The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

2024 Grammys Recap & Highlights

Image+courtesy+of+Grammy.com
Image courtesy of Grammy.com

Another year, another Grammys. Let’s take a look at what went right, wrong or somewhere in between at Music’s Biggest Night.

Performances

As always with the Grammys, the performances were what took center stage the most. You had your typical performances from a handful of the nominees. Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo and Travis Scott are who might come to mind first, and all their performances were solid as expected. Some that stood out to me even more though had to be SZA, as she debuted a new song along with staples from her latest record, and Luke Combs with Tracy Chapman, as they performed Chapman’s undeniable classic “Fast Car” together. I lastly want to mention the more “legacy” leaning performances from greats like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and of course Annie Lennox, who paid tribute to the late Sinéad O’Connor with a rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” during the “In Memoriam” segment. Lennox closed the performance calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, staying true to O’Connor’s career defining activism as well as bringing an already necessary, important issue into the light even more. Overall, it’s always great to see different generations of artists come together under one roof and perform for each other. The Grammys are always a prime example of this, but this year seemed to embrace it even more.

Country Categories

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I’d say I was mostly content with the country winners this year. I’m always glad to see Chris Stapleton walk away with an award or two as he did with both Song and Performance this year for his killer track “White Horse.” It was also great to see Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves get the win for their chart-topping hit “I Remember Everything” in the Group/Duo Performance category. When it came to Album though, I was slightly confused. To be fair, I’m not the biggest country fan in the world, but just from the talk around him and his album last year, I was sure Zach Bryan had this win in the bag as well. But Lainey Wilson? Couldn’t have guessed that.

Rap Categories

Rap was definitely an interesting field this year. Killer Mike was the big winner, taking home all 3 categories he was nominated for. His fantastic track with André 3000 took home both Song and Performance and no complaints from me. His album “Michael” also took the Album category even with some pretty stiff competition from Travis Scott, Metro Boomin and Nas. Even if it wasn’t my favorite album in the bunch, Killer Mike is more than deserving of an award like this as he’s been a trailblazer in the genre for quite some time now. From his early days of working with OutKast to his more recent ventures with Run the Jewels, it’s nice to see Mike in the limelight, at least for a brief moment.

R&B Categories

SZA had a good night as she won both Progressive R&B Album and R&B Song. While newcomer Coco Jones took the Performance award for her hit “ICU.”

Rock & Alternative Categories

Maybe the happiest I was throughout the night was for Paramore winning both Rock Album and Alternative Performance for their phenomenal album and song “This Is Why” respectively. Indie rock supergroup Boygenius also had a big night winning for Alternative Album, Rock Song and Rock Performance. These categories always confuse me, but nonetheless, at least we got some great choices out of them.

Dance/Electronic Categories

Big wins for Fred again. and Kylie Minogue in this field. I would’ve loved to see James Blake and/or Troye Sivan take an award here, but oh well.

Pop Categories

SZA snagged another award for Duo/Group Performance with her song featuring Phoebe Bridgers and Album went to “Midnights” by Taylor Swift. Yet, the most surprising win in these categories was easily Solo Performance going to Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine song, but to go for that instead of Billie Eilish or Olivia Rodrigo seemed odd to me. Nevertheless, I’m happy for Cyrus as she’s proven time and time again that she’s in this business for the long haul and for her continuing to gain recognition this deep into her career is quite heartening. Also, surprising absolutely no one, Jack Antonoff won Producer of the Year (Non-Classical), even though it easily could’ve been anyone else, but I digress.

The Big 4

Best New Artist could’ve gone a variety of ways, but they landed on Victoria Monét, which I’m absolutely fine with. Monét has been proving herself for the past couple years now and for the industry to finally recognize her in this light is great. Song of the Year ended up going to Billie Eilish’s touching “Barbie” ballad “What Was I Made For?”. While it would’ve been cool to see it go to a more outside-the-box pick like “A&W” or “Kill Bill” this song is too gorgeous and important to deny. Record of the Year crowned “Flowers” once again and again, I’m surprised, but not necessarily in a bad way. And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, Album of the Year. Taylor Swift couldn’t just stay at 13 Grammys, she had to sneak in a 14th at the bitter end. So, I’m not about to say that this didn’t make sense, because it absolutely did. Swift just had one of the biggest years of her career, like, logically, who else was it going to be? But this win doesn’t sit quite right with me for two main reasons. First, this win seems like more of a win for the Eras Tour and Swift as a person and less like a win for the actual album itself. Even for “Swiftie” standards, “Midnights” is pretty mid (no pun intended). As an album, it just didn’t do much different from anything else she’d released before. Especially when placed next to albums like SZA’s “SOS,” Lana Del Rey’s “Ocean Blvd,” even Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts,” the quality just doesn’t even compare. Second and arguably more importantly, this is Swift’s fourth win in this category while Album of the Year has only been awarded to a black woman 3 times before. I was confident SZA could’ve taken this home, but alas. Even when The Grammys seem to be doing better, each year they still manage to find a way to fall flat on their face. Will they ever actually change? We may, unfortunately, never find out.

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Eli Bland, Arts Editor

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