Critics’ Corner: 2021 Grammys Were A Smashing Success

Lila Caminiti, Co-Features Editor, Senior

Amid controversy regarding nominations, the Grammys shattered expectations with a well-organized and entertaining show. Standing in stark-contrast to the zoom-heavy Golden Globes, the GRAMMYs were able to enable a safe broadcast, while also maintaining much of the energy of a typical year’s ceremony. Stand-out performances by breakout artists The Black Pumas, fan-favorite Harry Styles, and power duo Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion characterized the night as a great success, offering a glimpse of the light at the end of a dark winter.

This year’s Grammys certainly faced a large challenge with the ongoing  COVID-19 pandemic. However, they rose to this challenge, creating a show that felt about as similar to the usual ceremony as possible. Although crowds were not permitted, nominees were able to sit at socially distanced tables at the time that their respective awards were being presented. Additionally, there were live performances throughout the night, which occurred among nominees but without crowds. Despite this unusual situation, performers rose to the occasion and delivered show-stopping performances.

Although every performance was truly spectacular in its own right, some were particularly extraordinary. For instance, Dua Lipa and special guest DaBaby delivered a fantastic and fun performance that had audiences singing and dancing along. Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion’s performance of WAP was also a stand-out, matching the energy of the chart-topper’s catchy beat. Some performances, such as Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture,” discussed prevalent societal issues, such as the Black Lives Matter Movement. Lil Baby’s emotional performance included a re-enactment of the shooting of Rayshard Brooks at an Atlanta Wendy’s, and captivated audiences with its spectacular choreography and heartbreaking message.

Although even a nomination at the Grammys is one of the highest musical honors that one can receive, winning is even more impressive. Meghan Thee Stallion, for instance, won big, taking home the awards for Best Rap Performance, Best New Artist, and Best Rap Song. Beyoncé took home the most awards for night, with four total — in fact, she broke bluegrass singer Alison Krauss’s record of 27 wins, making her the female artist with the most Grammys! 

Overall, this year’s Grammys were a fantastic success. In terms of ceremony, the show proved that there’s a way to be both safe and fun.