It is often difficult for a college student to keep completely up to date with the world outside campus. Some might feel as if they are living in a bubble for four years before waltzing back out into the real world. Also, it is hard to come by cable TV. Because of these obstacles, many students miss out on the news, political debates, and most importantly, awards season. It is more common for a student to catch up on television’s most glamorous and pressing events on Twitter and other social media outlets than it is for them to actually view such ceremonies.
So, in order to help some of you catch up, I present the Hope College Student Guide for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards: Women Edition. This year’s Grammys brought well-deserved recognition to many talented, hard working women. It is in difficult times such as these (what with the pressing anticipation of President Trump’s impeachment trials, the horrific anxiety of Australia’s bushfires, the spreading fear of the Coronavirus and much more), that we need to focus on building each other up. It is imperative that we acknowledge the success of artists of all shapes, sizes, colors, sexualities and genders in all platforms because, at the end of the day, all we have is one another. Without further ado, here are the wonderful women that won big this year’s Grammy season.
Billie Eilish, the 18-year-old alternative super star, broke multiple Grammy records, becoming the youngest person and the first woman to win the top four awards. Eilish won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?,” Record of the Year and Song of the Year for her hit song “bad guy” as well as Best New Artist, giving her five Grammys in total. Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell (popularly known as FINNEAS), wrote and produced the entire album in O’Connell’s bedroom, reshaping what it means to create successful art. Eilish first found fame at age 14 when her song “Ocean Eyes” was released on SoundCloud and went viral. Her success has only skyrocketed since then, winning her 38 mainstream music awards, 33 before counting her five shiny new Grammys. The world looks forward to the future of this young singer-songwriter’s bright career.
Winning three Grammys in total, Lizzo swept at her first ever Grammy Awards. She took home the awards for Best Pop Solo Performance for her song “Truth Hurts,” Best Urban Contemporary Album for her third album “Cuz I Love You” and Best Traditional R&B Performance for her song “Jerome.” Lizzo stands out as a symbol of self love and resilience against the odds. On December 31, 2019, she said in an Instagram post commemorating this past decade, “2009 was the year my daddy died. 2009 was the year I lived in my car and cried myself to sleep on Thanksgiving.” In her Grammy acceptance speech, she stressed the importance of believing in and advocating for yourself by saying, “If I hadn’t reached out I wouldn’t have met my best friends Quinn and Lauren, I don’t know where I would be right now, [maybe] sleeping in my car. […] If I hadn’t reached out I wouldn’t have met Atlantic Records, so thank you so much for lifting me up.”
Tanya Tucker of “Delta Dawn” fame won two Grammys––Best Country Album for “While I’m Livin’” and Best Country Song for “Bring My Flowers Now”––at the age of 61. Tucker began her music career at the young age of 13 with her first song “Delta Dawn.” Although she was expected to become a one-hit-wonder, she instead continued on to create many hits throughout the rest of her life. Though these are Tucker’s first two Grammys, this album is not even close to her first. Over her long and fruitful career, Tucker has written and produced 36 albums in total. Her soothing, smoky voice has kept many of her fans true and strong from that very first release in 1972.
Singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell wins her first Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album for her “Hadestown,” a musical about the Greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus. Orpheus and Eurydice are lovers, but when Eurydice gets trapped in the Underworld, Orpheus must travel into its pressing grip to save his love. What was originally just a concept album has been awarded eight Tony Awards at the 2019 73rd Annual Tony Awards and collected a major fan base since its conception. Mitchell has been working on this opera for fifteen years, tweaking it and changing it in the line of the public eye. The musical is blended across multiple genres, mainly that of the folk genre, working to successfully mix folk and opera. Working with such a well-known myth was no easy feat, especially considering the fact that Orpheus is destined to write a song beautiful enough to melt Hades’ heart (that song being “Epic III,” by the way).
Lady Gaga earned her 10th and 11th Grammy wins with Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for “A Star is Born” and Best Song Written For Visual Media for her song “I’ll Never Love Again.” Beyoncé won her 24th Grammy for Best Music Film for her documentary “Homecoming.” She wrote, directed, and produced this project documenting her 2018 Coachella performance, dubbed “Beychella.” Beyoncé was the first black woman to headline the festival since it was created in 1999. This two-decade, never-miss-a-beat star revolutionized festival performance with the vision and hard work she put into her Coachella spot.
Lastly, former FLOTUS Michelle Obama won her first Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for her memoir “Becoming.” Though this is her first, it is the third Grammy for the Obama family, as Barack has won two for the same award and his memoirs, respectively. “Becoming” is Michelle’s recounting of what it was like growing up on the south side of Chicago. She deals with important topics like race, womanhood, and motherhood, and her calming, motherly voice has uplifted many that have read and listened to the book. Her insightful words make many readers feel seen and heard, making it quick to reach many bestseller’s lists.
If you haven’t heard these works, take some time this week to sit and listen to something new. Maybe it will be a Pop album that makes you feel like saying self-love mantras in the mirror (“Cuz I Love You,” Lizzo) or a falsetto-heavy, folk-feeling Greek myth (“Hadestown,” Anaïs Mitchell) or an audiobook to give you a new perspective on the world (“Becoming,” Michelle Obama) or any of the wonderful works of art mentioned in this article. I promise you, it will not be a waste of time. I hope you enjoyed the first annual Hope College Student Guide for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards: Women Edition. Remember: in this contentious climate, we must lift one another up and acknowledge success when it is due. Our world can always use more kindness.