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Grammy Awards 2023: How to watch and who will win

Beyoncé, Harry Styles and Adele are all likely winners at this year's ceremony

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Beyoncé, Harry Styles and Adele are all likely winners at this year’s ceremony.
Photo: Supplied

By Mark Savage, BBC Music Correspondent

Will Adele continue her winning streak? Will Abba win their first Grammy? Will Beyoncé be snubbed again?

All these questions will be answered when the 65th Grammy Awards take place in Los Angeles today.

Beyoncé leads the nominations, with nine in total, followed by Kendrick Lamar with eight, and Adele and Brandi Carlile, who have seven each.

Comedian Trevor Noah hosts the ceremony for the third year running, starting at 8pm Sunday in LA (5pm Monday, NZT).

This year, there are a staggering 91 categories, from best new age, ambient or chant album – shout out to Cheryl B Engelhardt – to the night’s biggest prize, album of the year.

There’ll also be performances from some of music’s biggest names, and bittersweet tributes to the stars we’ve lost.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the event.

1) How to watch the Grammys

First of all, stock up on snacks.

The first awards are handed out in what’s called the “premiere ceremony” at 9.30am NZT (12.30pm in LA).

Proceedings then continue for eight mind-numbing hours, until the album of the year trophy is finally presented about 5.30 pm NZT.

The main show, which starts at 2pm NZT, will be broadcast live in America on CBS, with streams on Paramount Plus and the website live.grammy.com.

2) Beyoncé could become the winningest winner of all time

The singer recently announced her first solo world tour in seven years
Photo:

Beyoncé is already the most-awarded woman in the history of the Grammys, with 28 victories. This year, she received another nine nominations, tying her with her husband Jay-Z for the most nods collected by any artist, with 88.

On the night, she needs just four wins to beat the record for the most overall wins, a position currently held by the conductor Georg Solti, who died in 1997.

Her meticulously-researched homage to black and queer dance music, Renaissance, is a front-runner for album of the year, but fans know not to get their hopes up.

Despite her impressive haul of trophies, all but one of Beyoncé’s previous awards have come in genre categories like R&B and soul – feeding a perception that the Grammys fails to recognise Black artists with its top awards.

That could change this year, after almost 2000 new members joined the voting organisation, 44 percent of whom come “from traditionally underrepresented communities,” according to the Recording Academy.

3) DJ Khaled, who doesn’t rap, is nominated for best rap album

DJ Khaled speaking onstage on 2 February, in Los Angeles during the Recording Academy Honors presented by The Black Music Collective as part of the the 65th Grammy Awards. 2023

Producer and music mogul DJ Khaled speaking onstage on 2 February, during the Recording Academy Honours presented by The Black Music Collective as part of the the 65th Grammy Awards.
Photo: AFP/ Maury Phillips

DJ Khaled is one of the most fascinating figures in hip-hop.

A former radio DJ, he’s become a sort of musical Nick Fury, assembling an all-star cast of super-powered beatmakers and rappers to collaborate on songs that are, ultimately, released under his name.

The extent of his input is unclear – but he does pop up on most of his hits, shouting “we the best” or “another one” through a megaphone, while acts like Drake, Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion do the heavy lifting.

He explained his creative philosophy in an interview in The Fader in 2013: “If you can’t find it, you gotta go make it. If you can’t make it, you gotta go find it.”

That hustle has earned him four number one albums in the US, the latest of which, God Did, is up for best rap album.

4) Lizzo and Harry Styles are set to perform

Sadly, not together.

The Grammys always keep a few surprises up their sleeves, but these are the artists currently scheduled to perform on Sunday.

Bad Bunny

Brandi Carlile

Harry Styles

Lizzo

Luke Combs

Mary J Blige

Sam Smith & Kim Petras

Steve Lacy

5) Taylor Swift’s Midnights is not nominated

Taylor Swift arrives at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards held at the Prudential Center on August 28, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey

Taylor Swift is one of the only people to win Album Of The Year three times
Photo: AFP

Taylor Swift is one of only three artists to win album of the year three times; but her latest record, Midnights, came out too late to be eligible for this year’s ceremony.

