club-inspired set to the gigantic heel and bed set for the FIRST live performance of WAP. The performance was everything we could ask for and more, besides the song being censored to be on broadcast television, of course. Nonetheless, they killed it! 

4. Lil Baby’s performance with an impactful message on police brutality and justice for the Black community

Lil Baby’s performance had so much to unpack. I had to go back and watch it over a few times to take it all in.

The set for the performance of The Bigger Picture was impactful, as it focused on themes of police brutality and protest. The stage began with a reenactment of a White police officer arresting then shooting a Black man as an excerpt for James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong is being narrated.  

This opening scene acknowledges the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Georgia, Lil Baby’s hometown. The building in the background resembles a Wendy’s fast-food establishment, making a reference to the fact that Brooks was shot by the police after the police received a complaint about him sleeping in a Wendy’s parking lot. Following the impactful opening scene, the performance showed other powerful scenes where people are holding up signs in the street, the building that resembles Wendy’s is set on fire, and Lil Baby stands face-to-face with a line of police officers holding shields.

Lil Baby was also joined byRun The Jewels’ Killer Mike and activist Tamika Mallory. Killer Mike performed a verse about anti-police brutality from his from Run The Jewels’ Walking In The Snow, while Tamika delivered a remarkable speech where is called on President Joe Biden for “justice, equity, policy, and everything else that freedom encompasses,” turning Lil Baby’s Grammy stage truly unforgettable and powerful.

5. Harry Styles first Grammy for Watermelon Sugar and his collection of feather boas

Lastly, we certainly can forget to talk about Harry Styles!

Harry was nominated for three Grammys this year and won his first Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. He also opened the award show with a performance of Watermelon SugarHis voice was beyond incredible and was the best way to kick off the show.

Watching his performance was almost like we were invited to watch a private session of Harry Styles and his band just vibing and rocking out. The dance break with Harry and his backup vocalists was so fun to watch. Also, the saxophone player, trumpet player, bass player, and pianist definitely deserved to be praised as well.

Along with winning a Grammy and giving us a great performance, Harry Styles also gave us great looks at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Throughout the night, he wore not one but THREE different feather boas. He had a purple, green, and black feather boa! I do not know about you, but I am obsessed.

Overall, the 63rd Grammy Awards left us with a lot to take in from the powerful performances, the inevitable snubs, and the incredible feeling of happiness when your favorite artist wins. Some other incredible moments were Taylor Swift’s Grammy win for Album of the Year, Dua Lipa’s incredible outfit changes, the DaBaby and Roddy Rich performance of ROCKSTAR with a choir and violin player, the spotlight given to music venues across the country, and the change in venue and masks due to COVID.

No matter what the most memorable moment of the night was for you, I am sure we can all agree that this year’s Grammys Award show during the pandemic is something that we will not forget.

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By Tatayana Allen

Tatayana Allen is the Junior Love and Health Editor and journalist for The Tempest. During her time at the University of Virginia, she was a Media Studies major and a member of the Cavalier Marching Band. Tatayana loves anything related to fashion, music, and photography.