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Taylor Swift makes Grammy history

Pop superstar Taylor Swift has won the Grammy for Album of the Year for a record fourth time. Folk legend Joni Mitchell provided a special moment.

Catherine Wilhelm

There is no getting around this woman: Taylor Swift won two awards at this year's Grammys in Los Angeles. Their album “Midnights” was named best pop album and best album of the year. She made history as the first person to win Album of the Year at the Grammys four times. She overtook musicians like Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder.

Swift announces new album

Nothing makes her as happy as making music, Swift said in her acceptance speech, she just wants to keep going. And she added that a new album would be released in two months.

Swift is thus manifesting her status as a global superstar. Host Trevor Noah joked that just because she was at the Grammys, local economic power increased at the tables of the artists in attendance. Lionel Richie becomes Lionel Wealthy.

But it's not just the evening for Taylor Swift, but the evening for women, says Trevor Noah – in the best album category alone, seven of the eight nominees were women. The artists SZA (“Kill Bill”) and Victoria Monét each received three Grammys, Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish each received two gold gramophones.

Grammy winner taken away in handcuffs

Killer Mike caused a stir: the rapper from Atlanta, who won three awards, was temporarily arrested by the police. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said an altercation at the venue led to the arrest. The musician was released that evening. He is scheduled to appear in court in Los Angeles on February 29.

Previously, Killer Mike had accepted awards for best rap performance, best rap song (both for “Scientists & Engineers”) and best rap album (“Michael”).

It's not all sunshine and roses when it comes to music awards: there has been repeated criticism of the Grammys in recent years: it's too male, too white and not very diverse. The Recording Academy, which awards the prizes, is therefore trying to make small changes, for example with a new category: Best African Music Performance.

Honorary award for Jay Z

The Nigerian artist Burna Boy was the first Afro musician to perform at the Grammys. Rapper Jay Z was awarded an honorary award; he also reminded people that black music, especially rap, only found recognition late. He also criticized the Academy because his wife Beyoncé won the most Grammys, but never for Album of the Year. Somehow that doesn't work, he said.

Politics was also not neglected: the President of the Music Academy Harvey Mason condemned the attacks on the music festival in Israel on October 7th. Accompanied by musicians with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab roots, he emphasized the power of music to bring people together.

Special moment at the Grammys: 80-year-old Joni Mitchell sings “Both Sides Now.”

An evening also for old legends

It was also an evening for new and old legends: there were standing ovations for the usually publicity-shy Tracy Chapman and country musician Luke Combs. They sang “Fast Car” and Combs had successfully covered the Chapman hit.

For the first time in 30 years, Billy Joel presented a new song. And folk legend Joni Mitchell provided one of the most touching moments: the 80-year-old not only won the award for the best folk album of the year “Joni Mitchell at Newport”, but also performed live at the Grammys for the very first time.

Katharina Wilhelm, ARD Los Angeles, tagesschau, February 5th, 2024 6:51 a.m

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