TGJ Roundtable: 2021 GRAMMY Awards Review

Published: Monday 15th Mar 2021 by Sam

Welcome to the latest
TGJ Roundtable!

Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!

Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.

Now, we give you a front-row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, Rashad, Joe, and Ryan – get real in a very candid way.

Today’s roundtable topic asks each anchor their thoughts on the…

GRAMMYs 2021


The GRAMMYs were a rollercoaster. And, for what feels like the first time in a long time, that fact had less to do with the performances and more to do with the winners.

Much ado has been made about times of the past. From eyebrow-raising wins to seismic snubs to public fall-outs.

This year, though, it feels like there was a renewed zeal to take in the feedback and make good on a few fronts.

For yours truly, the night’s wins felt formatted in a very specific way. Indeed, the winners list quite literally read like atonement for certain veterans, the ordination of new stars, expected touchdowns here and there, plus a few shockers no-one saw coming.

What the show lacked in a Beyonce performance, it more than made up for with big moments for the Queen. She’s now the most awarded female in GRAMMY history and the most awarded singer too. The royal presentation and her surprise participation very much watched like a make-good after an “interesting” few years (see: Lemonade, 2017 ceremony).

Maybe we’re in for her major return to the show as a performer next year? Time will tell.

Ironically, while I was salivating for a ‘Savage’ performance, Bey’s decision to not hit the stage generously afforded Megan Thee Stallion the chance to shine solo and shine she did. Together with Cardi B, she continues to lend credence to my belief that the Rap girls in many ways are becoming the new Pop girls. In terms of staging, choreo, and grandiosity. Meg’s much-deserved wins were a personal highlight too.

Every rollercoaster has its twists and needless to say it came in the form of a few very left-field wins. Most especially Billie Eilish bagging Record of the Year and H.E.R taking home Song of the Year. Few could have predicted such polarizing picks and I imagine these will be debated in earnest for a long time. Echoing my opening stance, this definitely felt like a major step towards building the stars of tomorrow. Take from that what you will.

More broadly, the 2021 GRAMMYs was the year everyone got a little something. The honors were spread out in such a way that there were no pronounced “OMG snubs.” I was especially happy about Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s Pop win for ‘Rain On Me.’ I do personally wish Dua Lipa received a little more (as both her album and campaign define GRAMMY magnets). But she still added to her mantel with a commendable award. Similarly, even acts not nominated were afforded the platform to plug and play their new-new (namely Bruno Mars x Anderson .Paak and Cardi B). Again, another example of organizers spreading the shine.

For a year that’s seen music’s anchoring ceremonies navigate the global health crisis in various ways (from virtual to cinematic), I salute the GRAMMYs for attempting to deliver as close a return to the ”traditional award show” format of any ceremony before it.



With minimized spectacle (compared to previous years), the 2021 GRAMMYs proved the show is really about the awards. As evidenced by our extensive coverage of the event, the night was chockfull of historic feats – namely to women and people of color (two groups who have put a spotlight on the Recording Academy’s lack of deserved recognition over the years).

Let me be frank: it’s not to say those wins were undeserved by any of the victors. However, to have that many women and POC winners felt political and seemed to make even more sense of why The Weeknd – with the biggest album and songs of 2020 – was completely shut out. I digress. Overall, I found the show enjoyable. The jaw-dropping snubs (see: Jhene Aiko, Doja Cat, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa in some categories, etc.) and long-deserved wins (Ledisi, Nas) made the show a headline grabber. Maybe that was the intention all along.

On the performance front, of course, Cardi & Meg was the clear highlight of the night (but I would’ve loved to see more Meg). Taylor, Harry, and Silk Sonic delivered captivating performances, though nothing exactly memorable.

I was PARTICULARLY impressed by all the “new” GRAMMY girls’ performances – Doja, Megan, and Dua (first time gracing the stage solo). WOW WOW and WOW. For Doja and Megan, they came to slay and came to say “we plan to stay.” For Lipa, she started slow but by the performance’s end she was well warmed up. She is CLEARLY making performance improvements and the Dua she unleashed by that performance’s end is the exact one I want to see more of next era.

All-in-all, I would say this is probably my favorite GRAMMYs in a loooong while.



Even a whole year after the global health crisis hit, I still have issues adjusting to the fact that award ceremonies are obliged to scale back.

