Billie Eilish Becomes the First Woman to Sweep the Big Four Grammys In One Night


Billie Eilish’s sweep was the big story of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, which were held Sunday (Jan. 26) at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Eilish became just the second artist in Grammy history—and the first woman—to take home the Big Four awards: album, record and song of the year plus best new artist. The first artist to do this was Christopher Cross 39 years ago.

Eilish took album of the year for her debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, and record and song of the year for her smash “Bad Guy.” In the process, she set several age-related records.  

Eilish, 18, is the youngest album of the year winner in Grammy history, easily topping Taylor Swift, who was 20 when she won a decade ago for Fearless. She’s also the youngest record of the year winner in Grammy history. That distinction was formerly shared by Kimbra and Sam Smith. Both were 22 when they won, as the featured artist on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (2012) and as the lead artist on “Stay with Me” (2014), respectively.

Eilish is the youngest best new artist champ since LeAnn Rimes, who was 14 when she took the 1996 award. She’s the youngest song of the year winner since Lorde, who was a year younger—just 17—when she won the 2013 award for co-writing “Royals.”

Lizzo came on so strong in recent months; it seemed likely that the two would split the top prizes. In the end, Lizzo beat Eilish in just one category—best pop solo performance for “Truth Hurts.” (Fun Fact: Cross also lost in the performance category in the year of his sweep. Kenny Loggins’ “This Is It” took best pop vocal performance, male, edging out Cross’ “Sailing.”)

When We All Fall Asleep… is the first debut album to win album of the year since Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me (2002).

Eilish and FINNEAS, her collaborator and older brother, were each credited with five Grammys for the night. They shared the big three. He also won producer of the year, non-classical and best engineered album, non-classical.

FINNEAS, 22, is the youngest winner of producer of the year, non-classical in Grammy history. That distinction was formerly shared by Michael Jackson and three members of Toto (Steve Porcaro, Bobby Kimball and Steve Lukather) who were each 25 when they won.

Gary Clark Jr. and Lizzo each won three Grammys, second only to Eilish among artists. Rob Kinselski, an engineer/mixer on Eilish’s album, and John Greenham, a mastering engineer on Eilish’s album, also won three. The Chemical Brothers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Nipsey Hussle, Lil Nas X and Tanya Tucker each won two.

Tucker had amassed 14 nominations, dating back to 1972, before she finally won. Her first Grammy was for best country song for “Bring My Flowers Now.” Accepting the award, she said, “After almost 50 years in this business, after many dreams, it’s unbelievable to me that I would still have some firsts left.” A moment later, she took best country album for While I’m Livin’. Tucker, 61, is the oldest winner for best country album since Loretta Lynn, then 72, took the 2004 award for Van Lear Rose.

Lizzo took best urban contemporary album for Cuz I Love You (Deluxe). She’s the third female artist to win in this category, following Rihanna and Beyoncé.


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