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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The 66th Annual Grammy Awards: Did They Get It Right?

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The 66th Annual Grammy Awards: Winners Do Not Always Claim First Place (Unsplash)
Album of the Year

Winner: Midnights, Taylor Swift

Other Nominees:

World Music Radio, Jon Batiste

the record, boygenius

Endless Summer Vacation, Miley Cyrus

Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, Lana Del Ray

The Age of Pleasure, Janelle Monáe

GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo

Who Should Have Won: SOS, SZA

Taylor picks up yet another Album of the Year award. But was it deserved? No, not at all. SZA’s SOS was not only one of the most commercially successful albums of 2023, but it was also one of the best. From the hit singles to the slower tracks, SOS is incredible from front to back. The beautiful instrumentals mix perfectly with SZA’s heavenly vocals, making SOS an unforgettable R&B project. Midnights, on the other hand, is not nearly as special or unique as SOS, instrumentally, vocally, or lyrically. GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo and Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey are also great projects more deserving than Midnights.

Rap Album of the Year

Winner: MICHAEL, Killer Mike

Other Nominees:

Her Loss, Drake & 21 Savage

HEROES & VILLAINS, Metro Boomin

KING's Disease III, Nas

UTOPIA, Travis Scott

Who Should Have Won: UTOPIA, Travis Scott

“I’ve never heard of Killer Mike. Who even is he?” sophomore Danny Leff said.

No one is receiving more hate for a Grammy win this season than Killer Mike. MICHAEL is not a bad album by any means. However, when you look at its competition, it is the weakest of the five nominees. Her Loss is an insanely enjoyable record with some of Drake’s best tracks in a long time; King’s Disease III is filled with expectational beats from Hit-Boy and outstanding rapping from Nas, and Heroes & Villains is one of the best trap albums of the decade so far.

UTOPIA—the biggest rap album of 2023—is probably the strongest of the bunch, as Travis was at the absolute top of his game through almost the whole album. While the award could have gone to anyone but MICHAEL, I believe it should have gone to Travis.

Song of the Year

Winner: “What Was I Made For?,” Billie Eilish

Other Nominees:

“A&W,” Lana Del Rey

“Anti-Hero,” Taylor Swift

“Butterfly,” Jon Batiste

“Dance The Night,” Dua Lipa

“Flowers,” Miley Cyrus

“Kill Bill,” SZA

“Vampire,” Olivia Rodrigo

Who Should Have Won: “Kill Bill,” SZA (or “Vampire,” Olivia Rodrigo)

There were plenty of good songs in this category, and “What Was I Made For?" from the motion picture Barbie was not a bad pick given Barbie’s cultural impact. Even though “Kill Bill” is catchier and instrumentally stronger, this win was still deserved, as it represents a societal phenomenon. “Vampire” would have also been a good pick because of Olivia Rodrigo’s incredibly emotional vocals, although it’s hard to hate on Billie Eilish for her angelic performance.

Record of the Year

Winner: Flowers, Miley Cyrus

Other Nominees:

“Worship,” Jon Batiste

“Not Strong Enough,” boygenius

“What Was I Made For?,” Billie Eilish

“On My Mama,” Victoria Monét

“Vampire,” Olivia Rodrigo

“Kill Bill,” SZA

Who Should Have Won: "Kill Bill," SZA

There was no reason for “Flowers” to win this award—not one singular reason. The hook and bridge are annoying, the instrumentals are boring, and Miley’s voice doesn’t stand out enough for the song to be anything special. This award, without a doubt, should have gone to “Kill Bill” by SZA.

Year after year, the Grammys fail to recognize some of the best albums and songs. They instead honor boring but commercially successful artists. This year was no exception. By giving Record of the Year to “Flowers” and Album of the Year to Midnights, the Grammys again missed the mark on some of the most important music awards. Here’s hoping the Recording Academy learns from their mistakes and makes better selections in the future.

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About the Contributor
Miles Heltzer, Staff Writer
Miles Heltzer (’26) is a sophomore at Latin. He is excited to be a member of the The Forum team this year. Miles particularly enjoys writing for the arts section, focusing on trends in the music industry, including new album releases, concert experiences, and music awards. In addition to writing for The Forum and listening to music, Miles enjoys participating in sports with his friends, playing video games, and watching the NFL.

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