The stars at night may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but on Sunday night, Texas' biggest stars blazed in Los Angeles. That's where the music industry's finest gathered at the Crypto.com Arena for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
Most of the 91 awards scheduled to be given out on music's biggest night had been given out before the evening's main event, which is when North Texas musicians had their biggest moments.
In the Premiere Ceremony, Denton-born jazz fusion band Snarky Puppy took home the award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for its Empire Central album, recorded at Deep Ellum Art Company last spring. The band has now won five awards, including three previous wins in same category, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
The Premiere Ceremony was also when Fort Worth gospel singer Kirk Franklin took home three small gramophones: for Best Gospel Performance/Song for "Kingdom," for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for "Fear Is Not My Future" and for "Best Gospel Album" for Kingdom Book One Deluxe, recorded with Maverick City Music.
North Texas' biggest moment in the main ceremony, however, involved a music industry outsider when DeSoto High School choir director Pamela Dawson was recognized by the Recording Academy. She received the Grammy Music Educator Award, which came with a $10,000 prize and a matching grant to the DeSoto High School music program.
In one of the night's more surprising moments, singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt won the award for "Song of the Year," beating out Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Steve Lacy, Harry Styles, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and Plano-born singer Gayle, who was nominated for "ABCDEFU."
Grapevine rapper Post Malone had been nominated for "Best Pop Duo/Group Performance" for his collaboration with Doja Cat, "I Like You (A Happier Song)," but lost to Sam Smith and Kim Petras and their song "Unholy," making Petras the first transgender woman to win the award.
Domi and JD Beck, a jazz duo that formed in Dallas, lost the Best New Artist award to jazz singer Samara Joy. Burleson singer and first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson lost the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album award to Michael Bublé, as did former Grapevine resident and University of North Texas alumna Norah Jones. Lindale singer Miranda Lambert and Arlington singer Maren Morris both lost the award for Best Country Solo Performance to Willie Nelson.
In the evening's "In Memoriam" segment, which is notorious for leaving people out, the Recording Academy did not list rapper Gangsta Boo, pop artist Aaron Carter or R&B legend and longtime Dallas resident Bernard Wright, who died in May.
While Austin music acts Spoon, Black Pumas and Asleep at the Wheel lost in their respective categories, other Texas musicians had big nights. Huntsville native Cody Johnson took home the award for Best Country Song for the single “'Til You Can’t.”
Former Houston resident Lizzo won Record of the Year for “About Damn Time." The Purple Disco Machine Remix of the song also won Best Remixed Recording. The singer lost in the categories of Album of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album, however.
Houston's Beyoncé, after arriving to the ceremony late thanks to L.A. traffic, had the Grammy's biggest night, taking home the awards for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album, Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Song and Best Dance/Electronic Recording, breaking the record for most wins in a career by any artist with 32.
While the Grammys have always been a lightning rod for criticism and we could all agree with Harry Styles when he said it's "important for us to remember that there is no such thing as 'bests' in music," it is an undeniable honor to see so many musicians from our little corner of the music world get just a bit more recognition on the national stage.