Reactions to the 2022 Grammys awards


Sally Zhu

The 64th Grammys awards took place in Las Vegas on April 3. Listen to Aquila’s Arts & Entertainment editors Sally Zhu (11) and Alena Suleiman (10) discuss their reactions to the awards.

by Sally Zhu and Alena Suleiman

The 64th Grammys awards took place in Las Vegas on April 3, honoring nominees in 86 total award categories, and featuring 20 live performances.

Listen to Aquila’s Arts & Entertainment editor Sally Zhu (11) and assistant Arts & Entertainment editor Alena Suleiman (10) discuss their thoughts and opinions on six of this year’s winners, in the categories Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Rap Album and Best Musical Theater Album.

Hello, I’m Sally, the Arts & Entertainment editor for Harker Aquila, and I’m Alena, the assistant Arts & Entertainment editor for Aquila, and we’ll be sharing our reactions to the 2022 Grammys Awards, which took place in Las Vegas on April 3, hosted by a talk show host Trevor Noah.

This was the 64th annual awards after nominees were revealed last November, and featured 20 performances and awards in 86 categories.

Alright, first, let’s start with the biggest award, Album of the Year. This one went to Jon Batiste, for “We Are,” and originally Jon Batiste had the most nominations going into the weekend. But we didn’t expect him to win Album of the Year. Lots of people online and other critics also did not expect him to win. And because “We Are” is an R&B album and not pop, which is traditionally what has won Album of the Year in previous years. For example, “folklore” last year by Taylor Swift was an indie pop album, and “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” by Billie Eilish two years ago is also a pop album. 

Lots of people as well were surprised by the win and posted about their reactions on social media about how they thought maybe other albums deserved it.

Yeah, I was also surprised because I’d only heard “Freedom” before his win, and I was expecting maybe “Planet Her” by Doja Cat to win because its numbers of streams and the album sales are off the charts.

Yeah, I agree. “Kiss Me More” peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Need to Know,” another song on the album, peaked at number eight, and “Woman” at number nine. It also broke a new record for Billboard: it was officially the first album from a female rapper to spend six months in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart. 

It was also very, very popular on TikTok. Lots of creators were using songs from the album in dances and other sounds, so we thought that it was very popular there as well. However, this might have skewed our perception because it might be more popular there than in other places.

Yeah, definitely. And other contenders for Album of the Year were “SOUR” by Olivia Rodrigo, which also broke numerous Spotify records, and was really popular with the younger audiences also on TikTok. We were maybe expecting an Olivia sweep for the top four categories of the awards like Billie did in 2020, but this didn’t happen.

Yep, now let’s move on to Song of the Year, which we’re actually going to combine with Record of the Year, because they both went to “Leave The Door Open” by Silk Sonic, which is an American R&B super duo comprising of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Pack. 

Song of the Year and Record of the Year are two separate categories, and they differ in the fact that the Song of the Year category refers more to the songwriting and the composition and the people who write the song are awarded, but Record of the Year focuses more on the production. So every of the producers involved are the ones who are awarded. 

So “Leave The Door Open” won for both of these categories, which is pretty surprising because it won two out of the four prestigious General Field categories. But we do know that the Grammys have favored Bruno Mars in past years as well, and he has a long history with the Academy’s, and the song was very popular overall. It hit number one and the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified two times platinum earlier this year, and last year had won at the AMAs and the iHeartRadio Music Awards, so generally it wasn’t a super surprising result. 

Overall, I thought that there was really great songwriting and composition and production overall. The vocals are on point, as is always with Bruno Mars, and it was critically acclaimed all around by music critics. 

Yeah, and other contenders for this category were “Kiss Me More,” “Peaches” and “Montero.”

Moving on to Best New Artist, Olivia Rodrigo won, and this is not a surprising result, for her debut single and her debut album broke so many records. For example, it debuted at number one, and “drivers license,” her first single, debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. 

She also broke the record for most songs in the top 10 of the Billboard charts at one time by a woman. She also had a record breaking first week across streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music and more. 

And she was actually a new artist this year, unlike some of the others who are nominated for in this category, like FINNEAS who had been producing songs with his sister Billie Eilish for years in the past, and Glass Animals, who are their first debut EP in 2012. So, well, Olivia was actually a new artist. And she had won Female Artist of the Year at the iHeartRadio Music Awards and New Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, so we didn’t think this was a surprising result.

Yeah, and as mentioned earlier, some had been predicting an Olivia sweep like Billie, but this did not happen. Maybe people had too high expectations after seeing Billie sweep two years ago, but this likely won’t be repeated anytime soon.

Yep, and some of the other contenders in this category were FINNEAS and Baby Keem. Baby Keem especially had a very popular rap album this year, which we’ll get into soon. And yeah, so in addition to this award, Olivia also won Best Pop Vocal Album for “SOUR” and Best Pop Solo Performance for “drivers license.”

