63rd Annual Grammy Awards
Official poster with original date window
DateMarch 14, 2021
LocationLos Angeles Convention Center[1]
Los Angeles, California
Hosted byTrevor Noah
Most awardsBeyoncé (4)
Most nominationsBeyoncé (9)
Television/radio coverage
Viewership8.8 million[2]

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021. It recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, running from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020.[3] The nominations were revealed via a virtual livestream on November 24, 2020. The performers for the ceremony were announced on March 7, 2021. South African comedian Trevor Noah hosted the ceremony.

Beyoncé received the most nominations with nine, followed by Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch, and Taylor Swift with six each.[4] Beyoncé received the most awards, with four, surpassing Alison Krauss as the most-awarded woman in the show's history, with 28 awards overall.[5] Swift won Album of the Year for Folklore, making her the first woman to win the award three times and the first artist to do so since Paul Simon in 1988.[6] Billie Eilish won Record of the Year for "Everything I Wanted", becoming the second solo artist, after Roberta Flack in 1974, to win two years consecutively, and the third overall since U2 in 2002. H.E.R. won Song of the Year for "I Can't Breathe" and Megan Thee Stallion won Best New Artist, becoming the second female rapper to win since Lauryn Hill in 1999. The ceremony was originally scheduled for January 31, 2021; however, on January 5, 2021, the Recording Academy postponed the ceremony to March 14, 2021, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles as well as health and safety concerns therein.[7]


The nominations were announced during a virtual livestream on November 24, 2020, by Chair, and Interim Recording Academy President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr., alongside Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Mickey Guyton, Lauren Daigle, Pepe Aguilar, Nicola Benedetti, Gayle King, Yemi Alade, BTS, Imogen Heap and Sharon Osbourne.[8][9][10] The academy announced Trevor Noah as the host of the ceremony.[11]

Category alterations

For the 2021 ceremony, the academy announced several changes for different categories and rules:

Venue and production

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held at Los Angeles Convention Center, while the show's usual venue—Staples Center—served as the backdrop.[1] The show was three and a half hours long.[15]

The Recording Academy appointed Ben Winston as the executive producer of the show, his first time working on a Grammy show. Winston, via Rolling Stone, stated that the show would feature multiple stages, but no audience, highlighting the "creative triumphs, social justice movements, as well as COVID-19's impact on the arts". Regarding the venue shift, Winston stated that he does believe Staples is a safe place, but he wanted "to go above and beyond to make even the most-skeptical participants feel undoubtedly safe". The production was overseen by COVID-19 safety officers. To minimize physical contact, artists had their own backstage area, and entered the stages from different directions.[15]

The show involved five equally sized stages arranged in a circle facing inwards; one of the stages was for presenters and the other four for performers. Crew members worked from the center of the circular set. As soon as one performance ended, the next stage would be covered, and so on. Each stage set-up was changed every 45 minutes and replaced with a different performer in the lineup. Winston mentioned that the said concept was inspired by his favorite shows Jools Holland and TFI Friday. The show was a mix of live and pre-recorded performances, as "a fully live show would involve too many crew members moving sets and risking close contact". However, the whole show was planned to feel entirely live.[15]

To help plan the sprawling production and immersive spectacle of the show, Winston collaboratored with a multitude of producers, such as co-executive producer Jesse Collins, who produced The Weeknd's Super Bowl halftime show; co-executive producer Raj Kapoor, who handled creative direction for many artists on the last seven Grammy shows and produced Las Vegas concert residencies for Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey; producer Fatima Robinson, worked on the Black Eyed Peas' 2011 halftime show; producer Misty Buckley, who produced Kacey Musgraves' 2020 Christmas show; talent executive Patrick Menton from Dick Clark Productions; James Corden collaborator Josie Cliff; and Hamish Hamilton, who directed Super Bowl halftimes, Olympic ceremonies, Academy Award, and Emmy Award shows.[15]


Premiere ceremony

Performers were announced on March 2, 2021.[16]

Artist(s) Song(s)
Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra
Thana Alexa
John Beasley
Regina Carter
Alexandre Desplat
Bebel Gilberto
Lupita Infante
Sarah Jarosz
Mykal Kilgore
Mariachi Sol De Mexico
PJ Morton
Gregory Porter
Grace Potter
Gustavo Santaolalla
Anoushka Shankar
Kamasi Washington
Tribute to Marvin Gaye
"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)"
Lido Pimienta "Eso Que Tú Haces"
Igor Levit Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor
Jimmy "Duck" Holmes "Catfish Blues"
Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science "Trapped in the American Dream"
Rufus Wainwright "Hatred"
Poppy "Eat"
Burna Boy Medley:
"Level Up"

Main ceremony

Performers for the ceremony were announced on March 7, 2021.[17]

