The 2021 Grammys' most memorable moments

The 2021 Grammys' most memorable moments

Clockwise from top left: Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B;Trevor Noah; Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars; Noah Cyrus; Taylor Swift; Beyoncé and JAY-Z; BTS’ Jungkook (Screenshot: Paramount+)
Clockwise from top left: Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B;Trevor Noah; Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars; Noah Cyrus; Taylor Swift; Beyoncé and JAY-Z; BTS’ Jungkook (Screenshot: Paramount+)

To quote a Slack message from A.V. Club editor Alex McLevy in our Grammys war room, “Welcome to the 2021 Grammy Awards Performances!”

Indeed, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah hosted a ceremony that was light on acceptance speeches and heavy on applause for Harry Styles, Haim, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa. Here are some of the most memorable moments, looks, and performances from the telecast.

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.

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Trevor Noah, live (almost) from the Staples Center

Trevor Noah, live (almost) from the Staples Center

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Trevor Noah hosts the 2021 Grammys
Screenshot: Paramount+

Though “music’s biggest night” often takes place in the Staples Center, this year Trevor Noah hosted from the plaza outside downtown Los Angeles’ massive stadium, with a mix of pre-taped and live performances taking place on a series of stages set up in the nearby Los Angeles Convention Center.

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Harry Styles continues his evolution into Mick Jagger

Harry Styles continues his evolution into Mick Jagger

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Harry Styles performs at the 2021 Grammys
Screenshot: Paramount+

Donning a leather jacket and floor-length green boa but sans shirt, Harry Styles opened the show with a jazzy rendition of “Watermelon Sugar” with Dev Hynes as a member of his band.

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Billie Eilish and brother Finneas perform “Everything I Wanted”

Billie Eilish and brother Finneas perform “Everything I Wanted”

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Billie Eilish performs at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Before performing during the televised ceremony, Billie Eilish won the 2021 Grammy for Best Song Written For Visual Media for her song “No Time to Die,” which was released last year before the Jame Bond film of the same name was delayed multiple times. If the film comes out as currently planned (in November 2021), Eilish could win an Oscar for the song two full years after it was released as a single.

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Tremors reunion!

Tremors reunion!

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Visible commercial with Kevin Bacon
Screenshot: Paramount+

During an ad for wireless service Visible, Kevin Bacon reunited with his Tremors costar Michael Gross.

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Lizzo, the envelope, PLEASE

Lizzo, the envelope, PLEASE

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Lizzo at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

It took almost 30 minutes to get to the first award of the evening, and then a few seconds longer for us to find out that Megan Thee Stallion won Best New Artist as last year’s winner, Lizzo, struggled with the envelope.

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Noah Cyrus loses gracefully

Noah Cyrus loses gracefully

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Noah Cyrus at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Best New Artist nominee Noah Cyrus wore this and we thought she’d want you to see.

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DaBaby’s “Baby Boomers”

DaBaby’s “Baby Boomers”

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DaBaby and his Baby Boomers perform at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

While DaBaby was center stage during his performance of “Rockstar,” it was his backup dancers of over-the-hill “Baby Boomers” that had people asking, “Is that Margaret Atwood?”

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Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez advertize for CBS

Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez advertize for CBS

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Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez perform at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

How many eyes to you see in this frame from Bad Bunny and Jay Cortez’s performance of “Dákiti”?

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Dua Lipa gives us a show

Dua Lipa gives us a show

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Dua Lipa and DaBaby perform at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

After an opening string of lower-energy performances, Dua Lipa gave us a medley of her hits (including “Levitating” feat. DaBaby) accompanied by three different looks.

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Silk Sonic takes us back to the ’70s

Silk Sonic takes us back to the ’70s

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Silk Sonic perform at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak were a last-minute addition to the Grammys lineup, performing as their first song as Silk Sonic, “Leave the Door Open.”

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Miranda Lambert wins

Miranda Lambert wins

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Miranda Lambert at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Taking home the second trophy of the telecast, Miranda Lambert won Best Country Album for Wildcard.

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Taylor Swift performs folklore

Taylor Swift performs folklore

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Taylor Swift at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Taylor Swift went barefoot and ethereal to performing a medley of songs off folklore with the help of Jack Antonoff.

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Harry Styles changes boas

Harry Styles changes boas

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Harry Styles at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

To accept his Best Pop Solo Performance award for “Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles switched out green for purple...and a whole lot of plaid.

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In Memoriam medley

In Memoriam medley

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The 2021 Grammy Awards in memoriam segment
Screenshot: Paramount+

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, Brandi Carlile, and Lionel Richie, paid tribute to Little Richard, John Prine, and Kenny Rogers respectively. Brittany Howard and Chris Martin closed things out with a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Icky points to Johnnie Walker for airing their commercial of Howard singing that same song in the subsequent commercial break.

