6 artists who don't deserve their 2023 Grammy Awards — sorry
The 65th annual Grammy Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Several awards went to the wrong people, including two out of the four major categories.
For example, Harry Styles won album of the year when it should've been Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, or Kendrick Lamar.
Harry Styles had no business winning album of the year.
I am on the record as a "Harry's House" fan and was thrilled when he won best pop vocal album. But this was not Harry Styles' year to win the most prestigious Grammy Award.
Ever since One Direction went on hiatus, Styles has seen a remarkable trajectory as a solo star with no signs of slowing down. He has plenty of time to win album of the year. A few years down the line, he may even deserve it.
But this was supposed to be Beyoncé's time to finally take home the top prize. Not only is "Renaissance" a no-skips masterpiece, but she was propped up throughout the ceremony as this year's defining heroine.
Beyoncé made history on Sunday as the most-awarded person in Grammys history; she got an unsolicited shout-out during Lizzo's acceptance speech as "the artist of our lives." And yet, she has never won album of the year (or record of the year, for that matter, despite racking up more nominations in the category than anyone else).
It's long past time for the Recording Academy to stop using Beyoncé for clout, stop allowing white mediocrity to triumph over her genius, and start showing her proper respect. (And even if the fates had doomed her to lose this year, Bad Bunny or Kendrick Lamar should've won over Styles.)
Bonnie Raitt won song of the year for "Just Like That," a song very few people have heard.
Bonnie Raitt had already won three awards on Sunday (best Americana album, best Americana performance, and best American roots song) before she was announced as the winner for song of the year — and she looked just as astonished as anyone.
Raitt is a Grammys veteran (she won album of the year in 1990) and helped pave the way for many female songwriters, but is "Just Like That" the song of the year in 2023? Certainly not.
It just doesn't make sense for a little-known ballad, which didn't impact culture in any visible way, to win one of the year's biggest awards. (It was the only song out of the 10 nominees that failed to even crack the Billboard Hot 100.)
This is especially infuriating given Taylor Swift's nomination for "All Too Well," a career-topping hit and a masterclass in narrative lyricism. It was her record-tying sixth nomination in the category that celebrates songwriting — and her sixth straight loss, a stunning injustice for one of the most celebrated songwriters of all time.
By contrast, Raitt said in her acceptance speech, "I don't write a lot of songs."
"Easy On Me" is a predictable Adele ballad that beat several better songs for best pop solo performance.
This isn't to say that "Easy On Me" is a bad song by any means. It's just that Bad Bunny's "Moscow Mule," Doja Cat's "Woman," Lizzo's "About Damn Time," Steve Lacy's "Bad Habit," and Styles' "As It Was" are all better.
Adele's opponents in this category delivered exciting, textured bangers that make sense for a pop award. With its rich vocals and broad strokes of soul, "Easy On Me" doesn't quite fit the bill.
(Plus, she had already won this award four times for "Hello," "Set Fire to the Rain," "Someone Like You," and "Chasing Pavements," so it's not like she would've been left wanting.)
Future and Drake won best melodic rap performance for their toxic-man anthem "Wait For U."
"Wait For U" was proudly billed as "the tale of the toxic king," which would be funny if it weren't so accurate.
With lyrics like "I get more vulnerable when I do pills" and "Girl, put a muzzle on it, all that barkin' over dinner," this is a standard Future-Drake team-up that's destined to top charts, but doesn't need to receive awards.
Kendrick Lamar's "Die Hard" or Latto's "Big Energy" would've been more deserving.
Willie Nelson didn't need to win best country solo performance for a cover of "Live Forever."
I understand that people love Willie Nelson, and I don't see why they shouldn't. But I also don't think the 89-year-old legend is anxiously waiting to win any more Grammys.
Nelson's "Live Forever" is a solid take on the Billy Joe Shaver track, but I would've preferred to see an original song from a rising star take home this award, like Zach Bryan's "Something in the Orange" or Kelsea Ballerini's "Heartfirst."
Cody Johnson won best country song, even though women in country are doing far more interesting things.
Cody Johnson's "'Til You Can't" is a generic country track that lacks the humor, edge, and self-awareness of fellow nominees, namely Maren Morris' "Circles Around This Town," Miranda Lambert's "If I Was A Cowboy," and Swift's "I Bet You Think About Me."
Johnson didn't even get to accept the award because he didn't write the song (Ben Stennis and Matt Rogers did), which is a rarity for the authenticity-obsessed country genre.
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