Billie Eilish has taken home five Grammy awards this year, becoming the second artist in all of history to garner wins in all of the show's "Big Four" categories. (The first was Christopher Cross in 1981).
The 18-year-old wasn't happy about it. "Why?! Wow. So many other songs deserve this," she said after "Bad Guy" won song of the year. "I'm sorry. Thank you so much. This is my first Grammys. I never thought this would happen in my whole life."
That was her second win. By the fourth one, she was naming the person she thought should have won (namely, Ariana Grande). By the last one, she could be seen quietly mouthing "please don't be me" to the camera.
Eilish is very talented, but the fact that she won five times over so many other incredible artists (such as Lana Del Rey, Lizzo, and Ariana Grande) simply solidifies what many already thought: the Grammy awards picks are not accurate representations of taste or talent, not that those things can really be objectively ranked in the first place. Regardless, all of Eilish's wins made for a strange, almost surreal end to the show. And in truth, "Bad Guy" was catchy but not really that world-altering or mind-blowing, and it was far less culturally impactful than—say—"Old Town Road" or "Truth Hurts."
On the other hand, the album that won Eilish al this—When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?—is extremely dark and heavily focuses on drug use and suicidal ideation, so maybe the Grammys are finally catching up to the fact that all of Gen-Z is very depressed because of the sh*tty world Boomers left—and maybe they realize that the youth are the world's best hope for the future—but that seems unlikely. Maybe it's still a victory for the culture that an album beginning with a track about Invisalign could win AOTY.
When has ranking and picking music ever been accurate or universally in tune, though? Eilish's unnecessary five-time win won't take away from the fact that so many artists made incredible work this year, or from the fact that Lana Del Rey went all the way to the mall to pick out a dress for the ceremony, only to go home empty-handed. (Also, Billie would be nothing without Lana, as she's stated previously).
This year's Grammys ceremony was full of highlights, along with a few expected stumbles. They criminally underused BTS during a 30-second feature in an impressive performance of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," but also gave us these photos of Namjoon:
There were also incredible performances from H.E.R., Tyler, the Creator, Rosalia, Demi Lovato, and Alicia Keys, and a moving tribute to Nipsey Hussle, as well as many tributes to Kobe Bryant, who passed away this afternoon along with his daughter.
It had awkward moments (Sharon Osbourne introducing rap song of the year and mispronouncing DJ Khaled's name was cringe-worthy, to say the least) and its cute moments (Tyler, the Creator's mom hugging him was heart-warming fuel sufficient for a couple weeks). It felt incoherent, but almost in a good, heart-warming way—at least until Eilish swept the categories in an almost comically repetitive sequence of events.
At least she and her brother Finneas were humble about it. Eilish is super-talented, as are the rest of the people on that stage, but winning a Grammy takes an alchemy of talent, drive, money, connections, and pure luck.