Grammys 2021: HER wins Song of the Year, Harry Styles nabs first award

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion was named Best New Artist and Taylor Swift won Album of the Year

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Beyonce and Taylor Swift had a historic night at the Grammys, where the top four awards were won by female acts.

Swift became the first female performer to win Album of the Year three times, and Beyonce, with her 28th win, became the most decorated woman in Grammy history. She also tied in second place with Quincy Jones among all Grammy winners.

HER won Song of the Year for her single I Can't Breathe and Billie Eilish picked up Record of the Year for Everything I Wanted, telling the audience that Best New Artist winner Megan Thee Stallion deserved the honour.

In this handout photo courtesy of CBS Broadcasting, H.E.R. with Tiara Thomas accept the award for Song of the Year onstage during the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Los Angeles Convention Center on March 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Cliff LIPSON / CBS Broadcasting, Inc." - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS --- NO ARCHIVE ---

HER with Tiara Thomas accept the award for Song of the Year onstage during the 63rd Grammy Awards. AFP

Though women have won all top four awards in the past – including Eilish's sweep in 2020 – it marked the first time four separate and solo artists won the top four honours.

"We just want to thank the fans," said Swift, who won the top prize with Folklore and previously won Album of the Year with her albums Fearless and 1989.

Beyonce walked into the show with 24 wins and picked up four honours, including Best R&B Performance for Black Parade, Best Music Video for Brown Skin Girl, as well as Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for Savage, with Megan Thee Stallion.

"As an artist I believe it's my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect time and it's been such a difficult time," Beyonce said onstage as she won Best R&B Performance for Black Parade, which was released on Juneteenth.

epa09075295 A handout photo made available by The Recording Academy shows Beyonce accepting the Best R&B Performance award for 'Black Parade' onstage during the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in Los Angeles, California, USA, 14 March 2021.  EPA/Kevin Winter / HANDOUT ATTENTION EDITORS: IMAGE TO BE USED ONLY IN RELATION TO THE STATED EVENT / HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES/NO ARCHIVES
Beyonce accepting the Best R&B Performance award for 'Black Parade'. EPA

She went on to say she created the song to honour the “beautiful black kings and queens” in the world.

She added: “I have been working my whole life … This is such a magical night.”

Beyonce is only behind the late conductor Georg Solti, who is the most decorated Grammy winner with 31 wins.

But Beyonce didn't make history alone, her whole family did. The royal family of music all won honours Sunday: Jay-Z picked up his 23rd Grammy, sharing the Best Rap Song win with his wife as he co-wrote Savage. And Blue Ivy Carter, 9 — who won Best Music Video alongside her mother — became the second youngest act to win a Grammy in show's 63-year history. Leah Peasall was 8 when The Peasall Sisters won Album of the Year at the 2002 show for their appearance on the T Bone Burnett-produced O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Megan Thee Stallion, who won three honours, also made history and became the first female rapper to win Best Rap Song. She's also the fifth rap  act to win Best New Artist.

Beyonce was the night's top contender with nine nominations, and while she didn't perform, Swift did.

She sang Cardigan and August from Folklore, as well as Willow from Evermore, and was joined by the collaborators who helped her make the albums, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, who both won Album of the Year with Swift.

Silk Sonic, which comprises Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, also performed, bringing a throwback R&B vibe to the show with their smooth new single, Leave the Door Open.

Dua Lipa, who won Best Pop Vocal album, proved her pop star status with a performance of her hits Don't Start Now and Levitating, and she was joined by the DaBaby, who was a star during his performance of his guitar-tinged rap hit Rockstar, flipping the song for an exceptional live rendition featuring R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, a skilled violinist and background singers.

Country singer Mickey Guyton – the first black woman nominated for Best Country Solo Performance – gave an impressive rendition of her song Black Like Me, which she released in 2020 as police brutality continued to devastate black families and the coronavirus ravished black America disproportionately.

Lil Baby, joined by Killer Mike and activist Tamika Mallory, gave a political performance that was impressive.

Black Parade joined a list of songs honouring that black experience that won on Sunday, including HER's protest anthem I Can't Breathe and Anderson .Paak's Lockdown, which also released on Juneteenth.

Other performers on Sunday included Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Bad Bunny, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Harry Styles, who won Best Pop Solo Performance for the hit Watermelon Sugar.

“To everyone who made this record with me, thank you so much,” said Styles, the first member of One Direction to win a Grammy.

Host Trevor Noah kicked off the show telling jokes about the coronavirus pandemic and the year that was 2020. He was live from downtown Los Angeles, with attendees wearing masks and sitting, socially distanced, at small round tables.

Double winners included HER, Fiona Apple, Kaytranada and the late performers John Prine and Chick Corea.