The 2022 Grammys: The Winners and Best Moments on Music’s Biggest Night

Dan Ramos, Editorial Board

The Grammys have finally arrived, and this year’s ceremony completely blew away my expectations. This year’s Grammys took place one week after the Oscars in Las Vegas. Our host, Trevor Noah was a good host. It was honestly a lot more bearable to watch the Grammys than the previous week’s Oscars, who had their hosts constantly make jokes that fell flat, as well as put down films who were nominated for the night, especially Don’t Look Up, which didn’t win best film.
There was no “slap” at this evening’s Grammys, but there were many fantastic performances. Silk Sonic blew open the ceremony with the perfect song for the occasion, 777. Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars are masters at their craft, and that’s greatly shown in their music and performances. Silk Sonic took home Grammys for Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, Song of the Year, AND Record of the Year, an absolute sweep in the grand categories. Our newest popstar, Olivia Rodrigo, also had a fantastic performance of her hit song, “drivers license,” and while it’s not my favorite song from her freshman album SOUR (“it’s good 4 u”), it was a beautiful performance and her best one yet. Rodrigo took awards for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best New Artist. I was hoping for Baby Keem to take the award for Best New Artist, but I was very much satisfied with his Grammy win for Best Rap Performance. “family ties” was one of my favorite songs in 2021, and Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar created a rap masterpiece, and it was an awesome return for Kendrick. Continuing the rap conversation, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, won two Grammys, without even being there. Ye, Lil Baby, and The Weeknd won for “Hurricane” for Best Melodic Performance, and Ye and JAY-Z won for “Jail” for Best Rap Song. Even while publicly slamming the Grammys, and also “damaging” his Grammy, he’s proven to the industry that he’s still worthy of the industry’s most prestigious award. Tyler, the Creator, deservingly won Best Rap Album for CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, my favorite album of 2021. While I’m very biased, and I’ve also seen Tyler live, CMIYGL is Tyler’s most realized album, and was the best choice, while the other nominees were also great like J. Cole’s The Off Season, and Nas’ King’s Disease II. But, I still believe IGOR is better in Tyler’s discography.
Returning to the night’s performances, I loved BTS’ performance. “Butter” is such a good song, and BTS’ choreography and “Mission Impossible” themed performance was spectacular. While these two artists both didn’t take any Grammys for the night, Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish stole the show with their phenomenal performances. Lil Nas X played his most underrated track “DEAD RIGHT NOW” from his Grammy-nominated album Montero, which was a delight to hear. Lil Nas X also performed “MONTERO,” and “INDUSTRY BABY.” Billie Eilish was great! With her brother FINNEAS, they performed “Happier Than Ever,” with an ecstatic electric guitar empowering the performance. While I don’t enjoy country music, Chris Stapleton’s performance greatly made me reconsider. His voice is excellent, and the strings and organ that played behind the vocals were extravagant.
Before we talk about the biggest shock at the night’s ceremony, let’s talk about other awards given. Bad Bunny took home the GRAMMY for his album El Último Tour Del Mundo, which I was happy about, but I was also really rooting for Kali Uchis’ Sin Miedo, which was a fantastic Latino album. Daddy’s Home by St. Vincent also took the Grammy for Best Alternative Album, which I haven’t listened to. I was really rooting for Japanese Breakfast’s Jubilee. Best Pop Duo/Group Song went to “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat and SZA, who I was really rooting for! It was one of my songs of the summer, and Doja and SZA’s performances were great. Doja’s acceptance was also very funny and emotional.
Alright. Let’s talk about Album of the Year. While I was rooting for either SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo, or DONDA by Kanye West, we were all completely taken for a ride when We Are by Jon Batiste won the biggest award of the night. This was a HUGE move by the Academy, and honestly, a pleasant one. I loved Jon’s performance of “Freedom,” a gospel-influenced piece. Jon also previously composed music for Pixar’s Soul. This is also the Grammys first Album of the Year awarded to a Black Artist since 2008, which was given to Herbie Hancock for River: The Joni Letters. With our toxic “stan culture” overtaking social media, I’m glad the Academy went for what I’m assuming is as a great record, but a very neutral choice. Like imagine if KANYE won: that would’ve been the worst case scenario and I’m a huge Kanye fan. I’ve yet to listen to the record, but I’m now very intrigued to listen to Batiste’s work.
But overall, the Grammys this year were a lot better than previous years. With the Academy working to make the Grammys more transparent and fair, by firing their Anonymous Nomination Committees, firing their previous CEO, and changing their guidelines, the Academy have taken good steps to make the Grammys an award worth winning. I’m very glad the Grammys were successful this year, and I’m excited to see who gets nominated for next year’s show.