Killer Mike, boygenius and SZA Are Among Early Grammy Winners

Killer Mike, boygenius and SZA Are Among Early Grammy Winners

Of this year’s 94 Grammy categories, all but nine were given out during a fast-paced, nontelevised ceremony, where some stars (Billie Eilish, Joni Mitchell, boygenius) showed up to accept their awards, but many others (SZA, Michelle Obama) didn’t.

The tallies for the early awards gave no clear advantage to any artist. SZA, the night’s most nominated artist, with nine citations, won two (progressive R&B album and pop duo/group performance, with Phoebe Bridgers) but lost three, which puts her in a challenging position going into the main ceremony.

The indie-rock trio boygenius won three early prizes, including best rock song, rock performance and alternative music album (for “The Record”). Dressed in identical white suits, with black ties and pink carnations, the band’s three women ran excitedly to the podium and gave emotional speeches.

“We were all delusional enough as kids to think this might happen to us one day,” Lucy Dacus, one group member, said.

Songs from “Barbie” — which logged 11 nominations total, including some multiple nods in individual categories — took two prizes early in the night. Eilish and her brother, Finneas, were present to accept the award for best song written for visual media, for “What Was I Made For?”

“I want to thank our parents,” Finneas said. “Our dad who worked as a construction worker at Mattel Corporation for much of our childhood to keep food on the table. That’s very sick. Thank you for parenting us.”

Jack Antonoff — the producer of Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and other stars — won producer of the year, non-classical, for the third year a row.

Although this nontelevised segment is seen by few fans, it can feature notable, heartfelt speeches. Mitchell, 80, accepting the award for best folk album, for “Joni Mitchell at Newport,” a live recording of her surprise comeback appearance in 2022, said: “We had so much fun at that concert, and I think you can feel it on the record. It’s a very joyous record because of the people that I played with and the spirit of the occasion was very high. And it went onto the record. Even the audience sounds like music.”

Killer Mike, the Atlanta rap veteran and political activist, was up for three awards in the rap field for music from his album “Michael” — rap album, performance and song — and he won all three.

In a passionate series of speeches, his head covered in sweat, he exhorted: “For all the people out there that think you get too old to rap, [expletive]!” He added: “Dreams come true! It is a sweep! It is a sweep! It is a sweep!”

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