However, Swift still managed to pick up four nominations, including song of the year for the expanded, re-recorded version of All Too Well.

She’s never won that prize before, despite six nominations. Could this be her year?

6) The in memoriam section will be especially moving

American rapper Takeoff (Kirshnik Khari Ball) of hip hop trio Migos performs at the 7th Annual BET Experience At L.A. LIVE Presented By Coca-Cola - Day 3 held at Staples Center on June 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Takeoff will be honoured in the ceremony
Photo: AFP / Xavier Collin / Image Press Agency / NurPhoto

From Coolio to Olivia Newton-John, we’ve said goodbye to an upsetting number of musicians in the last 12 months, and the Grammys will mark the loss with an emotionally-charged in memoriam section.

Kacey Musgraves will perform Coal Miner’s Daughter in a tribute to country music legend Loretta Lynn, who died at the age of 90 last October.

British songwriter Christine McVie will be honoured by Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and her bandmate Mick Fleetwood, with a rendition of her classic ballad, Songbird.

And Migos rapper Quavo will join the Maverick City Music choir to “remember the life and legacy” of his nephew, Takeoff, who was shot and killed in October at the age of 28.

7) It could be a big night for Latin music

Puerto Rican Rapper Bad Bunny performing during his World's Hottest Tour at Estadio Azteca. on 10 December, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Bad Bunny has been the most-streamed artist in the world for three consecutive years
Photo: AFP/ Eyepix

After spending 13 weeks at the top of the US Billboard charts last summer, Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti has become the first Spanish-language record to be nominated for album of the year at the Grammys.

It is an achievement that caps his almost mythological rise from a grocery bagger in the small Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja to a global superstar, and a torchbearer for Latin pop and música urbana.

Clocking in at 23 tracks, Un Verano Sin Ti is a record of two halves, split evenly between sun-kissed party anthems and more experimental, political tracks that explore gender violence and the gentrification of Puerto Rico.

He is not the only Latin artist to bask in the Grammy spotlight, with Brazilian singer Anitta considered a front-runner for best newcomer.

Confusingly, her nomination comes almost a decade into her career, but recognises the crossover success of her latest album, Versions of Me, which became the first Brazilian pop album to hit one billion streams on Spotify.

Her competition comes from breakout rap star Latto, British indie duo Wet Leg and Italian Eurovision winners Måneskin. It is a truly odd category this year.

8) Grammy voters have discovered TikTok

While some US politicians are calling for TikTok to be banned, the app’s outsize influence on the music industry has been recognised by the Grammys.

Spanish star Rosalía gets a nomination for best music film for a one-off concert that aired on TikTok; and four of the artists up for song of the year scored hits from viral TikTok videos.

One of the more surprising ones is Gayle’s ABCDEFU, if only for its origin story.

The star was challenged on TikTok to compose a break-up song using the alphabet, and replied with an early version of ABCDEFU. After it started trending on the app, a finished version was recorded and became a global smash.

But it was later discovered that the “fan” was in fact an employee of her record label, leading to accusations of hype and marketing.

But when hasn’t the music industry been about hype and marketing? ABCDEFU is still a fun, if slight, pop anthem. Whether it deserves a Grammy nomination is another question.

9) Hip-hop’s golden anniversary will be celebrated

Chuck D of Public Enemy performing in Malmo in 1991

Chuck D of Public Enemy performing in Malmo in 1991. Public Enemy will be among the rap royalty taking to the stage
Photo: CC BY 3.0/ John Leffmann

The Grammys stage is going to groan under the weight of three dozen rap legends (and their gold chains) when the ceremony celebrates the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

Introduced by LL Cool J, with music by The Roots, the performance will include appearances by Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, Missy Elliott, Future, GloRilla, Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Lil Wayne, The Lox, Method Man, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, RUN-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa and Outkast’s Big Boi… amongst others.

The anniversary itself falls in August – recognising the date in 1973 that 18-year-old Clive Campbell, aka DJ Kool Herc threw a back to school party at his apartment in New York.

