Star-studded performances define music’s biggest night

Courtesy of Creative Commons | Year after year, the Grammy Awards offer a myriad of performances and recognition for Hollywood's favorites.

by Caroline Kucko | staff writer

April 7, 2022

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards were jam-packed with extravagant performances and wins for Silk Sonic, Olivia Rodrigo, Jon Batiste and more. 

Hosted for a second time by “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, the three-and-a-half-hour-long show aired on Sunday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  

Noah opened the show with a subtle nod to Will Smith’s Oscars slap heard around the world. “We’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths,” Noah joked.  

Along with this year’s change in venue came some of the most spectacular Grammy performances to date.  

Silk Sonic opened the show with an energetic ode to the Sin City, performing their hit song “777.” The popular duo, featuring Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, went on to win in two of the “Big Four” award categories including Song of the Year and Record of the Year for their debut single “Leave the Door Open.” 

Rodrigo followed with a stellar performance of the emotional ballad that quickly took over the world last year, “drivers license.” A lifelong dream came true for Rodrigo as she took home her first three Grammys, including Best Pop Vocal Album for Sour and Best Pop Solo Performance for “drivers license.” She also won the award for Best New Artist, which was presented and passed down by Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion. 

Billie Eilish later performed her Grammy-nominated hit “Happier Than Ever” alongside her brother, songwriter FINNEAS. Eilish wore a Taylor Hawkins t-shirt in honor of the Foo Fighters drummer who died March 25. The Foo Fighters, who were understandably absent, won three awards for Best Rock Performance, Song and Album. The Recording Academy honored Hawkins later on in the show during the staple In Memoriam segment.  

Rachel Zegler, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and Ben Platt paid tribute to some of music’s greatest as they performed a powerful medley of songs written by the late Stephen Sondheim. 

Lady Gaga also gave a standout jazz performance of “Love for Sale” and transitioned into an emotional and heartfelt tribute to duet partner and friend Tony Bennett who is battling Alzheimer’s. Gaga and Bennett later won the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. 

Other noteworthy performances were given by Justin Bieber, Nas, J Balvin, Carrie Underwood, and Lil Nas X; BTS sang their hit song “Butter” during an elaborate James Bond-inspired performance. 

One of the show’s more sobering moments took place when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a compelling speech about the importance of speaking up amid the ongoing war by using music and social media. His plea was followed by John Legend’s stunning performance of “Free” alongside Ukrainian musicians. 

Another memorable moment took place as Doja Cat and SZA accepted their award for Best Pop Group Performance. Doja Cat quite literally ran from the bathroom to make it on stage to accept the award. What started as a joke turned into a tearful moment of clarity for Doja Cat as she expressed how much the award meant to her. 

Jazz singer Jon Batiste was the most nominated artist of the night — with 11 nominations. Toward the end of the show, Batiste snagged the top prize of the night, Album of the Year, for his eighth album We Are after giving a joyful and upbeat performance of his song “Freedom.” 

“There is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor,” Batiste said during his acceptance speech. “The creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most.” 

Noticeably absent from the ceremony were nominees Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Tyler, the Creator, who won Best Rap Album for “Call Me If You Get Lost.” Cardi B also skipped out on the awards and deleted her Twitter account on Sunday night among criticism from fans.  

Country duo and Grammy winners Brothers Osborne closed out the night with an electrifying rendition of their song “Dead Man’s Curve.”  

The 2022 Grammy Awards brought a slew of big wins from an exciting new venue. What ultimately stole the show, however, were the sensational performances given by a wide array of talented artists.