Taylor Swift stole the show at this year’s Grammy Awards, becoming the first performer to win the prize for album of the year four times.
The superstar had previously been tied on three best album wins with Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra.
She received the prize from Celine Dion, who made an unexpected appearance. Swift also used the event to reveal a surprise new album.
Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish took the other top awards at Sunday’s ceremony.
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Dion got a rapturous reception when she emerged to present the best album trophy, almost a year after she was forced to cancel all of her live shows after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder.
“When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” she told the audience.
There was an equally enthusiastic response when Dion announced Swift’s name.
The historic achievement is now one of many the star has notched up in recent years. She said she “would love to tell you that this is the best moment in my life”, but that simply finishing a song, rehearsing or preparing to play a show makes her equally happy.
“For me, the award is the work,” she said. “All I want to do is keep being able to do this. I love it so much. It makes me so happy. It makes me unbelievably blown away that it makes some people happy who voted for this award too.”
Eilish’s contribution to the Barbie film soundtrack, What Was I Made For?, won song of the year, beating Swift’s Anti-Hero as well as tracks by SZA, Cyrus and Olivia Rodrigo.
“Damn, that’s stupid guys,” she remarked to the crowd as she accepted the award with her brother and co-writer Finneas.
“Everybody in this category – that was a crazy list of incredible people, incredible artists, incredible music. I feel crazy right now.”
The tune also won best song written for visual media, while the Barbie album – which was put together by producer Mark Ronson – picked up the award for best compilation soundtrack for visual media.
However, Eilish lost out on the record of the year award to Flowers by Miley Cyrus; which also picked up best pop vocal performance.
They were the star’s first ever Grammys, a fact she noted in her first acceptance speech, telling the story of a boy whose futile attempts to catch a butterfly ended when he stopped swinging around a net and stayed still.
“And right when he did is when the butterfly came and landed right on the tip of his nose. And this song, Flowers, is my butterfly,” Cyrus said.
Dua Lipa opened the ceremony with an athletic medley of her songs including her contribution to the Barbie album, Dance the Night, which was also up for song of the year.
R&B star SZA was the show’s leading nominee with nine nods. For her performance, the singer staged a recreation of the Crazy 88 fight scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill to accompany her song of the same name.
She was joined by a phalanx of sword-wielding female dancers who swiftly dispatched hordes of men in suits – a reference to her song’s comical tale of killing her ex.
Billed as “music’s biggest night”, the Grammys are the industry’s most prestigious awards.
Rodrigo, Eilish, Burna Boy and Travis Scott were also among the performers, with stars like Swift, Beyoncé and Doja Cat in the audience.
But rare appearances by two music legends eclipsed the younger stars.
Tracy Chapman has only performed in public a handful of times since going into semi-retirement in 2009, but she joined country singer Luke Combs, who had a smash hit with a cover of her song Fast Car last year.
Then Joni Mitchell gave a poignant seated rendition of her classic Both Sides Now – her first Grammy performance at the age of 80.
The Canadian singer-songwriter had earlier picked up best folk album for a live album that captured her return to the stage in 2022 after a brain aneurysm.
That was one of many awards that were handed out during a four-hour “premiere ceremony” on Sunday afternoon.
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That pre-ceremony also saw multiple wins for indie-rock trio Boygenius, whose debut album The Record combines 1970s California rock harmonies with lyrics about love and friendship.
Rapper Killer Mike won three awards but was later filmed apparently being taken away in handcuffs backstage.
Kylie Minogue won her second ever Grammy, best pop dance recording, for the viral smash Padam Padam.
And South African singer Tyla made history by picking up the first ever award for best African performance.
The 22-year-old, who came fourth in the BBC’s Sound of 2024, won for her viral smash Water, which inspired a TikTok dance craze last summer.
“I still have to remind myself that it’s my song,” she said. “Everywhere I go, it’s playing and people know it. I don’t even know [how to describe] the feeling.”
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