Grammys hailed as ‘queerest in years’ as LGBT+ stars make history and stack up trophies

Separate photos of Kaytranada and Lady Gaga, both holding armfuls of Grammys

The 2021 Grammys were the queerest in years, garnering major wins for stars famed in the LGBT+ community.

The Grammys are music’s biggest night of celebrations, and it was a night of history-making moments and tear-jerking performances. The 63rd annual awards took place on Sunday (14 March) in Los Angeles with comedian Trevor Noah hosting the affair.

Besides the awards themselves, the four-hour ceremony also included star-studded performances by BTS, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.

Beyoncé took home the most awards at the ceremony, picking up four out of her nine total nominations. Queen Bey broke the record for the most Grammy wins by a female artist or any singer – regardless of gender.

Alongside Beyoncé’s well-deserved wins, LGBT+ artists also celebrated an astounding nine wins in total at the latest Grammy Awards ceremony, making it the queerest in years, according to GLAAD.

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande made music history as the first all-female pairing to win Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. They won for “Rain on Me”, taken from Lady Gaga’s album Chromatica. This is Lady Gaga’s 12th Grammy award.

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Lady Gaga was absent on the night, watched the awards from Italy, where she is currently filming House of Gucci.

In a tweet, she said she was honoured to be nominated and sent out all her love to her “little monsters”.

Queer Haitian-Canadian DJ Kaytranada won the most awards out of all the LGBT+ icons nominated for Grammys. He took home two awards this year: one for Best Dance/Electronic Album and another win for Best Dance Recording.

Kaytranada was also nominated for Best New Artist this year, but that win went to “WAP” singer and rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

After his two Grammy wins, Kaytranada thanked all his fans from the “bottom of my heart” on Twitter.

Former Alabama Shakes lead vocalist Brittany Howard won a Grammy for Best Rock Song for “Stay High” – the award will go to the songwriter. Howard also took place in the loving tribute to the lost stars of the music world during the Grammys’ in memoriam segment.

She teamed up with Coldplay’s Chris Martin to cover “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers, who died last year. Her powerful vocals during the performance left viewers with chills.

Bisexual singer and rapper Meshell Ndegeocello won Best R&B Song for featuring on and writing “Better Than I Imagined”. She wrote the song alongside Robert Glasper and Gabriella Wilson.

In a post on Instagram, she jokingly lamented being nominated for a Grammy “11 times”, but she sent “Robert Glasper a voice memo and that s**t wins?”. She added: “You couldn’t explain the last 30 years of my career to me if you tried.

“But I love you Robert SO much and Gabriella [and] I hope we get to make more sound experiences together.”

Brandi Carlile won the Grammy for Best Country Song. She will share the award with Natalie Hemby and Lori Mckenna. In an interview with People, Carlile said the Grammy nomination was the “first time I cried about something like that”.

She has been nominated for eight Grammys throughout her career, and this was her first win. Carlile said this was “definitely the most impactful” nomination as she struggled to release music amid the global pandemic.

Carlile also took part in the Grammy’s in memoriam segment alongside Howard and Martin. She paid tribute to acclaimed singer-songwriter John Prine by singing the last song he ever wrote, “I Remember Everything”. Carlile wrote on Instagram that the experience was an “unspeakable honour”.

Critically-acclaimed documentary filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman took home the Grammy for Best Music Film. The filmmakers created the now CNN-acquired documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Song of My Voice which chronicles the life of the American singer who recorded and performed in diverse genres including rock, country, light opera and Latin.

Epstein and Friedman also directed the 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet, based on the book by GLAAD co-founder Vito Russo.

Epstein dedicated the win to the singer, who retired in 2011. This was also Ronstadt’s first competitive win since 2006 – so a monumental occasion for everyone involved.

LGBTQ-inclusive Broadway musical Jagged Little Pill won Best Musical Theater Album. The musical, based on the music of Canadian artist Alanis Morissette, has a cast chock full of LGBT+ talents including Lauren Patten and Ezra Menas.

The musical celebrated the win on Twitter. It said the cast was “stoked”, “honored” and “beyond happy for all of the talents, passionate souls who helped #JaggedLittleBroadway win a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album”.

Lesbian MSNBC host Rachel Maddow won a Grammy for Best Spoken World Album for Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth.

Maddow shared her excitement and surprise at the win on Twitter. Her blog tweeted about the win with the caption “HA! WHOA! WOW!”

Maddow wrote on Twitter the sentimembet was “exactly what it sounded like in the car when Susan [her partner] and I heard”. She added: “We scared the dog awake”. Our condolences to the pupper.