With that being said, even though it felt less spectacular, music’s biggest night remained exactly that — music’s biggest night.

First off, kudos to the host with the most, Trevor Noah, who piloted this whole thing like a real champion. I sincerely hope he gets to take the helm again, once things get back to their usual form.

For better or for worse, it felt like the committee decided to give a lil’ sumthin’ to everybody.

Billie, Megan, Harry, Dua, Taylor… all of them ruled the charts in their own unique ways in 2020, so their respective wins all felt well deserved.

Still, it seemed like one artist got the short end of the stick after scoring an incredible year: Doja Cat.

To me, this was amplified by the fact that she, once again delivered one of the best performances of the night. But her drive and passion make me hopeful that she’ll get her flowers eventually.

I was more drawn to the pre-recorded, production-heavy performances of Megan The Stallion, Cardi B, and Lil Baby which had more of an award-show appeal than the SNL-vibes of Harry Styles, Billie Eilish or Dua Lipa’s showings – even if they were all still enjoyable in their own right.

It’s beautiful seeing how in just a few years Megan has gone from promising to elite. I hope her wins encourage her to widen her horizons when it comes to her artistry and come back stronger and harder the next time around.

As for Beyoncé, it’s always a pleasure to see her prosper because we all know that she puts in the work like no one else. 

I personally see her wins for ‘Brown Skin Girl’ and ‘Black Parade’ as justice for the overlooked project ‘The Gift,’ and of course a superb look for the Culture.

Well done, GRAMMYs!



Another year, another GRAMMY Awards ceremony has come and gone. Over the past year, society has faced many surprises – a pandemic, murder hornets, wildfires, etc. – and the surprises continued with the 2021 GRAMMYs. There was no clear sweep like in the past. In an unusual turn of events, the awards were distributed to both big and small names alike. While it was a welcome change, it made some of the winners impossible to predict.

This was especially present in the Big Four categories. Billie Eilish came from behind and took Record Of The Year – which should have gone to Dua Lipa – H.E.R. won Song Of The Year and went up against the likes of Taylor Swift, Beyoncé. Album Of The Year went to Swift, and deservedly so. Best New Artist was the least controversial category and that went to Megan Thee Stallion.

Personally, the mix of winners from both older generations and newer generations speaks to how the GRAMMYs are trying to toe the line between two eras in music. If that’s the case they did fairly well for the most part. But there is still room for improvement.

Enough with the who should have won and who won. Let’s get down to the meat: the performances.

Easily the best performance of the night was a tie between Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion for their own personal medleys and ‘WAP’ and Swift for her medley of songs from ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore.’

Let’s start off with Cardi and Meg. It was EVERYTHING. From the stage design to those racy dance moves, they did not come to play. Showing up and showing out, they showed that despite the dullness of the past year, flash can still be brought to award shows.

As for Swift, her performance was the opposite. Comforting, intimate, and vulnerable, it was the kind of low-key affair that feels like curling up in a sweater on a winter’s day.

As for the duds, Miranda Lamert‘s stiff and awkward performance of ‘Bluebird’ left much to be desired. Harry Style’s opener was less of a high and more of a low. Post Malone delivered the worst vocals of the night, the kind that would make Fergie‘s national anthem performance seem like it deserved a GRAMMY itself.

At the end of the day, the GRAMMYs showed that 2021 still has many surprises left in store.


Do you agree with our picks? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and your thoughts on the 2021 GRAMMYs.

Your thoughts?

[Photo Via: Recording Academy / Getty]

Comments 24

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  1. Shayla Queen 👑 March 15, 2021

    Yasssssss Un-Abel was unable to even get nominated! NO FLAVOR, just a shïtload of SALT 🧂💯🤣

  2. Susan March 15, 2021

    Why are you all shocked Doja got no awards? 🤣 Do you think the academy will EVER give Dr Luke another Grammy? He may be getting on the radio again, but a Grammy? Chillle bye. Also, Doja is problematic and a one hit wonder. She’s the only one who performed one song. Everyone else performed 2 or more songs within their performance. She’s nothing.

