Women Take Center Stage With History-Making Grammy Wins

Women Take Center Stage With History-Making Grammy Wins

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The biggest night in music saw four boundary-pushing and record-breaking wins, with Beyoncé leading the pack.

This year’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards was filled with the music industry’s biggest names dressed in their best red-carpet looks, electrifying performances, and celebrations of the best and brightest in the music and recording industry today. But what made this year’s program stand out was the series of history-making wins, particularly by powerful female artists.

Here is a rundown of the history-making Grammy nods:

Beyoncé breaks record for all-time Grammy wins

Beyoncé. Getty Images

The music mogul proves why she deserves her Queen Bey moniker with her record-breaking win for Best Dance / Electronic Album for Renaissance. This brings her total Grammy wins to 32, making her the most awarded artist in the Recording Academy’s history. The record was previously held by classical conductor George Solti. 

Beyoncé is also currently tied with her husband Jay-Z for the most number of Grammy nominations in history. Each has a total of 88 nominations throughout their career as of this writing. 

“I’m trying not to be too emotional. I’m trying to just receive this night,” Beyoncé said in her acceptance speech. She went on to thank her family, highlighting her late uncle Jonny, for whom she dedicated the album. Finally, she thanked the queer community for their love and for inventing the house genre. 

The “Break My Soul” singer also took home Best R&B Song, Best Dance / Electronic Recording, and Best Traditional R&B Performance wins.  

Kim Petras becomes first transgender woman to win a Grammy in the Best Pop Duo / Group Performance category

Kim Petras, Sam Smith, Violet Chachki and Gottmik. Getty Images

The first-time Grammy Award winner nabbed the Best Pop Duo / Group Performance award for “Unholy,” her duet with Sam Smith. She made history as the first out transgender woman to win a Grammy in the aforementioned category. 

“Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win this award,” Petras said in her speech while Smith cheered her on. “And I just want to thank the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I can be here tonight.”

Lizzo is the first Black woman to win Record of the Year in the 21st century

Lizzo. Getty Images

Lizzo took home Record of the Year for the track “About Damn Time.” Now a four-time Grammy winner, the singer and rapper made history as the first Black woman to win in the category in the 21st century. The last Black woman to receive the nod was the late Whitney Houston for her rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” 

“I want to dedicate this award to Prince,” Lizzo said in her acceptance speech. “When we lost Prince, I decided to dedicate my life to making positive music.”

“And this was at a time when positive music and feel-good music wasn’t mainstream at that point, and I felt very misunderstood. I felt on the outside looking in,” she shared. “But I stayed true to myself because I wanted to make the world a better place so I had to be that change to make the world a better place.” 

Later in her speech she thanked Beyonce, recalling a time when she skipped school to watch her fellow Grammy winner perform. “You changed my life. You sang that gospel medley and the way you made me feel, I was like ‘I want to make people feel this way with my music.’ So thank you so much,” she said. “You clearly are the artist of our lives!” 

Viola Davis earns EGOT status

Viola Davis. Getty Images

Before the televised show even aired, history was already being made. At the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony, where the majority of the program’s 91 categories was awarded, Davis won the Grammy for Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording for her memoir Finding Me. The win officially inducted her into the exclusive list of EGOT winners

“I’m really emotional. My life has really come full circle,” Viola shared at the backstage interview following her historic win. “I wrote this book because I was trying to reconcile my life. I was trying to honor the young Viola. I wanted her to be excited at the 57 year-old she gets to become and this, this is just the icing on the cake.”

View the full list of winners here

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