List of performers at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards
Artist(s) Song(s)
Harry Styles "Watermelon Sugar"
Billie Eilish
"Everything I Wanted"
Haim "The Steps"
Black Pumas "Colors"
Roddy Ricch
Anthony Hamilton
Bad Bunny
Jhay Cortez
Dua Lipa Medley:
"Levitating" (featuring DaBaby)
"Future Nostalgia" (dance only)
"Don't Start Now"
Silk Sonic
(Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak)
"Leave the Door Open"
Taylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
Aaron Dessner
Silk Sonic
Lionel Richie
Brandi Carlile
Brittany Howard
Chris Martin
In Memoriam
"Long Tall Sally"
"Good Golly Miss Molly"
(tribute to Little Richard)
(tribute to Kenny Rogers)
"I Remember Everything"
(tribute to John Prine)
"You'll Never Walk Alone"
(tribute to Gerry Marsden)
Mickey Guyton "Black Like Me"
Miranda Lambert "Bluebird"
Maren Morris
John Mayer[18]
"The Bones"
Megan Thee Stallion
Cardi B
"Body" (Megan Thee Stallion, dance only)
"Savage Remix" (Megan Thee Stallion, includes archived vocals by Beyoncé)
"Up" (Cardi B)
"WAP" (includes Pedro Sampaio funk carioca remix)
Post Malone "Hollywood's Bleeding"
Lil Baby
Tamika Mallory
Killer Mike
"The Bigger Picture"
Doja Cat "Say So"
BTS "Dynamite"
Roddy Ricch "Heartless"
"The Box"


Winners and nominees

Winners appear first and highlighted in Bold.

General field

Record of the Year

Album of the Year

Song of the Year

Best New Artist


Best Pop Solo Performance

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Best Pop Vocal Album

Dance/electronic music

Best Dance Recording

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Contemporary instrumental music

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album


Best Rock Performance

Best Metal Performance

Best Rock Song

Best Rock Album


Best Alternative Music Album


Best R&B Performance

Best Traditional R&B Performance

Best R&B Song

Best Progressive R&B Album

Best R&B Album


Best Rap Performance

Best Melodic Rap Performance

Best Rap Song

Best Rap Album


Best Country Solo Performance

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Best Country Song

Best Country Album

New age

Best New Age Album


Best Improvised Jazz Solo

Best Jazz Vocal Album

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

Best Latin Jazz Album

Gospel/contemporary Christian music

Best Gospel Performance/Song

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

Best Gospel Album

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

Best Roots Gospel Album


Best Latin Pop or Urban Album

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)

Best Tropical Latin Album

American roots

Best American Roots Performance

Best American Roots Song

Best Americana Album

Best Bluegrass Album

Best Traditional Blues Album

Best Contemporary Blues Album

Best Folk Album

Best Regional Roots Music Album


Best Reggae Album

Global music

Best Global Music Album


Best Children's Album

Spoken word

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)


Best Comedy Album

Musical theater

Best Musical Theater Album

Music for visual media

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Best Song Written for Visual Media


Best Instrumental Composition

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals


Best Recording Package

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package


Best Album Notes


Best Historical Album

Production, non-classical

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

Best Remixed Recording

Production, immersive audio

Best Immersive Audio Album
The judging for this category was postponed.

Production, classical

Best Engineered Album, Classical

Producer of the Year, Classical


Best Orchestral Performance

Best Opera Recording

Best Choral Performance

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

Best Classical Instrumental Solo

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album

Best Classical Compendium

Best Contemporary Classical Composition

Music video/film

Best Music Video

Best Music Film

Special Merit Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Trustees Award

Technical Grammy Award

Music Educator Award

Multiple nominations and awards

The following received multiple nominations:



The following received multiple awards:

In Memoriam

Musical artists and industry personnel who had died in 2020 and early 2021 were included in a memorial reel aired during the Grammy telecast. At least 800 individuals were considered by producer Ben Winston for the segment.[20] The Recording Academy was criticized by fans of Naya Rivera, Benny Mardones, Hal Ketchum, Riley Gale, and Frankie Banali for excluding their names from the broadcast, although all of them were included on a longer list of names posted on the Grammys website.[21][22][23]

The segment dedicated to Eddie Van Halen was criticized by fans, former bandmates and other figures within the hard rock and heavy metal community who felt that the brief seconds-long tribute was an insult to the guitarist's influence and legacy.[24] Van Halen's son Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that he declined the Academy's offer to play "Eruption" for the segment out of respect for his father, believing that the "In Memoriam" would feature more songs. While disappointed with the brief tribute, Wolfgang was "hurt the most" by Eddie not being mentioned among other late artists remembered at the beginning of the show, attributing the mishap to the declining mainstream popularity in rock music and the Academy's historical lack of interest in the genre.[25] However, Jem Aswad of Variety defended the tribute, opining that longer tributes featuring cover artists still would have failed to meet expectations and praised the subtext behind the segment, which featured a spotlight on Van Halen's signature Frankenstrat guitar with a video of the guitarist playing in the background, that Van Halen's talent could never be replicated.[26]



