McKenna Fellows, Staff Writer
Each new year brings more coveted awards ceremonies— one of the most popular is the Grammys. Millions across the globe anxiously await the esteemed event, often with the hope that their favorite artist will come away with one or perhaps several gold statuettes that serve as the ultimate testaments to their success. This year, women rose to the forefront of the success, and, arguably, it wasn’t simply due to chance.
To begin with, hosting awards shows can be one of the most thankless jobs out there, and history has dictated that the Grammys are perhaps the most trying of them all. It seemed as if something ominous loomed ahead for this year’s host, Alicia Keys. This was verified as news of Kobe and Gigi Bryant’s tragic deaths broke on Sunday afternoon, sending the Staples Center into a whirlwind of mourning and questions. Yet, to the surprise of few, Keys took on the daunting task with grace. “She was cool, calm and collected,” sophomore Tommy Newman noted. Senior Keely Lovette added, “nothing could phase her, and that’s a huge testament to the role she serves as an idol to millions across the globe.” Keys’ unique ability to take control of uneasy circumstances is what guided both viewers and attendees of the event through an overall seamless night.
One up-and-coming star proved in the biggest way that she deserves a spot among vocal legends. Eighteen-year-old Billie Eilish collected five awards in one fell swoop, including best new artist, record of the year, best pop vocal album and album of the year. This clearly was no minor feat, as the competition in each category was stacked with leading artists such as Lizzo, Black Pumas, Maggie Rogers, Lil Nas X, Rosalía, Tank and the Bangas, and Yola. “In my eyes, Billie deserved everything she won. She is a role model for girls across the globe and should continue spreading her gift,” freshman Alice Mihas shares.
Eilish first gained momentum upon releasing her single “Ocean Eyes” to SoundCloud in 2016, and since then, she has soared to the top of the billboards worldwide. Her March album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” made its debut at number one on the Billboard 200 and on the UK Albums Chart, granting her the titles of both the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one album in the United States and the youngest female ever to have a number one album in the United Kingdom.
While the Grammys are a lively event, any onlooker could easily sense the melancholy penetrating the crowd. This year’s show assumed a rather grave tone as artists honored NBA star Kobe Bryant, as well as his daughter Gianna and seven other precious lives lost in Sunday’s helicopter crash. The tributes began with Lizzo’s exhibition of “Truth Hurts” and “Cuz I Love You”, followed by Alicia Keys’ speech honoring the fallen during which she noted, “Here we are together, on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero.”
Shortly afterwards, Demi Lovato took the stage and performed “Anybody,” a single she composed days before her overdose as “a cry for help.” The superstar became choked up as she began to sing, but was able to regain composure and received overwhelming applause from the audience. “I completely admire how strong she is,” shares sophomore Keely Moll. “I don’t think I could have done that if I wanted to.” Lovato’s passionate performance marked her first public stage appearance since her 2018 overdose.
Considering the gloomy mood and slight dysfunction, many would call the 2020 Grammys a success. “I look forward to the event every year,” junior Carter Goltermann says. “It doesn’t matter how much I like an artist or whether I know their music; the allure of it all is mesmerizing.” This is a trend among the Latin community, and with the Oscar’s approaching, more award show excitement is surely on the horizon.