Like every Sunday so far in 2024, the Grammys were a big night for Taylor Swift: She perfected the art of the little braid, won Album of the Year for the fourth time, and announced yet another new record. She also got to hug Céline Dion, though not before she was accused of snubbing the pop icon onstage while accepting her award.
Dion, who revealed in 2022 that she had been diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called stiff-person syndrome, made a surprise appearance to present the night’s final award. It went to Swift for Midnights, and during the younger star’s rush to the stage, she sort of glossed over Dion’s presence altogether, hugging her collaborators before taking the award out of Dion’s hands while barely looking at her. Dion stepped back while Swift stepped up to the mic to deliver her acceptance speech, all without acknowledging her legendary presenter.
To be fair, the logistics of accepting an award onstage are often chaotic — the applause is loud, everyone around you is kissing and/or shaking hands, and you are gearing up to deliver a speech at warp speed. Sure, Dion managed to give Sting a double cheek-kiss while accepting the same award from him in 1997, but we cannot all be as graceful and coordinated as the high priestess of Canadian song. Viewers were not so forgiving, and Swift got plenty of criticism for seemingly ignoring her esteemed pop ancestor.
Whoever is to blame, it seems both women survived the weirdness of this moment — they were photographed hugging backstage shortly after the snafu, with Swift expressing the appropriate amount of bliss to be in Dion’s presence. Good for them. Perhaps we will hear more about what happened on The Tortured Poets Department’s B-side?