This year, a number of A-list artists — Beyonce, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift — passed on “music’s biggest night.” Still, the Recording Academy’s attempt to course correct was on full display.
Thirty-one female artists took home gramophones at last night’s 61st annual Grammy Awards. Women also dominated across genres, with big wins for Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, H.E.R and Dua Lipa — a stark contrast from last year, when Alessia Cara was the only woman to take home a solo gramophone.
Host Alicia Keys praised the Academy for the diversity in last night’s nominees — a possible result of the awards’ decision to expand its big four categories (best new artist and album, song and record of the year) from five nominees to eight. This year’s awards were decided by a more diverse judges panel, with 51 percent female voters and 48 percent voters of color, compared to 28 percent and 37 percent, respectively, the previous year.
And after blowback for mixing politics and music last year, a surprise appearance by former first lady Michelle Obama focused on how music can unite Americans from different places and backgrounds.
“It allows us to hear one another – to invite each other in,” she said, joined on stage by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and Keys.
But can more diverse nominees, Michelle Obama, and big wins for women help the Grammys bounce back from last year’s criticism? To discuss this and the night’s biggest moments, the PBS NewsHour will be joined on Twitter at 3 p.m. ET Monday, Feb. 11 by Rolling Stone Staff Writer Charles Homes (@ottergawd,) NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson (@idislikestephen) and Rodney Carmichael (@rodneyodyssey), and The Washington Post’s Pop Culture Reporter Travis Andrews (@travismandrews).
Join the discussion using #NewsHourChats.