By: Breanne Thomas
Alicia Keys, Dolly Parton, Shawn Mendes, Diana Ross, Cardi B, and many more well-known celebrities helped kick off the biggest night in music on Feb. 10 for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Every year the music industry comes together for the Grammy awards ceremony that honors some of the biggest achievements made in music, which makes it one of the most prestigious awards the music industry can offer.
Unlike other award ceremony shows where the general public and fans can vote for their favorite artist/band to win in a category, the members of the Recording Academy are the only individuals eligible to vote for Grammy winners.
Voter membership in the Recording Academy is given exclusively to “creative and technical professionals who qualify in at least one of the categories of eligibility” they seek to vote in (2019, Recording Academy). According to The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, to be able to vote for a Grammy winner you must be a student or a professional in the same field as the person you are voting for and have made musical contributions to that field within the eligibility period. Technical jargon aside, winning a Grammy award matters because it is directly coming from industry peers, much like winning an award from your co-workers or classmates.
In addition to winning super neat trophies, the awards ceremony was also jammed packed and showcased musical performances from some of the industry’s leading musicians as well as tributes to past music icons. It was basically a huge concert with an acceptance speech every now and then. This year’s performers comprised of Camila Cabello, who had an electric show-opener performance of her massive hit song Havana. Miley Cyrus joined Shawn Mendes onstage for a rendition collaboration of his Billboard Top 100 hit single In My Blood. Diana Ross was honored for “rich history of her greatest musical accomplishments” and even performed some of her classic songs “The Best Years of My Life” and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” Lady Gaga gave us an emotional performance, and Cardi B set the place on fire with her megahit, the sensual, women self-empowerment anthem “Money.” Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Andra Day all gave a soulful tribute salute to The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who unfortunately passed away during the latter half of 2018. Jennifer Lopez gave a riveting tribute to Motown as well.
Musical performances at the Grammys always draw in many viewers, however some of the most special moments of the night belonged to the announcements of the winners in the top four Grammy award categories. These categories are: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist. This year 2019 winners are:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – GOLDEN HOUR, Kacey Musgraves
Producers: Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian. Engineers/mixers: Craig Alvin & Shawn Everett. Songwriters: Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian. Mastering Engineers: Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone.
RECORD OF THE YEAR – THIS IS AMERICA, Childish Gambino
Producers: Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson. Engineers/mixers: Derek “MixedByAli” Ali, Riley Mackin & Shaan Singh. Mastering engineer: Mike Bozzi.
SONG OF THE YEAR – THIS IS AMERICA, Donald Glover (Childish Gambino)
Donald Glover, Ludwig Goransson & Jeffery Lamar Williams, songwriters (Childish Gambino)
BEST NEW ARTIST – Dua Lipa, singer/songwriter
Record Label: Warner Brothers Records UK
Other trailblazing award-winning moments during the show included Love and Hip-Hop reality TV star- turned rapper, Cardi B for becoming the first solo woman to win Best Rap Album, a category that is traditionally dominated by men.
Other notably moments included Alicia Keys as the host of the show and Dolly Parton being recognized as the MusiCares 2019 Person of the Year.