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The 2024 Grammys: Old and new generations of artists combine for a night of excellence | The Triangle
Arts & Entertainment

The 2024 Grammys: Old and new generations of artists combine for a night of excellence

Graphic by Becca Newman | The Triangle

The 2024 Grammy Awards, which aired on Feb. 4, was an extraordinary display celebrating musical talent and artistry. After the Golden Globes, this year’s Grammys served as a refreshing return to the elegant but fun-filled award shows of the past. Throughout the night, host Trevor Noah brilliantly kept the crowd engaged with his intelligent sense of humor and class, while numerous celebrities graced the Grammy stage and screen with their glimmering presence. This year, the awards seemed to keep to the theme of honoring music legends of the past, as multiple artists were given their chances at Grammy glory, while certain superstars performed for the first time in decades. 

Miley Cyrus is awarded her first Grammy

The award show kicked off spectacularly with Miley Cyrus winning her very first Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance for her song “Flowers.” For years, Cyrus has dominated the entertainment industry, gaining popularity through TV shows such as “Hannah Montana,” and impressing audiences with her ever-changing, chameleon-like musicality. Despite her clear talent (and eight past Grammy nominations), 2024 marked Cyrus’ first time taking home a Gramophone. The singer commemorated the victory by shouting, “I just won my first Grammy!” during a live performance of her iconic song “Flowers.” 

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs perform “Fast Car”

As part of his hit album “Getting’ Old,” Luke Combs released a popular cover of the song “Fast Car,” which Tracy Chapman wrote in 1988. The two performed the well-known song together live during the awards show, showing the power behind the country ballad. It was Chapman’s first time onstage since her last tour in 2009, and it was Combs’ chance to live a dream with one of his own childhood heroes. The two balanced each other beautifully from a vocal standpoint and brought a unique twist on an old favorite.  

Joni Mitchell makes her debut on the Grammy stage  

Another appearance that wowed audiences everywhere was Joni Mitchell and her emotional rendition of her 1969 song “Both Sides Now.” Even though Mitchell has released songs for years, the last time she held a concert was back in 2000. The 80-year-old singer/songwriter delivered a performance that brought crowds to their feet, proving that she never truly left the world of folk music. 

Meryl Streep and Mark Ronson’s hilarious presentation 

Later in the evening, actress Meryl Streep and music producer son-in-law Mark Ronson were called to announce the winner of “Best Record of the Year.” The two were such a natural pair, preceding the award presentation with playful banter and their infectious, charismatic attitudes. This was a genuinely sweet moment during the show, as the two immediately were able to steal the hearts of all watching. 

Stevie Wonder and Celine Dion

Two others left viewers starstruck during the 2024 Grammys: singer/songwriters Stevie Wonder and Celine Dion. Wonder performed in a gorgeous tribute to Tony Bennet alongside Jon Batiste, Clarence Avant and Fantasia Barrino. The 25-time Grammy award winner’s homage to late greats was filled with passion and energy, and of course highlighted Wonder’s masterful piano skills. Dion surprised audiences by presenting the Grammy for “Best Album of the Year.” It was Dion’s first public performance since revealing her battle with Stiff-Person Syndrome in December 2022. The perfect addition to an already magical evening, Dion was able to be back in the spotlight as she was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. 

Annie Lennox honors Sinead O’Connor 

In another tribute to one of the greats, Annie Lennox was joined by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman to honor Irish Singer Sinead O’Connor by performing an incredible rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” The three complemented each other perfectly in all aspects and left the audience wanting to hear more of their distinctive vocal blend. 

Taylor Swift makes Grammy History 

Of course, it would not be the Grammys without the current face of the music industry herself, Taylor Swift. This year, Swift was awarded the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album for “Midnights,” and her acceptance speech was anything but ordinary. The 14-time Grammy award winner announced her new album “The Tortured Poet’s Department,” which is coming out April 19. Swift also was awarded “Album of the Year” for “Midnights,” making her the first-ever artist to win the honor four times. It is safe to say that Swift’s upward trajectory cannot be stopped, as more of her releases seem to be flooding the charts consistently.  

Billy Joel’s first release in almost thirty years 

Finally, one of the most important moments of the evening was Billy Joel performing his new single “Turn the Lights Back On.” This was Joel’s first single since 1997, and singing it live was the perfect way to close out the award show. Joel was backed by a full orchestra, featuring the jazz artist Laufey on cello. It was a moment that allowed greatness to come back into the spotlight, for the world has been left without Joel’s immense abilities for far too long.