Sunday, February 4th was the 2024 Grammy Awards. This past year has been coined by many as “the year of the girl,” with music being no exception: events such as Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, Beyonce’s RENAISSANCE tour, and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie dominated the cultural scene. This year’s Grammy Awards certainly reflected the “year of the girl” phenomenon, paying tribute to many of these blockbusting events. Needless to say, it was an extremely exciting night for women artists and musicians.
Nominations in all major categories were completely dominated by women. In fact, there was only one male nominee (Jon Batiste) in the three most important categories of the awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year. All of the winners in these major categories were women. There were also some exciting wins for women in categories historically won by men. Many of the big performances of the night were by women, with some wonderful special appearances by legends like Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, and Céline Dion serving as highlights for the evening. Without further ado, here are all of the ways in which women took over the 2024 Grammys, leading to one of the best awards nights in history.
Seven of the eight artists nominated for “Album of the Year” were women!
Seven of eight artists nominated for Album of the Year, the biggest award of the night, were women: Olivia Rodrigo (GUTS), boygenius (the record), SZA (SOS), Janelle Monáe (The Age of Pleasure), Lana Del Rey (Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd), Miley Cyrus (Endless Summer Vacation), and Taylor Swift (Midnights).
Taylor Swift took home the win for this category, making her the first artist ever to receive Album of the Year four times in her career. Not the first female artist, but the first artist, period. Earlier, she also won Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights, bringing her total number of Grammys to a whopping 14. In her acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album, Taylor shocked viewers by revealing a secret: her next album, The Tortured Poets Department is coming out on April 19. Taylor received her Album of the Year award from none other than the iconic Céline Dion, whose appearance was kept a secret until audiences were surprised and delighted by her walking onto the stage.
Seven of the eight artists nominated for Record of the Year were also women: Taylor Swift (“Anti-Hero”), Olivia Rodrigo (“Vampire”), Victoria Monét (“On My Mama”), boygenius (“Not Strong Enough”), Billie Eilish (“What Was I Made For?”), SZA (“Kill Bill”), and Miley Cyrus (“Flowers”). Miley Cyrus took the win in this category, after winning earlier in the evening for Best Pop Solo Performance, yet another category consisting entirely of women: Taylor Swift (Anti-Hero), Olivia Rodrigo (“Vampire”), Billie Eilish (“What Was I Made For?”), Doja Cat (“Paint the Town Red”), and Miley (“Flowers”). These became Miley’s first and second Grammy wins in her career. During the night she also delivered an electric performance of “Flowers,” channeling Tina Turner in her dance moves and literally dropping the mic at the end.
For “Song of the Year,” seven of the eight songs nominated were by women!
For Song of the Year, seven of eight songs nominated were by women, with Jon Batiste being the only man nominated in the category. This category, which is a songwriting award, did feature men in the writing teams of many of the songs, but seven of the eight were nonetheless led by the women artists who performed them: “Vampire,” “Kill Bill,” “Flowers,” “Dance the Night,” “Anti-Hero,” “A&W,” and “What Was I Made For?”
Billie Eillish and brother Finneas O’Connell won this category for “What Was I Made For?” from the Barbie soundtrack, making this Billie Eillish’s ninth win at just 22 years old. In her acceptance speech, she gave a shout-out to Greta Gerwig: “Thank you to Greta Gerwig for making the best movie of the year.” This was a beautiful moment of celebration for Greta, who also made herself another important figure of this year’s Grammys by facilitating the creation of two songs nominated at the Grammys: Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” and Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night.” Earlier in the night, Billie delivered a perfectly-sung rendition of “What Was I Made For?” with vocals filled with emotion that were somehow even more beautiful than in the recording.
SZA was nominated for nine Grammys, making her the most nominated artist of the year!
Another important woman at the Grammys this year was SZA. She was nominated for a total of nine Grammys, making her the most nominated artist of the year. All in all, she took home three awards: Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Ghost in the Machine” ft. Phoebe Bridgers), Best Urban Contemporary Album (“SOS”), and Best R&B Song (“Snooze”). She also delivered a mesmerizing performance at the show, a medley of two of her hit songs, “Snooze” and “Kill Bill.” SZA’s acceptance speech for Best R&B Song was raw and human: “You don’t understand, I came really, really far, and it feels very fake,” she said.
Another notable win was Victoria Monét, who won Best New Artist. Over a 15-year career, Victoria has worked as a songwriter in collaborations with artists such as Ariana Grande, Blackpink, and Fifth Harmony. This year, she came out with her own album, Jaguar II, which allowed her to break out as her own artist with her hit single “On My Mama.” In her emotional acceptance speech, she said, “This award was a 15-year pursuit […] my roots have been growing underneath ground for so long, and I feel like today I am sprouting finally above ground.”
Lainey Wilson won Best Country Album for her album Bell Bottom Country, and Colombian singer-songwriter Karol G won her first Grammy as well: Best Música Urbana Album for her album Mañana Será Bonito.
Some Like It Hot, with its book co-written by Amber Ruffin, won Best Musical Theater Album. Women also won in traditionally male-dominated categories this year: boygenius won Best Alternative Album for their album the record, and Paramore won Best Rock Album for their album This is Why, becoming the first female-fronted band in history to win in this category.
Other fabulous performances of the night came from Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, and Fantasia Barrino. Dua Lipa delivered a live debut of her new song “Training Season’s Over,” being lifted into the air on a giant steel cage, and then launched into a fiery performance of her song “Houdini,” impressing the audience with both riveting and energizing dance moves. Olivia Rodrigo sang her nominated song “Vampire,” as blood poured from the walls behind her. Fantasia Burrino paid tribute to Tina Turner with her dazzling rendition of “Proud Mary,” which was actually her American Idol audition song twenty years ago.
One of the best moments was Luke Combs’ performance with Tracy Chapman. Tracy’s appearance was a surprise, as it had not been announced beforehand. Together, they sang Tracy’s 1988 hit “Fast Car,” which Luke Combs had covered to great success this year, in a joyful and warm duet. Luke was gracious and admiring towards Tracy, and the performance was much more about honoring her than it was about him.
Whether we know it or not any one of us out here who ever dreamed of becoming a truly self-revealing singer-songwriter did it standing on the shoulders of one, Joni Mitchell.
At the end, when Joni Mitchell took the stage, it was — without doubt — the most beautiful moment of all. Although a deeply influential musical legend since the mid-60s, Joni had never performed on the Grammy stage before. Earlier in the ceremony, Joni won the Grammy for Best Folk Album for her album Joni Mitchell at Newport [Live]. Brandi Carlile, Joni’s mentee, friend and collaborator, introduced her with a heartfelt speech: “Whether we know it or not any one of us out here who ever dreamed of becoming a truly self-revealing singer-songwriter did it standing on the shoulders of one, Joni Mitchell.”
Joni went on to sing a tender yet movingly strong performance of “Both Sides Now,” alongside Brandi Carlile and other musicians such as Lucius, SistaStrings, and Blake Mills. The stage was warmly lit by chandeliers, and Joni, seated in a plush white throne, captivated the audience with her soulful eyes and beloved voice. She was instantly met with a standing ovation.
Overall, the 66th Grammy Awards were exploding with a beautiful female energy, showcasing the unbelievable talent of the women musicians who have taken over the cultural scene. It was a historic, culture-shifting evening.
Congratulations to all of the female nominees, winners, and performers at the 2024 Grammys!
© Julia Lasker (2/5/24) — Special for FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Read more about SZA’s album SOS here.
Learn more about Taylor Swift’s life and career here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured Photo: Taylor Swift is the first artist in Grammy history to ever receive Album of the Year four times! She also won Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights, bringing her total number of lifetime Grammy Awards to a whopping 14 to date! Photo Credit: Jim Ruymen (2/4/24) Alamy Stock Photo. Image ID: 2WGFKA6
Middle Photo: Adrianna Hicks — one of the winners of Best Cast Album at this year’s Grammy Awards — on the Opening Night of Some Like It Hot at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre. (NYC 12/11/22). Photo Credit: lev radin / Alamy Stock Photo. Image ID: 2M2DYCR.
Bottom Photo: Victoria Monét wins the Grammy for Best New Artist at the 66th annual Grammy Awards. (LA 2/4/24) Photo Credit: Jim Ruymen / UPI / Alamy Stock Photo. Image ID: 2WGG546