Grammy night is a wrap!
After a scaled-back, COVID-safe private ceremony last year and an omicron-inspired rescheduling from the show’s original date this year, the industry showed up in full force for the 64th annual Grammy Awards. Hosted for the first time in Las Vegas, Billboard was positioned on the red carpet, backstage in the media room, and in the audience to bring you all the scoop behind this year’s telecast. (All times in PT.)
Noon: The press, publicists and other backstage personnel are beginning to file in for the Grammy Premiere Ceremony. Faintly from the media center, Billie Eilish can be heard rehearsing “Happier Than Ever,” which was nominated for both record and song of the year.
12:38 p.m.: A rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music” kicks off the pre-show ceremony, performed by some of the show’s nominees, including Blues Traveler frontman John Popper, jazz artist Nnenna Freelon and folk singer Madison Cunningham.
1 p.m.: In the best score soundtrack for visual media category, the Grammys encounter a rare tie, with Queens Gambit and Soul both taking home awards. This marked the most-nominated musician this year, Jon Batiste‘s, first award of the day.
1:15 p.m.: The creators of the TikTok phenomenon The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical come backstage to talk to reporters about the unlikely success of their project, based on the popular Netflix show. “We love taking pre-existing stories,” Abigail said. “They inspire us. We can’t tell you too much, but keep a look out for more,” she says, teasing a potential new adaptation project.
1:35 p.m.: Chris Stapleton wins the first award for country music: best country solo performance. Donning a straw cowboy hat, Stapleton makes his way to the stage to accept his award from presenter Arlo Parks. He says that even though “it says it’s a solo performance, it’s not. All my producers and engineers, they are the ones who make this happen. … I’m shocked every time when I get something like this.”
1:50 p.m.: From backstage, Justin Bieber is heard doing a final run-through of “Peaches” before tonight’s event.
2:04 p.m.: Los Lobos singer Cesar Rosas stops by the media room to answer questions about his band’s win for best Americana album with Native Sons. “The record was our love letter to the city of Los Angeles. It has inspired us since we were young.”
2:22 p.m.: Joni Mitchell, using a cane and the help of her physical therapist to come to the stage, makes a surprise appearance at the pre-tel show to accept the award for best historical album. “I didn’t expect this!” says the singer, songwriter and visual artist of the win for Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967). “Oh, everyone at Rhino that made the package so beautiful. Thank you.” On Friday, Mitchell was honored as Recording Academy MusiCares Person of the Year for her lifetime of work.
2:32 p.m.: Jon Batiste dances onto the stage in a sequined silver and yellow suit to accept his award for best music video. “I hope…any bondage and darkness in your life would be transformed to joy” when watching his music video, he says.
2:37 p.m.: The members of RÜFÜS DU SOL come backstage to talk about their win for best dance/electronic recording. “We love a lot of the artists in that category: James Blake, Bonobo…The seconds leading up to [winning] felt like an eternity. We are still shocked.”
3:40 p.m.: The audience gasps as presenter Jimmy Jam announces the second tie of the day for best R&B performance with “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic and “Pick Up Your Feelings” by Jazmine Sullivan both taking home the prize.
3:59 p.m.: After missing the announcement at the ceremony, St. Vincent comes backstage to speak on her second win for best alternative album, for Daddy’s Home. “I found out I won this while I was on the red carpet, and Jack [Antonoff, who produced the album] just won too!” she says (more on that below). When asked what it’s like winning in a typically male-dominated category multiple times, St. Vincent says, “In 2015 I was the first female artist in 20 years to win…but just since then it seems like there’s been this whole just multitude of amazing women nominated, whether it’s Fiona Apple or Japanese Breakfast. I’m glad to know times are changing.”
4:15 p.m.: Jack Antonoff, winner of producer of the year, non-classical, comes backstage visibly stunned by the win. Known for his prolific work, producing for Taylor Swift, Clairo, Lorde, St. Vincent and more, Antonoff explained that he chooses his projects based on a “feeling in my gut…obviously the literal stuff too though. You have to love what someone does, you have to love their voice, their timbre, the way they write, the way they think.”
4:23 p.m.: Lucky Daye, fresh off his win for best progressive R&B album for Table for Two, tears up while talking backstage with reporters. “I really put my life into this sh– The obstacles I faced… It’s overwhelming. I feel good, though. I feel alive.” He also touches on the impact that growing up in New Orleans has on his work, calling it a “gumbo pot of influences.”
4:34 p.m.: The duo Brothers Osborne stop backstage a few hours after their Grammy win. T.J. Osborne, who came out as gay in 2021, spoke about what it’s been like to see fan reaction to his story. “I felt this incredible embrace… Especially seeing the crowds when we come out and perform, seeing people who feel the ability to be whoever they are there.”
