Grammys explained: How did these 5 artists achieve their come-from-behind victories?

The Grammys aren’t the Grammys without surprises, and this year definitely didn’t disappoint on that front. Here are five categories that shocked us all on Sunday night.

Song of the Year
Undoubtedly the biggest surprise at the Grammys was Bonnie Raitt taking home Song of the Year for “Just Like That.” Raitt is no stranger to a Grammy win, having racked up 13 competitive Grammys across her long career. However, while many expected her to lose this award to a more contemporary name — perhaps Adele or Harry Styles — Raitt probably monopolized the country and Americana vote, as well as being a likely rock-voter pick (she’s a past winner in that genre). With that in mind, and considering the older voters who likely love Raitt as well, her win isn’t inexplicable. And good for Raitt, who’s the first sole-lyricist winner of the award since Amy Winehouse (“Rehab”) in 2008.

Best Music Film
If there was one Grammy Adele had locked, it seemed like it was Best Music Film. Her TV special, “Adele: One Night Only,” had not only swept the Emmys (winning all five of its nominations), it was also produced by Ben Winston, the producer of the Grammys. So with those two things in mind, and the fact that she’s Adele, everyone thought she was going to win that at the very least. However, the Grammys went for a more lowkey pick: “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story.” This, alongside Taylor Swift’s win for Best Music Video, marked the first times Adele had ever lost a Grammy since her “19” era.

Best R&B Album
When Grammy nominations came out, it looked like one of the biggest locks of the night was going to be Mary J. Blige’s “Good Morning Gorgeous” taking home Best R&B Album. The record was nominated across the board in the R&B field, and was nominated for Album and Record of the Year, the only one in its category to achieve such recognition. But one person was not going to let that happen: Robert Glasper. He is not a stranger to upset wins, recently beating Beyoncé’s “Black Parade” for Best R&B Song. However, since his album didn’t get any other nominations, many expected Glasper to sit this one out. His win makes him one of the few people to win Best R&B Album more than once, Along with Alicia Keys (three wins), John Legend (three wins), TLC (two wins), and D’Angelo (two wins).

Best Latin Pop Album
To many, Christina Aguilera’s second full-length Spanish record, “Aguilera,” was the one to beat for Best Latin Pop Album. The record earned Aguilera a Latin Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and got an additional nomination at these Grammys for Best Immersive Audio Album. Aguilera is also a Grammy favorite, earning multiple awards throughout the years. However, what many didn’t account for was an arguably bigger fave, Rubén Blades. He is a Latin music legend and has a pretty impeccable track record, having now won nine out of his last 10 nominations, plus a couple more before that. His album also gave iconic Brazilian vocal group Boca Livre a Grammy win, so it’s not a surprise voters were drawn by such a combo.

Best Country Song
While Cody Johnson’s “Til You Can’t” is a huge country hit and a CMA-winning song, it faced some very heavy competition in its category. The Grammys also ignored Johnson and the song everywhere else, so many assumed that was game over for the hit single. “Til You Can’t” prevailed in the end, though, besting efforts from country giants like Willie Nelson, Luke Combs, and Taylor Swift. This was the first time a song wins the category without the artist being a credited writer since 2017’s winner, “Humble and Kind” (performed by Tim McGraw).

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