Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Jon Batiste, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, and Taylor Swift were all in the running for this year's big prize
The 2024 Grammy Awards have passed out the coveted gramophone for song of the year.
Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas took home the award for their tearjerker ballad from Barbie, "What Was I Made For?" and the 22-year-old was shocked to be accepting the golden statue as she took the stage.
"Whoops, yikes, whoa my goodness. Damn that's stupid," the pop star said as she started her speech. "Literally I was looking at everybody's faces and I leaned over and I was like, 'Not a chance.'"
"I just wanna say everybody in this category – that was a crazy list of incredible people, incredible artists, incredible music. I feel crazy right now," she said, giving a shoutout to the other nominees in the category, which included Dua Lipa's "Dance the Night," Jon Batiste's "Butterfly," Lana Del Rey's "A&W," Miley Cyrus' "Flowers," Olivia Rodrigo's "vampire," SZA's "Kill Bill" and Taylor Swift's "Anti-Hero."
Eilish also recognized her family, including her parents who were in attendance at the awards show and Finneas, 26, who she called "my best friend in the world."
"I'm shocked out of my balls," Eilish admitted before thanking Barbie director Greta Gerwig for "making the best movie of the year."
Finneas also jumped in and said the songwriting pair find it "hard to feel deserving, ever," of their accolades, as he added, "We feel very humbled, very grateful."
Lana Del Rey's "A&W" was among the singles of her acclaimed ninth studio album Did you know there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd and, coming in at seven-minutes, the record's central showpiece. The sprawling epic of a song begins as a folk ballad before transitioning halfway into trap-pop as the songstress, 38, mines the way American culture views women.
The song, which also received a nomination for best alternative music performance, was named the best song of 2023 by multiple outlets.
A team-up between Antonoff, 29, and Swift, 34, also received a song of the year nomination. The pop-rock song, which finds the superstar examining her own flaws and public's perception of her, was the lead single off her hit 2022 album Midnights.
The singer-songwriter previously called the vulnerable track "one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written." In a video posted to Instagram ahead of its release, she said, “I like ‘Anti-Hero’ a lot because I think it’s really honest.”
"I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before," she added. “It’s all of those aspects of the things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we’re going to be this person."
"Anti-Hero," which also received record of the year and best pop solo performance nominations, eventually became a record-shattering track for the hitmaker. After topping the Billboard Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks, it became her longest running No. 1 of all time in early 2023.
Batiste's "Butterfly" is among the tracks on 2023's World Music Radio and also nominated for record of the year. The song is a jazz-pop ballad led by piano, and full of immensely personal lyrics to the musician, 37.
In an August 2023 interview with PEOPLE, Batiste explained that he wrote the song because he was inspired to write a lullaby for his wife Suleika Jaouad while she hospitalized amid her cancer treatment. He said, “It’s just such a personal narrative song in relation to my life and what my family has gone through and my wife and all of the things she’s been able to overcome."
"That’s a really big part of the narrative of the song," he added of the tender track, which also received a nomination for best American roots performance.
A song of the year nomination is among the many accolades received by Eilish, 22, and her brother/collaborator Finneas O'Connell for their contribution to the Barbie movie soundtrack, "What Was I Made For?." The hit ballad — which plays in a pivotal part of the film when Margot Robbie's titular character comes to accept her identity and realizes who she wants to be — has connected with listeners since its release in July 2023.
The pop star has opened up about how important the song is to her in the past, sharing in interviews and various speeches how working on it for the film helmed by Greta Gerwig helped relieve her from a period of self-doubt. She told Apple Music's Zane Lowe in an interview, "Honestly, [Finneas and I] were in a period of time where we were both ... like through this last winter, we've both been incredibly uninspired. And we've still been working and trying to make stuff. And honestly, that song was the first thing we'd written in a minute."
She said it wasn't until later that she realized how much the song's lyrics reflected what she herself had been going to. "I was like, 'This is exactly how I feel. And I didn't even mean to be saying it,'" she said.
