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How This Year’s Grammys Celebrated LGBTQ+ Artists and Allies

How This Year’s Grammys Celebrated LGBTQ+ Artists and Allies

Brandi Carlile, Beyoncé, and Kim Petras

The 2023 Grammy Awards featured Brandi Carlile, Sam Smith, Kim Petras, Lizzo, Harry Styles, and Beyoncé.

During the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, queer performers and allies won several awards and gave some of the night’s most-talked-about performances. Beyoncé also made history when she broke the record for the most Grammys of all time with 32 awards, dedicating the win to her uncle and the queer community.

The night started off with an incredible performance from Bad Bunny and a clever monologue from host Trevor Noah. During his opening bit, he explained that the evening’s performers would be introduced by some of the people who made their success in the industry possible.

The first person to be introduced by someone special was Brandi Carlile. Carlile was introduced by her two young daughters and her wife, who called Brandi one of the “greatest, most authentic artists and human beings on the planet.” Carlile performed “Broken Horses,” which earned her the awards for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song before the show aired.

Other queer musicians also took to the stage, including Sam Smith and Kim Petras, who performed their hauntingly beautiful hit “Unholy,” which won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. When Petras and Smith won, Petras accepted the award, noting that Smith wanted her to speak because she was the first transgender woman to win the award.

During her speech, Petras highlighted the trans performers who came before her, including SOPHIE, who passed away two years ago. “I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight, [especially] SOPHIE . . . who told me this would happen and always believed in me.”

Notable queer ally Lizzo also performed during the show and was introduced by transgender dancer Jayla Sullivan, who competed in Lizzo’s dance competition show, Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. Towards the end of the evening, Lizzo also took home the award for Record of the Year for “About Damn Time.” During her speech, she talked about being true to herself and also thanked Beyoncé.

Beyoncé had an incredible night, but not at first. Earlier in the night, she won the award for Best R&B song for “Cuff It,” but she wasn’t able to accept the award in person because she was stuck in traffic! Luckily, she made it in time to accept the award for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for Renaissance, which made her the artist with the most Grammy wins of all time.

During her speech, Beyoncé acknowledged her late gay Uncle Jonny, who introduced her to some of the music that inspired the album. She also gave thanks to the “queer community for their love and inventing the genre.”

But perhaps the biggest winner of the night was Harry Styles, who took home the award for Best Pop Album and Album of the Year for Harry’s House. Styles’ sexuality has long been a topic of conversation, and last year, he said: "I think everyone, including myself, has your own journey with figuring out sexuality and getting more comfortable with it."

All in all, the Grammys highlighted an incredible array of music from both queer artists and allies, and continued this year’s trend of super gay award shows. We love to see it!

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