Long heralded as the biggest night of music for the year, the 62nd annual Grammy Awards graced L.A.’s Staples Center, where some of the industry’s biggest stars gathered at the stadium. The televised tradition included everyone from decorated cultural icons and veterans to music’s newest emerging talent, such as Lizzo. The night was undoubtedly a huge one for the hip-hop and R&B starlet, who led the pack with eight nominations. The Michigan-born, Houston-raised songstress was followed by country-trap sensation Lil Nas X and and pop darling Billie Eilish, who were up for six nominations apiece.
In somber news, the 2020 Grammys Awards unexpectedly ran in-sync with the grim news of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s passing; he tragically passed away in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “GiGi” Bryant, and seven others hours before the show. As such, the evening was also earmarked with tributes in honor of the late sports icon across a number of stages. Below are some of those biggest moments from the 2020 Grammy Awards below:
Although she didn’t nab victories in all of the major categories, Lizzo still had a memorable night at the 2020 Grammy Awards. She kicked the show off with an electrifying performance of her revived sleeper hit,“Truth Hurts,” and “Cuz I Love You,” which she dedicated to the late Bryant. “Tonight is for Kobe,” she declared during her performance. Lizzo ultimately walked away from the evening with three awards: Best Pop Solo Performance for “Truth Hurts,” Best Urban Contemporary Album for Cuz I Love You and Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Jerome.”
After being nominated on three separate occasions, Tyler The Creator finally took home his first-ever Grammy Award for his critically acclaimed, self-produced fifth studio album, IGOR. His 2019 record was up against Meek Mill (Championships), 21 Savage ( i am > i was), YBN Cordae (The Lost Boy) and the Dreamville flagship compilation album (Revenge Of The Dreamers III). Tyler was previously nominated for Best Rap Album in 2017 for his Flower Boy LP. Following his acceptance speech, he performed his chart-topping hit, “EARFQUAKE,” and “NEW AMAZING WAND” backdropped by a gaggle of lookalikes donning his Igor costume.
Following Lizzo’s stage, Alicia Keys delivered an emotionally stirring speech in light of the shocking loss of Kobe and Gigi:
“Here we are together on music's biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best. But, to be honest with you, we're all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero,” Keys began in her opening remarks as the returning host of the awards show. “And we're literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built...I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you and share our strength and support with their families...We never imagined in a million years we'd have to start the show like this...So we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit how we all feel right now.”
Keys was then joined on stage by Philadelphia-raised quartet R&B Boyz II Men, where they performed an a capella rendition of “So Hard to Say Goodbye” in honor of Kobe and Gianna’s memory.
Lil Nas X delivered one of the night’s more eclectic moments during his performance of his mega-hit, “Old Town Road.” He was joined on stage by California-bred super-producer and DJ Diplo, the seven-member K-pop boy band BTS, viral yodeler Mason Ramsey, and Billy Ray Cyrus, where they performed their respective remixes of the song. The set included a nod to Bryant as well with a #24 jersey woven into the set. In a surprising twist, Lil Nas was joined on stage by Queens rap icon Nas (who inspired his stage name), where the two closed out the stage with a remix of “Rodeo” from the 20-year-old Atlanta trapster’s 7 LP.
The complete list of winners can be found on the Grammys official website here.
(Photo L-R: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)