2024 Grammy Awards – Sound & Vision Blog




Grammys 2024: Music’s Biggest Night Keeps The Surprises Coming…

And Women Artists At The Top

By Bruce Pilato

Special For Stephens Media


For decades it has been called “Music’s Biggest Night,” and for just as long it has lived up to the title.  The 2024 Grammy Awards aired live tonight on the CBS Television Network from the Crypto Center in Los Angeles and again it gave viewers three hours of the industry’s biggest and brightest stars. Unlike previous years where the focus had been on unusual pair-ups (the unlikely combination of Lady Gaga performing with Metallica comes to mind)  this year’s show was a stripped down and straight forward affair, with zero controversy. 

Most of the faces were familiar ones from the last few years and mainstays on the current Billboard charts, among them Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus, Brandi Carlile, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, and Billie Eilish. What was clearly noticeable for 2024 was the distinct lack of male artists featured on the show. The superstars were joined by several newcomers: SZA, Victoria Monet, Laney Wilson, and other women nominated for their recordings in rock, bluegrass, jazz, and international genre´s.  In fact, only six male artists appeared in musical segments: Luke Combs, U2, Stevie Wonder, Jon Batiste, Travis Scott and Billy Joel.  As host Trevor Noah even pointed out at the onset of the show, women clearly dominate the music industry like never before.

Female artists have always been part of the modern recording industry, but not until the last decade has their presence been responsible for the lion’s share of  music’s revenues. With Taylor Swift sporting Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year cover and driving a staggering $5.5 billion dollars in consumer spending due to her Eras Tour, it is common to give her all the credit for what is going on now with women artists. In reality, this trend goes back to 1980s when artists like Madonna, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Cher built entertainment empires not unlike the success today’s successful female artists have now.

Wins in the most important categories in this year’s Grammys all went to female artists.  Swift, was awarded Album Of The Year for her critically and commercially successful  Midnight  album; and Miley Cyrus, who has appeared on the awards show countless times won her very first Grammys for Best Pop Solo Performance and Record Of The Year  with her hit single, “Flowers.”  Swift, actually made history by being the first artist to win Album Of The Year with four different albums over her career. (Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder have only had that honor three different times, each). 

A thrown together supergroup of three underground indie female artists called Boy Genius, won three Grammy Awards with their debut album, and one of its members, Phoebe Bridges, won a fourth Grammy for a duet she did with SZA.

This success story and others who won Grammys tonight can thank social media outlets such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Spotify for their rapid rise to the top.

There were a few musical highlights in the show, especially the incredible duet of Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs doing her 1988 hit song, “Fast Car.”  Heartfelt performances by Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox , Jon Batiste  and Fantasia’s during the list of recently deceased music icons was tasteful and compelling, and the return of Joni Mitchell to performing (with the help of Brandi Carlile) was the most touching moment in the show.

The Recording Academy , under the direction of Harvey Mason Jr., since 2019 has changed radically.  Embracing a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the make-up of the organization has shed its “old boys’ network” of older, white record executives which controlled it for decades. Today, the organization has a new face, but its DEI initiative may have gone too far too quickly. Only time will tell.

In addition to Grammy Awards, which has a viewing audience of over a billion people worldwide, the organization has a full week of events which covers celebrations, educational objectives, talent exposures, and humanitarian projects.  The MusiCares Person Of The Year tribute honored rocker Jon Bon Jovi for his Soul Kitchen projects which provides free meals for those living poverty. The music portion of that event was extraordinary with superstars like Bruce Springsteen, Sammy Hagar, The Goo Dolls, Shaina Twain, Jason Isbell, Melissa Etheridge, and Jelly Roll bringing the Bon Jovi catalog of hit songs to a whole new, exciting level.  Cheering Bon Jovi on (who opened and closed the show with his band), was Sir Paul McCartney and wife Nancy, who clearly dug he music he heard.

The Academy’s Special Merit Awards honored industry titans behind the scene, such as producer/ manager Peter Asher ; named its Music Educator of The Year, and bestowed Lifetime Achievement Grammys to Donna Summer, The Clark Sisters, NWA, and Gladys Knight.

The hottest ticket during Grammy Week is undoubtedly the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala.  An invitation only event, it is music’s equivalent of the Vanity Fair or Elton John Oscar party.  Many of the Grammy nominated artists performed the black-tie creative audience, while host Davis pointed out the long list of A-list celebs in between performances. Among this year’s attendees: Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson, Green Day,

Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind & Fire, The War & Treaty, Josh Groban, Frankie Valli, Kiss and others.

With so much other competition such has Hollywood blockbuster films, video games, and the widespread use of social media entertainment sites, the music industry gets a strong shot of adrenaline during Grammy Week. It is equal parts a self-promotion vehicle and a joyous celebration of  the music.  As long as people continue to embrace the Grammys, the music will undoubtedly survive. 


Bruce Pilato is an artist manager, entertainment journalist and music educator. 

Photos are © 2024 Pilato Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.