Left out of the In Memoriam segment
Music's biggest night is back… and back home! After last year's Grammys in Las Vegas, the 2023 show has again returned to its usual home in Los Angeles. And, seeing that it's back in Hollywood, the stars were out in force! For the third year in a row, comedian Trevor Noah hosted, but the focus of the 65th Annual Grammy Awards at Crypto.com Arena on Feb. 5 was on the music. Of course, the Grammys are always full of surprises, and this year was no different — the show even defied recent awards show trends by increasing its year-over-year viewing: Ratings were up 30% to 12.4 million viewers over the previous year.
Keep reading to find out what and who had everyone buzzing at the 2023 Grammys… starting with this…
It seems to happen every year at every awards show: Someone is left out of the In Memoriam segment. Aaron Carter fans were livid that he was MIA from the Grammys tribute to stars who've died over the last year. Aaron, who struggled with addiction for years, died in November 2022 after being found in a bathtub in his home. Although he was never nominated for a Grammy, two of his songs — "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)" and "That's How I Beat Shaq" — made the Billboard Top 100 chart. Aaron's fans aired their grievances on social media and TMZ noted several reactions. "Yeah I'm so upset right now about this!!!! Like why was Aaron not included!!!" one person wrote. "Shame on the grammys 2023!" tweeted another.
Keep reading for more…
Joyless Ben Affleck
Some of the best people-watching at the 2023 Grammys didn't happen on stage or the red carpet — it took place out in the audience. Ben Affleck joined wife Jennifer Lopez, a presenter, at the show — they shared a tiny table with Dwayne Johnson and his wife, singer Lauren Hashian — where camera operators and photographers caught him looking, uh, less than enthusiastic every time they panned to him. Soon, Ben was trending. "Ben Affleck looks miserable," tweeted one viewer, with another echoing that sentiment, writing, "Ben Affleck is having the absolute worst time ever lmao #GRAMMYS." Another wrote, "every time the camera pans to Ben Affleck it looks like he's just realized he has to go to music awards shows too now, not just all the actor ones." Another? "How is it possible ben affleck looks joyless during a grammy tribute to stevie wonder?!!!!!" Another Twitter user had a solution to Ben's apparent unhappiness: "Give Ben Affleck the attendance award to cheer him up."
Later, video of an awkward moment between newlyweds J.Lo and Ben — when they seemingly didn't realize they were on camera — emerged online. In the clip, Ben whispers something in J.Lo's ear that causes her to jerk away before appearing to snap at him. He then frowns and looks unhappy, only for J.Lo to notice cameras were rolling. (See it here.) According to a lip reader commissioned by DailyMail.com, J.Lo told Ben, "Stop. Look more friendly. Look motivated," to which he replied, "I might."
Bad blood backstage
Migos rappers Quavo and Offset got into a physical fight with each other backstage at the Grammy Awards, TMZ reported. According to the webloid, bad blood still exists between the two music stars over the death of third member Takeoff, who was murdered on Nov. 1, 2022. During the Grammys telecast, Quavo performed "Without You" as a tribute to the fallen Migos member. TMZ reported that the Grammys asked Offset to be a part of the "In Memoriam" tribute but that Quavo refused to let him take part. The two men fought and had to be pulled apart. In the end, Offset did not join the tribute.
Madonna's face shocks viewers
The Material Girl is in the house, right? Madonna took the stage to introduce Sam Smith and Kim Petras's performance of "Unholy," but many fans couldn't stop looking at what one tweeter called the "Vogue" singer's "whole new face." Another person tweeted, "Madonna is an icon but her face genuinely looks like it's made out of plastic." Yet another commented, "I really wish Madonna never touched her face. There really was no reason." Multiple tweets simply asked, "What happened to Madonna's face?" Finally, another noticed something else different about Madge. "Where did Madonna's fake British accent go? (And her real face?)," they wrote. Tough crowd!
Two days later, the material Girl took to Instagram to hit back at criticism of her "unrecognizable" face, writing in part, "Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim- Many people chose to only talk about Close-up photos of me Taken with a long lens camera By a press photographer that Would distort anyone's face!! Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny That permeates the world we live in. A world that refuses to celebrate women past the age of 45 And feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong willed, hard-working and adventurous."
