The 65th Annual Grammys: A Popularity Contest?

Courtesy of Press & Guide.

Courtesy of Press & Guide.

Lila Sole, Reporter

The 65th annual Grammys took place on Sunday, February 2nd. As always the awards were filled with big names, amazing performances, and of course, controversy. As the music industry continues to transform over the years with new influential people coming in and out, the best of each category were announced throughout the night with winners ranging from Harry Styles to Kendrick Lamar. The following were the categories for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards: Best Song, Best Album, Best New Artist, Best Record, Best Rap Album, Best Music Video, and many others.

Best Record was full of big names as contenders to take home the award. These included: Break My Soul– by Beyonce, Good Morning Gorgeous– by Mary J. Blige, and You and Me on the Rock– by Brandi Carlile feat. Lucius, Woman– Doja Cat, Bad Habit– Steve Lacy, The Heart Part 5– Kendrick Lamar, About Damn Time– Lizzo, and As It Was– Harry Styles. All of these records were very influential throughout 2022, but only 1 could win. Lizzo’s  About Damn Time took the award, adding to her growing collection of awards in her career.

 “I love Lizzo,” said Maya Rao (‘25), “Not only does she have some absolute bangers but I also love what she stands for using her platform to influence many people in only a positive way.”

Since releasing her hit song “Juice” in 2019, Lizzo has acquired 4 Grammys, this one just adding to her growing collection.

Against the likes of ABBA, Bad Bunny, and Beyonce, Harry Styles with Harry’s House came through to win the award for Album of the Year. After dropping the album in May 2022, it quickly became a huge hit with As It Was setting the stage. 1.5 billion streams by the end of the year and Harry Styles quickly became a favorite going into the Grammy’s, but of course, someone as big as him comes with eyes following everywhere. As he took his award, controversy quickly ensued across all social media platforms. 

Harry Styles accepting his Grammys. Courtesy of Grammy.

“I think it was interesting and was definitely a popularity contest because Harry Styles’ album was not really good. It was just popular because a lot of people like Harry because of his association with a past more popular band, and also past more popular songs that were actually good,” said Alex Coursey (‘26). 

It didn’t stop there though, many fans were shocked by his acceptance speech as well. 

“I thought the most controversial thing to happen was Harry Styles accepting his Grammy by saying that things like this don’t normally happen to him as a very fortunate and rich white man,” said Ava Thomas (‘25). 

Even with this many people still agreed with Harry’s House taking home the award for Album of the Year. 

“I agree with Harry’s House-winning album of the year. I know a lot of people thought that Beyonce should have won it but I agree with the decision because it was way more popular and more people listened to it,” said Rao. 

Even with all this controversy, it is just some of the baggage that comes with being a huge artist such as Harry Styles. 

Possibly one of the most controversial awards of the night was that of Best Song, which went to a woman almost no one knew, but she’s definitely known after her surprise win of the night. Her face said it all when her name was announced, walking up to the stage, her face forming an “o” expression. This is Bonnie Raitt who won with her song Just Like That. Up against the likes of Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, and Steve Lacy who all had big hit songs these past years, that could be the reason why people were so shocked by her winning this award. 

“I was surprised that Steve Lacy didn’t win any Grammys with Bad Habit. I feel like that was a very influential song this year,” said Rao. 

Even though much controversy was linked with the awards being a popularity contest, this specific award was not. 

“I thought the choice for Song of the Year was weird. It was a random lady that not a lot of people have heard of, I even looked it up and it only had 500,000 streams,” said Tori Holiday (‘24). 

Not only was it surprising to the artist, but it was surprising to everyone. 

“I was surprised but I think they also did it to bring in more views considering that not that many people watch the Grammys much anymore,” said Coursey.

Harry Styles took home his second award of the night, his album Harry’s House also winning Best Pop Vocal Album. These 2 awards, as mentioned before of course came with controversy, but there were also many people applauding Harry for his album as well as the awards that were claimed throughout the night. This brings his total to 3 after winning his first when he had the album Fine Line win in the recent past, launching the infamous feather boa era, circulating as a staple piece for fans traveling to his concerts around the world.

Another controversial part of the Grammy’s and overall music, in general, was the song Unholy created by Kim Petras and Sam Smith. The dynamic duo had their song gaining a huge presence towards the end of the year after its release, resulting in it winning a grammy for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance. Beyonce also held a huge presence at the award show though, with 9 total nominations throughout the night. Winning 4 Grammys that night, she added to her collection of 32 awards, surpassing her husband Jay-Z, now having the most Grammys ever. They were recently tied before her big win. 

“I love Beyonce so I think it is exciting that she has surpassed the record and I am very happy for her,” said Rao.

Overall, as always, the Grammy’s had a lot to unpack. Drama and controversy throughout the night, up and downs throughout the music community, and huge comebacks from those of Kendrick Lamar and Adele. Influential artists from many different backgrounds gathered together in celebration of the biggest day of the music industry and as always, there will be much more coming this year when it comes to new artists, albums, and awards.

2023 Awards


Break My Soul– Beyonce

Good Morning Gorgeous– Mary J. Blige

You and Me on the Rock– Brandi Carlie feat. Lucius

Woman– Doja Cat

Bad Habit– Steve Lacy

The Heart Part 5– Kendrick Lamar

About Damn Time– Lizzo

As It Was– Harry Styles


Voyage– ABBA

30– Adele

Un Verano Sin Ti– Bad Bunny

Renaissance– Beyonce

Good Morning Gorgeous(Deluxe)– Mary J. Blige

In These Silent Days– Brandi Carlile

Music of the Spheres- Coldplay

Mr. Morale + The Big Steppers– Kendrick Lamar

Special– Lizzo

Harry’s House– Harry Styles


Abcdefu- Sara Davus, GAYLE, and Dave Pittenger

About Damn Time– Lizzo

All Too Well( 10 minute version)– Taylor Swift

As it Was– HarryStyles

Bad Habit– Steve Lacy

Break My Soul– Beyonce

Easy on Me– Adele

God Did– DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, JAY-Z, John Legend, and Friday

The Heart Part 5– Kendrick Lamar

Just Like That– Bonnie Raitt



Omar Apollo

DOMi & JD Beck

Samara Joy



Muni Long

Tobe Nwigwe

Molly Tuttle

Wet Leg


Voyage– ABBA

30– Adele

Music of the Spheres– Coldplay

Special– Lizzo

Harry’s House- Harry Styles


Easy on Me– Adele

Moscow Mule– Bad Bunny

Woman– Doja Cat

Bad Habit– Steve Lacy

About Damn Time– Lizzo

As It Was– Harry Styles


Don’t Shut Me Down– ABBA

Bam Bam– Camilla Cabello+ Ed Sheeran

My Universe– Coldplay+BTS

I Like You (A Happier Song)– Post Malone+Doja Cat

Unholy- Sam Smith and Kim Petras


Higher- Michael Buble

When Christmas Comes Around– Kelly Clarkson

I Dream of Christmas(extended)– Norah Jones

Evergreen– Pentatonix

Thank You– Diana Ross