The 2024 Grammy Awards saved the top honor for last when awarding Album of the Year during the Sunday, February 4, ceremony.
Taylor Swift took home the accolade for the 2022 album Midnights, making her the first person to win the accolade four times. Jon Batiste’s World Music Radio, Boygenius’ The Record, Miley Cyrus’ Endless Summer Vacation, Lana 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 rounded out the category.
“I want to say I get to work with one of my best friends [Jack Antonoff] who is not only one of my best friends but a once-in-a-generation producer. I’m so lucky,” Swift, 34, gushed during her acceptance speech. “I would love to tell you this is the best moment of my life but I feel this happy when I write a song, or crack the code to a song I love, or when I’m shot listening a music video or I’m practicing with my band or rehearsing with my dancers or getting ready to fly to Tokyo to perform. … For me, the reward is the work.”
The pop star also thanked Del Rey, who is featured on her song “Snow on the Beach” for being an inspiration in the industry.
Ahead of the awards show, Swift was favored to win Album of the Year and make history as the only artist to receive the honor four times. (She previously earned Album of the Year for Fearless in 2010, 1989 in 2016 and Folklore in 2021.)
Swift has been on a career-high since releasing Midnights in October 2022. She kicked off her record-breaking Eras Tour in March 2023 and is set to resume the international leg in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, February 7. In 2023, she also became a billionaire, debuted the highest-earning concert film of all time, was named TIME’s Person of the Year and dropped two more rerecorded albums, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and 1989 (Taylor’s Version). On Sunday, she announced her 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department, will be out on April 19.
Swift earned six Grammy nominations in November 2023. In addition to Album of the Year, she won Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights, and was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Anti-Hero” and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her “Karma” collaboration with Ice Spice.
At one of her shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, later that month, Swift reacted to her nods. “Sort of a crazy day yesterday,” she told the audience. “I started off my morning by getting the extraordinary news that because of you and because of the way you have supported my album Midnights, it just got nominated for six Grammys!”
Swift then held up six fingers and danced while sitting at her piano. “You’re the best. You continue to be the best,” she gushed as the crowd cheered. “You’re the only reason that anything like that ever happened in my life.”
SZA, meanwhile, had a whirlwind year of her own following the December 2022 release of her sophomore album, SOS. After becoming the most-nominated artist at the 2024 Grammys, she confessed that she had already achieved many of her dreams.
“I don’t have any more goals, and that sounds terrible, but career-wise … I keep saying that — nobody believes me — but it’s just like, you don’t understand,” she explained during a December 2023 Apple Music Radio interview.
SZA, 34, went on to list her accomplishments thus far. “I have already gone platinum. I didn’t think I would ever go platinum,” she noted. “I sold a bunch of records. I got to meet Stevie Wonder, I got to meet Beyoncé and work with her, I got to meet Frank Ocean. My mom came and my dad came to all these cool countries to see me perform. I’ve had sold out shows, I got to headline a festival.”
SZA acknowledged that anything beyond her current achievements would just be an added bonus. “Like, what else do I want? I’m nominated for Grammys. I’ve won a Grammy. I’m done, for me, personally,” she concluded. “Anything past this is so much more than I wanted, thought of, dreamed of.”