Grammys’ top 5 moments | CNN (2024)

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The 55th Grammy Awards were held Sunday night on CBS

NEW: LL Cool J closes out show with a performance

NEW: Mumford & Sons beat Frank Ocean for album of the year

Sunday night’s 55th annual Grammy Awards were as much about the performances as it was the actual statues handed out.

The evening saw some powerful collaborations among artists, and all eyes were on one controversial performer. Here are the top 5 moments of the night:

1) Killer performances

Take your pick. From a spirited performance of “The Weight” by an all-star group including Sir Elton John, T Bone Burnett, the Zac Brown Band, Mavis Staples, Mumford & Sons and Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes, to the many duets like R&B crooner Miguel with Wiz Khalifa and Miranda Lambert with fellow country artist Dierks Bentley, it was all thrilling.

Fun. reminded us as to why we loved them when they performed “Carry On.” But they won a big award of the night, song of the year, for their hit “We Are Young.” And the stars in the audience were grooving along during a tribute to Bob Marley led by Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Sting, Ziggy and Damian Marley.

Rihanna Jason Merritt/Getty Images gallery Related gallery On the red carpet at the 2013 Grammy Awards
Jennifer Lopez backstage at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, 2/23/00. (Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect) Scott Gries/ImageDirect video Related video CBS wants stars covered up at Grammys

Even Taylor Swift won us over when she took to the stage dressed as a ringmaster and surrounded by circus/carnival types to kick off the ceremony with her hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Grammy coverage on Marquee

But one of the most eagerly awaited performances was:

2) The return of Justin Timberlake to the stage

The Grammys went sepia-toned for Timberlake’s performance of his new single “Suit and Tie,” which offered plenty of homage to the Rat Pack era with Timberlake in a tux with a bow tie and a big band with similarly suited backup singers billed as “JT and the Tennessee Kids.”

Jay-Z left his seat in the audience to run up on stage for his rap portion of the song. And Timberlake was cooler than cool as he segued into his new single “Pusher Love Girl.” The performance marked the return of Timberlake to music since he took a four-year break to focus on acting.

Welcome home JT.

3) LL Cool J pulls triple duty

Sure, he’s a big acting star now, but don’t forget that LL, aka James Todd Smith, got his start in the hip hop game.

So it felt right when the Grammy host donned a knit cap, a black T-shirt and some subtle bling to perform alongside Chuck D, Travis Barker, Tom Morello and DJ Z-Trip. They closed out the show with “Welcome to the Terrordome” and shouted out the late Beastie Boy, Adam “MCA” Yauch, with a “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” chant.

He also kept the audience informed of what folks were saying on social media, reading tweets and responding to some. The Grammys got its monies worth with him.

4) Adele didn’t wear black

You can’t not love her as she sings like an angel, is hilarious and just seems so normal.

But just like you can always count on a practically flawless performance when she grabs the mic, we thought she was also a sure bet to show up in a black frock. It’s kind of been like her thing.

But no. When Adele took to the stage to claim the first award of the night, best pop solo performance for “Set Fire to the Rain,” she was wearing a flowery, red and black Valentino dress.

New life as a mom and clearly new fashion choices: It was almost as surprising as Prince showing up to present Gotye and Kimbra the record of the year award for “Somebody That I Used To Know.

5) The somewhat anticlimactic appearance of Chris Brown with Rihanna

Despite a few cutaways of the pair sitting together in the audience and Brown standing and clapping following her performance, seeing the two together was not as big a deal as the run up felt like it should be.

Friday marked the fourth anniversary of Brown’s assault on Rihanna, which occurred before that year’s Grammy ceremony.

The pair had been a huge focus of this year’s Grammys as fans waited to see if they would arrive at the ceremony together and how much “togetherness” they would exhibit.

But in the end it felt like really no big deal.

More surprising was six-time nominee Frank Ocean not winning any of the big awards he was up for.

Ocean scored best urban contemporary album and shared best rap collaboration with Kanye West and Jay-Z for “No Church in the Wild,” but lost best new artist to Fun. and album of the year to Mumford & Sons.

55th Grammy Awards: The winners list

It was also more fun checking to see which artists ignored the reported Grammys memo asking them to cover up (we are looking at you and your rather exposed bosom Katy Perry). Jennifer Lopez even joked about it while presenting.

