By Ava Lee-Green
Award season has begun! On February 5, 2023, Trevor Noah hosted the 65th annual Grammy Awards. February is also Black History Month – a time to celebrate Black figures and events in the Black community and learn about their significant contributions to society. With Beyoncé, Viola Davis, Lizzo, and so many more winning the prestigious award in their categories, Black people made history during the Grammy Awards this year.
- Beyoncé became the greatest Grammy winner in history. It’s no surprise that Beyoncé received a nomination for her 2022 album Renaissance. But, the win for Best Dance/Electronic Album solidified her as the Grammy’s GOAT. She now has 32 Grammy Awards, making her the most decorated artist in Recording Academy history. It’s been 19 years since she won her first Grammy (Best Contemporary R&B Album for Dangerously in Love), and she just keeps winning.
- Viola Davis achieved EGOT status. Davis won her first Tony Award in 2001 for her role in the play King Hedley II and won another in 2010 for the revival of Fences. In 2015, she won an Emmy for How to Get Away With Murder and became the first woman of color to win Best Lead Actress in a Drama. Just one year later, she won an Oscar for the cinematic adaptation of Fences. Just over a week ago, she received a Grammy Award for the narration of her memoir Finding Me. She is the 18th person in history and only the third black woman to achieve the elusive EGOT status.
“I wrote this book to honor the 6-year-old Viola — to honor her life, her joy, her trauma, her everything…And it has been such a journey. I just EGOT!”Viola Davis
- Dr. Dre became the first person to win the Global Impact Award. The award is even named after him. The Global Impact Award was established this year in collaboration with the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective to celebrate artists, creatives, and producers who have uplifted Black music throughout their careers.
- The Grammy’s celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip hop. Following the Global Impact Award, the Grammys presented the Hip Hop 50 Tribute to celebrate hip-hop’s legacy and the artists who have continued to push boundaries in the genre. The celebration included performances by Missy Elliot, LL COOL J, Busta Rhymes, and Queen Latifah.
“Because, thanks to the 33 hip hop artists on stage and the countless more we love, hip hop is a global platform today. We’re celebrating. Happy 50th anniversary to hip hop, baby!”LL COOL J
- Walter Russell III became one of the youngest Grammy winners and he’s only 14 years old. As a principal soloist in the opera “Blanchard: Fire Shut Up in My Bones”, he became the fifth youngest person to win a Grammy. At such a young age, he is already a veteran of the stage having performed as “Young Simba” in the National Tour of Disney’s The Lion King, as well as originating and currently playing the role of “Young Michael Jackson” in the Broadway production of MJ: the Musical.
“Winning a Grammy is such a huge thing on my bucket list and the fact that I got to check it off this early was just such an honor.”Walter Russell III
Photo credits: Viola Davis: photo courtesy of Walt Disney Television, Beyonce: photo credit Rocbeyonce on Wikimedia Commons, Walter Russell III: recording screenshot