After performing a show-stopping opening medley, Lizzo officially accepted her first Grammy Award during Sunday’s ceremony.
While picking up the award for pop solo performance for her self-love anthem “Truth Hurts,” the singer-songwriter got emotional, saluting her fellow musicians and alluding to the sudden death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, whom she also shouted out in her opener.
“This whole week, I’ve been lost in my problems, stressed out, and then in an instant, all of that can go away and your priorities really shift,” she said. “Today, all of my little problems I thought were the biggest in the world were gone, and I realized that there’s people hurting right now.”
Host Alicia Keys also paid tribute to Bryant during her monologue at the top of the show. The basketball icon died early Sunday in a Calabasas helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. With the Staples Center closed to the public for the Grammys, Angelenos gathered outside to build a memorial for the Lakers legend.
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Sunday’s Grammys were dominated by three L.A. artists — Billie Eilish, Tyler, the Creator and Nipsey Hussle — and its greatest athlete, Kobe Bryant.
After her somber intro, the “Cuz I Love You” artist then shifted focus to her peers in the room, celebrating the power of music — a running theme of the night.
“You guys create beautiful music. You guys create connectivity,” she said. “We need to continue to reach out. This is the beginning of making music that moves people again — making music that liberates people.”
Coming into the ceremony, Lizzo led the field with eight nominations, including nods in each of the top four categories for best new artist, album (“Cuz I Love You”), song and record (“Truth Hurts”). Fellow up-and-coming phenoms Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish trailed with six nods apiece.
Lizzo also scored two wins during the pre-show ceremony for urban contemporary album and traditional R&B performance.
Read the full transcript of Lizzo’s speech below.
“Wow. One second. Thank you. Thank you to the academy, first of all, unexpected, really cool. But I just, I want to say, you know, this whole week I’ve been lost in my problems, stressed out, and then in an instant, all of that can go away, and your priorities really shift. And today, all of my little problems I thought were the biggest in the world were gone, and I realized that there’s people hurting right now.
“And you guys create beautiful music. You guys create connectivity. And as I’m speaking to all ... in this room, we need to continue to reach out. This is the beginning of making music that moves people again — making music that liberates people. Yes. And if I hadn’t reached out, I wouldn’t have met my best friends, Quinn and Lauren. I don’t know where I would be right now — sleeping in my car.
“If I hadn’t reached out, I wouldn’t have ... met Kevin and (inaudible) if I hadn’t reached out, I wouldn’t have met Atlantic Records. So thank you so much for lifting me up. Let’s continue to reach out ... and lift each other up. God bless you. Thank you so much.”