The Grammy Awards are making somewhat of a comeback. Sunday’s telecast of the 65th annual ceremony delivered 12.4M viewers across the CBS broadcast and digital platforms, according to fast affiliates. That’s up +30% from last year and the largest audience for ceremony since 2020.
The viewership is a much-needed boost for the ceremony, which brought in just 8.93M viewers last year and had failed to grow meaningfully year-over-year from 2021 to 2022. The 2021 show marked the Grammy’s least-watched iteration ever, which is in line with the hit that every other major awards show took after the start of the pandemic. The 2021 ceremony was one of the first in-person live TV events during the pandemic and was a scaled-down affair with no audience.
However, this year’s telecast was still a fairly low audience in comparison to pre-pandemic numbers. Just for comparison, the 2020 show earned 18.7M viewers in final numbers while the 2019 edition raked in 19.9M sets of eyeballs.
According to CBS, music’s biggest night also reached its largest live-streaming audience in history across Paramount+ and other CBS digital platforms, up 33% in audience. On Paramount+ alone, live viewership was up 42%.
Among those who took home trophies on Sunday were Lizzo, Bonnie Raitt, Ozzy Osbourne, Kendrick Lamar, Willie Nelson, Adele, Sam Smith & Kim Petras, Bad Bunny, and more. See the full winners list here.
Among the performances was a salute to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop that included a medley of such classics — performed by many of the originals — as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” Run-DMC’s “King of Rock,” LL Cool J’s “I Can’t Live without My Radio,” Salt-N-Pepa’s “My Mic Sounds Nice,” Eric B & Rakim’s “Eric B. Is President,” Public Enemy’s “Rebel without a Pause,” Ice-T’s “New Jack Hustler,” Queen Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y,” Wu-Tang Clan’s “Wu-Tang,” OutKast’s “ATLiens,” Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got,” Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control,” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” and Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle.”
Bad Bunny opened the show with a medley “El Apagón” and “Despues la Playa,” Lizzo played a medley from her Album of the Year candidate Special, Styles performed “As It Was,” and Mary J. Blige did her multi-nominated “Good Morning Gorgeous.” Smith & Petras returned to play their Grammy-winning “Unholy,” and Luke Combs did “Going, Going, Gone.” Steve Lacy was joined by Thunderclap to perform his chart-topping smash “Bad Habit.”
Oscars 2022 was the second lowest viewership ever at 16.6M…remains to be seen how this year’s ceremony will fare. By comparison, the 2022 Emmy Awards fell to another all-time low, drawing less than 6M viewers. The Golden Globes, which returned to broadcast this year after taking a year off amid the HFPA’s controversy, also sunk to a record low audience with just 6.3M people tuning in.
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