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Female stars sweep Grammy awards in LA

Taylor Swift has made Grammy history by becoming the first person to win Album of the Year four times.

The US megastar, 34, secured the top gong of the night with her tenth studio album, Midnights, at the 66th annual ceremony, which saw female musicians dominate in the major categories at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish took home Song of the Year for her Barbie hit What Was I Made For?, while Miley Cyrus landed Record of the Year for her track Flowers, which was a massive hit in Ireland last summer.

Celine Dion, 55, also made a surprise appearance at the show to present Album of the Year, amid her battle with a rare neurological condition known as Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS).

Dion said: “Thank you all, I love you right back. When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart.”

Celine Dion was greeted with a standing ovation at the Grammy Awards

A shocked Swift, wearing a white off-the-shoulder gown, said: “Oh god, no, I don’t know, man” as she collected the award from Dion.

The singer-songwriter praised her friend and long-term collaborator Jack Antonoff as a “once in a generation” producer and her fellow nominee Lana Del Rey as a “legacy artist” and a “legend in her prime right now” after bringing them on stage with her.

She added: “I would love to tell you that this is the best moment of my life, but I feel this happy when I finish a song or when I crack the code to a bridge that I love or when I’m shot-listing a music video, or when I’m rehearsing with my dancers or my band or getting ready to go to Tokyo to play a show.

Taylor Swift accepts the Album Of The Year award for Midnights

“For me, the award is the work. All I want to do is keep being able to do this. I love it so much. It makes me so happy.

“It makes me unbelievably blown away that it makes some people happy who voted for this award too. All I want to do is keep doing this. So, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do what I love so much – mind blown”.

The pop megastar was previously the first and only female solo artist to win the award three times, tied with Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.

Swift also made waves earlier in the ceremony after she announced she would be releasing a new album, titled The Tortured Poets Department, on 19 April while picking up the gong for Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights.

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The historic win tops off a mega 12 months for the artist after she embarked on the highest-grossing tour of all time, was also named Time’s Person of the Year, re-released her blockbuster album 1989 (Taylor’s Version) and kept the gossip industry afloat with her new relationship with US footballer Travis Kelce.

The star NFL player, 34, was not in attendance at the show due to training for the Super Bowl after the Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.

Earlier in the show, Eilish used her award speech for Song of the Year to praise Barbie director Greta Gerwig for creating the “best movie of the year”, with her hit song featuring in its end credits.

After taking to the stage alongside her brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell, the 22-year-old also hailed her fellow nominees as “incredible artists” and thanked the Recording Academy, her team, her family and O’Connell, who she described as her “best friend in the world”.

Billie Eilish dressed as the Barbie Poodle Parade doll for her performance of What Was I Made For?

Eilish and O’Connell also took home the Best Song Written For Visual Media for the same track.

She said she is “just in awe” and “grateful every second of my life” for the recognition she has received over the years, adding, “I am shocked”.

While O’Connell thanked their father who worked as a construction worker at Mattel Corporation “to keep food on the table” for most of their childhood, Eilish hailed their mother as her “idol” and “inspiration”.

Eilish also performed the track during the ceremony dressed as the 1965 Barbie Poodle Parade doll, wearing black sunglasses and a pink head scarf, while O’Connell played the piano.

Miley Cyrus

Cyrus hailed the Record of the Year prize as “amazing” when she took to the stage before adding: “But I really hope that it doesn’t change anything because my life was beautiful yesterday.

“Not everyone in the world will get a Grammy, but everyone in this world is spectacular.”

It followed after the US singer secured her first-ever Grammy earlier in the night when she won Best Pop Solo Performance for the song, which dominated the US and Irish charts last year.

During her performance, she celebrated her win, changing the lyrics to “Then I remember, I just won my first Grammy.”

SZA

US singer SZA picked up three awards after being the most nominated artist of the night with nine nods.

The 34-year-old won Best R&B Song for Snooze, Best Progressive R&B Album for SOS and the Best Pop Duo prize with Phoebe Bridgers for their track Ghost In The Machine.

SZA, real name Solana Rowe, was emotional as she ran onto the stage to hug fellow singer Lizzo, who presented the award, who she said she has been friends with since 2019 when they were playing gigs in small venues together.

She added: “I’m just really overwhelmed, you don’t really understand I came really, really far and I can’t believe this is happening and it feels really fake – hi, Taylor, I love you,” she said, calling out Swift.

The artist also delivered a theatrical performance of her hit songs Snooze and Kill Bill during the ceremony, which saw her transition from being alone on an elaborate set, which featured burning bins and constructed rooms, to launching into a large-scale dance routine with backing dancers.

Victoria Monet

Victoria Monet, 34, became emotional after she was declared the winner of Best New Artist, saying during her speech: “I just want to say to everybody who has a dream, I want you to look at this as an example.”

Among the other notable performances of the night was Joni Mitchell singing at the award show for the first time at the age of 80.

The Canadian American singer-songwriter delivered an emotional rendition of Both Sides Now from an armchair alongside Brandi Carlile on the guitar after she won in the Best Folk category for her 2023 album, Joni Mitchell At Newport (Live).

Mitchell, who picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2002, graced the stage on the heels of a gradual return to live appearances after suffering a brain aneurysm in March 2015.

Joni Mitchell with Brandie Carlile

US singer Tracy Chapman, 59, also stunned the audience with a rendition of her hit song Fast Car, which she performed with US country singer Luke Combs, whose cover of the track went viral last year.

Stevie Wonder led an emotional in-memoriam segment, duetting For Once In My Life alongside a video of the late Tony Bennett who appeared on-screen.

Wonder said: “What’s amazing, I was able to sing the song with someone I’ve admired for so long – his love for art, his love for peace, his love for unity, his love for civil rights. Tony, I’m going to miss you forever.”

Annie Lennox performed Nothing Compares 2 U in memory of Sinead O’Connor

Other artists remembered included Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Buffett, Shane MacGowan, Burt Bacharach and Andy Rourke of The Smiths, while an emotional Annie Lennox sang Nothing Compares 2 U in memory of Irish singer Sinead O’Connor.

During the premiere ceremony ahead of the main show, indie singer Bridgers also landed three more Grammys with her supergroup Boygenius.

The trio of Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus were sporting matching white suits as they picked up Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for their hit Not Strong Enough, and Best Alternative Music Album for their debut The Record.

Meanwhile, Australian singer-songwriter Kylie Minogue was honoured with the inaugural Best Pop Dance Recording for hit Padam Padam, which went viral last summer and marks her second Grammy award.

The Best Music Video Grammy was awarded to a project created for The Beatles song I’m Only Sleeping, which featured 1,300 oil paintings by British filmmaker and animator Em Cooper, while a documentary on the late David Bowie, titled Moonage Daydream, took home the best music film prize.

Source: Press Association

You can watch highlights of the Grammys on Monday night on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player at 9.00pm




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