Five takeaways from the 2023 Grammy Awards, dominated by Beyoncé, Lizzo and Harry Styles

50 years of hip-hop, reggaeton, video game music, hymn to freedom and a new recruit in the very exclusive “EGOT” club … These are the other major events of the 65th Grammy Awards, which took place widely crowned Beyoncé, Lizzo and Harry Styles.

There were Queen of the Night Beyoncé and Harry Styles crowned, but from reggeaton to Iran, the 65th Grammy Awards had a few other highlights. Here are five, selected by AFP.

>> 65th Grammys: Beyoncé becomes the most crowned artist but Lizzo and Harry Styles share the major awards

Reggaeton opens the evening

Who has the honor of opening the 65th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles? In the country of Beyoncé and hip-hop, it is Bad Bunny, the prince of reggaeton, that has returned this privilege. A sign of an evolution for the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Recording Academy), which seeks to maintain the attractiveness of the ceremony, less and less followed in the United States (a little less than nine million viewers in 2022, compared to more than 20 million a few years ago).

The numbers generated by Benito Antonio Martinez, aka Bad Bunny, in concerts or on the platforms indeed make him indisputably the biggest streaming and touring artist in the world. Her Un verano sin ti had even become for this 65th ceremony, the first album all in Spanish to compete in the most prestigious category, that of the best album. The 28-year-old artist finally won the Grammy for best urban album in Latin music.

50 years of hip-hop celebrated with dignity

It was one of the most successful live moments of a very wise evening, without incident or slippage. To celebrate 50 years of hip-hop, which is considered to have been born in the Bronx in New York in the summer of 1973, rarely have so many rap stars been brought together for a long medley: Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Rakim, De La Soul, Chuck D and Flavor Flav from Public Enemy, Salt-N-Pepa and Method Man from Wu-Tang Clan.

All with Questlove, from the Roots, to accompany this beautiful world on drums. Queen Queen Latifah herself made a remarkable appearance on stage, before Missy Eliott.

The anthem for freedom in Iran rewarded

Political touch of the evening, the First Lady of the United States Jill Biden came on stage to announce the price of the “song for a change of society”. And the reward went to Barayethe track by Iranian pop singer Shervin Hajipour, 25, has become an anthem of the protest movement that has rocked Iran since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini after his arrest by vice squad in Tehran.

The artist, detained after his song went viral on social media, was released on bail. Jill Biden praised ” a powerful and poetic call for women’s freedom and rights” in Iran, whose relations with the United States have been broken for more than forty years.

Viola Davis in the very closed club of “EGOT”

It is a very exclusive club in the United States, that of artists who have won an Oscar (cinema), an Emmy Award (television), a Grammy Award (music) and a Tony Award (theatre). They are called “EGOT”. Actress Viola Davis is now one of them, after winning a Grammy for best “audiobook”, with her memoir Finding Me.

“I wrote this book to pay tribute to little Viola when she was 6 years old, to pay tribute to her life, her joys, her traumas”launched, on the Los Angeles stage, the 57-year-old actress who starred in this year’s big-budget Hollywood film The Woman King.

In Finding Me, she recounts in particular her poor childhood, from her native South Carolina, to Rhode Island where she grew up, and her experience of racism. The 57-year-old artist, known for her activism, was notably awarded an Oscar in 2017 for her second role in Fencesand an Emmy Award in 2015 for the series How to Get Away with Murder. She is the 18th artist to become “EGOT”, after Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg, or John Legend.

And the best video game music for…

It was a long-awaited and late premiere. On Sunday evening February 5, the Academy presented for the first time an award for the best music in a video game. The gramophone went to American composer Stephanie Economou for the soundtrack of one of the opuses in the Ubisoft series, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. “I didn’t have high hopes for this category because (…) I’m usually very new to video game music and come up against giants and veterans”said the musician, who has already composed for film and television.

Before the ceremony, she explained to AFP that this brand new category marked “an important step for people to finally recognize that video games have been around for quite a while.”

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