There, he pioneered the technique of playing two copies of the same song at once, alternating between turntables to extend the instrumental portions of funk and soul records, that became the foundation stone of hip-hop.

10) Ozzy Osbourne could win his first Grammy since 1994

The last (and only) time Ozzy Osbourne won a Grammy, it was for a track from Live & Loud, his supposed farewell album, in 1994.

28 short years later, he’s got four nominations, all in recognition of his latest album, Patient No. 9, which features contributions from Eric Clapton, Metallica and the late Jeff Beck.

The star says he’ll be “floored” if he wins… and that he hasn’t prepared a speech.

“I always end up saying it twice or blowing it or whatever,” he told Billboard. “I’m sure my wife will have it worked out. Behind me is my wife. My wife pulls my strings.”

11) Who’ll scoop the big four prizes?

The “big four” are the Grammys’ most prestigious and hotly-contested awards. Here’s a look at the line-up.

Album of the year

Abba – Voyage

Adele – 30

Bad Bunny – Un Verano Sin Ti

Beyoncé – Renaissance

Mary J Blige – Good Morning Gorgeous

Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days

Lizzo – Special

Coldplay – Music of the Spheres

Kendrick Lamar – Mr Morale & The Big Steppers

Harry Styles – Harry’s House

The headline here is the repeat of 2017’s best album race, in which Adele’s 25 controversially beat Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Beyoncé is considered the front-runner this time, but Adele has an unbeatable track record, winning all of the 13 Grammys she’s been nominated for since 2012.

The dark horse is Brandi Carlile, a musician’s musician who helped bring Joni Mitchell back to the stage last year. The rootsy Americana of her seventh studio album, In These Silent Days, is guaranteed to appeal to the Academy’s musically conservative voter base.

Song of the year

Gayle – ABCDEFU

Lizzo – About Damn Time

Taylor Swift – All Too Well (10-minute version)

Harry Styles – As It Was

Steve Lacy – Bad Habit

Beyoncé – Break My Soul

Adele – Easy On Me

DJ Khaled – God Did

Kendrick Lamar – The Heart Part 5

Bonnie Raitt – Just Like That

Harry Styles’ As It Was should be the front-runner here. It spent 15 weeks at number one in the US, and cemented the British singer as one of his generation’s standout talents, but its ubiquity could play against it.

Adele’s Easy On Me is a relatively safe choice, sharing about 80 percent of its DNA with her previous song of the year winner, Hello. But it would be glorious to see Taylor Swift, the most consequential writer of her generation, finally win this songwriting prize, after five previous attempts.

Record of the year

Abba – Don’t Shut Me Down

Adele – Easy On Me

Beyoncé – Break My Soul

Mary J Blige – Good Morning

Brandi Carlile ft Lucius – You And Me On The Rock

Doja Cat – Woman

Steve Lacy – Bad Habit

Kendrick Lamar – The Heart Part 5

Lizzo – About Damn Time

Harry Styles – As It Was

While the song of the year award recognises the composition of a song, record of the year looks at the finished product – ie the actual sound recording.

No-one has won the category more times than Bruno Mars, suggesting voters feel more comfortable with recognisable, throwback sounds than innovative experimentation. That gives Lizzo’s About Damn Time and Harry Styles’ As It Was a slight edge over Beyoncé’s Break My Soul. But this one is too close to call.

Best new artist

Anitta

Omar Apollo

Domi and JD Beck

Muni Long

Samara Joy

Latto

Maneskin

Tobe Nwigwe

Molly Tuttle

Wet Leg

Without a big, breakout star to dominate, this category is an open field. Voters typically opt for mainstream acts like Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish, which would rule out some of the more esoteric nominees, like jazz duo Domi and JD Beck, or folk singer Molly Tuttle.

Italian Eurovision winners Maneskin have been pretty inescapable on US radio over the last year, giving them a decent edge; but Latto, whose charismatic rap anthem Big Energy, was a Top 3 hit, is the one to beat.

BBC

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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