Beyoncé made history at the 65th Grammy Awards Feb. 5, setting the all-time record by winning four Grammys — she now has 32 total — while Lizzo won record of the year for “About Damn Time” and Willie Nelson took home the best country album award for A Beautiful Time. Nelson also won best country solo performance for his Billy Joe Shaver cover, “Live Forever.”
Beyoncé, who was late to the ceremony at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, picked up best dance/electronic recording for “Break My Soul” and best traditional R&B performance for “Plastic Off the Sofa” in the non-televised portion of the Grammys earlier in the day.
Her song “Cuff It” was then awarded best R&B song at the televised ceremony, and her heralded album, Renaissance, won in the best dance/electronic music album category. Her fourth trophy pushed the 41-year-old star, who announced her highly anticipated world tour last week, past classical music conductor Georg Solti’s record of 31 Grammys, a record that’s stood since 1998.
“I’m trying not to be too emotional and just receive this night,” Beyoncé said while accepting her award for best dance/electronic music album. “Thank you to the queer community for your love and for inventing the genre. God bless you.”
Beyoncé gives acceptance speech at the #Grammys for Renaissance: “I’d like to thank the queer community for your love and for inventing the genre.” pic.twitter.com/t6t4Jk5r7x
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 6, 2023
Beyoncé’s fans were, naturally, delighted with her record-breaking wins, but rankled that she was shut out in the major, all-genre categories — album, record and song of the year. The coveted album of the year award instead went to Harry Styles for Harry’s House, a good old-fashioned Grammy shocker. (Styles himself appeared stunned that he’d won.) It was the fourth time Beyoncé has been nominated for the award but failed to win. She was also bested by Lizzo for record of the year and by Bonnie Raitt, whose “Just Like That” was voted song of the year.
Beating Beyoncé has become a bit of a minefield for performers — just ask Adele — but Lizzo managed to traverse it with elegance and flair. In a speech full of joy and grace, she thanked Beyoncé while also enjoying her moment. Through tears, Lizzo recalled skipping school in 5th grade to see a Beyoncé concert, addressing her idol directly: “The way you made me feel, I was like, I wanna make people feel this way with my music.”
Earlier in the night, Lizzo promised to take the Grammy audience to church with a live performance, offering a medley from Special, nominated for album of the year. And from the moment she sang an a cappella portion of “About Damn Time,” she had the audience on its feet.
Nelson’s win for country album of the year was impressive, considering his competition included two other Grammy-winning Texans, Maren Morris (Humble Quest) and Miranda Lambert (Palomino). (Morris and Lambert were also nominated in the best country solo performance category, which Nelson won for Shaver’s “Live Forever,” from a tribute compilation of the same name.)
Those weren’t the only Texans who took home top honors. Houston native Robert Glasper won best R&B album for his innovative and star-studded Black Radio III — it was the fifth Grammy of his career — and even he shared a Beyoncé memory, telling a local reporter, “You know, me and Beyoncé went to school together. We went to the high school for performing arts at the same time. I’m older than she is — I was a senior when she was a freshman. She’s like my little sister.”
Cody Johnson, meanwhile, who’s collected an impressive number of wins during this year’s awards season, won best country song for “‘Til You Can’t”; Snarky Puppy won for best contemporary instrumental album for Empire Central; Edgar Winter won best contemporary blues album for Brother Johnny; and Kirk Franklin won for best gospel performance/song for “Kingdom,” best contemporary Christian music performance for “Fear Is Not My Future” and best gospel album for Kingdom Book One Deluxe.
During a moving In Memoriam section, which paid tribute to some of those from the creative community who’ve died in the last year, Kacey Musgraves performed “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in a tribute to Loretta Lynn.