Taylor Swift won album of the year at the 66th Grammy Awards on Sunday, setting a new record for the most wins by an artist in the annual ceremony’s most prestigious category.
Celine Dion presented the award in one of the most emotional (and surprising) moments of the night.
“When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” she said to a standing ovation. “Those who have been blessed enough to be here at the Grammy Awards must never take for granted the tremendous love and joy that music brings to our lives and to people all around the world.”
Dion, who received the award 27 years ago from Diana Ross and Sting, has been out of the spotlight since late 2022, when she revealed that she had been diagnosed with the rare autoimmune neurological disorder stiff person syndrome.
Swift looked shocked as she took the stage.
“I get to work with one of my best friends, who is not only one of my best friends, but also a once-in-a-generation producer; that’s Jack Antonoff,” she said. “I’m so lucky.”
She also thanked her engineer, Laura Sisk, and Lana Del Rey, who both took the stage with her.
“So many female artists would not be where they are and would not have the inspiration that they have if not for the work that she’s done,” she said. “I think she’s a legacy artist, a legend in her prime right now.”
“I would love to tell you that this is the best moment of my life, but I feel this happy when I finish a song, or when I crack the code to a bridge that I love, or when I’m shot-listing a music video, or when I’m rehearsing with my dancers or my band, or getting ready to go to Tokyo to play a show. For me, the award is the work. All I want to do is keep being able to do this.”
Swift announced a new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” upon accepting the award for pop vocal album earlier in the night.
“Midnights” became the pop superstar’s fourth LP to take album of the year after “Folklore” in 2021, “1989” in 2016 and “Fearless” in 2010. Until Sunday, Swift had been tied at three wins apiece with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.
Swift’s win at Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles comes after a year in which she was never far from the center of the cultural conversation, thanks to her blockbuster Eras tour, her chart-topping re-recordings of her older work and her public romance with Travis Kelce of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. Next weekend the 34-year-old singer and songwriter is expected to watch Kelce and the Chiefs compete against the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
Released in October 2022, “Midnights” is Swift’s 10th studio album of new songs. The LP, which she produced primarily with her longtime collaborator Antonoff, entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 with a first-week sales-and-streams total of more than 1.5 million units; it went on to spend an additional five weeks atop the chart on its way to being certified double platinum. “Midnights” also spun off a No. 1 single in “Anti-Hero.”
After two years in which the Recording Academy selected 10 nominees for each of the Grammys’ four major categories, only eight made the cut for this year’s show. The other LPs nominated for album of the year were Jon Batiste’s “World Music Radio,” Boygenius’ “The Record,” Miley Cyrus’ “Endless Summer Vacation,” Del Rey’s “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” Janelle Monáe’s “The Age of Pleasure,” Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” and SZA’s “SOS.”
In 2023, Swift’s onetime paramour Harry Styles took the prize with his album “Harry’s House.”