The emotional song — also nominated for record of the year, among other awards, at the Grammys — was previously awarded best original song at the 2024 Golden Globes and currently up for best original song at the 2024 Academy Awards.
Lipa's "Dance the Night" is another hit off Barbie: The Album nominated for both song of the year and best song written for visual media. The infectious disco-pop song plays during a central dance number in the blockbuster film, and went on to be a major hit itself — reaching the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
“[Ronson] was like, ‘I’m working on this film with Greta Gerwig and it’s Barbie, and it’s possibly the funniest script I’ve read, and I really want you to write the song for the big dance scene in the film,' " Lipa recalled during The Hollywood Reporter’s Songwriter Roundtable in November. “I was like, 'This is an absolute no-brainer. One thousand percent yes.'”
Like Eilish's contribution to the Barbie soundtrack, "Dance the Night" has received nods at a handful of other award shows this season, including the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards.
Cyrus, 31, blossomed and found major success in 2023, thanks in part to the release of "Flowers," the lead single off Endless Summer Vacation. The self-love anthem in which the pop star declares, "I can buy myself flowers / Write my name in the sand," over an ultra-catchy disco-inspired beat was one of the most popular songs of the year. Not only did it break records upon its release — becoming the first song to reach over 100 million streams on Spotify in one week — it hit the milestone of earning one trillion streams after just three months and sat pretty atop the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks.
In a British Vogue cover story, the former Disney Channel star explained that she originally wrote "Flowers" "in a really different way." She said, “The chorus was originally, ‘I can buy myself flowers, write my name in the sand, but I can’t love me better than you can' ... It used to be more, like, 1950s. The saddest song. Like, ‘Sure, I can be my own lover, but you’re so much better.’”
She added, “The song is a little fake it till you make it. Which I’m a big fan of.”
The song is also up for record of the year and best pop solo performance.
SZA's "Kill Bill" is one of her biggest songs to date, having spent weeks in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and breaking records on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The track off 2022's SOS has been acclaimed for both its groovy rhythm and confessional lyrics, which find the R&B superstar detailing the hypothetical fantasy of murdering an ex lover.
While the song has been a huge success, the singer-songwriter, 34, has shared that she was hesitant to release it, considering the lyrical content. She told Variety in a November 2023 cover story that she "hated" the track, later clarifying, “Well, I didn’t hate it. But I was like, ‘Can I say this? Is it silly?’ [The co-producer Rob Bisel] was like, ‘You have to say it!’”
“So I sent it to my homegirl, and she was like, ‘I don’t know. I think you should maybe say something to clarify,’” the recording artist shared. “I was really scared that people would harm each other, ’cause some people are f---ing strange. But it was a joke.”
The song's recognition at the Grammys — as it's also up for record of the year and best R&B performance — contributed to SZA becoming the most nominated artist at the award show. She received a total of nine nods.
Rodrigo, 20, launched the release of her hit sophomore album GUTS by dropping "Vampire" in summer 2023. The searing power ballad — also up for record of the year and best pop solo performance — finds the pop-rock star reflecting on how an ex took advantage of and used her throughout their relationship.
As the track reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 upon its release, the star became the first-ever artist to debut the lead singles of both their debut and sophomore album at the top of the chart.
While many fans have speculated about who the song is about, she told The Guardian in an interview that she "never" wants to reveal the subjects of her songs. She said, "I think it’s better to not pigeonhole a song to being about this one thing.”
Despite not admitting to what the emotional pop-rock song is about, she has opened up about its writing process. "I was upset about a certain situation and went to the studio alone and sat down at the grand piano, and the chords and melody and lyrics just poured out of me — almost like an out-of-body experience," she told DORK.
She continued, "It’s a song about feeling confused and hurt, and at first I thought it was meant to be a piano ballad. But when [producer Dan Nigro] and I started working on it, we juxtaposed the lyrics with these big drums and crazy tempo changes. So now it’s like a heartbreak song you can dance to.”
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