R&B star SZA, who leads all Grammy nominees with nine nods, will be performing at the 66th Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy announced on Jan. 29. This will be the singer's second appearance on the telecast, which takes place this coming Sunday, Feb. 4.
Her inclusion hardly counts as a major surprise, considering her nominations in three of the Grammys’ “big four” categories, though she had not yet been included on any of the Recording Academy’s previous performer announcements.
SZA last sang at the Grammys in 2018, when she was a nominee for Best New Artist. This year, she’s up for Album of the Year for her sophomore smash SOS, as well as Record and Song of the Year for single “Kill Bill.” That song is also nominated for Best R&B performance, and the singer boasts additional nominations for Best R&B Song, Best Melodic Rap Performance, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (for “Ghost in the Machine,” her collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers), Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best Progressive R&B Album. (If it seems strange that the year’s best progressive R&B album might also contain the year’s best traditional R&B performance, well, welcome to the Grammy Awards.)
Despite racking up 24 total nominations since 2018, SZA has only won one Grammy, picking up a Best Pop Duo/Group Performance statuette for her Doja Cat collaboration "Kiss Me More" in 2022.
The Grammys’ top nominee usually tends to perform at the ceremony, with some notable exceptions including Beyonce last year, and Michael Jackson during his Thriller heyday.
SZA's SOS topped the U.S. album chart upon its release in December of 2022, with "Kill Bill" also reaching No. 1 on the singles chart. The singer celebrated the anniversary last month, saying: "A day late but Happy 1 year anniversary to an album that is ACTIVELY CHANGING MY LIFE," she said in an Instagram post on Dec. 10. "I haven’t processed this year AT ALL cause it’s still happening .. this is beyond my wildest dreams. I never imagined we’d accomplish a fraction of the accolades that came from this .. it often doesn’t feel real and it’s funny cause I swore I’d know what to do if it ever happened, turns out I I froze."
In more surprising news, the Grammys announced over the weekend that legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell will perform at the telecast for the first time. Mitchell and SZA will join previously teased Grammy performers Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Travis Scott, Burna Boy, Luke Combs and Dua Lipa. Last week, the Recording Academy announced that Billy Joel will be appearing at the ceremony as well to perform "Turn the Lights Back On," his first single in 17 years. U2 will also perform from the Sphere in Las Vegas.
The Grammy Awards will be broadcast from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Feb. 4. While SZA leads all artists with nine nominations, singer Victoria Monét, Boygenius member Phoebe Bridgers, and engineer Serban Ghenea follow just behind with seven nominations apiece.