PHOTO: Kevin Mazur / Contributor
10 Must-See Moments From The 2022 GRAMMYs: BTS Do James Bond, Olivia Rodrigo Cleans Up, Jon Batiste Channels "Freedom"
From the first time nominees who won big to joyous, bombastic performances and a special message from Ukraine, the 2022 GRAMMYs in Las Vegas hit the proverbial jackpot
After scaling down and adjusting for the pandemic, a beguiling energy charged the GRAMMY Awards’ first time in Las Vegas. From the main performance stage to the rooftop of the MGM Grand Garden Arena, fans and artists alike were giddy to celebrate Music’s Biggest Night together.
Silk Sonic’s "777" proved a match made in casino heaven to open the show, setting the stage for a night of deserving winners. Later performances from megawatt stars like the always thrilling BTS, the captivating Lil Nas X and teen idol Olivia Rodrigo ensured that energy never flagged.
The 2022 GRAMMYs took a powerful stand for peace as well, complete with a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A celebration of music’s capacity for joy, hope, and change all in one, the 64th Annual GRAMMYs hit a serious jackpot.
Read on for 10 memorable moments from the 2022 GRAMMY Awards:
A Powerful Call For Peace
When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks, it’s time to listen. In a pre-taped video message, Zelensky urged viewers to tell the story of what is happening in his homeland, to share their plight. "Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals," he said, the comparison a stark reminder of the importance of art.
To that same end, John Legend then performed his new fittingly titled song "Free," joined by Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, as well as poet Lyuba Yakimchuk. "Let peace rush in," Legend called out, begging for an end to senseless violence. At the song’s conclusion, a link was shared to join in the "Stand Up For Ukraine" campaign, for which the Recording Academy announced a partnership with Global Citizen to raise awareness and raise funding.
BTS For James Bond, Shaken And Stirred
Descending to the stage like a stealth action hero here to save the day, BTS’ Jungkook set the tone for a spy-themed evening highlight. From that angelic entry forward, BTS produced an entire list of memorable moments in a brief few minutes of performance.
The sounds of our beloved bygone dial-up modem and some horn-based James Bond-ian music led the way to V whispering mysteriously to Olivia Rodrigo before pulling a card from behind her ear. The black-clad K-pop heroes followed with a dance routine that could double as an audition for their own superspy film. The group’s choreography is unrivaled, and spinning their suit jackets into air guitars dodging laser lights meant this night was no exception.
There’s no denying the super-smooth and GRAMMY-nominated "Butter," and this Men In Black-backed take felt like a true star turn.
Country Goes Big At The 2022 GRAMMYs
Country has become an increasingly familiar genre to pop audiences over the last few years, and this year’s ceremony seems to have hit a critical mass, thanks to four incredible and very different performances. The first came from Chris Stapleton, whose black-and-blue lovelorn tune "Cold" also won Best Country Song. The always magnetic Brandi Carlile’s mountainous take on "Right On Time" proved a highlight, and getting introduced by Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell shows the legend-in-the-making trajectory Carlile continues on.
Carrie Underwood, meanwhile, debuted a brand new song, "Ghost Story." With a strong wind swirling her long dress, Underwood’s insistent vocals powered the grand and vengeful heartbreak track. Winners of the Best Country Duo/Group Performance, Brothers Osborne provided the final performance of the night with the rip-roaring "Dead Man’s Curve," solidifying country’s ascension at the 64th GRAMMY Awards.
Are You Gonna Go H.E.R. Way
Flanked on either side by the legendary duo of Jimmy Jam on keytar and Terry Lewis on bass, the enigmatic H.E.R. powered into her performance with the GRAMMY-nominated R&B song "Damage" from her GRAMMY-nominated record Back of My Mind.
As if that iconic duo weren’t enough, H.E.R. followed up with another pairing: drummer Travis Barker and Lenny Kravitz, the latter resplendent in a gold jumpsuit. (Better yet, Catwoman’s dad in a catsuit.) With this more raucous backing, H.E.R. blitzed through a medley of her single "We Made It" and a take on Kravitz’s ‘90s classic "Are You Gonna Go My Way," propelling audiences into a frenzy of mountainous guitars, whirring through nostalgic rock.
Across the three tracks, H.E.R. showcased her uncanny musical range, navigating from R&B to rock, adding a drum fill and guitar solo of her own to boot.
