65th annual Grammys stirs up mixing pot of opinions amongst viewers


Nrithya Mahesh

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards held on Feb. 5 was home to many accomplishments, with Beyonce becoming the most awarded Grammy artist and Kim Petras making history as the first transgender woman to win a Grammy. The Sidekick staff writer Anvita Bondada takes a critical look at the award show and their winning picks. Graphic by Nrithya Mahesh.

Anvita Bondada, Staff Writer

With flashing cameras, star studded red carpets and breathtaking performances, 81 gilded gramophone-shaped trophies wait to be awarded at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.                                        

Several records were broken at the Grammys on Feb. 5., notably with pop singer Beyoncé breaking the record for the most Grammys ever won by winning her 32nd award for Best R&B Album of the Year. She delivered an impromptu, yet tear-jerking speech. 

While this was an outstanding feat, there was another award that many thought should have been hers: Album of the Year.

The Album of the Year award was given to Harry’s House by Harry Styles. Harry’s House released on May 20. It reached skyrocketing success on the Billboard charts and was dubbed certified platinum on Aug 4. It was immensely popular and flourished in the summer; however, its influence waned once summer ended. Singles such as “As it Was” and “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” dropped from the charts once the fall came, ending the album’s peak era. While it was an incredible and daring album for Styles, its impact was not  impactful enough to be Album of the Year: an album needs more than three months to create a year changing influence. Lack of popular influence seems to be a pattern with the other Grammy winners. 

The Song of the Year award was awarded to “Just Like That” by Bonnie Raitt. Raitt is a trailblazer for folk music in the industry and won awards for Americana Performance and American Roots Song. “Just Like That” had the least streams out of all of the nominees, and wasn’t generally well known by the public, especially younger viewers. While the Grammys should not be a popularity contest and Song of the Year is a songwriting award, a song still needs to impact a large audience with its lyrics, and it was incapable of having that influence with less than 500,000 streams. This also applies to songwriting because lyrics have the power to influence and empower an audience. But with such a small audience, “Just Like That” didn’t have a cultural impact at all. 

But if the Grammys were fixed on giving awards to underdog artists, they certainly went against their own logic for the Best Duo/Group Performance award.

The Best Duo/Group Performance of The Year award was awarded to “Unholy” by Sam Smith and Kim Petras. This award made history as it was the first Grammy awarded to a transgender woman. However, “Unholy” fell flat to its competition. It was sonically and lyrically mediocre, with Smith’s and Petras’s voices not complimenting each other well, and monotonous lyrics. It  paled in comparison to the other nominees. While it reached immense success on the charts and was arguably overplayed on social media, notably TikTok, there was no reason the Grammys should have “just mediocre” performances winning illustrious awards.

Between the award announcements, there were many notable performances. One of the best received throughout  the night was a phenomenal performance by Lizzo. Lizzo’s performance was accentuated by several backup dancers and she sang “Special” and “About Damn Time”  from her most recent album Special. While “Special” is an unconventional choice for the performance, Lizzo still wowed with her enigmatic stage presence and vocals. 

The Grammys are always going to make decisions that can come across as ill-advised and questionable to its audience, but no matter what our thoughts are, we will still go back to watching that same red carpet at the 66th annual Grammys in 2024.

Follow Anvita (@anvita_bondada) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.