“As you can see I read the memo,” Lopez said, wearing a black dress cut extremely high and fully exposing one leg.

CNN’s David Daniel contributed to this story

Grammys’ top 5 moments | CNN (2024)


What are the big 4 at the Grammys? ›

The Big Four comprise:
  • Album of the Year is awarded to the performer, songwriter(s), and the production team of a full album.
  • Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song.
  • Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriter(s) of a single song.

What are the 4 most important Grammys? ›

In the weeks leading up to the telecast, we will take a stroll through some of the golden moments in GRAMMY history with the GRAMMY Rewind, highlighting the "big four" categories — Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist — from past awards shows.

What was the big surprise at the Grammys in 2024? ›

A seemingly shocked Taylor Swift broke a Grammy record Sunday night, taking her fourth album of the year award for "Midnights," stepping out from the trio she'd left behind, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon (who all have won album of the year three times).

Who has won 16 Grammys? ›

Most Grammys won by a female artist
2Alison Krauss27
3Aretha Franklin18
21 more rows

Who has 24 Grammys? ›

Jay Z — 24 wins

The rapper-mogul won his first Grammy in 1999 for best rap album for "Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life." In 2024, he was presented with the Dr Dre Global Impact Award (which does not count toward his official total). Jay-Z has received 88 nominations in total, tied with Beyoncé for the most in history.

Has Beyonce won a Big 4 Grammy? ›

But just one of those 32 awards has come in a Big Four category (album, record and song of the year plus best new artist). It happened on the 2010 telecast, when Bey won song of the year for co-writing her dance smash “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Beyoncé has been nominated in Big Four categories 18 times.

Who is predicted to win the Grammys in 2024? ›

Final Grammy Predictions 2024: Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and More Set for Possible Historic Night.

Has Taylor Swift won the record of the year? ›

Swift also announced from the Grammys stage that she would release a new album in April. The 34-year-old won album of the year for “Midnights,” eclipsing music legends Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder, who each claimed the prize three times.

Who has got an egot? ›

EGOT winners
Alan Menken20201991
Jennifer Hudson20212009
Viola Davis20152023
Sir Elton John20241987
15 more rows

What is the song of the year 2024? ›

2024 GRAMMYs: Billie Eilish Wins GRAMMY For Song Of The Year For "What Was I Made For?" From The 'Barbie' Soundtrack. Billie Eilish has won Song of the Year at the 2024 GRAMMYs for “What Was I Made For?”

What did Taylor Swift say at the GRAMMYs? ›

With the win, Swift now has the record for the most wins in the category. During her acceptance speech, Swift thanked her fans and shared how grateful she is to be doing what she does. "All I want to do is keep being able to do this," Swift said.

Did Taylor Swift win a GRAMMY in 2024? ›

Taylor Swift has made GRAMMY history once again. The pop superstar won the GRAMMY for Album Of The Year for Midnights at the 2024 GRAMMYs, marking her fourth win in the Category — the most Album Of The Year wins of any artist at the GRAMMYs. (She had been tied with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon.)

What announcement did Taylor Swift make at the GRAMMYs? ›

Swift announced her upcoming album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” during her acceptance speech after winning the best pop vocal album award for “Midnights,” which she released in 2022.

Who got the most Grammys at once? ›

From pop and rock to jazz and classical, this prestigious ceremony celebrates a wide array of genres. Among the multitude of artists who have graced the Grammy stage, only two have achieved the extraordinary feat of winning the most Grammys in one night: Michael Jackson in 1984 and Santana in 2000.

Which singer has 6 Grammys? ›

But at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards in Feb. 2010, Beyoncé had the most overall wins with six, and the artist with the second most wins, Taylor Swift, won the Album of the year Award.

How many Grammys does Kanye West have? ›

One of the world's best-selling music artists with 160 million records sold, West has won 24 Grammy Awards, the joint 11th-most of all time and most awarded for any hip hop artist jointly with Jay-Z.

How many Grammys has Michael Jackson won? ›

Jackson's career was rewarded with 13 Grammy Awards, as well as the Grammy Legend Award and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 6 Brit Awards, 5 Billboard Music Awards and 24 American Music Awards.

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