Cover Photo: KEVIN WINTER / THE RECORDING ACADEMY / AFP

After being pushed back from January due to Covid-19 concerns, Grammy Awards 2021 finally goes live in what is hoped to be the beginning of when we got to start living our lives again

The 63rd Grammys kicked off Sunday with a song from Harry Styles as organisers sought to ditch the virtual pandemic-era awards show format with a series of live appearances from the industry's biggest stars—socially distanced, of course.

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Styles delivered his hit Watermelon Sugar after host Trevor Noah opened the normally glitzy affair from Los Angeles, joking that it would be the largest outdoor event of 2021 since the storming of the US Capitol in January. "I know that you haven't been able to go to a concert in a long time—neither have I. So tonight we're bringing the concert to you," Noah said.

Last year's big winner Billie Eilish quickly followed up with her own nominated hit Everything I Wanted–the night is expected to be heavy on music, with some appearances pre-recorded and many others live.

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At the ceremony ahead of the gala, Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion, and Eilish took home early honours. Beyonce captured her first trophy of the day for Best Music Video, an award she shared with her eldest daughter Blue Ivy, who was in the clip for Brown Skin Girl.

The megastar did not Zoom in to accept the prize from the Recording Academy that many say has failed her in the past, with repeated snubs in past years for critically acclaimed work. She snagged her second trophy for her smash with Megan Thee Stallion, who accepted her first Grammy ever through tears.

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Hopefuls for major awards include pop heavyweights Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa, along with rapper Roddy Ricch. A rendition of the bawdy song WAP by Cardi B and Megan was on deck, with Swift, Lipa, South Korean boy band BTS and rapper DaBaby also slated to light up the screen.

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