BY: JOEY REAMS
The 63rd Annual Grammy Award Show kicked off last night with many artists hoping to get their hands on the first award of their career. You may have seen some of the highlights already – Beyoncé made history, her daughter won a Grammy, and Cardi B and Meghan the Stallion performed “WAP” for the first time – but we don’t focus on those things. We want to know about the rock awards and performances. Instead of shifting through entire articles to find it, here are some of the rock/ alternative highlights from the Grammys.
Fiona Apple won Best Rock Performance with “Shameika.” The New York Native beat out Big Thief’s “Not,” Pheobe Bridgers “Kyoto,” Haim’s “The Steps,” Brittany Howard’s “Stay High,” and Grace Potter’s “Daylight.” The song is off her 2020 album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, which was also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. Apple did not attend the Grammys, citing her sobriety as a prioritization.
“I don’t wanna be on national television,” said Apple. “I’m just not made for that stuff anymore. I wanna stay sober, and I can’t do that sober. It doesn’t feel safe to me to be in that exposure/scrutiny/comparison to people.”
Former Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard has won Best Rock Song with “Stay High,” off her debut solo album Jamie, which was also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. Howard beat out “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers, “Lost in Yesterday” by Tame Impala, “Not” by Big Thief, and “Shameika” by Fiona Apple. In total, Howard received 5 Grammy nominations this year.
“I was really surprised,” Howards told People before the event. “I was really honored too. You know, this piece of work that I made was quite a record. It was quite a risk, and then I also named [Jaime] after my sister. So, it felt like such a large part of me and for it to be recognized, and for me to be here with the album being nominated five times — for me to be here amongst friends and my peers and lots of women — I’m just beside myself really.”
The Strokes made headlines last night by winning their first Grammy for Best Rock Album with The New Abnormal. The alternative veterans beat out Fontaines D.C.’s A Hero’s Death, Michael Kiwanuka’s Kiwanuka, Grace Potter’s Daylight, and Sturgill Simpson’s Sound & Fury.
“I kind of always make fun of rock’n’roll, so I think it’s kind of funny, or cool, or fitting, that we won the award,” said lead singer Julius Casablancas. “I think that people that say things are dead, I just feel like their imagination, possibly, has died…. Honestly, there’s room for so many genres of music—not necessarily blues-rock, please, no more of that.”
Back for another award, Fiona Apple won her second grammy of the night and 11 overall with Best Alternative Music Album for Fetch the Bolt Cutters. Apple won the award over Beck’s Hyperspace, Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher, Brittany Howard’s Jaime, and Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush.
Last but not least, we have Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. At first, you might wonder why we include this category, especially when a band didn’t win it. Well, it’s more about who was nominated than who won. Congrats to Andrew Watt, who has worked with many artists this year, including Ozzy Osbourne (“Ordinary Man”), Miley Cyrus (“Midnight Sky”), Dua Lipa (“Break My Heart”). Watt beat many well-respected producers, including The Black Keys’ Dan Auerback, Bleacher’s Jack Antonoff, DJ Flying Lotus, and Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb. This is a huge accomplishment for Watt, being his first Grammy.