There Go Our Heroes
In Memoriam tributes aim to remind us of the fragility and celebration of life, often brimming with heartbreak and love, but those emotions are even more immense when the ceremony occurs so quickly after the passing of a rock hero. The segment opened with footage of Taylor Hawkins, the inimitable drummer of the GRAMMY-winning Foo Fighters, who died only nine days prior. Hawkins’ frenetic energy and radiant charm were captured with the sounds of "There Goes My Hero." The Foos’ absence at the ceremony loomed large, as they were meant to perform and earned three more GRAMMYs — deepening the pain and loss of Hawkins’ passing even more. As much a fan as a performer, Billie Eilish honored the drummer by wearing a shirt with his image.
Broadway star Ben Platt took the stage as that footage faded, offering a stirring rendition of "Not a Day Goes By"” from Stephen Sondheim’s "Merrily We Roll Along." An eight-time GRAMMY-winner and Broadway legend, Sondheim passed away in November at the age of 91. Platt was then joined by fellow Broadway icons, the dynamic Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr., as well as Rachel Zegler of 2021’s West Side Story, and together the quartet underpinned the remaining In Memoriam tribute with two more Sondheim classics ("Send In the Clowns" and "Someday.")
Olivia Rodrigo’s License To Thrill
Olivia Rodrigo had a big night, netting GRAMMYs for Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance — the latter of which for the cathartic "Driver’s License," which she also performed.
The pop star began her performance by winding through the radio dial in a vintage Mercedes, then emerged into the empty suburban street set. The song’s fusion of vulnerability and strength was captured by her iconic vocals and impeccable backing band, drums crashing like rolling thunder before Rodrigo’s plaintive, piano-led conclusion.
Silk Sonic Sweep
What may have started out as a sort of character for Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak now seems to have become too much fun to quit, as the duo known as Silk Sonic shimmied their hips up to the stage for four separate GRAMMY wins: Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance (the latter in a tie with singer Jazmine Sullivan).
Accepting their awards, Mars’ ruffled shirt and bow tie and Paak’s green suit, wide-collared pink shirt and shining bowl cut wig were the things of ‘70s soul royalty. "Because of you guys, me and Andy are going to be singing this song forever," Mars beamed, referencing the gloriously swanky and now GRAMMY-winning "Leave the Door Open."
For their opening performance of "777," the duo donned sparkly white Vegas Elvis suits — a particularly fitting choice, as Mars was a childhood Elvis impersonator. With Vegas strip neon kaleidoscoping like a mystic slog machine behind them, Silk Sonic were perfectly suited to their VIP evening.
From Backstage To The Spotlight
"After two years of postponed shows and canceled tours, nobody deserves the spotlight more than those who put on that spotlight," Trevor Noah said, introducing the fact that behind-the-scenes team members would be introducing performers throughout the evening.
From tour managers to wardrobe supervisors, the impressive, diverse cast of women introducing their "bosses" more than deserved their turn on the stage for their incredible work making global tours happen — not to mention meaningful recognition after the decided lack of work brought on by the pandemic.
The Exuberant Freedom Of Jon Batiste
While Silk Sonic and Olivia Rodrigo may have had big wins and BTS excitement reigned, the night’s biggest winner was Jon Batiste, who took home five GRAMMYs: Album Of The Year, Best American Roots Performance, Best American Roots Song, Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, and Best Music Video. "It’s more than entertainment for me, it’s a spiritual practice," the "Late Show" bandleader smiled while accepting Album Of The Year for We Are.
Batiste's Album Of The Year included a children’s choir, a high school marching band, novelist Zadie Smith and others as featured artists, making them all GRAMMY winners. Batiste wasn't the only late night TV bandleader who earned a GRAMMYs: Questlove grabbed the award for Best Music Film.
That undeniable, exuberant joy was on full display during his performance of "Freedom," an ebullient track full of falsetto assurance and musical virtuosity. Considering Batiste’s wife, author Suleika Jaouad, began chemotherapy for her second battle with cancer the same day he learned of his 11 GRAMMY nominations, the ability to find beauty and belief in the impact music can have held that much more strength. The performance ended with Batiste leading a mass of backing dancers through the front of the crowd, the star himself standing on Billie Eilish’s table (much to her ecstatic thrill), a joyful cry for the power of freedom.
