The queer supergroup boygenius nabbed three awards, singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman earned a standing ovation with a classic performance of “Fast Car,” and Taylor Swift made history during a star-studded ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
On a night when so many household names basked in the spotlight — from Oprah to Miley Cyrus — boygenius stood out in a big way: The group (Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus) won Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for the song “Not Strong Enough,” as well as Best Alternative Music Album for “The Record.” Boygenius also had several Grammy nominations, including for Record of the Year for “Not Strong Enough” in addition to Album of the Year and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for “The Record.”
Bridgers also won a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance alongside SZA, making Bridgers the most-awarded artist of the night.
After winning the Grammy for Best Rock Performance, boygenius delivered an acceptance speech reflecting on their journey from childhood to the spotlight.
“We were all delusional enough as kids to think this might happen to us one day,” said Dacus, who was flanked by Baker and Bridgers. “Like Phoebe would sing at Guitar Center hoping that she would get discovered. Julien was always in bands as a kid and wanted to play in sold out stadiums. I would practice writing an acceptance speech and thank all the people that have been nice to me, like my bus driver and the guy that held the door at church…”
The on-stage moment could represent the last time fans see boygenius members together for the foreseeable future. Prior to the Grammy Awards, it was revealed that the band would be going on hiatus, which a spokesperson confirmed to USA Today.
Swift made headlines for winning Album of the Year for the fourth time, breaking a record. But perhaps the most notable highlight of the night came from someone who did not win an award. The crowd roared for Chapman when she started singing her 1988 hit song “Fast Car” alongside Luke Combs, who covered the song last year and earned a Grammy nomination for it. Oprah, Swift, and others were spotted on camera enjoying Chapman’s live performance, which brought renewed attention to the decades-old song and shot it up to the No. 1 spot on iTunes’ Top Songs chart by the following day.
Among other out artists, Billie Eilish won Song of the Year and Best Song Written for Visual Media Grammys for the Barbie-based song “What Was I Made For?” and Cyrus — who gave a shoutout to “my main gays” — won Best Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year for “Flowers,” representing her first-ever Grammy victories. Out bisexual singer-songwriter Victoria Monét won a Grammy for Best New Artist as well as Best R&B Album and Best Engineered Album Non-Classical for for “Jaguar II.”
Out queer Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Russell won Best American Roots Performance for “Eve Was Black,” while out lesbian singer-songwriters Brandi Carlile and Brandy Clark won Best Americana Performance for “Dear Insecurity.” Out composer Carla Patullo also won a Grammy for Best New Age, Ambient, or Chant Album for “So She Howls.”
“I love our community,” Russell said during an acceptance speech. “All Americana, all of us; all colors, all ages, all abilities, all orientations, all genders — it’s for everybody and I love y’all. Thank you so much.”
Non-binary singer, songwriter, and actress Janelle Monáe did not win any awards, but was in attendance after getting nominated for Album of the Year and Best Progressive R&B Album for “The Age of Pleasure.”