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Miley Cyrus, boygenius win Grammys as Taylor Swift chases album record

Miley Cyrus, boygenius win Grammys as Taylor Swift chases album record
epa11127787 US musician Miley Cyrus arrives for the 66th annual Grammy Awards ceremony at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California, USA, 04 February 2024. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BREHMAN

LOS ANGELES, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Pop singer Miley Cyrus and indie rock band boygenius claimed some of the early prizes at the Grammy awards on Sunday as the music industry doled out its highest honors.

By Lisa Richwine

Cyrus won best solo pop performance for her empowerment anthem “Flowers” and was handed the gold trophy by Mariah Carey. Cyrus said she got stuck in traffic during heavy rain in Los Angeles and nearly missed the moment her name was called.

“I could have missed the award, that’s fine, but not Mariah Carey!” Cyrus said as she stood on stage.

Comedian Trevor Noah, hosting for a fourth time, opened the show on CBS PARA.O by joking that it was “the only concert that starts on time.”

In one of the night’s first performances, country singer Luke Combs joined with Tracy Chapman for a duet of “Fast Car,” the hit song that she released in 1988 and that Combs remade into a massive country hit last year. Taylor Swift, Jelly Roll and other nominees stood in the audience and swayed to the music.

Swift, the 34-year-old in the middle of the world’s highest-grossing tour, was competing for an unprecedented fourth album of the year trophy with “Midnights.”

No other artist in the 66-year Grammys history has claimed the coveted honor four times. Music legends Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder won three each.

She faced competition from a female-led field that included SZA, the most-nominated artist of the night, and indie rock band boygenius, a band formed by indie rock stars Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker.

The trio claimed Grammys for rock performance, rock song and alternative music album for “The Record.”

“All I ever wanted to do in my life was be in a band. Music is the language I used to find my family,” Baker said as the group accepted its second Grammy award on stage in downtown Los Angeles.

When boygenius was named winner of a third trophy in a row, Bridgers exclaimed “What the hell?”

“This is so incredible. We are screaming backstage,” she said.

Women figure prominently in the 2024 Grammys field. Just one man, Jon Batiste, made the cut among eight nominees for the album prize. Other contenders include Olivia Rodrigo and Lana Del Rey.

Music from the blockbuster “Barbie” movie received 11 nominations, including record of the year for Billie Eilish’s ballad “What Was I Made For?”

Contenders in the best new artist field included rapper Ice Spice, country singer Jelly Roll, R&B and pop singer Victoria Monet, singer-songwriter Coco Jones and folk-pop singer Noah Kahan.

Winners were chosen by the musicians, producers, engineers and others who make up the Recording Academy. The group has worked to diversify its membership in recent years by inviting more women and people of color to its ranks.

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