First-Time GRAMMY Winners Make Their Mark
While the list of winners at the 64th GRAMMY Awards featured plenty of legends, there were also plenty of first-time winners who took home some hardware. Best New Artist Olivia Rodrigo led the way in actual awards among newcomers, but Doja Cat’s night may have been the most fun: In addition to sharing a first win with SZA for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Kiss Me More," Doja barely made it on stage to accept after taking "the fastest piss" she’s ever taken and took down a soft pretzel in the commercial break.
Other first-timers included Black Coffee, the first African winner for Best Dance/Electronic Album, and Arooj Aftab, whose win for Best Global Music Performance made her the first-ever female Pakistani artist to net a GRAMMY.
Vicente Fernandez performs at the 2002 Latin GRAMMY Awards
Photo: M. Caulfield/WireImage
Vicente Fernández Posthumously Wins GRAMMY For Best Regional Mexican Music Album | 2022 GRAMMYs
The late Mexican legend, who died in December at 81, won the GRAMMY for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) for his 2020 album, 'A Mis 80's'
Nearly four months after his death, Vicente Fernández 's legacy lives on.
The Mexican icon’s album, A Mis 80's, won Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano). The posthumous win marks Fernández 's fourth career GRAMMY.
Aida Cuevas' Antología De La Musica Ranchera, Vol. 2, Mon Laferte's Seis, Natalia Lafourcade's Un Canto Por México, Vol. II and Christian Nodal's <em>Ayayay! (Súper Deluxe)</em> were the other albums nominated in the category.
Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2022 GRAMMYs.
GRAMMY trophies at the 59th GRAMMY Awards in 2017
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
The Recording Academy Announces Major Changes For The 2022 GRAMMY Awards Show
Process amendments include the elimination of nominations review committees and the addition of two new GRAMMY Award categories, including Best Global Music Performance and Best Música Urbana Album
Editor's Note: The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, <a href="https://www.grammy.com/news/2022-grammys-awards-64th-new-air-show-date-location-las-vegas-april-3-announcement "https://www.grammy.com/news/2022-grammys-awards-64th-new-air-show-date-location-las-vegas-april-3-announcement"">has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The below article was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to reflect the new show date and location.
The Recording Academy announced today that it has made significant changes to its Awards process that reflect its ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure that the GRAMMY Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable. Among the changes are the elimination of Nominations Review Committees, a reduction in the number of categories in which voters may vote, two GRAMMY Award category additions, and more. These updates are a result of extensive discussions and collaboration over the course of the last year among a special subcommittee of Recording Academy members and elected leaders, and were voted on by the Academy's Board of Trustees. These changes go into effect immediately for the 2022 GRAMMY Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, taking place Sunday, April 3. The eligibility period for the 64th GRAMMY Awards is Sept. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021.
Additional rule amendment proposals will be discussed and voted on at an upcoming Recording Academy meeting and the full rulebook for the 64th GRAMMY Awards will be released in May.
"It's been a year of unprecedented, transformational change for the Recording Academy, and I'm immensely proud to be able to continue our journey of growth with these latest updates to our Awards process," Harvey Mason jr., Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "This is a new Academy, one that is driven to action and that has doubled down on the commitment to meeting the needs of the music community. While change and progress are key drivers of our actions, one thing will always remain — the GRAMMY Award is the only peer-driven and peer-voted recognition in music. We are honored to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the Awards process."
APPROVED RULE AMENDMENTS INCLUDE:
Voting Process Changes
Elimination Of Nominations Review Committees In General And Genre Fields
- Nominations in all of the GRAMMY Award general and genre fields will now be determined by a majority, peer-to-peer vote of voting members of the Recording Academy. Previously, many of the categories within these fields utilized 15-30 highly skilled music peers who represented and voted within their genre communities for the final selection of nominees. With this change, the results of GRAMMY nominations and winners are placed back in the hands of the entire voting membership body, giving further validation to the peer-recognized process. To further support this amendment, the Academy has confirmed that more than 90 percent of its members will have gone through the requalification process by the end of this year, ensuring that the voting body is actively engaged in music creation. Craft committees remain in place (see below for craft category realignment.)
Reduction In Number Of Categories Voter May Vote
- To ensure music creators are voting in the categories in which they are most knowledgeable and qualified, the number of specific genre field categories in which GRAMMY Award Voters may vote has been reduced from 15 to 10. Additionally, those 10 categories must be within no more than three fields. All voters are permitted to vote in the four General Field categories (Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist). Proposed by a special voting Task Force who brought forth the recommendation, this change serves as an additional safeguard against bloc voting and helps to uphold the GRAMMY Award as a celebration of excellence in music, with specific genre field categories being voted on by the most qualified peers.
