Four women win the four most prestigious Grammys

Photo: AP Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion won the best rap song Grammy for “Savage”.

Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish made history at the Grammy Awards. Just as joyously, dozens of creators largely sidelined for a year due to the pandemic got to make music again, AP reported.

The Grammys on Sunday broke through the Zoom trap that has bedeviled other awards shows with a surprisingly intimate evening that, at its best, felt like viewers were invited into a private club with their favorite musicians.

Four different women won the four most prestigious Grammys. Swift’s quiet surprise, “folklore,” was album of the year; Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted” was her second consecutive record of the year winner; H.E.R.’s topical “I Can’t Breathe” won song of the year and Megan Thee Stallion was named best new artist.

Beyonce’s four awards Sunday brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist. Her celebration of Black history, “Black Parade, won best R&B performance and she shared two awards for collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion on “Savage.” She ties Quincy Jones for second most Grammys ever and has the leader — the late conductor George Solti, who won 31 — in her sights. Further crowding the family trophy case is husband Jay-Z, whose songwriting on “Savage” earned him his 23rd Grammy on Sunday, and even their 9-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who won best music video together with mom.

“This is such a magical night,” Beyonce said, noting that “Black Parade” was created to honor the world’s “beautiful Black kings and queens.” H.E.R’s “I Can’t Breathe” is a reference to Black people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor who died at the hands of police during last summer’s social unrest. “The fight that we had in us in the summer of 2020 — keep that energy,” H.E.R. said.

Swift, who also found time during the pandemic to make another album and re-record one of her old ones, became the first woman to win the album of the year Grammy for the third time. Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra have also done it. She won in 2009 for “Fearless” and 2015 for “1989.” She sang a medley of three songs on the Grammys, “cardigan” and “august” from “folklore” and “willow” from its follow-up disc, “evermore,” with collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner.

After her sweep last year, Eilish became only the third artist to win back-to-back record of the year Grammys. Roberta Flack won in 1973 for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and in 1974 for “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” while U2 won in 2001 and 2002 for “Beautiful Day” and “Walk On.”

Then, when Eilish and her collaborator-brother Finneas accepted the award, she almost gave it away. She brought Megan Thee Stallion to tears by saying the rapper deserved the Grammy for “Savage.”

Other notable Grammy winners were Kanye West, whose “Jesus is King” won best contemporary Christian album; Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, who shared in Dan + Shay’s country award for the collaboration “10,000 Hours”; and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who won best spoken word album for “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth.”

Because of the pandemic, CBS host Trevor Noah handed out the Grammys at an outdoor stage set up across from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, with relatively few nominees and guests in the audience.

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