    • Shayla Queen 👑 March 15, 2021

      Bye, Only Flops 👀

  3. Pat March 15, 2021

    The academy is really trying to play it safe n not sure how much to give Doja yet. W her Past racial controversy If her next album is big they’ll jump on board. I think she’s learned her lesson. Her Janet inspired performance was one if my favs

    • Susan March 15, 2021

      Doja will never win a Grammy as long as she’s working with Dr Luke. The academy won’t award him. Also, she’s clearly racist

      • Susan March 15, 2021

        ****allegedly racist.

    • Munchies. March 15, 2021

      Wow! I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed the Janet inspiration. I wasn’t for sure but I felt like it was giving me those vibes.

    • Keith March 15, 2021

      Doja’s performance, while I liked it, was very “Feedback”…

  4. J March 15, 2021

    TGJ – Make sure y’all report on the RECORD LOW RATINGS and shade them as you do all other flop shows and artists. Like you did in the Zayn post for example.

    VARIETY and DEADLINE are already on it. Chop chop. 😈

  5. Hmmm… March 15, 2021

    I liked how intimate it looked. Makes me want the audience to be that small all the time. Reminded me a little (just a little) more of the Oscars, and a little less like of the AMAs.

    • Munchies. March 15, 2021

      It really should be like that from now on.

  6. TRANS RACIAL QUEEN March 15, 2021

    Taylor won the biggest award of the night so the show has credibility

  7. pat March 15, 2021

    grammy numbers hit another all time low not suprising

  8. King+of+Kingz March 15, 2021

    Sooooo Nicki was blackballed for having an exorcism theatrical performance that “offended the Catholic Church” but now bitchess can have they whole asss out, bump c*******, scissor & hump each other & spread there legs wide open on national local television & that’s acceptable now @ the Grammys? Smh that’s some BS, where’s the outrage from parents & people now? That was a performance better suited for the VMAs or BET Awards not the damn Grammys. Ppl may not like Nicki raw unfiltered way of calling things out but she don’t be lying. All of Cardi B’s performances are lip synced & she was stiff af last night & looks pregnant but ya’ll praising tf outta it, when it was the visuals & special effects that carried it. Smh the bar is low af. Doja ate tho & kept her clothes on & legs closed

    • Urg March 15, 2021

      Let no forget tgat that netwrok blackballed Janet for years for the nip slip!!

    • March 15, 2021


  9. Keith March 15, 2021

    The show was more interesting than I expected it to be. Doja, Cardi, Dua and Taylor were the performances that worked for me. I loved seeing Jimmy Jam and the Carters. The tribute to artists that passed away wasn’t a downer. The losers were the men…didn’t find much to talk about in their performances at all.

  10. R March 15, 2021

    Overall, I enjoyed the show. I want The Grammys to be about the music, and I am disappointed that I am reading so many rave reviews today about performances by acts who spent more time strutting their stuff than actually singing/rapping etc their songs. I’m always left wondering just how vocally talented some of these artists are? And with the seemingly never ending complaints about not being nominated (The Weeknd, Zayn) or being underrepresented (women in country music last year), it gets a little tiring listening to the moans and groans of people who have been blessed with talent and probably quite a nice lifestyle. I wonder how many of the these artists have a quote from early in their careers that “I ‘m only in it for the music.” ?

  11. jermany March 15, 2021

    zara Larsson outshines dua lipa in every way. have you seen her album concert on YouTube? also cardi and Megan looked tired. Doja had the best performance of the night. it was clean af.

  12. Fancy BISH (FCK Sewer Queen, Maristench, Danzou The Fool & Clarksdump 🤣) 👊🏽💎💋 March 15, 2021

    Beyonce looked amazing and she was best dressed 🤳🏽 She was serving Perri Pebbles Reid realness, yaaas lol 💋 And congrats to Babyface, Dua, Harry, Salt N Pepa, Tay Tay…I’m gone lol

  13. Keyword March 15, 2021

    The show was a bore and I didn’t even need to watch to figure that out, Nobody interesting was there besides beyonce and Bruno. This new wave of “talent” just ISN’T doing it tbh. That’s why their ratings were at an all time low this year.

  14. Keyword March 15, 2021

    Snooze fest of a show but at least our faves win Grammys. Meanwhile chlamydia potatos crying for her dead career at her weekly racist therapy 💀💀💀💀 F*cking EMBARRASSING!

  15. eric March 15, 2021

    The boycott worked. They went from 18.8 million viewers in 2020 to 8.8 million Sunday.

  16. UHoesFunny March 16, 2021

    Dua did so good. The new top girls are bringing it and their performances prove just that. I don’t see Camila in this category

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