The biggest highlights and letdowns of the Grammys 2023

By Deanna Pearce

Published Feb 6, 2023 at 06:38 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards took place on 5 February 2023 in Los Angeles and, this year’s event was filled to the brim with historic and noteworthy music moments—both good and bad. The Grammys—or as we like to think, the gen Z of awards season—might be over for another year, but the evening gave us enough highlights and disappointments to discuss until then. Here are the most memorable ones.

1. Beyoncé is now the most-awarded Grammy winner of all time

How could we start off this list with anyone but Queen Bey herself? With her win for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for Renaissance, Beyoncé, who was nominated nine times total this year only, broke the record for the most Grammy wins by an artist.

This groundbreaking achievement was slightly tarnished by the fact that the singer-songwriter has yet again missed out on the Album Of The Year award to former One Direction member Harry Styles, despite the fact that she was favoured to win.

2. Sam Smith was misgendered by a red carpet reporter

Fans of ‘Unholy’ singer and openly non-binary artist Sam Smith have called out a red carpet reporter for repeatedly misgendering the performer during the coverage of this year’s Grammys.

Smith has been using they/them pronouns for four years now, having come out as gender queer and non-binary in 2019. So, the internet was heavily disappointed when a reporter from the Associated Press persistently referred to them as “he.”

3. Kim Petras became the first transgender woman to win a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

German pop star and queer icon Kim Petras warmed hearts everywhere when she accepted the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her single ‘Unholy’ which she collaborated with Smith on.


Kim Petras beautifully accepts the #GRAMMY for Best Pop Duo with Sam Smith. #GRAMMYs2023 #KimPetras #SamSmith

♬ original sound - Entertainment Tonight

4. Quavo paid a touching tribute to the late Takeoff

Migos member Quavo performed an emotional tribute to nephew and former band member Takeoff, who passed away on 1 November 2022 after a tragic shooting incident.

American contemporary worship music collective Maverick City Music also joined the Migos singer on stage with a rendition of ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.

5. Viola Davis achieved EGOT status

Viola Davis has become the 18th person in the world to achieve EGOT status—meaning she has now won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. The highly renowned artist clinched the honour after securing a Grammy award for Best Audio Book for her autobiography Finding Me.

While accepting her award the actress said: “I wrote this book to honour the six-year-old Viola.To honour her life, her joy, her trauma, everything.”

This triumph makes Davis the third black woman to achieve EGOT status, following the footsteps of Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Hudson.


I’m so proud of my girl Viola #grammys2023 #violadavis #GetCrackin

♬ original sound - Seneque

6. Lizzo won Record Of The Year

Lizzo won the Grammy for Record Of The Year for her track ‘About Damn Time’ beating out the likes of ABBA’s ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, Adele’s ‘Easy On Me’, and Beyoncé’s ‘BREAK MY SOUL.’

In her acceptance speech, Lizzo made sure to pay tribute to Queen Bey, deeming her “the artist of our lives.” The ‘Truth Hurts’ singer also managed to snag a picture alongside Adele before the night ended. Truly a successful evening.

7. Dr. Dre had an award named after him

Seven-time Grammy winner and American rapper Dr. Dre was awarded the inaugural Global Impact Award. A voiceover read aloud: “Dr. Dre is one of the greatest game-changers in music history. [His] impact has been global, massive, and an authentic and positive force within our world.”

In his acceptance speech, Dre said, “This is the 50th anniversary of hip hop, make some noise for hip hop. And where would I be without it? Where would a lot of people in here be without hip hop?”

8. Ben Affleck really didn’t want to be there

Ben Affleck, who was seemingly solely attending the awards ceremony to support his wife Jennifer Lopez who was due to present the award for Best Pop Vocal Album, definitely made his mark on audiences everywhere. The actor, or more accurately the actor’s face, blew up on social media after netizens noticed his highly ‘miserable’ expression. He was spotted several times grimacing at the camera while Lopez danced beside him… 

Naturally, it wasn’t long before the moment began trending online with users poking fun at the Gone Girl actor.

Aptly put by one individual on Twitter: “However bad of a day you’re having, I promise you’re not as miserable as Ben Affleck at the Grammys right now.”

So, there we have it. The Grammy Awards are sadly over for another year, but at least the highs and lows of the music industry’s finest will remain in our hearts, and on our timelines, for the foreseeable future.

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