grammys 2024

The Best Moments of the 2024 Grammys

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Ah, Grammys season. That special time of year where we all gather ’round to watch performances from some of the biggest names in music while texting our Gen-Z cousins to ask what “Fred again …” is. In between all of that, the Recording Academy also hands out some awards.

On Sunday, celebs gathered together in Los Angeles to celebrate the past year in music for the 2024 Grammys. Trevor Noah took the stage as host for the third time in a row, while Grammys regulars Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and SZA hung out in the audience. In addition to the pop girls, this year’s ceremony brought out some music-industry legends: Joni Mitchell and Billy Joel performed, and whoever is keeping U2 in the Sphere allowed them to make contact with the outside world to broadcast their performance.

If the Grammys know how to do one thing, it’s give us some iconic moments — here are all the best ones from this year’s ceremony.

Paramore made history

Since the introduction of the category in 1995, a woman-fronted band had never won the Grammy for Best Rock Album. That changed tonight, when Paramore took home the award for their album This Is Why. Only two female performers have taken home the award before: Alanis Morissette in 1996, and Sheryl Crow in 1997 and 1999. Pretty wild that it took this long for a woman to win again, but who deserves it more than Hayley Williams?

Dua Lipa’s man cage

Are you ready for Dua Lipa season? The pop star opened the show by debuting her new song, “Training Season.” The theme of the performance was … strength? Whatever it was, it was cool. She and a bunch of hunks dangled all over a cage and looked great while doing it.

Lipa then went straight into “Dance the Night” and “Houdini,” a performance that featured some of the best dancing of her career. Practice makes perfect!

Trevor Noah got interrupted

If you are a certain level of famous, no one is going to mind if you are fashionably late to an event being aired live on national television. In fact, we might even encourage it if it spices up the host’s monologue. Such was the case when host Trevor Noah was interrupted not once, but twice. First, Meryl Streep rushed in right as Noah was remarking on the fact that she’s Mark Ronson’s mother-in-law. The crowd went wild, and Noah joked that the Grammys were going to win an Oscar now.

Then, as Noah went into the requisite “Taylor Swift is so famous” portion of his monologue, the woman herself showed up.

Noah is right: There should be some kind of processional during the monologue. It added a fun twist to what was otherwise a by-the-books monologue.

Tracy Chapman returned to the stage

Luke Combs’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” was one of the biggest hits of 2023 and was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance — of course he was going to perform it at the Grammys. To make it extra special, Combs sang with Chapman, who hasn’t performed publicly since 2020.

Combs and Chapman both sounded incredible, and everyone in the audience was visibly moved by the duet. If this is what the Grammys were always like, it would easily be the best awards show.

Taylor Swift entered a new era

If you were one of the many Swifties who thought she was going to announce Reputation (Taylor’s Version), you got got. Instead, Swift announced an entirely new album while accepting the Grammy (her 13th) for Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights. Swift is dropping The Tortured Poets Department on April 19, so you have a few months to mentally prepare.

The Grammys perfected the in-memoriam segment

Finally, someone in charge decided to deviate from having someone random sing a ballad while a slideshow sped through the headshots of everyone who died in the last year. This year, they thought, What if we made it entertaining? Wouldn’t you know, it worked! The Grammys’ in-memoriam segment was much longer, featuring four different tributes to four different legends.

Stevie Wonder duetted “For Once in My Life” with the late Tony Bennett with the help of an old recording of Bennett. Annie Lennox sang a powerful rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” in honor of Sinead O’Connor. She also used her time to call for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Jon Batiste brought everyone to their feet with “Lean on Me,” by Bill Withers, and “Optimistic,” by Sounds of Blackness, in tribute to music exec Clarence Avant. To close it out, Oprah introduced Fantasia Barrino, who honored Tina Turner with “Proud Mary.”

During all of that, the slideshow of everyone who passed was up on the screen, but the extended run time of the segment allowed for some breathing room. Best of all, people were actually having fun, which is a major upgrade from the forced solemnity that usually accompanies this part of the show.

Jay-Z stood up for Beyoncé

Yes, he was receiving the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, but just because they gave him a special all-black statue doesn’t mean he wasn’t going to speak his mind. The rapper used his time to call out the Recording Academy for never awarding his wife with a Grammy for Album of the Year. Husbands everywhere should be paying attention.

Joni Mitchell showed the girls how it’s done

At 80 years old, Joni Mitchell performed “Both Sides Now” while sitting down and managed to steal the entire show. Everyone acted appropriately, which is to say that they nodded along in reverence while their eyes welled with tears.

Victoria Monét proved MTV wrong

Back in September, Victoria Monét shared that she was told it was “too early” in her career to perform at the VMAs. Five months later, she took home the Grammy for Best New Artist. I imagine she now has an open invite to perform at next year’s VMAs.

Céline Dion made a surprise appearance

Nearly two years ago, Céline Dion revealed that she had been diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes progressive muscle stiffness. She surprised everyone by appearing at the Grammys to present Album of the Year to Taylor Swift for Midnights (making her the first person to win that award four times).

“When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” Dion said. I think it’s safe to say that we were also happy she was there.

Miley Cyrus had the most fun

Miley kicked off the night calling out red carpet photographers for using iPhones and ended it by celebrating Flavor Flav no longer confusing her for Gwen Stefani. In between, she won her first two Grammys for “Flowers.” She concluded her speech by saying, “I don’t think I forgot anyone. But I might have forgotten underwear. Bye!”

This post has been updated.

The Best Moments of the 2024 Grammys