Beyonce makes history
It was inevitable. On Feb. 5, Beyonce broke the record for the most Grammy wins of all time after taking home the award for best dance/electronic music album for "Renaissance." The win marked Queen Bey's 32nd Grammy — and the night's not over yet! (The previous record was held by late conductor Sir Georg Solti, who won 31 Grammys.) "I'm trying not to be too emotional. I'm trying to just receive this night," she said after breaking the record. The emotional singer also thanked her family and applauded the queer community for "inventing the [dance/EDM] genre."
Ten years after their breakup, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift were spotted catching up during the 2023 Grammys. The two interacted a few times during the telecast including when Taylor approached her ex's table to give him a hug and chat with him during a commercial break. According to Page Six, there's clearly no bad blood: Taylor was the only celeb in her section to get up and dancing during Harry's performance of "As It Was." MORE: See the stars at their first ever Grammy Awards
Harry's very, very big night
The Grammys are Harry's House. The singer bookended the awards show, taking home the first Grammy of the night when he won best pop vocal album for "harry's House," and then the final award of the evening when he won album of the year. After winning the night's biggest prize, a visibly moved Harry said, "This is really really kind. I'm so, so grateful. This doesn't happen to people like me very often." In between the wins, he took the stage and mesmerized the audience in a shimmering silver jumpsuit during a performance of his hit single "As It Was." Cameras panned to Shania Twain dancing and singing along to the performance while Harry's ex Taylor Swift gave him a standing ovation.
Hip-hop anniversary magic
Welcome to your crash course in hip hop. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the genre, a never-ending parade of hip-hop heavyweights performed a multi-generational medley of popular songs over the past five decades. Queen Latifah, Wu Tang Clan's Method Man, Missy Elliott, Public Enemy, L.L. Cool J and so many more legends participated (33 artists in all!). Busta Rhymes (pictured), however, may have stolen the show with his lightning-fast lyrics. It was a moment. It was a sight. It will likely be talked about for years to come. Hip-hop forever!
'Unholy' singer Kim Petras makes history
Kim Petras made history with her win for best pop duo/group performance for "Unholy," a song recorded with Sam Smith. Kim became the first transgender woman to win the award. (Cameras showed Sam encouraging the audience to give Kim a standing ovation.) "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," Kim said before namedropping ally Madonna and fellow trans artist Sophie Xeon, who passed away in 2021.
The Grammys red carpet is notorious for delivering wild looks, but country music star Shania Twain really took things to a new level at the 2023 Grammys, inspiring some epic tweets about her wacky and sparkly black-and-white look – including a gigantic hat — by London designer Harris Reed. "Look, I'm president of the 'let's make awards shows fun again' club, so if that means Shania Twain dressing like the mushroom from Mario Kart, let's goooo," one fan wrote on Twitter. Added another, "Ohhhhh i just saw Shania on the red carpet Live she's so beautiful even with a giant hat who looks like a giant condom i love her." Yet another summed things up pretty well: "Shania Twain looks cuckoo bananas." What do YOU think of her look?!
A new EGOT winner!
Viola Davis = EGOT winner. During the Grammys pre-telecast ceremony, Viola won a Grammy for best audio book, narration and storytelling recording – for her audiobook memoir, "Finding Me." She is only the 18th person to achieve EGOT status (winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) and just the third woman. "Oh, my God," she said in her acceptance speech. "I wrote this book to honor the 6-year-old Viola. To honor her, her life, her joy, her trauma, everything. It has just been such a journey. I just EGOT!" It's possible that no one is having a better evening than Viola.
Megan Fox's broken wrist pulls a disappearing act
At music exec Clive Davis's annual pre-Grammys Gala on Feb. 4, Megan Fox had boyfriend and first-time Grammy nominee Machine Gun Kelly on one arm — and a pink cast on the other after apparently breaking her wrist! "Off the plane with a broken wrist and a concussion straight to a Grammys party," she said on Instagram. At the Feb. 5 Grammys, though, the cast was nowhere in sight. She's a quick healer! How she suffered the injury isn't known, but Megan is a wrist risk without a cast!
