History Made at the 2020 Grammy Awards

A.J. Fezza, Co-Culture Editor

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, the biggest night honoring American popular music, were held last Sunday, Jan. 26. The ceremony was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, just hours after its legendary former player, Kobe Bryant, passed away. Thousands of Bryant’s fans gathered to mourn at Staples Center, while celebrities filed into the other side of the building, and many on social media called for the ceremony to be postponed.

Nevertheless, the show went on. It was a night of many tributes. Alicia Keys hosted for the second year in a row and began by joining Boyz II Men in singing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” as a tribute to Bryant, among other songs. Usher, FKA Twigs and Sheila E. all performed a medley of Prince songs in his honor (who died in 2016), and artists including DJ Khaled, John Legend and Meek Mill performed a tribute to rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed in March 2019. Other performers included: Lizzo, Jonas Brothers, Tyler the Creator, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello and Demi Lovato (Lovato’s first live performance since her hospitalization back in July 2018).

Billie Eilish swept all four of the biggest awards this year: Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. She is the second person ever to win all four of these awards in the same ceremony, after Christopher Cross in 1981, becoming the youngest person and the first woman to do so. 

Other big winners included: Lizzo for Best Pop Solo Performance (“Truth Hurts”) and Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus for Best Pop Group Performance (“Old Town Road,” the longest-ever number 1 song on the Billboard  Hot 100). Best Rap Song went to “A Lot” by 21 Savage featuring J. Cole, and Best Rap Album went to the genre-bending “Igor” by Tyler the Creator.