The 66th Grammy Awards on Sunday put women in the spotlight, with SZA, Billie Eilish and Miley Cyrus winning big. Taylor Swift made history when she won album of the year for a fourth time, after announcing her next project on stage— and Canadian legend Joni Mitchell brought people to tears with her performance.
The ceremony was hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, whose monologue was pleasantly funny if a touch too reverent (is Ed Sheeran really one of the greatest live performers of all time?). The former Daily Show host's mic-drop moment came when he took a swing at TikTok for "ripping off all these artists" — the social media platform is currently in a licensing dispute with Universal Music Group.
Female artists dominated the evening. A teary-eyed SZA won early on (and accepted the award from her contemporary Lizzo, appearing after she was sued by her former dancers for sexual harassment earlier this year), while first-time winner Miley Cyrus channelled her idol Tina Turner with a bouffant and sparkling two-piece.
SZA got emotional as she accepted the best R&B song award for Snooze on stage during the 2024 Grammy Awards. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
But it was Joni Mitchell's gorgeous performance of Both Sides Now that capped the night with an emotional crescendo — even moving Meryl Streep to tears. Mitchell was accompanied on stage by Montreal singer-songwriter and Grammy winner Allison Russell, as well as American artist Brandi Carlisle, who in her introduction of the performance said that any "self-revealing" singer-songwriter who'd found success had done so "standing on the shoulders of one Joni Mitchell."
Other winner-worthy performances included Cyrus's rendition of her summer bop Flowers before it was crowned record of the year. SZA was joined onstage by backup dancers clad in samurai-core and wielding swords as she sang her Quentin Tarantino-inspired ode to romantic jealousy, Kill Bill. Later, Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo took to the stage to sing their ballads What Was I Made For? and Vampire, respectively.
Taylor Swift stole the scene, though — and not for any musical performance. While accepting an award for her album Midnights, Swift thanked the recording academy but addressed fans as she announced that her next record, The Tortured Poets Department, will be released on April 19.
Later in the show, she took home the Grammy for album of the year for Midnights.
While accepting an award for her album Midnights, Taylor Swift thanked the recording academy but addressed fans as she announced that her next record, The Tortured Poet's Department, will be released on April 19. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Swift was among those rocking out to Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs's crowd-pleasing performance of Chapman's 1988 hit, Fast Car. Chapman expressed admiration for Combs's popular cover of her song earlier this year, and the onstage union between a beloved singer-songwriter and the younger country music star was a touching moment during an evening that was filled with thoughtful recognition of veteran artists.
That included the in-memoriam segment, which saw Stevie Wonder take to the piano with a tribute to his late friend Tony Bennett, whose rendition of For Once In My Life played in sync with Wonder's performance. Annie Lennox sang Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U, while The Colour Purple star Fantasia Barrino exemplified showmanship during a high-energy take on Tina Turner's Proud Mary.
Canadian powerhouse Céline Dion arrived onstage at the tail end of the show to present the award for album of the year, which she noted was presented to her by Diana Ross and Sting 27 years earlier. It was a rare public performance by the singer, who has been on hiatus from live performance following her diagnosis with an autoimmune disorder.
"When I say that I'm happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart," Dion said to the crowd. She added, "those who have been blessed enough to be here must never take for granted the tremendous love and joy that music brings to our lives and to people all around the world."
Céline Dion is shown presenting album of the year, a rare public performance by the singer, who has been on hiatus from live performance following her diagnosis with an autoimmune disorder. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
There were a few missteps scattered throughout the event, like Billy Joel's low-energy debut of his new song Turn The Lights Back On.
Swift, while accepting the award for album of the year, appeared to snub Dion, looking toward her producer Jack Antonoff as she took the prize from Dion's hands before turning to make her speech.
Jay-Z gave a meandering but memorable speech as he accepted the Dr. Dre Global Impact award, chastising the Grammys for snubbing Beyoncé.
"I don't want to embarrass this young lady, but she has the most Grammys [of] everyone and never won album of the year," the rapper-producer said of his wife.
Canadian wins for Mitchell, Allison Russell
With almost 100 categories up for grabs, many of the awards were announced ahead of time during the Grammys premiere ceremony.
Mitchell, whose Grammys performance on Sunday was the first of her career, won the award for best folk album for Joni Mitchell At Newport [Live], beating out fellow Canuck Rufus Wainwright in the category.
Montreal singer-songwriter Allison Russell was the first Canadian to emerge victorious, winning best American roots performance for her song Eve Was Black. She had also been nominated for best Americana performance, best American roots song and best Americana album.
Allison Russell accepts the award for best American roots performance for her song Eve Was Black on stage during the 66th Grammy Awards at Peacock Theater on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Montreal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who was up for several awards in the classical and orchestral categories, won a Grammy for best opera recording as conductor of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra's Blanchard: Champion also during the pre-ceremony.
Canadian producer Serban Ghenea, who was among the most nominated artists of the evening with seven nods, got one win, for album of the year for Swift's Midnights. He was also nominated in that category for Rodrigo's Guts, and was nominated three times in the record of the year category (for Jon Batiste's song Worship, Rodrigo's song Vampire and Swift's song Anti-Hero) and twice for best pop dance recording.
Drake, who was nominated for four Grammys, including best rap song and best rap album, lost in those categories.
Jazz instrumental band BADBADNOTGOOD and electronic duo Kx5 (which features Canadian DJ Joel Thomas Zimmerman, known as deadmau5) lost in their respective categories, as did Toronto alternative group Alvvays, Victoria heavy metal band Spiritbox and Vancouver's Darcy James Argue's Secret Society.
Hilario Durán and His Latin Jazz Big Band, which is headed by the Cuban Canadian musician, and Canadian actor William Shatner's audiobook Boldly Go: Reflections On A Life Of Awe And Wonder also lost in their categories.
Miley Cyrus performs her song Flowers while channelling her idol Tina Turner during an appearance at the 2024 Grammy Awards. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
A partial list of 2024 Grammy winners
Album of the year
Midnights — Taylor Swift
Record of the year
Flowers — Miley Cyrus
Best new artist
Song of the year (songwriter's award)
What Was I Made For? — Billie Eilish
Best pop solo performance
Flowers — Miley Cyrus
Best música urbana album
MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO — Karol G
Best country album
Bell Bottom Country — Lainey Wilson
Best pop vocal album
Midnights — Taylor Swift
Best R&B song
Snooze — SZA
Best pop duo/group performance
Ghost In The Machine — SZA feat. Phoebe Bridgers
Best R&B album
JAGUAR II — Victoria Monét
Best rap performance
SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS — Killer Mike feat. André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane
Best rock performance
Not Strong Enough — Boygenius
Best melodic rap performance
All My Life — Lil Durk feat. J. Cole
Best metal performance
72 Seasons — Metallica
Best American roots performance
Eve Was Black — Allison Russell
Best music video
I'm Only Sleeping — The Beatles
Best American roots song
Cast Iron Skillet — Jason Isbell, songwriter (Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit)
Best score soundtrack for visual media
Oppenheimer — Ludwig Göransson