2020 Grammy Recap: Billie Eilish Sweeps

Billie+Eilish+dominated+this+year%27s+Grammys%2C+becoming+the+second+person+ever+to+take+home+the+four+major+awards+in+one+night.

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY LARA FOLEY/THE OBSERVER

Billie Eilish dominated this year's Grammys, becoming the second person ever to take home the four major awards in one night.

By VICKY CARMENATE and JOE KOTTKE

Billie Eilish swept the 62nd annual Grammys, which were held on Jan. 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Her wins included the “big four” categories — Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist — along with Best Pop Vocal Album.

Eilish, accompanied by her brother and producer Finneas O’Connell, performed “When the Party’s Over” off of the album of the year, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Viewers expected more of a performance from Eilish, especially as she was the biggest winner of the night, yet the performance was anticlimactic. 

Larry Hetz, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’23, expressed his disappointment with Eilish’s wins: “Lana Del Rey was robbed; they gave Billie a ridiculous amount of awards. The Grammys neglected so many other talented artists in the name of awarding popular artists, instead of artists who write with more intent and craft.”

This is not the first time an artist has won some or all of the Recording Academy’s most prestigious awards; artists such as Bruno Mars, Adele and Sam Smith have all previously dominated Grammy night.

Tension surrounded bias in Grammys nominations led up to award night as well after former CEO of the Grammys Deborah Dugan filed a lawsuit concerning unfair nominations and sexual harassment within the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

The show’s host, Alicia Keys — the first woman to host the Grammys in more than a decade — nodded to the scandal throughout the show. To begin the night, she delivered a somber monologue following the death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash: “We’re standing here in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” It became clear that her original speech was scrapped to commemorate Bryant, she said: “we never imagined in a million years that we would have to start the show like this.”

Two-time Grammy winner Lizzo dedicated her performance to Bryant, prefacing her back-to-back orchestral performance of “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts” by saying, “Tonight is for Kobe.” Lizzo wore a beaded black velvet dress and came equipped with her flute, surrounded by glow-in-the-dark ballerinas. She took home awards for her song “Jerome” and also won the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.

Other performance highlights included Tyler, the Creator’s opening of “Earfquake” with Boyz II Men. He slowly transitioned to perform “New Magic Wand.” The aesthetic of “Igor,” which won the Grammy for Best Rap Album, was prevalent in the outfitting and set. 

Usher delivered an underwhelming tribute to Prince, which FKA Twigs saved with her pole dancing. Camila Cabello delivered a heartfelt performance dedicated to her father, yet some were left wishing she performed “Señorita.” 

Regardless of if you’re an Ariana Grande fan or not, she delivered impressive vocals with choreography to match. She flawlessly transitioned between three songs from “thank u, next.”

Demi Lovato gave an emotional performance of her new song “Anyone,” singing about faith and hard times after her 2018 overdose. Her emotions turned into tears as she began to perform. She gracefully recovered from the mistake in the first verse.

This year’s Grammys presenters, performers and honorees played it safe and boring. Eilish’s many acceptance speeches lacked passion and an overall message. Even Eilish and O’Connell showed little excitement while taking home the night’s biggest awards; in one instance, Eilish is seen begging “please don’t be me” before her name was called to accept her fifth Grammy of the night.