Billie Eilish, Fiona Apple and the late John Prine were big winners at the Grammy Awards last night.
Eilish won Record of the Year for “Everything I Wanted,” with Ringo Starr handing out the award. It’s the second year in a row she’s won that award. Only Roberta Flack and U2 have done that before. She also won Best Song Written for Visual Media for “No Time to Die” from the upcoming James Bond movie of the same name. It’s the first time that a song has won the award for an unreleased movie. Her brother Finneas shared in both awards.
Apple took home Best Rock Performance for “Shameika” and Best Alternative Music Performance for Fetch the Bolt Cutters.
Earlier on Sunday Apple posted a message about why she wasn’t attending the Grammys using her friend’s Zelda Hallman’s Instagram. She said “I don’t want to be on national television. I’m just not made for that kind of stuff anymore. I want to stay sober and I can’t do that sober.” Of course, all of the awards she was nominated for were given out before the telecast.
Prine won Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “I Remember Everything.”
Brittany Howard and Taylor Swift each had six nominations, but only went home with one award apiece. Howard won Best Rock Song for “Stay High” and Swift won Album of the Year for Folklore. And as co-producers, that gave Jack Antonoff of Bleachers his fifth overall Grammy and Aaron Dessner of The National his second Grammy.
The Strokes won Best Rock Album for The New Abnormal. And because of the virtual ceremony before the telecast, it took awhile before they realized they won.
Other acts that picked up just one award included Brandi Carlile, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Toots & the Maytals and Jeff Tweedy.
Black Pumas, who had three nominations, and Phoebe Bridgers, who had four, were both shut out.
Trevor Noah started the show from an outdoor stage where the awards would be given out and walked inside a studio where four artists were set up to perform one after another and could watch each other’s performances. Billie Eilish, dressed entirely in green, and her brother Finneas did “Everything I Wanted.” Then Haim, set up in the middle of the studio, played “The Steps.” (Danielle Haim played drums, then guitar, then back to drums while doing lead vocals on the song.)
Each Record of the Year nominee got a short film. The Black Pumas film introduced their performance of “Colors.”
In her first performance at the show in five years, Taylor Swift did a medley of Folklore songs — “Cardigan,” “August” and “Willow” — with her co-producers Aaron Dessner of The National and Jack Antonoff of Bleachers.
Leading into the traditional In Memoriam segment Trevor Noah told people to go to Grammy site to read about the more than 1,000 musicians that have died in the past year. The segment featured four performances — Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak did a tribute to Little Richard by doing a medley of “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” A Kenny Rogers tribute was done by a very emotional Lionel Richie singing “Lady,” a song he wrote for Rogers. Brandi Carlile paid tribute to John Prine by playing his Grammy-winning song “I Remember Everything.” And Brittany Howard and Chris Martin closed out the segment by playing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
And John Mayer played the guitar solo for Marren Morris on her song “The Bones.”