For the first time in years, the 2023 Grammy Awards will likely be remembered for the awards given out as opposed to the performances.
Stars bringing their A-game to the stage is usually what occupies water cooler conversation the day after the Grammys, but this year’s ceremony – which went down at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday (Feb. 5) – featured several surprise wins that few saw coming. From best new artist victor Samara Joy to a visibly shocked Bonnie Raitt winning song of the year to an overjoyed Lizzo nabbing record of the year to Harry Styles winning album of the year (in a category that included Beyoncé and Bad Bunny), it was an evening of twists that could only have been matched if you skipped the Grammys entirely and caught M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin instead.
That isn’t to say the performances didn’t leave an imprint on viewers. The Questlove-curated 50th anniversary salute to hip-hop was one of the most wildly entertaining, jaw-dropping performances at any awards show in years, bringing together generation-spanning pioneers such as LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, Method Man, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Rakim, Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Big Boi and many, many more – plus new genre stars such as Lil Baby and GloRilla. It was the only thing that justified making the 2023 Grammys telecast run nearly four hours.
Below, we’re ranking all the performances at the 2023 Grammys Awards, from least to greatest. One thing worth noting: We are not ranking any of the ‘in memoriam’ performances (by Kacey Musgraves, Quavo, Mick Fleetwood, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt), in a nod to the tone those moments take in the telecast.
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