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Grammys: Killer Mike Arrested, Taylor Swift Comforts Ice Spice and 12 Things the Cameras Missed

The Grammy Awards made history on Sunday night as women dominated the big categories in a clean sweep, with Taylor Swift winning album of the year, Billie Eilish for song of the year, Miley Cyrus for record of the year and Victoria Monét for best new artist. By now, you may have read all those headlines, but there was a lot more action that went down inside Crypto.com Arena. The Hollywood Reporter was on the scene at the awards ceremony to catch the memorable moments that didn’t make the CBS telecast, including the arrest of a Grammy Award-winning rapper, a sweet moment between Swift and her “Karma” collaborator Ice Spice, and Celine Dion’s quiet entrance before her surprise showing onstage.

Killer Mike Handcuffed, Questioned and Arrested

The hard news story of the night happened before the first award was handed out during the primetime telecast. Rapper Killer Mike — fresh from winning three Grammys during the pre-televised portion of the event, including best rap song, performance and album — was detained and handcuffed for a physical altercation that occurred outside Crypto.com Arena. The Hollywood Reporter broke news of the story as it developed when the rapper, whose real name is Michael Render, was led through the arena in handcuffs around 4:20 p.m. and taken to a private security room to be questioned by authorities. The scene also saw Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. drop by to speak with security and members of Mike’s entourage to investigate the matter. Less than two hours later, Killer Mike was placed under arrest and transported to LAPD Central Division, where he was booked for misdemeanor battery. The situation arose after a scuffle with a security guard as Killer Mike walked from Peacock Theater to Crypto.Com Arena and reportedly bumped into or knocked over the guard.

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Killer Mike: “The Only Thing That Limits You Is You”

Before he ended up in handcuffs, the Atlanta-based rapper delivered words of wisdom from both the Peacock Theater stage and backstage press room in talking up his three wins. It proved to be a clean sweep as Killer Mike won in every category in which he was nominated, picking up honors for best rap album for Michael, and best rap song and performance for “Scientists and Engineers.” The 48-year-old seemed ecstatic to receive the Grammy love. “For all the people out there that think you get too old to rap, bullshit. I don’t give a damn if you’re 78 rapping about how many gals you got in the nursing home, make sure we keep hip-hop alive,” he said at the Grammys preshow at Peacock Theater. To the press, he looked back on his winding journey. “For 20 years I’ve been saying, ‘I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.’ And in [my] 20th year of hip-hop, here I am doing it. … I remember being in the fourth grade, they said it wouldn’t last two years. I remember being in eighth grade and they said it wasn’t a real art form. I remember being in 12th grade and my homeroom teacher telling me it would never happen, and here we are. The only thing that limits you is you. At 20 years old, I thought it was cool to be a drug dealer. At 40 years old, I started to live with regrets. At 45, I started to rap about it, at 48 years old I stand here a man with empathy and sympathy for the things I’ve done.”

US rapper Killer Mike poses in the press room with the Grammy for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024.
Rapper Killer Mike with his Grammy Awards.

Keeping Up With Taylor Swift

If it’s an awards show, all eyes are usually focused on the superstar singer, and awards seem to always end up in her hands. While she broke a record by picking up a fourth album of the year honor, the online discourse kicked into overdrive by the time she exited the stage because Swift did not acknowledge the icon who handed her the trophy, Celine Dion. However, there appeared to be no bad blood whatsoever as Swift and Dion were photographed in a tight embrace. The entire night seemed to be business as usual for Swift as she caught up with fellow music stars like SZA, Lizzo, Halle Bailey, boygenius, Karol G, Jelly Roll, Jon Batitse, Kelsea Ballerini and longtime friend Ed Sheeran. During the buzzworthy “Fast Car” performance from Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs, Swift stood up the entire time, swayed back and forth to the music and gave the duet a rousing standing ovation when it was over. Later in the show, after Monét delivered an emotional acceptance speech when she was crowned best new artist, Swift ran all the way across the Crypto.com floor to console her “Karma” collaborator Ice Spice, a fellow nominee in the best new artist category, for missing out on Grammy gold. In another noteworthy moment caught by The Hollywood Reporter, Swift was the ultimate good sport as she was seen hugging and congratulating Billie Eilish when the 22-year-old singer-songwriter returned to her seat after winning song of the year for “What Was I Made For?” in a category that also included Swift’s “Anti-Hero.” Awww.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is photographed at the Grammys in front of a FIJI Water backdrop.

Celine Dion’s VIP Entrance

Speaking of the Canadian chanteuse, she made a winning return to the public eye by presenting the highest honor of the night during the Grammy telecast. It marked the first time she’d been seen in quite some time due to a private battle with stiff-person syndrome. Prior to the weekend, Grammys executive producer Ben Winston teased that an “absolute global icon” would be making a surprise appearance to present the trophy, a reveal that incited rampant speculation. Around 7 p.m., The Hollywood Reporter spotted Dion making a casual entrance into the arena through the VIP doors. As she waited for an elevator, Dion was spotted with an entourage that included Law Roach, the “image architect” credited with helping her become a fashion darling. The stylist had basically retired from the styling game but came back to work with Dion, calling it a “triumphant moment.”

Law Roach and Celine Dion at the Grammys.
Law Roach and Celine Dion at the Grammys.

