Introduced by host Trevor Noah while sitting next to Billy Joel (with whom Rodrigo has collaborated before), Rodrigo performed the song largely stationary in front of an abstract, moody backdrop, though a bit of unexpected stagecraft came into effect after the end of the first chorus, as Rodrigo began smearing herself with stage blood, while trickles of the red stuff started to flow heavier and heavier behind her as the song reached its peak.
(Slayer used to pull a similar trick during performances of “Raining Blood” — and considering Rodrigo’s demonstrable knowledge of ‘80s and ‘90s rock, we wouldn’t put it past her to have drawn direct influence there.)
Earlier in the ceremony’s opening stretch, host Noah asked Rodrigo what she planned to rhyme with “blood-sucker” with in the song’s chorus — the original lyric is “fame-f**ker” — though Rodrigo performed it with her usual replacement, “dream-crusher.”
Rodrigo is still up for a plethora of major awards at the Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year. Her sophomore album, Guts, is also nominated for Album of the Year.
SZA, who went into the night the leading contender with nine nominations, picked up a pair of Grammys at the afternoon pre-telecast ceremony, at which more than 70 of the Grammys’ 94 awards were distributed. SZA’s SOS picked up Best Urban Contemporary Album, while SZA also won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, for her “Ghost in the Machine” collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers. Bridgers was glimpsed later in the afternoon, when Boygenius, her supergroup with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, won a quick-fire trio of awards for Best Rock Performance, best Rock Song, and Best Alternative Music Album.
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Taylor Swift still has a chance to make history with an Album of the Year nomination for her LP Midnights: should she take home the award, she will become the first artist in history to win the Grammys’ top honor four times, having previously won for Fearless, 1989 and Folklore. Her current three Album of the Year trophies leave her tied with Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra.