This year’s awards saw Beyoncé and Taylor Swift make history, and crowned Megan Thee Stallion as queen of the night.
The Grammy Awards hand out trophies in dozens of categories, but there are only four — Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist — where artists from all musical genres compete against one another.
In 2021, the golden gramophones in these top four categories were Megan Thee Stallion for Best New Artist, Megan’s “Savage” featuring Beyoncé for Song of the Year, Taylor Swift’s Folklore for Album of the Year, and Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted” for Record of the Year.
This year’s winners were a bit more varied than they were last year, when Eilish swept all four categories. Eilish did pop up again among this year’s winners, but she knew, as everyone else did, that the night truly belonged to Best New Artist winner Megan Thee Stallion.
Megan Thee Stallion has been a well-known name since her 2019 single “Hot Girl Summer,” but Grammys rules stipulate that an artist can only qualify for Best New Artist once they have made a commercial breakthrough that “establishes the public identity of that artist.” By those standards, 2020 was absolutely Meghan’s year: She released “WAP,” her unabashedly horny collab with Cardi B; gave a powerful Saturday Night Live performance; and launched a remix of her hit single “Savage” featuring Beyoncé that would go on to earn multiple Grammy nods (though it lost Record of the Year to “Everything I Wanted” by Eilish, “Savage” did take home Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance). As fellow big winner Eilish put it, Megan has had a year that was “untoppable.”
“Savage” also won Beyoncé her 27th Grammy ever, and her Best R&B Performance win for “Black Parade” put her over the edge to 28 Grammys, making her the most awarded singer and female artist in Grammy history.
Beyoncé wasn’t the only artist breaking records at the Grammys. Taylor Swift won Album of the Year for her surprise quarantine album drop, Folklore, the third time she’s won that particular honor. Swift is now the first woman to win three Grammys for Album of the Year, and the fourth person ever to pull off a three-peat. She joins Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Simon.
For the full list of 2021 Grammy winners in all 80-plus categories, visit Grammy.com.
Best New Artist
Megan Thee Stallion — WINNER
Song of the Year
“Black Parade” — Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk, and Rickie “Caso” Tice (Beyoncé)
“The Box” — Samuel Gloade and Rodrick Moore (Roddy Ricch)
“Cardigan” — Aaron Dessner and Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
“Circles” — Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk, Austin Post, and Billy Walsh (Post Malone)
“Don’t Start Now” — Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa, and Emily Warren (Dua Lipa)
“Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell (Billie Eilish)
“I Can’t Breathe” — Dernst Emile II, H.E.R., and Tiara Thomas (H.E.R.) — WINNER
“If the World Was Ending” — Julia Michaels and JP Saxe (JP Saxe Featuring Julia Michaels)
Record of the Year
“Colors” — Black Pumas
“Black Parade” — Beyoncé
“Rockstar” — Da Baby feat. Roddy Rich
“Say So” — Doja Cat
“Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish — WINNER
“Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
“Circles” — Post Malone
“Savage” — Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé
Album of the Year
Folklore — Taylor Swift — WINNER
Future Nostalgia — Dua Lipa
Women in Music Part III — Haim
Everyday Life — Coldplay
Chilombo — Jhené Aiko
Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition) — Black Pumas
Hollywood’s Bleeding — Post Malone
Djesse Vol. 3 — Jacob Collier
Author: Constance Grady