5:24 p.m.: The press room is visibly wowed by Silk Sonic‘s “Leave the Door Open” win for song of the year, which many believed would go to Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license.”
6:20 p.m.: Bonnie Riatt is the first artist of the telecast to come backstage to talk to press. A lifetime achievement award recipient this year, Raitt is asked about female artists she loves in the scene today and about going to the Billboard Women in Music event with many of today’s A-list women musicians. “I’ve never seen a better crop of new artists. I mean, across all genres. I think women are kicking it… Like Olivia, Taylor, Billie Eilish, Adele. I mean most of the male and female artists are really showing up with a lot more good legal advice and, you know, self controlling their own careers, which I think is really great.” She adds: “I’m so blown away by so much more awareness and savvy artists have now.”
6:43 p.m.: Baby Keem celebrates his win for best rap performance for “Family Ties.” When he enters the press room, all smiles, the rapper says the first thing he wants to do is “just to talk to my family. I couldn’t imagine this five years ago. I’m sure it’s just as surprising to them as it is for me.” As an artist from Las Vegas, with Keem winning his first Grammy the one and only time the awards have taken place in Sin City, “feels like some sort of magic. It doesn’t even feel real, you know? Just to hold this award in the city that I grew up in and it’s so important for the city, like this means a lot so I’m gonna take this very serious.”
6:55 p.m.: After winning multiple Grammys, Chris Stapleton takes a victory lap backstage. “Its a fantastic feeling. That’s a lot of what we do this for. To be together in a room where everybody can kind of be together… It certainly hasn’t gotten old. You certainly gain an appreciation for what you’ve lost… the communion.”
7:16 p.m.: Jazmine Sullivan — fresh off her wins for best R&B performance and best R&B album — joins the press room to talk about the experience. “I’ve never done this before, I don’t know what I’m doing,” she laughs. The songstress has been nominated 15 times total, but tonight marked her first two wins. Sullivan tells reporters she’d love to “do a film” based on her now Grammy-winning album Heaux Tales. “I talked about it with Issa Rae. She’s super busy though, so hopefully, we can get in and start throwing some ideas around because, like I said, the idea of Heaux Tales is so big. [A film] could go so many different ways, and I would love to get into that field next.”
8:08 p.m.: The entire press room lets out a collective “wow” to the announcement of Silk Sonic winning record of the year.
8:25 p.m.: Another shocker for the press room with Jon Batiste’s album of the year win. Most assumed Olivia Rodrigo would fare better in the Big Four categories, but only one of her three wins — best new artist — was from those top prizes.
8:27 p.m.: When Carrie Underwood, winner of best roots/gospel album, is asked what it means to win for her album My Savior, she immediately begins to cry. “This is one of the most important bodies of work I’ve ever been a part of. This is one thing that I’ve wanted to do, literally, my whole career. I’ve wanted to make this album, and I got to, and this just means the world to me.”
8:32 p.m.: SZA comes by the press room to talk about her win for “Kiss Me More” and what’s next for her music. When asked if her highly anticipated next album will be ready soon, she reveals: “Yes…It’s probably my most unisex project yet, if that makes sense. It’s for everyone.” And what did she like about working with Doja Cat on the newly Grammy-winning “Kiss Me More”? “She’s a star… I think she’s so masterful…I’ve just been able to learn from her.” SZA also explained what happened with her ankle that left her on crutches for the ceremony, saying that she fell out of bed the day before. She laughed, “Everything awesome in my life has always come with something very random.” Hobbling out of the room with a full smile, she wishes everyone well, saying, “Y’all stay blessed!”
8:40 p.m.: After winning five awards, including album of the year, Jon Batiste comes backstage to talk about the big day. “I really don’t do it for the awards,” he explains. “I really believe that music is something that’s so subjective… but it was such a full circle moment because [Lenny and I] played together when I was 16. So it just felt it was surreal.” With his sensational, high-energy performance of “Freedom,” he says, “My focus was to really give healing and give to some joy some good old Black joy to the world.” He adds that he “wasn’t prepared” to win the album of the year trophy because of his focus on the performance and of his family members in the audience.
8:58 p.m.: H.E.R. rolls in after the ceremony in a stunning sequined indigo suit and gushes about performing with Lenny Kravitz: “I was having so much fun. I watched Lenny growing up, playing with Prince. I’d study literally all his videos of his performances, and he’s one of the reasons why he wanted to play guitar to have this full-circle moment and perform with him. I was at a loss for words.”