Craft Category Realignment
To better reflect the overlapping peer groups within the voter membership body, six existing craft fields will be consolidated into two fields: Presentation Field and Production Field. In either newly consolidated field, voters would have the ability to choose how many categories they feel qualified to vote in, respecting category vote limits, without being excessively limited by the three-field restriction. This benefits the integrity of these Awards by embracing and utilizing the specializations of the voters, without restricting their choice or contributions due to the field limits imposed by the recent reduction of the number of categories voters may vote in. Field updates are as follows:
Package Field, Notes Field and Historical Field renamed and consolidated to Presentation Field
Production, Non-Classical Field; Production, Immersive Audio Field; and Production, Classical Field renamed and consolidated to Production Field
New Categories Added
Two new categories have been added, bringing the total number of GRAMMY Award categories to 86:
Best Global Music Performance (Global Music Field)
Best Música Urbana Album (Latin Music Field)
"The latest changes to the GRAMMY Awards process are prime examples of the Recording Academy's commitment to authentically represent all music creators and ensure our practices are in lock-step with the ever-changing musical environment," said Ruby Marchand, Chief Industry Officer at the Recording Academy. "As we continue to build a more active and vibrant membership community, we are confident in the expertise of our voting members to recognize excellence in music each year."
"As an Academy, we have reaffirmed our commitment to continue to meet the needs of music creators everywhere, and this year's changes are a timely and positive step forward in the evolution of our voting process," said Bill Freimuth, Chief Awards Officer at the Recording Academy. "We rely on the music community to help us to continue to evolve, and we’re grateful for their collaboration and leadership."
The Recording Academy accepts proposals from members of the music community throughout the year. The Awards & Nominations Committee, comprised of Academy Voting Members of diverse genres and backgrounds, meets annually to review proposals to update Award categories, procedures and eligibility guidelines. The above rule amendments were voted on and passed at a Recording Academy Board of Trustees meeting held on April 30, 2021. For information on the Awards process, visit our GRAMMY Voting Process FAQ page.
The Recording Academy will present the 2022 GRAMMY Awards show on Sunday, April 3, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on demand on Paramount+ from 8–11:30 p.m. ET / 5–8:30 p.m. PT. Prior to the telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be streamed live on GRAMMY.com and the Recording Academy's YouTube channel. Additional details about the dates and locations of other official GRAMMY Week events, including the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony, <a href="https://www.musicares.org/person-year "https://www.musicares.org/person-year"">MusiCares' Person of the Year, and the Pre-GRAMMY Gala, are available here.
Graphic by the Recording Academy
Announcement: 2022 GRAMMYs Postponed
After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show
The following is a Joint Statement from the Recording Academy and CBS:
“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show. The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31st simply contains too many risks. We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon.”
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Lady Gaga Pays Homage To Tony Bennett With Heartfelt "Love for Sale” & “Do I Love You" Performance | 2022 GRAMMYs
Dressed to the nines in a seafoam green ball gown, Lady Gaga performed "Love for Sale” and “Do I Love You" — two tracks from her GRAMMY-winning collaboration album with Tony Bennett, 'Love for Sale'
Lady Gaga transformed the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas into her own personal jazz lounge, as she performed Love for Sale highlights "Love for Sale” & “Do I Love You" at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards. It came easy to the pop icon, as she’s no stranger to the Sin City stage (her Lady Gaga Enigma + Jazz & Piano residency at MGM Park Theater began in 2018).
The performance served as a tribute to Gaga’s Love for Sale (and longtime) collaborator Tony Bennett, who announced his retirement last year as the 95-year-old is currently battling Alzheimer’s disease. Though he couldn’t be in attendance, the jazz legend opted to virtually introduce his latest partner-in-music.
First channeling her inner Judy Garland, Gaga performed a glitzy rendition of the album’s title track. The performance then got more somber as the singer paid tribute to Bennett with “Do I Love You," as clips of the pair recording and performing together played onscreen. It was a naturally touching performance, with Gaga getting choked up when looking at the 95-year-old’s hand before hitting her final note.
Gaga was already a winner before she stepped on stage: Love For Sale won awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical at the Premiere Ceremony earlier in the evening. The album’s single “I Get A Kick Out Of You” also earned nominations for Record Of The Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video. The album itself also scored nods for Album Of The Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2022 GRAMMYs.