There are a lot of emotions involved when it comes to the Grammys. A win can mean that this is the best day of somebody’s life, but let’s not forget Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every Grammy win, there are losses, which must be a crushing experience, especially if the non-victorious parties had legitimate hopes of emerging on top.
All in all, this year’s Grammys had a lot of winners, some losers, and a handful of folks who perhaps thought they would be losers but ended up as winners despite their expectations (and those of others). With that in mind, check out this year’s biggest Grammy winners, losers, and upsets below.
Upset: Kacey Musgraves’ Album Of The Year win
This isn’t to say that Musgraves didn’t deserve to win the biggest award of the night. Golden Hour was the finest representation country music had on a mainstream level last year, and was one of 2018’s best albums regardless of genre. Considering that superstars like Post Malone, Drake, and everybody on the Black Panther soundtrack was also nominated, though, it would be fair if you didn’t expect Musgraves to pull this one out over the household names she was up against. Between her AOTY win, her other victories, and her big performances during the broadcast, she owned the night, re-affirmed that she belongs on the biggest stages possible, and let the world know that she is a superlative artist.
Winner: Lady Gaga
This year’s awards oh so clearly meant a lot to Lady Gaga. She was getting emotional on Twitter before the broadcast, and after “Shallow” won the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, she took the stage, clearly fighting back tears, and made an emotional speech about hurt and bravery that could only have come from a place of sincerity. Beyond that, she gave a show-stopping performance of “Shallow,” during which she sang both vocal parts. It was stunning. Gaga has bared her soul in her creative endeavors over the past few years, so this recognition has to feel cathartic for her.
Loser: The lack of Ariana Grande
As of this post, Grande has over 53 million monthly listeners on Spotify, which is more than anybody else in the world. Therefore, it’s an absolute shame that she wasn’t a part of the broadcast, or even in the building. This was completely avoidable: It seems all Grande really needed to make this happen was some artistic freedom, which seems like an easy concession to make to one of the world’s most talented and beloved artists.
I’m reminded of a lyric from Weezer’s “Perfect Situation”: “There’s the pitch, slow and straight / All I have to do is swing and I’m a hero / But I’m a zero.”