The 66th annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday night (Feb. 4) at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
The night included a lot of memorable moments, such as Taylor Swift breaking the record for most Album of the Year wins, Billy Joel performing for the first time on the Grammy stage after 30 years and Miley Cyrus winning her first Grammy and having a ball doing it.
Ultimately, the show was a great success. Expertly hosted once again by Trevor Noah, the 66th annual Grammy Awards featured excellent performances from Joel, Cyrus, SZA, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa and more.
Though there weren’t a ton of country music moments throughout the telecast, they were very impactful. Just a few minutes into the show, Luke Combs took the stage to perform “Fast Car” alongside the song’s iconic author, Tracy Chapman. Before the performance, a video played of Combs explaining his reasoning for including the cover on his 2023 album Gettin’ Old. He shared that it was one of the first songs he learned to play, and that he included it on the album purely out of admiration.
“Tracy is such an icon and one of the best songwriters any of us will get to be around and see,” Combs shared in the video.
The roar of music industry titans could clearly be heard over the telecast as Chapman began strumming the opening chords of the iconic song. Clearly touched, she smiled out at the crowd and sounded as great as ever.
Combs held up his end of the bargain. He sounded great and seemed as enthralled by Chapman’s rare performance as anyone else was. The two exchanged grins throughout the song as the world watched, creating a perfect example of how music brings us together.
During “Fast Car,” the camera panned around the audience the smiling faces of Combs’ peers—such as Lainey Wilson, Brothers Osborne, Jelly Roll and Swift—who were all singing along and beaming with pride. It was the performance of the night.
Another country stalwart, Kacey Musgraves, was on hand to present Best Country Album during the telecast. She was celebrating having won the award herself for Same Trailer Different Park 10 years ago. The 2024 trophy went to first-time winner Wilson for her Bell Bottom Country project.
Wilson was emotional when she accepted the honor.
“I am from a farming community in northeast Louisiana. A little town of 200 people. I’m a fifth generation farmer’s daughter,” she said. “I would consider myself and everyone I surround myself with as farmers too—they’re story farmers.
“It’s about getting up every single day and planting those seeds, watering them and watching them grow,” Wilson said. “When you find the right farming community, you can have a harvest of a lifetime… That’s exactly what this is tonight.”
The other country awards were given out prior to the telecast, with Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance going to Chris Stapleton‘s “White Horse,” and Zach Bryan and Musgraves taking home the trophy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance with “I Remember Everything.”
As for some of the other televised awards, Best New Artist went to Victoria Monét, Single of the Year was given to Cyrus for her titanic his “Flowers” and Song of the Year went to Eilish and Finneas O’Connell‘s Barbie tune “What Was I Made For?”
Swift won both Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year for Midnights. Now, with four wins in the category, Swift holds the record for the winningness artist in the Grammy’s Album of the Year category—surpassing Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, who all previously won the title three times.
When Swift was presented with Best Pop Vocal Album earlier in the night, she announced that her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, is coming in April.
A standout moment during the telecast was Joni Mitchell‘s touching performance of “Both Sides Now.” Somehow it was the 80-year-old folk titan’s debut performance on the Grammy stage. Music treasure Brandi Carlile introduced Mitchell and sang along with her–bringing the crowd and those watching at home to tears with the moment.
By the end of the night, the 66th annual Grammy Awards had proved to be a meaningful yet fun evening of music. Legends such as Chapman, Mitchell and Joel were given their flowers, those we lost were honored and music’s biggest stars shined brightly.