'Slap' jokes and shock wins: The 11 biggest moments from the 2022 Grammys.

Usually, the Oscars are the neat, tidy bow on each year's awards season.

Not in 2022.

First of all, there was nothing about this year's Oscars that said 'neat and tidy', but secondly, the ongoing COVID pandemic postponed the biggest night in music by two months. So, welcome to a late Grammy Awards day.

This year's Grammys were surrounded by controversy for months, especially after Drake withdrew his nominations and Kanye West was banned from performing. But mostly, this year's ceremony went off without a hitch. 

Honestly, compared to last year's star-studded, masked up event featuring every A-list music star under the sun, it was a bit of a snooze fest.

Things livened up a little thanks to a couple of shocks in the big categories, most notably Silk Sonic taking out both Song and Record of the Year for 'Leave the Door Open' over favourites like Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish, and Jon Batiste's HUGE Album of the Year win.

Here are the biggest moments from the show.

The 'slap' references.

Well... it was bound to happen.

After Bruno Mars' and Anderson Paak's Silk Sonic opened the show, host Trevor Noah launched into his opening monologue.

After introducing stars like Billie Eilish and BTS, he outlined expectations for the night: "We're gonna be listening to some music, we're gonna be dancing, we're gonna be singing, we're gonna be keeping people's names out of our mouths and we're gonna be giving out awards all throughout the night".



Soon after, while presenting the award for Song of the Year (won by Silk Sonic's 'Leave the Door Open'), Questlove joked "I'm gonna present this award, and I trust that you people will stay 500 feet away from me".

Questlove won the best documentary Oscar Chris Rock presented last weekend and gave his acceptance speech after the altercation.

A surprise Album of the Year.

The biggest shock of the night came right at the end, when Jon Batiste took out Album of the Year for We Are.

Batiste looked VERY surprised when his name was called out, but he shouldn't have been. He was the most nominated person of the night, with 11 noms. He ended up winning five.

He used his speech to send love to her fellow nominees, which included Kanye West, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Doja Cat.

"There is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. The creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most. Like a song or an album, it is made, and it almost has a radar to find the person when they need it most," he said.

He said music was "more than entertainment to me, it's a spiritual practice".

"Every single artist that was nominated in this category, I actually love and have had out-of-body experiences with your music. I honour you."

Olivia Rodrigo's big night.

Olivia Rodrigo was the biggest breakthrough artist of 2021, following the enormity of her breakout hit 'Drivers License' and debut album Sour

She was nominated for seven Grammys in her first year and was the critics favourite for most of the big awards.


In the end, she walked away with three: Best Pop Solo Performance, Best New Artist, and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

Silk Sonic's sweep.

In one of the night's funniest moments, Silk Sonic's Anderson Paak joked about beating artists with major fan bases online following his and Bruno Mars' Song of the Year and Record of the Year wins.

"We are really trying our hardest to remain humble at this point but in the industry, we call that 'a clean sweep'," he joked.

"So all the other nominees, you all know we love y'all. We love y'all. Drinks is on Silk Sonic tonight. We getting drunk. I know a lot of y'all fans might be upset, so we're gonna get out of here before the internet get to talking."


Sounds like they know the internet well!

Doja Cat's rollercoaster speech.

In March, Doja Cat indicated she planned to quit music after rounding out the responsibilities she had booked to promote her album Planet Her.

She might rethink that now, after winning her first Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with SZA for 'Kiss Me More'.

Hilariously, Doja came running to the stage from a bathroom break, announcing "I have never taken a faster piss in my life".

Then the weight of the moment seemed to dawn on her, because she quickly got very emotional.

"Damn. I like to downplay, but this is a big deal," she said, sobbing. "Damn. Thank you everybody, be safe."


Lil Nas X's performance.

As Trevor Noah said in his intro, Lil Nas X has had a major year with some of the world's biggest songs. He's also had, as Noah said, everyone's "homophobic uncles" in a tizzy by being unapologetically himself.

He referenced this in his performance, a medley of 'Dead Right Now', 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)' and 'Industry Baby', by featuring transitions with tweets and media reactions to him and his music.

Oh, and there was a giant statue of his face. 

Gaga cements her spot as Hollywood's most helpful person.

A week after warming everyone's hearts when she joined Liza Minelli on the Oscars stage, Gaga was at the Grammys to offer her services to anyone who needed it.

Turns out, SZA did require some help after winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Doja Cat. 

SZA was wearing a dress with a huge train, which would be difficult to walk in on any day... but she was also sporting crutches. Enter: Gaga to the rescue.


Billie Eilish's performance and Taylor Hawkins tribute.

Billie Eilish and brother Finneas performed 'Happier Than Ever', with Billie rocking a shirt with Foo Fighters' drummer Taylor Hawkins' face on it.

Hawkins' died last month while on tour in Colombia.

The Foo Fighters were supposed to perform at this year's Grammys too, but pulled all upcoming performances after Hawkins' death. Later in the show, Trevor Noah acknowledged Hawkins as part of the in memoriam segment.

As for Billie's performance: she leaned into her song's iconic transition. She performed the first half in a small room full of water before walking through a door to a stage where her brother was playing guitar.


They then went hard. It was REALLY good - and even better when you figure she must've been doing the whole thing with wet socks. Yuck.

A message from Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared with a pre-recorded video message for the Grammys audience, before a touching performance from John Legend and Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, whose brother is at home fighting in the war against Russia.

"The war doesn't let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence," Zelensky said. "Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can't hear them. But the music will break through, anyway.

"We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound. On our land we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The death, silence. Fill the silence with your music! Fill it today, to tell our story."

He implored the world to "tell the truth about this war".

Legend and Newtown then performed 'Free', a song he dropped earlier in the day. They were joined by poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.


At the end, a statement on screen implored viewers to donate to help Ukraine.

Pink's Rolling Stone feud.

This technically did not happen at the Grammys, but online just prior to the ceremony.

To mark the day, Rolling Stone published a list from renowned music critic and writer Rob Sheffield, ranking the 25 greatest Grammy performances of all time.

Among the artists listed were Kendrick Lamar, Adele, The Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift and Beyonce. But it was who the list did not include that has sparked controversy.

Sheffield did not put Pink in his list, and she isn't happy about it. 

She has performed at the awards show multiple times over the years. Her 2010 performance of 'Glitter in the Air' is particularly of note, as she brought her signature acrobatics to the Grammy stage.


"Bahahahaha you guys have been irrelevant since 1990," she wrote on Instagram.

"Give me a f***ing break. Do your homework. You don't have to like me or my music or anything about me - and believe me I could give a sh*t but this is the biggest sellout in f***ing history when it comes to a publication we all once trusted.

"F*** Rolling Stone. And I've felt that way for decades as so many of my favourite artists and my peers have. This isn't just about their horrendous opinion of 'rating Grammy performances'. It's decades of wasting trees and people's time."

The red pink carpet.

From the huge gowns of Chrissy Teigen and St Vincent, to Justin Bieber's... beanie, pink was definitely the colour of the night. 

Image: Getty.

For all the best red carpet looks, check out our full roundup: 90s vibes and pink... everything: All the Grammys 2022 red carpet looks. 

See you next year!

Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer. For more pop culture takes, sarcasm and... cat content, you can follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Getty.

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