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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

arts music

COLUMN: Women rule the world in the 66th Annual Grammy Awards

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Speculation had been building for weeks before the Grammys. Rumors abounded that Taylor Swift would announce her “Reputations (Taylor’s Version)” album when she won an award. 

When she first began her acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album, telling fans she was going to tell them a secret, I assumed — as I am sure many did — she was announcing “Reputations (Taylor’s Version).” But instead, she announced something much more exciting: an original album. 

Swift announced her new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” will be released April 19. The cover art, released on Instagram simultaneously to the announcement, shows a black and white photo of Swift lying on a bed, her face just out of the camera’s view. 

Swift’s announcement added on to a night full of triumph for women. After fifteen years of working on the sidelines by writing songs for other artists, Victoria Monét won the Grammy for Best New Artist. Monét had previously written hits for Ariana Grande and Chloe x Halley but broke out this year with her hit “On My Mama.” 

Miley Cyrus’s hit song “Flowers” won Best Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year. She later had a “Tina Turner moment” performing the song, rocking out and adlibbing. At one point, she shouted out to the crowd, “come on, you know this song!” and “I just won my first Grammy!” 

Legendary performer Joni Mitchell also experienced a first: her Grammys performance debut. Nine years ago Mitchell suffered an aneurism which left her unable to speak or sing. This tragedy made her performance of her classic single “Both Sides Now” even more poignant. Mitchell sang the song after winning her tenth Grammy.  

Tracy Chapman also returned to the Grammys spotlight, dueting with Luke Combs on her classic song “Fast Car.” Combs’ cover of the song made him famous, and the two artists merged their different styles to create a beautiful sound. 

However, there were also some shocking snubs. Olivia Rodrigo’s hit song “Vampire” failed to win any awards despite her intense performance, which she ended by smearing fake blood over her face. Her song “Vampire”rose to the number one spot on the Hot 100 immediately after the single’s release. 

Swift’s defeat in the song of the year category was also debated. She lost for the seventh year in a row: This year to Billie Eilish’s plaintive “What Was I Made For?” from the movie “Barbie.” Eilish’s raw emotion silenced the audience when she performed it live. According to the New York Times, even Eilish looked surprised that she won. 

However, not everyone felt these wins were deserved. During Jay-Z's acceptance speech for the “Dr. Dre Impact Award,” he criticized the nominees for Best Album. He said it made no sense that his wife, Beyoncé, would have the most Grammys of all time yet continually be shut out of the coveted best album category.  

“Even by your own standards, it doesn’t work,” he said. “Some of you are going to go home and feel like you’ve been robbed; some of you may get robbed; some of you don’t belong in the category.” 

Yet despite the pitfalls, women truly owned the night: With Swift making history by becoming the first artist to win four Best Album Grammys with her album “Midnight.” Previous record holders: Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra had all only won three. 

Swift said in her acceptance speech she created music — not for the awards — but for the work itself which was the award. 

“I would love to tell you that this is the best moment in my life, but I feel this happy when I finish a song, or when I crack the code to a bridge that I love,” she said.  “All I want to do is keep being able to do this.”

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