The Grammy Awards had less fun-filled interactions this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the A-list attendees still managed to keep the night entertaining — all while socially distanced.
The 63rd annual ceremony was held on Sunday, March 14, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with its usual venue, the Staples Center, serving as the backdrop. The star-studded audience took their seats in rounds, switching out every so often to recognize artists from genres including pop, country and R&B.
The performers, meanwhile, took turns on four small stages, which were arranged in a circle so that they could safely watch one another’s performances before the next group came in. Some were prerecorded, while others were live.
“One of our mandates was that [performers] have to come to us and be part of our team and film in L.A.,” consecutive producer Raj Kapoor explained to Variety in the days leading up to music’s biggest night. “We’re not interested in doing a show that is disconnected. There’s a physical presence to it, of people performing live for the camera and being in a single location. Other shows may have used music videos and virtual reality and stuff, but ours is actually based in Los Angeles, where we usually celebrate the Grammys. It may be done in a different way, but it definitely feels like people are coming together to make this show.”
Beyoncé walked away with the most trophies on Sunday, taking home Best R&B Performance for “Black Parade,” Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for her remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” and Best Music Video for “Brown Skin Girl,” the latter of which made her daughter Blue Ivy a Grammy winner for the 9-year-old’s vocal feature on the Lion King track. Queen Bey’s four wins this year made her the most decorated female artist ever, with a career total of 28.
“Oh, my God, I am so honored. I’m so excited,” the “Formation” singer, 39, said on stage after making history. “As an artist, I believe it’s my job and all of our jobs to reflect the times, and it’s been such a difficult time, so I wanted to uplift, encourage and celebrate all of the beautiful Black queens and kings that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world. This is so overwhelming. I’ve been working my whole life, since 9 years old, and I can’t believe this happened. This is such a magical night.”
Megan, 26, also had a big night. In addition to winning the two awards with her fellow Houston native, she tearfully accepted the coveted Best New Artist trophy.
“It’s been a hell of a year, but we made it!” the “Captain Hook” rapper said on stage. “And I really want to say thank you to my [late] mama. She is not here with me today, but I know she is here with me in spirit, and she always believed I could do it.”
Scroll down to see more of the best candid moments from the 2021 Grammys!