For a moment, the night of music and celebration paused and the focus shifted to the ongoing conquest and plight of the Ukrainian people.
“War – what’s more than music?” Zelensky said. “We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To hear. In our land we fight Russia which brings terrible silence with its bombs. Dead silence. Fill the silence with your music! Fill it today. To tell our story Tell the truth about war.”
It was a big night for three artists in particular, who walked away with the top four honors that night.
John Baptiste won Album of the Year for We Are, Silk Sonic won Song and Title of the Year for Leave the Door Open, and Olivia Rodrigo came out with Best New Artist.
Doja Cat and SZA also scored an unforgettable win – for both Doja Cat’s emotional response and poorly-timed bathroom break that almost robbed her of her moment. It all worked out, though, for the two new Best Duo/Team Performance winners.
The aforementioned appearance of Zelensky led to a performance by John Legend, where he sang “Free”, while wearing a blue suit, a visual homage to the country of Ukraine.
He was accompanied on stage by Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, musician Syozana Egedan and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk at this touching moment.
Elsewhere, BTS took the stage to take high energy on the song “Butter”. Lil Nas X performed “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow in front of a giant stone statue of his face – as one does. Billie Eilish brought on the heat — and rain — during a performance of “Happiest Ever” that didn’t make the mop crew at the Grammys ever happiest (but seemed to please the crowd). (In an extra nice touch, performances are often given by members of behind-the-scenes artist troupes—such as tour managers.)
Battisti, the 11-time nominee of the year, demonstrated his piano skills among many others with a live version of “Freedom” that embodies joy.
HER and Lenny Kravitz — with Travis Barker on drums — also brought down the house with the rocking song “Are You Going to Go My Way.”
What more could you ask for than a Grammy?
In normal times, the Grammys would have taken place in January or February, several weeks before the Oscars, which is the usual season finale. (In fact, there hasn’t been an April Grammy since 1965.) But there was just something somewhat fitting about having the awards season’s most vibrant red carpet crowning the season.
Lil Nas X has shown that pearls are the success maker’s best friend. Justin Bieber wore a suit made for two. J Balvin wore his heart on his head. BTS’ Kim Taehyung, who plays V, wore all paper flowers to the prom on his lapel and made it look good.
In fact, men could be said to have stolen the fashion show this year, but the ladies are solidly represented in the trend-setting department. See: Doja Cat’s hair nails and Laverne Cox’s thin eyebrows.