Follow Vogue Arabia

Everything You Need to Know About the Grammys 2021

Grammys Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in January 2020. Photo: Getty Images

Alongside the Oscars and the Met Gala, the Grammy Awards is one of the most glamorous — and important — nights of the year in entertainment. Consistently securing an arsenal of A-list artists, past ceremonies have seen exhilarating performances from Kendrick Lamar (2016), Miley Cyrus performing with Dolly Parton (2019), or Adele clearing space in her already-full trophy cabinet by winning six awards in one night (2012). However, the prestigious show has also come under attack in recent years, not least by the artists it honors. Host of the 62nd Grammys, Alicia Keys, slammed the awards for its lack of diversity, while during the 2020 ceremony Tyler, The Creator questioned the racist overtones of the word “urban” (the Recording Academy responded by changing Best Urban Contemporary Album to Best Progressive R&B Album). Fast-forward to the end of 2020, and there’s more upset. Following the announcement of the nominations on 24 November, The Weeknd took to social media to protest the omission of his hugely successful album, as did Halsey, while Ellie Goulding posted her thoughts on Medium about the problems of awarding creativity. 

With all this and a pandemic to navigate, we’re sure the ceremony this year will be one to remember. Here’s what we know so far about the 63rd Grammy Awards, 2021.

The Grammys will be held on 31 January 2021

Despite Covid-19, the show will be broadcast live from Los Angeles’s Staples Center, where it’s been hosted 19 times since first being televised live in 1971. “Rain or shine, Covid-19 vaccine or not… Whether or not there will be a live audience or red carpet will be determined and revealed closer to the big day,” says the Grammys website.

The host is unconfirmed

For the past two years, singer and 15-times-Grammy winner Alicia Keys has fronted the show, and before her, comedian James Corden was on presenting duties. While 2021’s host is yet to be announced, given the ceremony’s penchant for comedians (Billy Crystal, Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ellen DeGeneres have all hosted previously), Michelle Wolf, Chris Rock, or Dave Chappelle would all do a great job in 2021.

The performers have not been confirmed

British singer Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia album cover. Photo: Supplied

While no names have been announced as yet, we can expect to see Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, and Billie Eilish represent the pop spectrum, with Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby covering rap. We also hope to see BTS, Phoebe Bridgers, and Kaytranada making their Grammy-stage debuts.

Beyoncé is the most nominated artist for 2021

A still from the ‘Black Is King’ film Beyoncé. Photo: Shutterstock

Queen Bey received nine nods for her acclaimed visual album Black Is King, which premiered via Disney+ in July. With 24 Grammys already in the cabinet and 79 nominations to her name, Beyoncé is currently the eighth most-awarded artist of all time and the joint-second most-nominated alongside Paul McCartney (her husband Jay-Z is joint-first with Quincy Jones, both of whom have 80 noms). If Bey wins eight of those nine categories on the night, she will officially be the most-awarded artist of all time, beating composer Georg Solti who currently holds the top spot.

BTS are nominated for their first ‘proper’ award

BTS. Photo: Getty Images

The seven-piece group is the first-ever K-pop group to get Grammy recognition, with a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Their chart-topping single Dynamite is up against Justin Bieber’s Intentions featuring Quavo and Lady Gaga’s Rain On Me with Ariana Grande, as well as J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa and Tainy’s Un Dia/ One Day, and Exile by Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver. BTS were nominated last year for Best Album Package for their Love Yourself: Tear artwork but it’s not a category that massively counts. Their reaction to the news — besides a stunned V — was certainly not muted.

The Weeknd is very unhappy

With one of the year’s biggest commercial and critical successes, the lack of nominations for Abel Tesfaye’s Blinding Lights album and his huge global hit single of the same name is certainly a huge omission by the Recording Academy. He’s not going quietly though, voicing his displeasure on Twitter. “The Grammys remain corrupt,” he said. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…” Drake also supported his pal via an Instagram story saying, “We should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards.”

Halsey wasn’t best pleased either

Halsey in a dress by Rami Qadi at the 2019 Emmy Awards. Getty

Joining in the outrage after also missing out for her album, Manic, the American pop star called out the process for being deeply unfair. “It can often be about behind-the-scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshakes and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not-bribes’,” she wrote on her Instagram stories.

Women dominate the nominations

Ariana Grande at the Grammys on January 26, 2020. Photo: Getty Images

It’s been a great year for pop music, with everyone from Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift delivering first-rate records between the Grammys’ parameters of 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020. Dua Lipa’s excellent Future Nostalgia is up for five awards, trailed by Taylor Swift’s Folklore with five (plus another for Beautiful Ghosts, Swift’s contribution to the Cats soundtrack) and Billie Eilish’s Everything I Wanted. Relative newcomer Phoebe Bridgers also picked up four, including Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Song. Strangely, Lady Gaga’s Chromatica was overlooked in the major categories, but she picked up one for Best Pop Vocal Album and another for her Ariana Grande duet Rain On Me.

Read Next: Exclusive Lady Gaga Interview: “I Was Told I Wasn’t Good Enough, But It Didn’t Stop Me

Originally published on

View All
Vogue Collection