LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jon Batiste had the most Grammy Award nominations and his five wins outpaced everyone, yet he somehow seemed the biggest surprise on a joyous night for music that washed away some of the bad taste left by the Oscars a week earlier.
The New Orleans native’s “We Are” won the prestigious album of the year award Sunday over music heavyweights like Tony Bennett, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Ye, who changed his name from Kanye West. Batiste ended his dance-filled performance of “Freedom” during the show by jumping on Eilish’s table.
Silk Sonic won four Grammys, including song and record of the year for the duo’s smooth soul hit, “Leave the Door Open.” Olivia Rodrigo’s three awards included best new artist. Foo Fighters, Chris Stapleton and CeCe Winans also won three each.
Yet Batiste captured the mood of a night where, despite some somber moments, the live performance skills of music’s best artists were on full display after COVID-19 had put much of the concert industry on pause.
“I was having such a good time,” Batiste said backstage after the show, describing the moment when Lenny Kravitz announced his best album victory. “I was hanging with my family, when my name came and the ‘We Are’ title was said by Lenny — such a full circle moment because we played together when I was 16. It was surreal.”
The versatile Batiste, music director on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” also won Sunday for his song “Cry,” the video for “Freedom” and his work with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on the soundtrack for “Soul.”
Here’s everything Batiste was nominated for Sunday night:
- Best Music Video (“Freedom”) — Winner
- Album of the Year (“We Are”) — Winner
- Best American Roots Performance (“Cry”) — Winner
- Best American Roots Song (“Cry” with Steve McEwan) — Winner
- Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (“Soul” with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, composers) — Winner (Tied with “The Queen’s Gambit,” Carlos Rafael Rivera, composer)
- Best R&B Album (“We Are”) — Nominated
- Record of the Year (“Freedom”) — Nominated
- Best Traditional R&B Performance (“I Need You”) — Nominated
- Best Improvised Jazz Solo (“Bigger Than Us”) — Nominated
- Best Jazz Instrumental Album (“Jazz Selections: Music from and Inspired by Soul”) — Nominated
- Best Contemporary Classical Composition (“Batiste: Movement 11”) — Nominated
The Associated Press contributed to this article.