Megan Thee Stallion dominated the Grammys her first time out, performing two #1 hit songs, winning Best New Artist, and collecting two more awards for “Savage Remix”. Her first trophy came pre-telecast for Best Rap Performance, making her and her collaborator Beyoncé the first female artists to ever win in the category and I challenge you not to smile watching her reaction.
Then early in the big show, Lizzo announced that her fellow Houston native, Meg, is this year’s Best New Artist and Megan’s in disbelief. The first few seconds of her acceptance speech are just Meg trying her hardest to avoid breaking down in happy tears. That made for a moment of brief silence because this year there weren’t 20 thousand screaming people in the audience to fill the gaps, which allowed us to watch Meg let it sink in for a beat before giving her speech. It felt more intimate.
Sandwiched in between wins, Meg performed “Savage Remix” and helped elevate Cardi B’s “WAP” performance. The former gave us a Great Gatsby-esque twerkfest while dripping in jewels. She reminded me she hasn’t been sitting on the couch all year like I have — her body was ready to groove. There were moments she hit the moves better than the backup dancers. Unfortunately, the performance was sans Beyoncé, and we were told by Grammy producers that would be the case, but hopes were raised when Bey and Jay joined the audience halfway through the ceremony.
It seems Beyoncé’s presence was just as much a surprise to Megan, because when she and Bey won Best Rap Song together, she’s visibly shocked to see the Queen standing across the room walking towards her. Imagine thinking this is your second win on the big telecast and you’re going to try and be more composed and thank all the people you forgot the first time but then you see Beyoncé smiling at you with all her Beyoncé-ness… my heart would probably drop out of my ass, but best case scenario your mind goes blank, right?
This is one of the few awards show moments where you’ll see the camera focused on the person standing next to the mic (Beyoncé), while the person accepting the award (Megan) is slightly out of focus. I know Megan’s totally cool with that because she’s in the Beyhive too. And I loved hearing Megan explain how she’s looked up to Bey since seeing her perform live in Houston during the Destiny’s Child days. We may not all have had the chance to see her live back then, but I know I can relate to falling in love during the DC era. And after Beyoncé said a few words, they both headed off stage before Trevor Noah stopped them in their tracks to announce that with this win Beyoncé had tied the all-time record for most Grammy wins by a female artist and by any singer, male or female (a record she beat later in the evening). There’s so much to be said about this 30 seconds of television. Jay-Z’s reaction shot, Beyoncé’s face… I lived for the memes Twitter was producing and I can’t wait to hear Lainey’s thoughts on all the dynamics at play here.
Meg and Bey were also up for biggest award of the night: Record of the Year. It was a pretty stacked category, with “Savage Remix” up against DaBaby and Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar”, Black Puma’s “Colors”, Doja Cat’s “Say So”, Billie’s Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted”, Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now”, Post Malone’s “Circles”, and also Beyoncé’s “Black Parade”. The award ultimately went to Billie who hopped on stage and immediately admitted this win is embarrassing for her because it should be Megan’s and described Meg’s year as “untoppable”. But what’s really embarrassing is giving white artists awards they feel so guilty about winning over Black artists that they have to admit onstage that the academy got it wrong. You remember Macklemore doing it to Kendrick Lamar. You remember Adele doing it to Beyoncé. It’s so awkward for all involved. Megan just looked on, embarrassed, and Beyoncé had already left. She knows the drill. She may be tied for the most Grammy wins of all-time with 28 awards, but 24 of those are in “Urban” categories.
Still, Megan’s not worried about losing Record of the Year because she’s got her hands full and this is only the beginning.