It was of course Beyonce’s night – making history and becoming the most decorated Grammy artist of all time (although she’s still waiting to win the best album prize despite multiple critically acclaimed and commercially successful records).
Queen Bey’s triumph aside, British pop duo Wet Leg smashed it and took home two awards less than two years after performing their first-ever gig; Viola Davis became only the 18th person in history to nab EGOT status (having an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) and hip hop finally got a moment in the spotlight after being snubbed by the awards for years.
But aside from all that, what else got people talking on the night?
Harry Styles sparkles
He had three costume changes on the night – one of which has been likened to being “sucked into a box of Christmas decorations,” but Harry Styles had the last laugh, winning one of the biggest prizes of the night – best album.
After starting his career working in a bakery aged 14 (W Mandeville bakery in Cheshire if you’re wondering) he has come a long way – helped of course by his worldwide fame earned on X Factor and beyond in One Direction.
While his stint in a manufactured boyband may have helped him become a household name and popular with teenage girls around the globe, it’s never a boon to musical credibility, so to finally nab such a major award is a big deal (he won his first Grammy for best pop vocal performance for Watermelon Sugar back in 2021, but winning one of the Grammy ‘big four’ gongs is on another level).
Taking it all in his stride, Styles said his winning album – Harry’s House – had been “from start to finish the greatest experience” of his life.
Following up on a stellar 2022 (he got nominated for a Mercury Prize and had chunky roles in two films), 2023 looks set to see Styles continue to shine.
Ben Affleck looks bored and Adele gets a surprise
Do we love anything as much as seeing celebrities out and about with fellow celebrities? Like another species entirely, it’s compelling to see how stars from across the showbiz spectrum interact with one another in their own natural habitat – the awards ceremony.
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Adele meeting Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was a thing of joy – leaving her laughing and blushing a year on from fangirling about how great he was.
Host Trevor Noah introduced the pair during his opening monologue, with Johnson appearing from nowhere to hug a delighted Adele and kiss her on the cheek. He later awarded her the Grammy for best pop solo performance.
Meanwhile, someone who seemed less overjoyed to be at the event was Ben Affleck, who despite being beside his new wife J Lo (who seemed to be having a wonderful time), looked somewhat miserable.
He trended on social media after being caught on camera with a blank look that appeared to show he’d rather be anywhere else than at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
Madonna’s appearance surprises
One of the performances of the night was from history-making singer Kim Petras – who became the first transgender woman to win best pop duo/group (alongside non-binary artist Sam Smith).
But it was the star who introduced her performance to the stage – Madonna – who got people talking.
The 64-year-old superstar, known for her chameleon-like ability to re-invent herself at the drop of a hat – left many fans scratching their heads over her altered appearance, and questioning her ultra-smooth skin and plumped-up cheeks.
Introducing the performance dressed in a floor-length black skirt suit and with her hair in pigtail plaits, Madonna told the crowd: “If they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problem, provocative… or… dangerous, you are definitely on to something.”
Later accepting the Grammy for her duet on Sam Smith’s Unholy, Kim Petras highlighted her status as a transgender woman and paid tribute to heroes like the late transgender singer Sophie and of course Madonna.
Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon was also at the event – having managed to rock up in time – just days after being refused entry to a Marc Jacobs fashion show after arriving late.
Dave Chappelle’s controversial album triumphs
In 2021 his comedy album caused walkouts at Netflix after his special, The Closer, sparked controversy with the comedian being accused of transphobia. This year it’s won a Grammy.
In his show, Chapelle said “gender was a fact” and shared his backing for Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who has also attracted criticism for her comments about biological sex.
Despite the backlash, he pipped fellow comedians Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, Randy Rainbow and Patton Oswalt to the post in the best comedy album category, claiming the fourth Grammy of his career.
The show – which remained available to view on Netflix after the streaming service decided it did not cross “the line on hate” – also had two Primetime Emmy nominations.
Chapelle didn’t come along to collect his award, which was accepted on his behalf by presenter and record producer Babyface.
It’s not the first time a Grammy winner has raised eyebrows. Last year controversial comedian Louis CK (who was also nominated in the category this year) won a Grammy for his album Sincerely Louis CK, despite admitting to a string of sexual misconduct allegations made by numerous women.
The Prince Of Darkness nabs two gongs
His acceptance speech – delivered by producer Andrew Watt on his behalf – was short and sweet – “I love you all and f*** off. Perfectly on-brand for the Prince Of Darkness.
Brummie star Ozzy Osbourne – who took home two Grammys – announced just last week he’d be stepping back from touring due to ill health.
Calling the news “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to share,” he told his legion of fans he was no longer “physically capable” of performing planned shows in Europe and the UK.
The 74-year-old former Black Sabbath singer has had extensive spinal surgery and other treatment over the past four years, after a fall at home in 2019 aggravated injuries he suffered in a near-fatal quad bike crash in 2003. And in 2020, he revealed he has Parkinson’s disease.
He won best metal performance for Degradation Rules and best rock album for Patient Number 9, taking his lifetime Grammy wins to five.
Perhaps the worthiest win of the night
While many were chuffed to see Ozzy get a gong, the real heart-warming win of the night was that of Shervin Hajipour – the Iranian singer who was awarded best song for social change.
The 25-year-old singer was seen wiping away a tear on an online video after he was announced as the recipient of the new special merit award by first lady Jill Biden.
His song, Baraye, which translates as “For” in English, has become an anthem for young Iranians protesting against Iran’s ruling theocracy, which have been sweeping the Islamic Republic for months.
Not at the event, he is currently banned from leaving the country and is on bail facing charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “instigating the violence”, due to the content of his song. If found guilty he could face up to six years in prison.
Reacting on Instagram, Hajipour simply wrote: “We won.” His fans were more emphatic, with German politician Hannah Neumann summing up the mood in her Twitter post: “Beyoncé may have won 32 #GRAMMYs- but this one surely is the most important one this year.”
And possibly the most genuinely shocked Grammy winner in the history of the event
Blues singer Bonnie Raitt may not be a household name – but that didn’t stop her beating Beyonce, Adele, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Kendrick Lamar to one of the most prestigious prizes of the night.
Images of the 73-year-old guitarist looking beyond shocked went viral, as she found out her song Just Like That had taken the prize.
The touching break-up song was inspired by a story of a heart transplant and written in the style of the late singer-songwriter John Prine.
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After getting over her shock, she thanked the voters, saying: “I don’t write a lot of songs, but I’m proud that you appreciate this one”.
Her win marks the first time a song written by a solo songwriter has been victorious since Rehab by the late Amy Winehouse won in 2008.