“Music is the most healing thing in the world,” Alicia Keys, host of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, said at the beginning of the night—and what she said could not be more true.
The awards took the music industry by storm on Sunday night with extravagant performances, personalities and fashion. The 2020 nominees list was brimming with explosive talent, from Billie Eillish to Lizzo and Anderson. Paak to The Chemical Brothers. Berklee alumni also had a large presence at the show, with 28 nominations across a multitude of categories. It was a night to remember—from mourning the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant and his young daughter Gianna, to Demi Lovato’s emotional comeback after her near-fatal drug overdose a year and a half earlier—the 2020 Grammy Awards were a landmark in understanding the ability to heal and find comfort in music.
Throughout the night, artists paid tribute to Bryant and his daughter. Alicia Keys opened the ceremony speaking about the accident. Keys said, “We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero," says Keys. "And we’re literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” Lizzo also paid tribute to the basketball legend, saying that “tonight is for Kobe” before her opening performance of “Cuz I Love You.” Other artists, like Aerosmith and Lil Nas.
Demi Lovato’s performance of “Anyone” had the audience in awe; after beginning the track about her struggle with addiction, Lovato was so overcome with emotion that she had to begin a second time. The performance was graceful and heartbreaking as the young artist came to terms with the illness. Sam Smith, Selena Gomez and P!nk, along with other numerous artists, have praised the performance for its raw, brutal honesty and heart.
Billie Eillish stole the night and swept the Grammys with wins in Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The success of WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? has been explosive. Eillish, alongside her brother and producer, Finneas O’Connell, are behind the genius of the darkly seductive LP, which features tracks “bad guy,” “bury a friend” and “you should see me in a crown.” The young musician went home with the four Grammy Awards and left the promise of new music to come, starting with her recent release: the hypnotic and ethereal track, “everything i wanted.”
The 62nd Grammy Awards were poignant and memorable; they reminded us that music has the ability to heal and bring people together. Making art is therapeutic and can help not only yourself, but those around you who may be struggling. It was a revolutionary year in music and was celebrated beautifully by some of the most influential artists of today’s music scene, all while teaching us that through the darkest times, music can be the light.