By Gwen Aviles
LGBTQ artists dominated Sunday night’s 61st Grammy awards with history-making wins and a number of memorable performances.
Pop icon Lady Gaga and country singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile both broke records after becoming the first out winners in their categories.
Gaga, who identifies as bisexual, took home three awards on Sunday. Not only is she the first openly LGBTQ artist to win the Grammy in the Best Pop Solo Performance category for her song “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?),” but she also won awards for Best Song Written for Visual Media and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Shallow,” the duet she co-wrote and performed in “A Star is Born.” She had been nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance twice before.
Carlile, who identifies as a lesbian, also took home three awards. Sunday night, she became the first openly LGBTQ person to win in the Best Americana Album and Best American Roots performance categories for her album “By the Way, I Forgive You” and song “The Joke.” She also won a Grammy for Best American Roots Performance.
Other award winners included queer artist St. Vincent, who won in the Best Rock Song and Best Recording Package categories for her track and album — both titled “Masseduction” — and gay songwriters Benj Pasek and Shane McAnally, who were honored for their collaborations on “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack and Kacey Musgrave’s “Golden Hour,” respectively.
“This year’s out winners not only entertain the masses with their talents, but also use art to educate the masses and empower queer youth everywhere,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD, said in a statement shared with NBC News. “The Recording Academy is making good on their commitment to include diverse artists and tonight’s awards should be a signal to the entire music industry that audiences and critics alike celebrate LGBTQ musicians. “
LGBTQ artists didn’t just scoop up Grammys last night, they also performed throughout the awards show. Janelle Monáe sang a medley from her album “Dirty Computer” — which included her switching up the lyrics to her song “Make Me Feel” to make them more LGBTQ-inclusive — while Ricky Martin sang alongside Camila Cabello during her “Havana” rendition. Miley Cyrus joined both Shawn Mendes and Dolly Parton during the show, and the 2019 Grammy winners St. Vincent, Lady Gaga and Carlile performed selections from their winning works.