Rooting For Everybody Black: Victoria Monét, SZA, Coco Jones, Samara Joy, Tyla & More Leave The 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards With Something

Photo Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty | Recording Academy/Facebook | Stewart Cook/CBS | Coco Jones/Twitter | Recording Academy/Twitter

Black artists left the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards with something this year. Although shut out from the big three awards – Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year – Black artists were recognized in a multitude of genres from Pop to Classical, including a few of our favorite Black women currently commanding contemporary music.

Victoria Monét walked away with the coveted Best New Artist title, which was presented to her by last year’s winner Samara Joy, who also added another GRAMMY to her shelf with a win for Best Jazz Performance for her song “Tight.” Monét ended the night with three GRAMMYs in total, after snagging trophies for Best R&B Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for her stellar album JAGUAR II.

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SZA went into this year’s GRAMMY Awards as the most nominated artist, and she left the ceremony with three of the nine awards she was in the running for. The first GRAMMY Award of the day, which was given out during the Premiere Ceremony before the televised show, went to SZA for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Phoebe Bridgers for their collaboration “Ghost In The Machine” from SOS. SZA’s breakthrough project also won Best Progressive R&B Album, and her hit single “Snooze” took home Best R&B Song, which was awarded to the songstress live on TV after she performed a medley of the song and “Kill Bill.”

The R&B girlies weren’t done there. Coco Jones won her very first GRAMMY Award for her smash slow jam “ICU.” She was up against both SZA and Victoria Monét for Best R&B Performance and came out on top. Another first-time winner was Susan Carol who won Best Traditional R&B Performance for her duet with PJ Morton “Good Morning,” which rounded out the R&B categories.

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Also taking home their first GRAMMY and making GRAMMY Awards history was Tyla. Days after her 22nd birthday, the South African darling got another reason to celebrate by becoming the inaugural winner of Best African Music Performance category for her global stunner “Water.”

For another brand-new category – Best Alternative Jazz Album – Meshell Ndegeocello emerged victorious with a win for her album The Omnichord Real Book. This award is Ndegeocello’s second GRAMMY.

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Other major winners of the night included Killer Mike, who swept the Rap categories with wins for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS” featuring André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane and Best Rap Album for his solo project MICHAEL. Christian rapper Lecrae added two more GRAMMYs to his resumé, winning Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song and Best Contemporary Christian Music Album. Meanwhile, oft-celebrated gospel superstar Kirk Franklin received his 20th GRAMMY Award for Best Gospel Performance/Song for his single “All Things,” which he performed at the Premiere Ceremony during a sanctified medley.

Additional repeat winners were Dave Chappelle who won his fifth Best Comedy Album GRAMMY and our forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama, two-time winner of Best Audio Book, Narration And Storytelling Recording, this time for The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times.

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This year, Black artists and musicians impressively won at least 38 categories in 11 of 12 fields. Whether these wins were solo victories or as a part of a team, Black talent and artistry were rewarded, especially during the Premiere Ceremony where the vast majority of GRAMMYs were awarded. If you only watched the televised portion of the GRAMMY Awards, then you’d be disappointed by the lack of on-air representation and wins in the major categories.

Jay-Z expressed some disappointment of his own during prime time. The rapper and business mogul was there to receive the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award and was in attendance with his wife Beyoncé and their firstborn Blue Ivy. Queen Bey was trying to be low-key during the event, but Jay-Z made it a point during his acceptance speech to call out the Recording Academy for not once honoring her with Album Of The Year despite being the most-awarded artist in GRAMMY history.

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“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady,” Jay said, casually referring to Beyoncé in the audience and not Blue who was by his side onstage. “But she has more GRAMMYs than anyone and never won Album Of The Year. So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work.” He stopped short of saying “make it make sense,” but it was definitely implied. Whether his words affect change in the future remains to be seen, but Jay-Z said what needed to be said with his chest and proudly stood up for that Black woman.

More Black women were in the spotlight at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards. There was the return of the reclusive Tracy Chapman who joined Luke Combs to perform her song “Fast Car,” Fantasia working up a gold glittery sweat during her explosive Tina Turner tribute and Brandy coming through to light up Burna Boy and 21 Savage’s “Sittin’ On Top Of The World” performance.

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The GRAMMY Awards stepped their game up and got a lot right this year, but it’s clear that more work still needs to be done to level the playing field and right continued wrongs.

Congratulations to all of the deserving winners at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Much like Issa Rae, we’re rooting for everybody Black here at SoulBounce, so view all of the categories that Black artists (solo or as collaborators) won below.