Following the release of the nominations, Canadian singer The Weeknd accused the Grammys of corruption after he failed to receive any nominations. Based on the success of his album, After Hours, The Weeknd had been expected by many critics and publications to receive a large number of nominations, including Album of the Year as well as several nods for his single "Blinding Lights". Expressing his concerns, The Weeknd tweeted that "the Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency". He further explained that he was expecting nominations due to discussions between his team and the Grammys to perform at the ceremony but it was later reported by Rolling Stone that these discussions broke down due to The Weeknd also performing at the Super Bowl LV halftime show. In response, the Grammys released a statement saying that they "empathized" with The Weeknd's disappointment but that some "deserving" artists miss out every year. Recording Academy president Harvey Mason Jr. later expanded on this by explaining that "we understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathise with what he's feeling. Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd's performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process".[27] Several days later, The Weeknd stated that "I personally don't care anymore. I have three Grammys, which mean nothing to me now, obviously. I suck at giving speeches anyways. Forget awards shows. It's not like, 'Oh, I want the Grammy!' It's just that this happened, and I'm down to get in front of the fire, as long as it never happens again".[28]

American singer Halsey spoke out in solidarity with The Weeknd after her 2020 album, Manic, received no nominations. Taking to Instagram, Halsey wrote "The Grammys are an elusive process. It can often be about behind the scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshake and 'bribes' that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as 'not bribes.'"[29][30] The singer went on to share that speaking out against The Grammys could very well get an artist blacklisted.[31] Halsey, who only has 2 nominations throughout her entire career, was the center of conversation when her song "Without Me", which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, was passed up for a nomination at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.[32]

Justin Bieber expressed his disappointment with the academy following his album Changes receiving nominations in the Pop field rather than the R&B field. He explained that he is "very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me". The Grammys later responded to Bieber, stating that "we always want to respect the artist's wishes. Art's a funny thing because it's so subjective, and at the Academy our goal is to honor excellence. At some point, decisions have to be made as to how to compare different things, and it is a very tough process and one I don't think we get right every time. We use our best efforts to get people where they wanna be and where they should be and try to evaluate them as best as we can. If he felt that was that type of a record, then, you know... I'll just leave it at that. We try really hard to make sure people's art is respected and evaluated in the right category".[33]

Five days before the ceremony, British artist Zayn Malik posted a tweet criticizing the Grammys and their voting procedures stating that "unless you shake hands and send gifts, there's no nomination considerations. Next year I'll send you a basket of confectionary". After confusion from fans and the media, who noted that Malik's third album, Nobody Is Listening, was ineligible for the 63rd Grammy Awards as it was released after the eligibility period ended in August, Malik stated his intentions in a follow-up tweet, explaining that his prior post was "not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and networking [sic] politics to influence the voting process".[34]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2021)

During the ceremony, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion performed the song "WAP."[35] Grammys host Trevor Noah prefaced the performance with, "If you have small children in the room, just tell them it's a song about giving a cat a bath", and the chorus "wet and gushy," was changed to "wet, wet, wet".[36] Billboard ranked it as the best performance of the ceremony, commenting that "this had to be one of the most insane television debut performances of all time."[37] Music critic Jon Caramanica called the performance "wildly and charmingly salacious, frisky and genuine in a way that the Grammys has rarely if ever made room for".[38] However, the performance received criticism for being "non-family-friendly".[39]


The broadcast received an average of 8.8 million viewers in the United States, with a 2.1 Nielsen rating among adults aged 18 to 49, marking a more than 50 percent decline from the previous year's ceremony, and making it the least-viewed telecast in the history of the Grammys. Conversely, the live streaming audience for the show was up 83 percent over 2020 and the hashtag, #Grammys trended for 18 hours and peaked in the number one position.[2]


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  2. ^ a b Zorilla, Monica Marie (March 15, 2021). "TV Ratings: Grammy Awards Hit Record Low, Down Nearly 53% Compared to 2020's Show". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
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  25. ^ @wolfvanhalen (March 15, 2021). "The GRAMMYS asked me to play Eruption for the 'In Memoriam' section and I declined. I don't think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself. It was my understanding that there would be an 'In Memoriam' section where bits of songs were performed for legendary artists that had passed. I didn't realize that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost. What hurt the most was that he wasn't even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show. I know rock isn't the most popular genre right now, (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but I think it's impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument, the world of rock, and music in general. There will never be another innovator like him. I'm not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side. I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say "Ehh who gives a shit?" He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn't matter. I'd love to get the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the Rock genre moving forward. Thank you". Retrieved March 16, 2021 – via Instagram.
  26. ^ Aswad, Jem (March 15, 2021). "Why the Grammys' Eddie Van Halen Tribute Got It Right". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
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  38. ^ "The Best and Worst of the 2021 Grammy Awards". nytimes.com. March 15, 2021.
  39. ^ "Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion face criticism over 'inappropriate' and 'trashy' Grammy performance". yahoo.com. March 15, 2021.