LAS VEGAS — Jon Batiste won album of the year honors for “We Are” at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, giving him five trophies on a night that saw the ’70s funk of Silk Sonic take record of the year and song of the year and newcomer Olivia Rodrigo take three awards.
The multi-genre performer also won for his song “Cry,” the video for “Freedom” and his work with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on the soundtrack for “Soul.”
The R&B supergroup Silk Sonic took home awards in all four categories it was nominated in, including record of the year. Olivia Rodrigo collected three trophies, including the coveted best new artist honor.
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak were exuberant as they accepted the honor toward the end of the ceremony. The win puts Mars in historic company again: He becomes the only artist along with Paul Simon to take home the award three times.
“We are really trying our hardest to remain humble at this point,” .Paak said. “But in the industry, they call that a clean sweep!” later adding “drinks is on Silk Sonic tonight!”
The win came after the night’s festivities grew grim when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the gathering with an update on the war and his numbers included children injured and killed. “Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos,” he said. “We are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music.”
Following Zelenskyy, John Legend performed “Free” with Ukrainian exiles including singer-actress Mika Newton and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
Rodrigo’s win for best new artist put her in esteemed company including Carly Simon, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tom Jones, the Beatles and Billie Eilish.
A veteran of the “High School Musical” series, Rodrigo became the breakout music star of 2021, leading with her massive viral hit “Drivers License” and following with the single “Good 4 U” and the aching album “Sour,” which took best pop vocal album.
Silk Sonic — the all-star union of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — opened the Grammys in Las Vegas with their high-energy, infectious fix of retro soul and funk by performing their “777.” They returned to the stage a short time later to collect the song of the year trophy for “Leave the Door Open.”
The win helps Mars tie the record for most song of the year wins. He had previously won for “24K Magic.”
By the time the show started on CBS, Jon Batiste has already taken home four Grammy Awards, including his first ever. Batiste won for best American roots performance, best American roots song, best music video and tied with Carlos Rafael Rivera for best score soundtrack for visual media. His song “Freedom” in the music video category beat out several other tough competitors, including Rodrigo, Lil Nas X and Eilish. All the honors were handed out during a pre-telecast ceremony.
It’s the first tie since 2019 when Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake tied with Anderson .Paak to win best rap performance.
It was a family affair from cousins Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, who won best rap performance for their song “Family Ties.” Lamar won his 14th Grammy and the first for Keem, who said “nothing could have prepared me for this moment” after stepping out onstage to claim his trophy.
Chris Stapleton won his third Grammy for best country solo performance for “You Should Probably Leave.” He extended his record for the most wins.
Dressed in all black, BTS took the stage with a flirty moment between V and Rodrigo before the group performed their hit single “Butter.” They made an appearance after one of the members tested positive for COVID-19.
Foo Fighters won three awards Sunday, but were not in attendance to pick up their trophies following the recent death of its drummer Taylor Hawkins. An extended tribute to Hawkins played before the show’s In Memorium segment honoring artists and music industry figures who’ve died.
Eilish paid homage to Hawkins during her performance by sporting a black T-shirt with his image. She stepped onstage in an upside-down house along with her brother Finneas before stepping into the rain to perform the title track from her “Happier Than Ever.”
TJ Osborne, who came out as gay last year, fought back tears as he and his brother accepted a Grammy for the Brothers Osborn song “Younger Me.” He noted the song was inspired by his coming out.
“I never thought that I would be able to do music professionally because of my sexuality. And I certainly never thought I would be here on the stage accepting a Grammy after having done something I felt like was going to be life changing and potentially in a very negative way,” Osborne said.
“And here I am tonight, not only accepting this Grammy Award with my brother, which I love so much, but I’m here with a man that I love and he loves me back. … I don’t know what I did be so lucky.”
The ceremony shifted from Los Angeles to Las Vegas because of rising COVID-19 cases and the omicron variant in January, with organizers citing “too many risks” to hosting the performance-filled show at the time.
Crooner Tony Bennett, 95, who retired from performing last year because of his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, extended his record as the artist with the most traditional pop vocal album wins, with 14. Sunday night’s trophy was for “Love for Sale,” a duet album with Lady Gaga.