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66th Annual GRAMMY Awards won by Black artists (listed by field):

General Field

4. Best New Artist

Victoria Monét

6. Songwriter of The Year
Theron Thomas

Field 1: Pop & Dance/Electronic Music

8. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Ghost In The Machine”
SZA featuring Phoebe Bridgers

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Field 3: R&B, Rap & Spoken Word Poetry

19. Best R&B Performance

Coco Jones

20. Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Good Morning”
PJ Morton featuring Susan Carol

21. Best R&B Song
Kenny B. Edmonds, Blair Ferguson, Khris Riddick-Tynes, Solána Rowe & Leon Thomas (SZA)

22. Best Progressive R&B Album

23. Best R&B Album
Victoria Monét

24. Best Rap Performance
Killer Mike featuring André 3000, Eryn Allen Kane & Future

25. Best Melodic Rap Performance
“All My Life”
Lil Durk featuring J. Cole

26. Best Rap Song
André Benjamin, Paul Beauregard, James Blake, Michael Render, Tim Moore & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Killer Mike featuring André 3000, Eryn Allen Kane & Future)

27. Best Rap Album
Killer Mike

28. Best Spoken Word Poetry Album
The Light Inside
J. Ivy

Field 4: Jazz, Traditional Pop, Contemporary Instrumental & Musical Theater

29. Best Jazz Performance

Samara Joy

31. Best Jazz Instrumental Album
The Winds Of Change
Billy Childs

32. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Basie Sings The Blues
The Count Basie Orchestra Directed By Scotty Barnhart

34. Best Alternative Jazz Album
The Omnichord Real Book
Meshell Ndegeocello

37. Best Musical Theater Album
Some Like It Hot
Christian Borle, J. Harrison Ghee, Adrianna Hicks & NaTasha Yvette Williams, principal vocalists; Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Bryan Carter, Scott M. Riesett, Charlie Rosen & Marc Shaiman, producers; Scott Wittman, lyricist; Mar Shaiman, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)

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Field 5: Country & American Roots Music

42. Best American Roots Performance

“Eve Was Black”
Allison Russell

47. Best Traditional Blues Album
All My Love For You
Bobby Rush

50. Best Regional Roots Music Album (tie)
New Beginnings
Buckwheat Zydeco Jr. & The Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band

Live: Orpheum Theater Nola
Lost Bayou Ramblers & Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Field 6: Gospel & Contemporary Christian Music

51. Best Gospel Performance/Song

“All Things”
Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, songwriter

52. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
“Your Power”
Lecrae & Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Alexandria Dollar, Jordan Dollar, Antonio Gardener, Michael Girgenti, Lasanna “Ace” Harris, David Hein, Deandre Hunter, Dylan Hyde, Christian Louisiana, Patrick Darius Mix Jr., Lecrae Moore, Justin Pelham, Jeffrey Lawrence Shannon, Allen Swoope, songwriters

53. Best Gospel Album
All Things New: Live In Orlando
Tye Tribbett

54. Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Church Clothes 4

55. Best Roots Gospel Album
Echoes Of The South
Blind Boys Of Alabama

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Field 7: Latin, Global, Reggae & New Age, Ambient Or Chant

62. Best African Music Performance


64. Best Reggae Album

Colors Of Royal
Julian Marley & Antaeus

Field 8: Children’s, Comedy, Audio Books, Visual Media & Music Video/Film

67. Best Comedy Album

What’s In A Name?
Dave Chappelle

68. Best Audio Book, Narration And Storytelling Recording
The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times
Michelle Obama

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Field 9: Package, Notes & Historical

77. Best Album Notes

Written In Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos
Robert Gordon & Deanie Parker, album notes writers (Various Artists)

78. Best Historical Album
Written In Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos
Robert Gordon, Deanie Parker, Cheryl Pwelski, Michele Smith & Mason Williams, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer; Michael Graves, restoration engineer (Various Artists)

Field 10: Production, Engineering, Composition & Arrangement

79. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

John Kercy, Kyle Mann, Victoria Monét, Partizio “Teezio” Pigliapoco, Neal H Pogue & Todd Robinson, engineers; Colin Leonard, mastering engineer (Victoria Monét)

83. Best Immersive Audio Album
The Diary Of Alicia Keys
George Massenburg & Eric Schilling, immersive mix engineers; Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Alicia Keys & Ann Minciela, immersive producers (Alicia Keys)

86. Best Arrangement, Instrument And Vocals
“In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning”
Erin Bentlage, Jacob Collier, Sara Gazarek, Johnaye Kendrick & Amanda Taylor, arrangers (säje featuring Jacob Collier)

88. Best Opera Recording
Blanchard: Champion
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Ryan Speedo Green, Latonia Moore & Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)

Field 11: Classical

93. Best Classical Compendium

Passion For Bach And Coltrane
Alex Brown, Harlem Quintet, Imani Winds, Edward Perez, Neal Smith & A.B. Spellman; Silas Brown & Mark Dover, producers

94. Best Contemporary Classical Composition

Jessie Montgomery, composer (Awadagin Prat, A Far Cry & Roomful Of Teeth)

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