Moving on to Best Rap Album. This went to Tyler, the Creator for his album, “Call Me If You Get Lost,” and for this category, we didn’t think there was a definite winner or prediction. But Kanye West’s “Donda” was definitely a strong contender, and Nas’s “King’s Disease II.” But Tyler, the Creator was receiving lots of support across social media, and his unique lyricism and different vibe was probably what caused him to win.

Yep, notably in this category as well, Drake had been nominated for his most recent album, “Certified Lover Boy” in this category, but he requested to remove his nomination, and all of his nominations, from the Grammys this year. The Grammys honored his request, so maybe “Certified Lover Boy” would have won in this category, but we never know. 

Also, Kanye West was banned from performing at the Grammys in March, because of his behavior on social media recently, that the Academy found concerning. So overall, there was a lot going on for this category. But we’re both pretty glad that it went to Tyler, the Creator. We think that he’s kind of a rising new talent and are excited to see what new works he will have.

Yeah, and for Best Musical Theater Album, this went to “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” by two musical theater newcomers, which are 20-year-old Emily Bear and 23-year-old Abigail Barlow, and this was definitely unexpected and surprising for everyone, because the two won against veterans like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Schwartz.

Yeah, but we are definitely going to be checking out “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical.” 

And that concludes our [reactions.] So obviously you are free to disagree with any of these, but those were our reactions to six of the categories at the Grammys last weekend, and thank you so much for listening!

The full list of the 2022 Grammys winners:

Record of the Year: “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic

Album of the Year: “We Are” by Jon Batiste

Song of the Year: “Leave the Door Open” by Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II and Bruno Mars (songwriters)

Best New Artist: Olivia Rodrigo

Best Pop Solo Performance: “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “Love for Sale” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

Best Pop Vocal Album: “Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo

Best Dance/Electronic Recording: “Alive” by Rüfüs Du Sol

Best Dance/Electronic Music Album: “Subconsciously” by Black Coffee

Best Alternative Music Album: “Daddy’s Home” by St. Vincent

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: “Tree Falls” by Taylor Eigsti

Best Rock Performance: “Making a Fire” by Foo Fighters

Best Metal Performance: “The Alien” by Dream Theater

Best Rock Song: “Waiting on a War” by Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear (songwriters)

Best Rock Album: “Medicine at Midnight” by Foo Fighters

Best R&B Performance: “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic and “Pick Up Your Feelings” by Jazmine Sullivan (Tie)

Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Fight for You” by H.E.R.

Best R&B Song: “Leave the Door Open” by Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II and Bruno Mars (songwriters)

Best Progressive R&B Album: “Table for Two” by Lucky Daye

Best R&B Album: “Heaux Tales” by Jazmine Sullivan

Best Rap Performance: “Family Ties” Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar

Best Melodic Rap Performance: “Hurricane” by Kanye West, the Weeknd and Lil Baby

Best Rap Song: “Jail” by Dwayne Abernathy, Jr., Shawn Carter, Raul Cubina, Michael Dean, Charles M. Njapa, Sean Solymar, Kanye West and Mark Williams (songwriters) 

Best Rap Album: “Call Me if You Get Lost” by Tyler, the Creator

Best Country Solo Performance: “You Should Probably Leave” by Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “Younger Me” by Brothers Osborne

Best Country Song: “Cold” by Dave Cobb, J.T. Cure, Derek Mixon and Chris Stapleton (songwriters) 

Best Country Album: “Starting Over” by Chris Stapleton

Best New Age Album: “Divine Tides” by Stewart Copeland and Ricky Kej

Best Improvised Jazz Solo: “Humpty Dumpty (Set 2)” by Chick Corea

Best Jazz Vocal Album: “Songwrights Apothecary Lab” by Esperanza Spalding

Best Jazz Instrumental Album: “Skyline” by Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette and Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: “For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver” by Christian McBride Big Band

Best Latin Jazz Album: “Mirror Mirror” by Eliane Elias, Chick Corea and Chucho Valdés

Best Gospel Performance/Song: “Never Lost” by CeCe Winans

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “Believe for It” by CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill, Kyle Lee, CeCe Winans and Mitch Wong (songwriters)

Best Gospel Album: “Believe for It” by CeCe Winans

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: “Old Church Basement” by Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music

Best Roots Gospel Album: “My Savior” by Carrie Underwood

Best Latin Pop Album: “Mendó” by Alex Cuba

Best Música Urbana Album: “El Último Tour Del Mundo” by Bad Bunny

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album: “Origen” by Juanes

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): “A Mis 80’s” by Vicente Fernández

Best Tropical Latin Album: “Salswing!” by Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta

Best American Roots Performance: “Cry” by Jon Batiste

Best American Roots Song: “Cry” by Jon Batiste and Steve McEwan (songwriters)

