Grammy Awards 2023: Winners, snubs, and how they got it wrong this year

Photo credit: Roberta Macedo

On Feb. 5, The Recording Academy gave out a handful of awards to artists, though not all were deserving.

The story of the night was Album of the Year, which seems to be the polarizing story every year during music award season. Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” won Album of the Year. Social media reacted pretty negatively, with Harry Styles even getting heckled on stage by a Beyoncé fan.

In reality, Style’s album was not the best at anything last year. The best-selling and most streamed album in 2022 was Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti,” while the most impactful album was easily Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.” Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” took New Jersey club music and merged it with R&B and rap, creating a blend that defined music in 2022.

What Harry Styles did have was presence. His tour was all over social media, he starred in multiple movies and appeared in various magazines. His music was not bad whatsoever, and he truly deserved Best Pop Vocal Album. However, his album’s dominance over the three other choices doesn’t really do the music industry justice.

Embed from Getty Images

One of the most deserving awards of the night went to Viola Davis, who received a Grammy for her audiobook-memoir “Finding Me.” The win made Davis one of just 18 EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winners in award show history.

Record of the Year went to Lizzo, as her song “About Damn Time” took over TikTok for a month after its release. This prompted TikToker Jaeden Gomez to create a dance that was later performed on stage by Lizzo.

The pop awards — Pop Vocal Album, Pop Solo Performance and Pop Duo Performance — went to Harry Styles, Adele and Sam Smith, respectively. Beyoncé took over the dance/electronic categories this year, winning both best album and recording. Rock Album of the Year went to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Patient Number 9,” while the song went to Brandi Carlile’s “Broken Horses.”

Though the Best Melodic Rap Record went to Future’s “Wait for You,” Kendrick Lamar won Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Record. Kendrick now has 17 Grammy wins, with 47 lifetime nominations.

Willie Nelson’s “A Beautiful Time,” deservingly won Best Country Album, while “Till You Can’t” by Cody Johnson won Best Country Song. The Latin awards, Best Musica Urbana Album and Best Latin Rock Album, were given to Bad Bunny and Rosalía, respectively. Both artists dominated the charts with their albums this past year.

Embed from Getty Images

Other snubs from the night include Best Pop Duo Performance, where Post Malone and Doja Cat’s “I Like You” deserved recognition over Sam Smith and Kim Petra’s “Unholy.” While Smith and Petra’s song leaked and trended on TikTok the track received mixed reviews after its release.

JID was never nominated, a spit in the face for the rapper from Atlanta. Black Thought’s “Cheat Codes” also received no nominations.

While singer-songwriter Muni Long won Best R&B Performance, she was beaten by Samara Joy for the Best New Artist award. Ozzy Osbourne won Best Rock Album, but his song “Patient Number 9” did not win Best Rock Song Song, which it deserved.

Once again, The Grammys did not fulfill everyone’s expectations. Though some deserving artists saw recognition with nominations and press coverage, some did not get this ultimate validation — at least, what was once considered the ultimate validation.