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We celebrate country for a quick second

We celebrate country for a quick second

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Miranda Lambert, Marrren Morris, John Legend, and Mickey Guyton at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Trevor Noah made a point to introduce Mickey Guyton as the first Black woman to be nominated for a Grammy in a country category...only to have her serve as opening act for Miranda Lambert and Marren Morris (and John Mayer).

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Anderson .Paak wins Best Melodic Rap Performance

Anderson .Paak wins Best Melodic Rap Performance

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Anderson .Paak at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Anderson .Paak used his Best Melodic Rap Performance win for “Lockdown” to ask everyone to use their “voice.”

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Bad Bunny wins his first gringo Grammy

Bad Bunny wins his first gringo Grammy

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Bad Bunny at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Benito Martínez Ocasio released three records last year, with each being a game-changer in Latin trap. But the album that earned the nomination—and won Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album—at the 2021 Grammys is his best yet, YHLQMDLG (Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana). This marks his first time winning a Grammy that isn’t a Latin Grammy. [Tatiana Tenreyro]

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H.E.R. W.I.N.S.

H.E.R. W.I.N.S.

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H.E.R. at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

“I Can’t Breathe,” Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.) won Song of the Year, which is awarded to the writers of the winning tune.

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Cardi and Megan somehow perform “WAP” on CBS

Cardi and Megan somehow perform “WAP” on CBS

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Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion perform at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Ahead of Sunday’s telecast, there were lots of questions about how Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion would perform their explicit song of 2020, “WAP.” But nature finds a way.

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Beyoncé gets a surprise

Beyoncé gets a surprise

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Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

After Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion accepted the Best Rap Performance award for “Savage,” Trevor Noah terrified Queen Bey by stopping her mid stage exit to inform her and the audience that the Best Rap Performance win left her tied for the most Grammy wins by any woman in history. (More on that later.)

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Post Malone starts a coven?

Post Malone starts a coven?

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Post Malone performs at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Post Malone’s performance of “Hollywood’s Bleeding” appeared to end with him releasing his coven out into the world to do his bidding.

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Dua Lipa channels Cher

Dua Lipa channels Cher

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Dua Lipa at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Dua Lipa accepted the Best Pop Vocal Album award for her album Future Nostalgia with a few hair tosses that had us saying, “Woah!” (Sorry, it’s late and the time change was this morning. We’re getting loopy.)

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Lil Baby takes on police brutality

Lil Baby takes on police brutality

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Lil Baby, Kendrick Sampson, and Tamika Mallory perform at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Lil Baby’s performance of “The Bigger Picture” included activist and Insecure actor Kendrick Sampson at the center of a scene similar to the tragic murder of Rayshard Brooks, activist Tamika Mallory speaking at a stage Black Lives Matter event, and a verse by Killer Mike.

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Beyoncé, breaker of records

Beyoncé, breaker of records

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Beyoncé and JAY-Z at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

With her Best R&B Performance win for “Black Parade,” Beyoncé broke the record for the most Grammy wins by any female, as well as any artist period. (The late Hungarian-British conductor Georg Solti holds the all-time record with 31 Grammy Awards. Beyoncé now has 29.)

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Doja Cat goes catwoman

Doja Cat goes catwoman

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Doja Cat performs at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Nominee Doja Cat slipped into latex for her performance of “Say So.”

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Taylor wins big

Taylor wins big

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Taylor Swift and co. at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Taylor Swift’s folklore wins Best Album of the Year, making Swift the first woman to win the prize three times.

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BTS Zooms in from Seoul

BTS Zooms in from Seoul

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BTS performs at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Trevor Noah was very excited to tell viewers that BTS’ perforamnce of “Dynamite” was filmed in Seoul on a stage that waas a re-creation of the Grammys’ Los Angeles stage.

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Roddy Ricch on Planet of the Apes?

Roddy Ricch on Planet of the Apes?

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Roddy Ricch performs at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Roddy Ricch performed “Heartless” on the piano before moving on to “The Box.”

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The Recording Academy addresses social issues...kind of

The Recording Academy addresses social issues...kind of

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Screenshot: Paramount+

Shrug. At least the HFPA came out on stage to do the very least. We don’t think this will do anythng to get The Weeknd back.

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Ringo Starr, baby

Ringo Starr, baby

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Ringo Starr at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

As the show ran long, Ringo Starr enderingly rambled on before presenting the final award of the evening.

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Billie Eilish can’t believe her win

Billie Eilish can’t believe her win

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Billie Eilish and brother Finneas at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Screenshot: Paramount+

Reminicent of Adele’s acceptance speech a few years back that honored Beyoncé, Billie Eilish used her acceptance speech for Record of the Year to tell everyone that it should have gone to Megan Thee Stallion.

Also check out our full list of 2021 Grammys winners.

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A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.