James Taylor was one of the few veteran pop artists to nab a Grammy Award on Sunday. The lauded singer/songwriter won the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album honor for his latest studio effort, 2020’s American Standard. The trophy was presented during the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony, which was held during the afternoon prior to the primetime event.
Also during the early ceremony, the documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice won the Grammy for Best Music Film, while Dolly Parton and duet partner Zach Williams were honored with the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song prize for “There Was Jesus.”
As for the main ceremony, Lionel Richie performed during the event’s “in memoriam” segment, paying tribute to the late Kenny Rogers by singing “Lady,” the chart-topping 1980 hit he wrote for Rogers. The segment also featured Bruno Mars paying homage to late rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard, and a tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen that featured an archival clip of the rock legend playing a solo as a spotlight shone on his signature “Frankenstrat” guitar, which was displayed on the stage.
At the end of the ceremony, Ringo Starr made a surprise appearance to present the final Grammy, for Record of the Year.
“If you’re making music in our world today, you’ve already won. And I thank you,” the 80-year-old ex-Beatles icon commented before cracking open the envelope and presenting the award to 19-year-old alt-pop sensation Billie Eilish.
Visit Grammy.com to check out the full winners list.
By Matt Friedlander
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