Music has always been a major part of all of our lives. In fact, it can be argued that even before we are born music plays an influential role, as it is quite common for pregnant mothers to play classical music to babies in the womb. Nowadays, it is ingrained in every aspect of our existence from being part of the ambience in retail outlets and shopping malls, an essential part of religious worship as well as even being the creative spark for some of the best slot games.
Hence the reason why The Grammys have been such a massive event, as it honors and recognizes near enough everyone that has positively contributed to the industry. Focusing on the R&B category at The Grammys, it has traditionally been heavily dominated by men. With the likes of Usher, Ne-Yo, Prince, John Legend and Barry White, just a few who have picked up awards this popular category. However, there has long been calls to see women become more recognized in the genre, and they finally ruled supreme in the 2019 Grammy Awards.
Women kicked off their assault on the 61st Grammy Awards in the Best R&B performance category where four of the five nominees were led by or featured women. Long As I Live by Toni Braxton, The Carters’ Summer, Y O Y by Lalah Hathaway, Best Part by H.E.R. which featured Daniel Caesar and First Began by PJ Morton were the nominees in the category. It was H.E.R’s Best Part which won the award, a track which went platinum in both the US and Canada.
Next up was the award for Best Traditional R&B Performance, and again it was a great category for women. Three of the five nominees again featured women, with Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand by Leon Bridges, Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight by Bettye LaVette, Major’s Honest, How Deep Is Your Love by PJ Morton Featuring Yebba and Made For Love by Charlie Wilson Featuring Lalah Hathaway, all in the running. In the end, it was a tie between Leon Bridges and PJ Morton with Yebba, with another woman taking home an award.
The Best R&B Song category is always hotly contested, and this year was no different. Boo’d Up, Come Through And Chill, Feels Like Summer, Focus and Long As I Live were all amongst the nominees, with Boo’d Up the track voted the best of the bunch. As an award for songwriters, it was again great to see women recognised here as both Joelle James and Ella Mai heavily involved in the making of the award-winning track.
Another hotly contested category followed with the award for Best Urban Contemporary Album up for grabs. The Carters’ Everything Is Love, The Kids Are Alright by Chloe x Halle, Chris Dave And The Drumhedz’ self-titled album, War & Leisure by Miguel and Ventriloquism by Meshell Ndegeoello were all nominated for the award on the night. It was, of course, The Carters who walked away with the award. The Carters, which features Beyonce alongside husband Jay Z, are a huge inspiration for women, with Beyonce a role model for many.
The final award in the R&B category was again heavily dominated by women, with Toni Braxton, Lalah Hathaway and H.E.R., all up for Best R&B Album. Leon Bridges and Good Thing, as well as Gumbo Unplugged (Live) by PJ Morton were also in the running, but it was H.E.R with her self-titled album which was named the winner on the night, completing a great evening for H.E.R which consisted of multiple awards, and a great awards ceremony for women too.