Jon Batiste big winner, Silk Sonic and Olivia Rodrigo rewarded: what to remember from the Grammy Awards

He was one of the favorites for the 2022 Grammy Awards. Jazzman Jon Batiste won five awards at the 64th edition in Las Vegas (Nevada, USA), Sunday April 3. A virtuoso pianist but also a multi-instrumentalist, this civil rights activist dominated the ceremony by winning the most prestigious award, album of the year, for We Are. Franceinfo summarizes the highlights of this Grammys evening, which also saw the duo Silk Sonic and the young singer Olivia Rodrigo rewarded.

Five awards for jazzman Jon Batiste

The virtuoso leaves Las Vegas with five prizes. In addition to Best Album, Jon Batiste won in the categories Best Performance and Best American Roots Song (a style that notably includes blues and folk), Best Soundtrack for Visual Media (for the series The Ladies Game) and Best Music Video. He had already created a surprise in November 2021 by ranking first in the number of Grammy nominations (eleven in total), well ahead of world stars like Justin Bieber (eight nominations), Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift.

At only 35 years old, the jazzman has recorded with America’s biggest singing stars, from Stevie Wonder to Prince to country legend Willie Nelson. To many Americans, he is perhaps best known as the bandleader and musical director of the hugely popular television show “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” He is also the creative director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and received in 2021 an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Bafta for the soundtrack of the animated film Drunk (Pixar), co-written with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

The widely praised retro R&B project Silk Sonic

The other big winner of the evening is Silk Sonic, the retro R&B project carried by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. They walked away with four statuettes, including the prestigious awards for recording of the year and song of the year for Leave The Door Open. “Andy [Anderson .Paak] and I will sing this title until the end of time”joked Bruno Mars while accepting this second award during the gala evening in Las Vegas, reports American radio NPR (link in English).

It is precisely Silk Sonic who opened the 2022 edition of the Grammys, by singing on stage another of his songs, 777. The group also won two awards in the R&B categories.

Olivia Rodrigo crowned “revelation of the year”

Olivia Rodrigo won the Grammy Award for Revelation of the Year on Sunday evening, a very prominent category in which the young woman won against rappers Saweetie and The Kid Laroi. She also won two awards in the pop categories.

Singer Olivia Rodrigo at the 64th Grammy Awards ceremony, April 4, 2022, in Las Vegas (Nevada, United States).  (PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP)

First known for her acting performances on the Disney Channel, the 19-year-old singer released her first track Driver License in 2021. The title, acclaimed by critics, made her the youngest artist to top the charts in the United States. She had remained at the top of the rankings for eight weeks in a row.

The war in Ukraine invites itself into the ceremony

“A dead silence. Fill this silence with your music.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an impression by speaking at the Grammy Awards, via a recorded video address. In a moving appeal, he urged the American music industry to support his country in the face of the Russian invasion. “Tell the truth about the war, on your social media, on TV. Support us in any way you can, all but silence, he launched. And then comes peace.”

Singer John Legend then delivered a performance alongside Ukrainian artists Mika Newton and Lyuba Yakimchukt. Behind them, two huge blue and yellow flags were raised on the stage of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

An allusion to the slap that marked the Oscars

Will Smith’s slap in the face of comedian Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony was on everyone’s mind when the Grammys began. The presenter of the ceremony, the South African comedian Trevor Noah, could not resist: “We’re going to listen to music, dance, sing, keep people’s names out of our mouths…”

He thus alluded to the sentence shouted by Will Smith at Chris Rock during the Oscars: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” The actor attacked the comedian after the latter made a joke in bad taste about the shaved head of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, suffering from alopecia.

A tribute to deceased artists

The Grammy Awards were also marked by a tribute to members of the music industry who died over the past year. Among them was Taylor Hawkins, drummer for the Foo Fighters, who died suddenly at the end of March at the age of 50. The American rock band took home three awards at the ceremony. Pop star Billie Eilish also paid tribute to Taylor Hawkins, performing her title Happy Than Ever dressed in a long T-shirt with the image of the deceased musician.

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Jon Batiste big winner, Silk Sonic and Olivia Rodrigo rewarded: what to remember from the Grammy Awards