Jon Batiste, 'Butter' and BTS: the best performances at the Grammys 2022

Olivia Rodrigo, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber all took to the stage, too

Jon Batiste performs his song 'Freedom' from the album 'We Are' during the 64th annual Grammy Awards show. Reuters
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For all the gilded gramophones and controversies that surround the Grammys, the performances are often the most exciting part of the event.

This year did not disappoint.

The 64th Grammy Awards was delayed by more than two months over concerns related to the Omicron wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event finally took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, US on Sunday night.

The show opened with Silk Sonic, the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak. Lil Nas X, BTS, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Brandi Carlile, Justin Bieber and Jon Batiste also performed.

John Legend made a debut rendition of his new song Free that featured performances by a number of Ukrainian artists in the hope of bringing attention to Russian's invasion of Ukraine.

The performance was introduced by a pre-recorded speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Legend was as rousing as ever in his performance, as were Siuzanna Iglidan, who was playing the traditional Ukrainian folk instrument bandura, and Ukrainian singer Mika Newton. The performance concluded by a stirring poem read by Lyuba Yakimchuk, a Ukrainian refugee.

This was easily one of the most memorable moments during the night, but here's our list of other top performances at the Grammys 2022.

Top performances at the Grammys 2022

1. Lil Nas X

The hip-hop star performed a medley of his hits including Industry Baby with US rapper Jack Harlowe, and Montero (Call Me By Your Name).

The performance went through three costume changes and featured a giant sculpture of Lil Nas X's head appearing behind the artist.

2. BTS

K-pop sensation BTS performed their English-language hit Butter with a choreography as smooth. Themed after a heist, the group wore identical dark suits — reminiscent of a certain 007 agent — dodged lasers and slung playing cards.

3. Billie Eilish

Eilish stepped into the rain to perform Happier Than Ever at The Grammys.

The seven-time Grammy Award-winner was wearing a T-shirt in tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Her performance began in a rain-drenched room and with an introspective poise. For the fiery second half, Eilish climbed out of the room and on to a staged rooftop. She was joined by her brother Finneas on guitar as well as a live drummer.

Eilish was in the running for seven Grammy awards, including Album of the Year for Happier Than Ever and Record of the Year for its titular track. She did not win any of the awards she was nominated for.

Last week, Eilish and her brother won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for her No Time To Die James Bond theme tune.

4. Stephen Sondheim medley

Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr and Rachel Zegler performed a Stephen Sondheim medley, which accompanied the In Memoriam segment, where organisers pay tribute to stars we've lost.

The performance featured some of the composer and lyricist’s best-known songs, including from West Side Story and Merrily We Roll Along.

Sondheim died last year at the age of 91.

5. Olivia Rodrigo

Nominated for seven awards, Olivia Rodrigo made a stellar debut at the Grammys with her performance of her viral hit drivers license, which won the star her first gilded gramophone.

The performance was a spectacle, and featured a vintage white Mercedes-Benz, animatronic butterflies, as well as an explosive performance by an all-female band.

6. Jon Batiste

The most-nominated artist at this year’s Grammys gave one of the night’s most uplifting performances.

Batiste, who was nominated for 11 Grammy awards, delivered a joyful performance of his single Freedom, nominated for Record of the Year. He was accompanied by a full band as well as a choir on the vibrant, pastel-coloured stage. By the end of the number, Batiste had gotten the entire hall to dance along.

Batiste won Album of the Year at the 2022 Grammys for We Are.

7. Nas

Nas’s performance took a three-decade career to prepare for. The rapper performed a medley of songs from his catalogue including I Can, One Mic, Made You Look and Rare. Nas was backed by a full band that featured a brass section as well as So Beautiful pianist Robert Glasper.

Nas was in the running for two awards in this year’s Grammys. He was nominated for Best Rap Album for King Disease II, but the award went to Tyler, the Creator’s Call Me if You Get Lost.

Nas was also nominated for Best Rap Song for Bath Salts, a track by DMX that features Nas and Jay-Z. Kanye West and Jay Z’s track Jail took home the award.

8. Silk Sonic

The Grammys was off to a hot start with the performance by Silk Sonic. The glitzy R&B duo had the crowd in a groove with their Las Vegas-themed performance of 777.

“Man, that was amazing,” host Trevor Noah said after the performance. “Even if you don’t have a girlfriend, they just stole her from you.”

The duo won the Grammy for Best R&B Song for Leave The Door Open and they also won the award for Best R&B Performance for the same song, tied with Jazmine Sullivan’s Pick up Your Feelings.

9. Chris Stapleton

Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton’s performance of Cold was chilling. The song won the Grammy for Best Country Song, and with a smoky, blue-tinted performance, Stapleton showed audiences why it deserved the gold.

Stapleton also won the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance for You Should Probably Leave.

10. Brandi Carlile

Genre-bending Brandi Carlile started her performance of Right on Time on the piano with calm grace before slinging a guitar in the second half for a high-octane conclusion.

Carlile had a handful of Grammy nominations this year. Her songs Right on Time and her Alicia Keys collaboration A Beautiful Noise were both in the running for Song of the Year. Right on Time, meanwhile, was competing in the Best Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year categories.

11. J Balvin

Colombian singer J Balvin performed his hit Qué Más Pues? with Argentine singer Maria Becerra.

The performance quickly turned up the heat as the two were among the night’s earlier performances, coming after Silk Sonic and Rodrigo.

Balvin then moved to another stage to perform his EDM banger In Da Ghetto.

12. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga performed a charged rendition of Love for Sale as well as jazzy piano version of Do I Love You. Both songs are from her album Love for Sale, which she recorded with her long-time collaborator and jazz singer Tony Bennett.

The performance was a display of Gaga’s otherworldly vocal range and her ability to effortlessly flit between genres, from pop to jazz.

13. Justin Bieber

Bieber performed his hit single Peaches, which was nominated for four Grammys, with collaborators Daniel Caesar and Giveon.

Bieber began the performance alone on the piano before being joined by a full band as well as Giveon and Caesar.

Best-dressed women at the Grammys 2022 — in pictures:

Updated: April 04, 2022, 7:34 AM