San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

2024 Grammys Run-Through

From first-time awards to once-in-lifetime performances, a look into some major moments from the ceremony
Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus from the indie rock group Boygenius pose with Taylor Swift after the Grammys Ceremony Photo Courtesy of Frederic J. Brown via Getty Images

Music’s biggest night of the year is ceremoniously over, which means it’s finally time to reflect on the biggest, most notable moments of the evening. The 66th Grammy Awards took place on Feb. 4 at the Arena in Los Angeles with Trevor Noah (and his polite, hype man-esque jokes) as the host for the fourth consecutive year. 

Within three (ish) hours, viewers were met with red carpet looks to drool over, vocal performances to rip at their hearts and were first to witness the biggest stars in music make history. But there’s one overarching theme of the night: women. From performers to nominees to winners, it was a marvelous night for women.

The Grammys reached their highest audience since 2020 with 16.9 million viewers. Here are some of the highlights just in case you happened to miss it, or if you couldn’t handle the three-plus hour ceremony:

Taylor Swift making history, while stopping “Swifities’” hearts 

Swift is no stranger to award season, much less the Grammys, or to surprises. When “Midnights” marked Swift’s 13th win for Best Pop Vocal Album award, it’s not shocking that the night was going to be big. After all, 13 is her lucky number. While Swifties had irrefutable evidence that she was going to announce the rerecording of her sixth studio album “Reputation,” she instead unveiled a “secret she has been keeping for two years:” a brand new album. While the record, “The Tortured Poets Department,” won’t be released until April, fans are already speculating about the new sound as it will feature 16 new songs and Swift’s first-time collaborations with Post Malone and Florence + The Machine. 

Just when you think Swift couldn’t possibly one up her nationwide surprise, she ever-so casually made history by winning “Album of the Year” for the fourth time, making her the only artist ever to do so, surpassing Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra with three wins in the category. 

An unforgettable first for Miley Cyrus

You’re lying if you’ve never had “Flowers” stuck in your head and Cyrus knows it too. Flowers topped the Billboard Hot 100 and broke

Miley Cyrus performs at the Grammys after winning her first award
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Spotify’s records; it’s a true pop hit and the Grammys thought so as well. Cyrus scored six nominations and went home with her first two Grammy awards of her career for “Best Pop Solo Performance” and “Record of the Year,” but appeared even more excited to have received her first award of the night from Mariah Carey. 

It seemed that no one had as much fun as Cyrus in her performance; she was euphoric. Between her Tina Turner-inspired fringe dress, voluminous hair and her fearless call out to the stars in the audience – “Why are you acting like you all don’t know this song?” – she owned every moment (and sounded amazing). 

SZA was anything but a snooze

Leading the ceremony with nine nominations, SZA’s night was packed. She not only debuted her new song “Saturn” in a commercial but performed “Snooze” with a seamless transition into “Kill Bill,” bringing out everything from swords to a new outfit. It’s no surprise SZA barely made it to the stage as her long-time bestie, Lizzo, announced her as the winner of the “Best R&B Song.” SZA ran straight into Lizzo’s arms and delivered a speech right from the heart. 

You don’t really understand, I came really, really far. This feels very, very fakeSZA said, crying and shaking her head. “I’m not an attractive crier. Have a good evening.” 

More women being amazing 

Every major category was dominated and won by women this year. Karol G achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first woman to win in the Música Urbana category. Victoria Monét, an R&B singer and songwriter, secured three awards, including the prestigious title of Best New Artist. The indie-rock group Boygenius also had a successful night, clinching three awards, with one of its members, Phoebe Bridgers, earning a fourth award. Paramore also made history by becoming the first female-fronted band to win  “Best Rock Album.” 

However, many viewers expressed disappointment at the absence of wins for both Lana Del Ray and Olivia Rodrigo (who delivered a stunning performance of “Vampire”) in their respective nominated categories.

Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas, emerged victorious with the song of the year, “What Was I Made For?,” featured in Greta Gerwig’s film “Barbie.” Their live performance was delicate but powerful and breathtakingly raw, reflective of Gerwig’s motion picture.

Performances Galore 

The Grammy’s pre-show ceremony, where most of the Grammy awards were presented, allowed for the ceremony itself to be more of a concert. And, that it was. 

The “in memory of ” tribute lasted over 20 minutes, recognizing the music legends lost over the last year. Stevie Wonder honored Tony

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs performed ‘Fast Car’ at the Grammys
Photo Courtesy of John Shearer via Getty Images

Bennett, Annie Lennox paid homage to Sinéad O’Connor and Fantasia Barrino-Taylor, (introduced by Oprah Winfrey) belted out “Proud Mary” as a tribute to Tina Turner. It was a true celebration of life. 

Joni Mitchell, the iconic singer-songwriter, took the Grammy Awards stage for the first time in her 56-year career. Seated in a throne-like chair, she delivered a moving rendition of “Both Sides Now” with a talented ensemble of musicians. Tears flowed and flowed as the host, Trevor Noah, presented Mitchell with her Grammy for “Best Folk Album.”

Speaking of female music legends, in a surprising duet, Tracy Chapman joined forces with country artist Luke Combs to perform her 1988 hit “Fast Car,” earning a standing ovation as well.

Travis Scott also got his time on stage performing his songs “MY EYES,” “I KNOW?” and “FEIN,” all while destroying the set and throwing chairs around Playboi Carti… it was definitely… something.

In new news: A few more highlights 

Jay-Z was awarded the “Dr. Dre Global Impact Award” and brought up his daughter, Blue Ivy. While accepting the speech, Jay-Z took the time to call out the Grammys for never awarding his wife, Beyoncé, album of the year despite her 32 Grammy wins (the most ever) and then used the award as a cup to drink out of.

The Grammys introduced a new category this year, ”Best African Music Performance,” won by South African singer Tyla for her song “Water.” The event also featured a standout performance by Nigerian artist Burna Boy, a leading figure in the Afrobeats genre.

Last, but certainly not least: Celine Dion. Despite announcing back in 2022 that she has a rare neurological disease, Dion still made a surprise appearance, announcing the award for album of the year. It was a sweet surprise to end the night in a room full of some of the most powerful women in music. 

About the Contributor
Isabella Dallas, Staff Writer
Originally from San Jose, California, Isabella is currently in her third year at San Diego State University. She is pursuing a major in Journalism, with a minor in Creative Writing. While starting her third year at The Daily Aztec as a Senior Staff Writer, Isabella has discovered her love for covering cultural events and topics with artistic aspects and aesthetic influences. She writes for the Arts and Culture section, where her favorite pieces focus on live music, pop culture, fashion, and differing lifestyles. She can also be found writing about TV, books, and her many other obsessions. When Isabella isn’t sitting at a coffee shop writing articles or reading a new book, you’ll find her devouring the latest issues of Vogue and Rolling Stones. Her only life goal is to one day interview Harry Styles—any leads are gratefully welcomed.