TAYLOR SWIFT captured the Grammy Award for album of the year on Sunday, capping off one of the most successful years in pop culture history by becoming the first singer to win the music industry’s top prize four times. Ms. Swift’s album Midnights took home the honor, adding to her previous wins for Fearless, 1989, and Folklore.
Ms. Swift had previously been tied with Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder for the most wins in the category. Album of the year was one of two prizes for Ms. Swift on the night, who used her acceptance speech for best pop vocal album to announce a new album due out in April. Titled The Tortured Poets Department, she finished the album while also mounting the best-selling tour in music history.
“I would love to tell you this is the best moment of my life, but I feel this joy when I finish a song,” Ms. Swift said after winning the prize. “For me, the award is the work.” Jack Antonoff, Ms. Swift’s long-time collaborator, won for producer of the year, non-classical and credited Ms. Swift for much of his success.
Ms. Swift set the record during a big night for women at the Grammys. Female acts swept all four of the top prizes and accounted for seven of the eight nominees for album of the year. Billie Eilish claimed song of the year for “What Was I Made For?,” her track from the soundtrack of the movie Barbie and Miley Cyrus won record of the year for her song “Flowers.” (Song of the year awards songwriters while record of the year goes to producers and performers.)
Women also won categories typically dominated by men. The rock trio Boygenius won three awards while Karol G, a rising star from Medellín, Colombia, became the first woman to win best música urbana album.
The Recording Academy has been criticized in the past for its failure to recognize female artists. In 2018, only one woman won a solo award, and, when asked about the lack of diversity, the Recording Academy’s president at the time, Neil Portnow, put the onus on women rather than institutional and societal bias.
He told reporters “women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level” need to “step up.”
The comment sparked outrage and prompted the hashtag #GrammysSoMale to trend. Artists, including P!nk and Katy Perry spoke out, and, a year later, Mr. Portnow stepped down. The Recording Academy has added many new members in response to criticism about not rewarding women or people of color.
“We want y’all to get it right,” Jay-Z said while accepting the inaugural Dr. Dre global impact award. The rapper and mogul pointed out that his wife Beyoncé has won the most Grammys of any artist, yet has never won album of the year.
While women swept the top four awards, only one of them was a woman of color. Victoria Monét, who has written songs for Ariana Grande and Chris Brown, claimed the prize for best new artist about 15 years after she started her career. SZA, an R&B singer who earned the most nominations of any artist with nine, won two prizes.
Comedian Trevor Noah hosted the show, which aired live on the CBS broadcast network. The Grammys’ viewership has slipped in recent years, but it still commands one of the largest audiences of any awards show on TV in the US.
Mr. Noah wasted little time dipping into the week’s biggest controversy, an ongoing dispute between ByteDance Ltd. and Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest record label, which pulled its artists’ songs from TikTok this week after licensing negotiations between the two entities fell apart.
“Shame on you for ripping off all of these artists,” Mr. Noah said to applause and surrounded by some of the industry’s biggest names, many of whom had their music taken down. Artists have been split on the issue. Mr. Antonoff said artists “can’t get used to getting paid less” but also should have known about UMG’s plans.
While Ms. Swift was the star of the show, the Grammys also offered a stage to big stars of the previous century. Tracy Chapman, whose song Fast Car climbed the charts thanks to a cover by Luke Combs, performed alongside the country star. Joni Mitchell performed and also won for an album recorded live nearly two years ago at Newport Folk Festival. That was her first full-length concert since 2000, and occurred after an aneurysm in 2015 that required her to re-learn how to play the guitar. — Bloomberg
Grammys 2024: Winners at televised ceremony
LOS ANGELES — The Grammy Awards, the highest honors in the music industry, were handed out at a ceremony on Sunday (Monday in Manila), broadcast on CBS and hosted by Trevor Noah.
Following is a list of the winners in the categories at the televised ceremony:
Album Of The Year: Midnights, Taylor Swift
Record Of The Year: “Flowers,” Miley Cyrus
Song Of The Year: “What Was I Made For?,” Billie Eilish (from the motion picture Barbie); Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters
Best New Artist: Victoria Monet
Best Pop Vocal Album: Midnights, Taylor Swift
Best Pop Solo Performance: “Flowers,” Miley Cyrus
Best Musica Urbana Album: Manana Sera Bonito, Karol G
Best Country Album: Bell Bottom Country, Lainey Wilson
Best R&B Song: “Snooze,” by SZA; Kenny B. Edmonds, Blair Ferguson, Khris Riddick-Tynes, Solana Rowe & Leon Thomas, songwriters
The Dr. Dre Global Impact Award: Jay-Z — Reuters