Entertainment: Billie Eilish sweeps Grammy Awards with top four prizes

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 29, 2020.

Lizzo performing at the Grammys in Los Angeles on Sunday. Photos by Reuters

Lil Nas X posing backstage with his Best Music Video and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance awards for ‘Old Town Road’.

Grande on the red carpet for the 2020 Grammy Awards event.

Eilish (left) and Finneas backstage with the former’s awards including Song of the Year for ‘Bad Guy’, Best New Artist and Album of the Year for ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’.

-A +A

Teen sensation Billie Eilish swept the Grammy Awards on Sunday, winning all four top prizes — album, song, record of the year and best new artist — in a rare feat at the music industry’s highest honours.

Eilish, an 18-year-old newcomer with a unique voice, won for her debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, while her hit single Bad Guy was named record of the year and song of the year. In all, she took home five awards.

She is only the second person, and the youngest, to win all four top Grammys on the same night.

Eilish, distinguished by her green hair and baggy clothes, recorded the album with her brother Finneas O’Connell in the bedroom of their Los Angeles home. Finneas also won the Grammy for non classical producer of the year.

They seemed taken aback by their Grammy haul, triumphing over established stars including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and rapper Post Malone.

“We didn’t make this album to win a Grammy. We wrote about depression and suicidal thoughts and environmental change,” Finneas said as the pair accepted the awards. “We stand up here confused and grateful.”

Asked backstage what she would do next, Eilish said: “Being in this moment is all I’m thinking about ... I’m gonna do whatever I feel.”

The Grammy Awards show opened with a dedication to basketball star Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident earlier in the day and whose Los Angeles Lakers team has its home at the city’s Staples Center and Grammy venue.

R&B star Lizzo won three of her eight nominations, while rapper Lil Nas X took two for his viral Old Town Road collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus.

Lil Nas X, 20, wearing a cowboy hat and silver Lure suit, and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus dazzled the house with a kitschy performance of their viral collaboration Old Town Road, with contributions from stars such as Korean-pop band BTS to young yodeller Mason Ramsey.

Grande performed a medley of hits from her break-up album Thank u, Next, including 7 Rings and Imagine but won none of the five Grammys for which she was nominated.

Slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, 33, gunned down in his Los Angeles neighbourhood last year, won two Grammys and was honoured in a tribute by John Legend, DJ Khaled and rapper Meek Mill.

Blake Shelton and his fiancee Gwen Stefani held hands as they debuted their new romantic duet Nobody But You, while Camila Cabello sang her recent single First Man to her tearful father in the audience. Demi Lovato won a standing ovation in her first performance at a major awards show since a drug overdose in 2018.

The Grammy winners are chosen by members of the Recording Academy, currently embroiled in a dispute over the departure of its new chief executive officer Deborah Dugan and her allegations of conflicts of interest in the nominations process. The Recording Academy has denied the allegations. — Reuters