Adele fulfills a dream meeting Dwayne Johnson — then gets an award from him
In 2021, Adele gushed about the possibility of meeting Dwayne Johnson, saying she would "actually cry" if that ever happened. Well, it happened on Feb. 5 at the 2023 Grammys. During his opening monologue, host Trevor Noah mentioned that Adele had always wanted to meet the wrestler-turned-movie star. She nodded in agreement. Just then, Dwayne appeared behind her. "Adele meet The Rock, The Rock meet Adele," Trevor said. The two superstars hugged and chatted — then, near the end of the show, Dwayne coincidentally presented Adele with the best pop solo performance Grammy for her hit "Easy on Me." The Grammys are making dreams come true!
New face, who dis? TikTok superstar Dylan Mulvaney used the Grammys red carpet to debut her new face. In late 2022, Dylan, a trans activist, underwent facial feminization surgery. While she's continually updated her fans on her new look — debuting it the week before the Grammys on social media — she waited until the Feb. 5 event to truly face the world. "FFS is sort of like a choose your own adventure," she said on TikTok on Jan. 27. "You can get one of those things. You can get all of them. You can get none of them," she explained. "It's really whatever you have dysphoria over."
Lizzo makes her win all about Beyonce
Music's unofficial princess of positive took home one of the evening's top awards. Lizzo went through a range of feelings after taking home the prize for record of the year for "About Damn Time." She first dedicated the award to Prince, who inspired her to sing "positive music." She laughed when talking to Adele from the stage, but she got emotional talking to Beyonce. "In the fifth grade, I skipped school to see you perform. You changed my life," she told Bey. "The way you made me feel, I was like I wanna make people feel this way with my music. You clearly are the artist of our lives."
Almost 30 years after Kurt Cobain's tragic death broke up Nirvana, surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic reunited on the 2023 Grammys red carpet. They along with Nirvana touring guitarist Pat Smear were also together the night before the show where Nirvana was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Recording Academy's 2023 Special Merit Awards.
Talk about an upset! Bonnie Raitt won the award for song of the year, beating out Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Adele and even Grammys queen Beyonce. Bonnie seemed to be as surprised as anyone when her name was announced. "I'm so surprised. I don't know what to say," she said during her unprepared speech. Bonnie called it an "unreal moment" and said she was "totally humbled" by the award. It should be noted that Bonnie was presented with the award by Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States. The win was FLOTUS-certified.
Los Angeles turned into Motown for a moment on Grammy Sunday. Stevie Wonder, 72, honored MusiCares Persons of the Year Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson with a Motown medley that included performances by Chris Stapleton and 82-year-old Smokey himself. As cameras panned the crowd during the performance, nearly everyone in the room was on their feet dancing. The classics never die.
Controversial comedy win
Another controversial comedy win. Dave Chappelle drew fierce backlash in 2022 for his comments about the transgender community on his Netflix special "The Closer." Grammy voters, however, apparently tuned out the noise, as Dave won the Grammy for best comedy album for that very special in 2023. Dave, who was not in attendance at the awards, faced accusations of being transphobic and homophobic on the album and Netflix special. This marks the second year in a row that the comedy winner has raised eyebrows. Louis C.K., who faced sexual misconduct accusations during the #MeToo era, won the best comedy album for "Sincerely Louis CK" in 2022.
Fancy pants! (and jacket)
Bobby Bones attended the Grammys — and co-hosted E! News's red carpet pre-show — in what he said was the most expensive outfit he's ever worn. According to the radio host, his maroon velvet Giorgio Armani "jacket cost $4,000 and I did not pay for it. That's how it works around here, and I cannot believe it." It's well known that designers often loan clothes and jewelry to artists and celebrities for the exposure. Whether Bobby gets to keep the pricey jacket remains to be seen.
Drake's unwanted win
Drake scored a win he might never have wanted. The rapper didn't submit his work to the Grammys this year for consideration — he's been vocal about his displeasure with the Recording Academy — but that didn't stop voters from awarding him anyway: Drake won best melodic rap performance for his guest appearance on Future's "Wait for U." Congrats… maybe?
Five new categories in 2023
The 2023 Grammy Awards features a few new players this year. The Recording Academy added five new categories in 2023: Best alternative music performance, songwriter of the year non-classical, best spoken word poetry album (Amanda Gorman, pictured, is nominated in this category), best score soundtrack for video games, and best Americana performance. These awards will be given out during the primetime CBS Grammys telecast.