Best Americana Album: “Native Sons” by Los Lobos

Best Bluegrass Album: “My Bluegrass Heart” by Béla Fleck

Best Traditional Blues Album: “I Be Trying” by Cedric Burnside

Best Contemporary Blues Album: “662″ by Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Best Folk Album: “They’re Calling Me Home” by Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi

Best Regional Roots Music Album: “Kau Ka Pe’a” by Kalani Pe’a

Best Reggae Album: “Beauty in the Silence” by Soja

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: “Love for Sale” by Dae Bennett, Josh Coleman and Billy Cumella (engineers) and Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone (mastering engineers) 

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Jack Antonoff

Best Remixed Recording: “Passenger” by Mike Shinoda Remix; Mike Shinoda (remixer) 

Best Global Music Performance: “Mohabbat” by Arooj Aftab

Best Global Music Album: “Mother Nature” by Angelique Kidjo

Best Children’s Music Album: “A Colorful World” by Falu

Best Spoken Word Album: “Carry On: Reflections for a New Generation From John Lewis” by Don Cheadle

Best Comedy Album: “Sincerely Louis C.K.” by Louis C.K.

Best Musical Theater Album: “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” by Emily Bear (producer) and Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear (composers/lyricists)

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” by Andra Day

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: “The Queen’s Gambit” by Carlos Rafael Rivera (composer); “Soul” by Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (composers) (Tie)

Best Song Written For Visual Media: “All Eyes On Me [From Inside]” by Bo Burnham (songwriter)

Best Immersive Audio Album: “Alicia” by George Massenburg and Eric Schilling (immersive mix engineers), Michael Romanowski (immersive mastering engineer) and Ann Mincieli (immersive producer)

Best Immersive Audio Album (for 63rd Grammy Awards): “Soundtrack of the American Soldier” by Leslie Ann Jones (immersive mix engineer), Michael Romanowski (immersive mastering engineer) and Dan Merceruio (immersive producer) 

Best Engineered Album, Classical: “Chanticleer Sings Christmas” by Leslie Ann Jones (engineer) and Michael Romanowski (mastering engineer)

Producer of the Year, Classical: Judith Sherman

Best Orchestral Performance: “Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3″ by Yannick Nézet-Séguin( conductor) with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Best Opera Recording: “Glass: Akhnaten” by Karen Kamensek (conductor), J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Zachary James and Dísella Lárusdóttir, David Frost (producer) with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and The Metropolitan Opera Chorus

Best Choral Performance: “Mahler: Symphony No. 8, ‘Symphony of a Thousand,’” Gustavo Dudamel (conductor), Grant Gershon, Robert Istad, Fernando Malvar-Ruiz and Luke McEndarfer (chorus masters) with Leah Crocetto, Mihoko Fujimura, Ryan McKinny, Erin Morley, Tamara Mumford, Simon O’Neill, Morris Robinson and Tamara Wilson; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, National Children’s Chorus and Pacific Chorale

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: “Beethoven: Cello Sonatas – Hope Amid Tears” by Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax

Best Classical Instrumental Solo: “Alone Together” by Jennifer Koh

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: “Mythologies” by Sangeeta Kaur and Hila Plitmann, Danaë Xanthe Vlasse (pianist) with Virginie D’Avezac De Castera, Lili Haydn, Wouter Kellerman, Nadeem Majdalany, Eru Matsumoto and Emilio D. Miler

Best Classical Compendium: “Women Warriors – The Voices of Change” by Amy Andersson (conductor), Amy Andersson, Mark Mattson and Lolita Ritmanis (producers)

Best Contemporary Classical Composition: “Shaw: Narrow Sea” by Caroline Shaw (composer) with Dawn Upshaw, Gilbert Kalish and Sō Percussion

Best Instrumental Composition: “Eberhard” by Lyle Mays (composer)

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: “Meta Knight’s Revenge (From ‘Kirby Superstar’)” by Charlie Rosen and Jake Silverman (arrangers) with The 8-Bit Big Band featuring Button Masher

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: “To The Edge Of Longing (Edit Version)” by Vince Mendoza (Arranger) with Vince Mendoza, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Julia Bullock)

Best Recording Package: “Pakelang” by Li Jheng Han and Yu, Wei (Art Directors) with 2nd Generation Falangao Singing Group and the Chairman Crossover Big Band

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: “All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary Edition” by Darren Evans, Dhani Harrison and Olivia Harrison (art directors) 

Best Album Notes: “The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia and RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-1966″ by Ricky Riccardi (album notes writer) with Louis Armstrong

Best Historical Album: “Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967)” by Patrick Milligan and Joni Mitchell (compilation producers) and Bernie Grundman (mastering engineer)

Best Music Video: “Freedom” by Jon Batiste; Alan Ferguson (video director) and Alex P. Willson (video producer)

Best Music Film: “Summer of Soul” by Various Artists; Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (video director), David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent and Joseph Patel (video producers)