Billy Joel Hits Stage as Grammys Guest Lights Up

The iconic piano man delivered a world premiere performance of his first new single in 17 years, the ballad “Turn the Lights Back On.” Turned out that nobody needed to tell one Grammy guest that, as a man was spotted in the audience wearing a reflective coat that shined brightly every time the lights went down in the arena.

Brandi Carlile and Joni Mitchell Share Tender Moment

The night was filled with legendary performers making headline-worthy returns to the Grammys stage, and that included Joni Mitchell. The 80-year-old singer-songwriter, who has won nine Grammys, hit the stage to perform at the show for the very first time (in an ensemble by Johnny Was). Introduced by beloved collaborator and close friend Brandi Carlile, Mitchell performed “Both Sides Now,” and after it was over and the show cut to a commercial break, Carlile walked over to Mitchell and bent down for a quick chat and a hug.

Joni Mitchell receives a Grammy from host Trevor Noah as Brandi Carlile looks on.
Joni Mitchell receives a Grammy from host Trevor Noah as Brandi Carlile looks on.

Phoebe Bridgers Slams Ex-Grammy Chief: “Rot in Piss”

Phoebe Bridgers did not mince words when talking to reporters backstage as she slammed the former head of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow. Bridgers, appearing in the Grammys press room alongside Boygenius band members Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus following a win for best rock performance, said, “I have something to say about women. The ex-president of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow, said that if women want to be nominated and win Grammys that they should step up. He’s also being accused of sexual violence. And to him I’d like to say I know you’re not dead yet, but when you are, rot in piss.” In 2018, when women won only 17 of the 86 awards at that year’s show — and only two awards during the live show — Portnow told reporters, “I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level, to step up.” This year’s Grammys was a very different turnout for women than the 2018 ceremony, as four different females — Swift, Eilish, Cyrus and Monét — won the top four Grammys, mirroring the 2021 Grammys when Swift, Eilish, H.E.R. and Megan Thee Stallion won the big four awards. — Kirsten Chuba

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus backstage at the Grammys.
Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus backstage at the Grammys.

Jack Antonoff on Universal Songs Being Removed From TikTok

Another headline-worthy moment happened backstage in the press room as superproducer Jack Antonoff was asked about the standoff between Universal Music Group and TikTok. Following this week’s news that Universal Music Group is pulling its song catalog from TikTok after failing to reach a new licensing deal with the social media platform, Antonoff gave an unvarnished reaction to the sudden removal after winning producer of the year (non-classical) at Sunday’s 2024 Grammys. Antonoff frequently collaborates with UMG artist Swift, whose songs vanished from the platform Wednesday. “You got a whole industry being like, ‘You’ve got to do everything; you’ve got to do everything, and here’s where you’ve got to do it,’ and then one day it’s like, ‘Poof!’” Antonoff explained. “There’s a lot of things wrong [in the industry]. Last time I was here we were talking about ticketing; you’ve always got to make sure as an artist, you can’t get used to being paid less, which they try to get you used to. But I think it’s ass-backwards and at the very least we should have known.” — Kirsten Chuba

Jack Antonoff accepts his producer of the year Grammy (non-classical) during the pre-telecast.
Jack Antonoff accepts his producer of the year Grammy (non-classical) during the pre-telecast.

Victoria Monét’s Grammy Win Moves Coco Jones to Tears

It was a big night for the Jaguar II singer-songwriter as she picked up a trophy for best new artist. As she made her way backstage following the win and emotional acceptance speech, she was greeted by another nominee in the category, Coco Jones, who was moved to tears and overheard saying how happy she was for Monét to win. Earlier on the red carpet, Jones, a five-time Grammy nominee, talked about Monét to The Hollywood Reporter’s Tiffany Taylor, saying she’d love to collaborate with her again after having worked together on her debut EP when she was 15 years old.

John Legend, Chrissy Teigen Show Fans Some Love During Exit

The power couple looked to be enjoying their night out at the Grammys as they were spotted dancing during performances by Miley Cyrus and Burna Boy (with Brandy and 21 Savage). But they missed Billy Joel’s big comeback performance, as well as the night’s final award, by exiting through the back. However, they weren’t in too much of a hurry as they were seen showing lots of love to fans as they made their way through the crowd.

Trevor Noah’s One-Minute Warning

The Grammy host appeared on the big screen inside Crypto.com Arena five minutes before telecast hit the CBS and Paramount+ airwaves to welcome guests to the show, encourage everyone to be seated and warn nominees about the time limit for their acceptance speeches. “By the way, to those of you who are nominated, congratulations. If your name gets called, you will have one minute to accept your award before we have to play you off. So, please, think about what you have to say, and try to keep it short so that everybody has time for their speeches as well.” Check out his best monologue moments here.

Glamour Evaporates as Garbage Bags Come Out

After the final Grammy had been handed out, those fortunate enough to be in the building were confronted by something far less festive outside the arena: an atmospheric river. The state of California is battling a large and dangerous storm and Los Angeles has not been spared. Rain started to fall in the metro area close to 2 p.m. on Sunday and by the time the telecast ended and guests started to funnel out, the scene surrounding Crypto.com Arena was wet, windy and wild. Dozens of women were spotted covering their gowns with clear plastic garbage bags, while other guests were using the sleek, commemorative Grammy magazines as makeshift umbrellas. Check out the impact L.A.’s rain had on the telecast here.

See the full list of 2024 Grammy Award winners here.

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