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BLM Themed Performances Take Centre Stage at Grammy Awards as Jonathan McReynolds, PJ Morton & Beyonce Win Big

The usual grandiose associated with “music’s biggest night” was missing during last Sunday’s 63rd Annual Grammy awards ceremony. The socially distanced event had attendees seated outdoors under a marquee as opposed to the usual plush Staples centre. Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music's big winners included PJ Morton, Kanye West, 4x Grammy nominees Jonathan McReynolds and Mali music.

Beyoncé took home her 28th Grammy and made history by breaking the record for the most Grammy wins by any female or male singer.

With ongoing racial bias accusations against the Recording Academy and racial tensions in the country, race was yet again an inevitable performance theme by black artists on the night. Country music’s first black solo female Grammy nominee, Mickey Guyton performed a powerful rendition of her smash hit “Black like me” singing about racial inequality and her experience as a black woman in a white dominated industry. In what could be perceived as a win for the Black Lives Matter movement, H.E. R’s “I can’t breathe” won the Grammy for Song of the Year. The song which centres on police brutality and racism was recorded in her bedroom and written in honour of George Floyd and other lives lost due to police brutality. 

Watch Jonathan McReynolds interview with Premier Gospel here:

“I can’t breathe” wasn’t the only Grammy winning song recorded on a scaled back budget. Gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds shared with his Instagram followers that the track for the Grammy winning “Movin on” was done in an Airbnb and Mali Music’s vocals recorded in a hotel room. “..I hear recording budgets crashing down everywhere..” McReynolds posted. In a transparent moment the star shared a picture of Mali music in a makeshift recording booth comprising of a microphone shield and a towel. Lauded as one of the leaders of the new breed of US gospel singers, McReynolds is an inspiration to many gospel artists whose sound isn’t easily defined. UK MOBO Award winner CalledOut Music tweeted: “This Jonathan McReynolds win hits different for artists that are unique in their own lane. It can be hard out here being ‘different’ but its really all in God’s time. I’m inspired!”

Maroon 5 keyboardist, PJ Morton won his third Grammy and first in a gospel category for his album, “Gospel according to PJ: From the Songbook of PJ Morton.”  The project boasts an all-star line-up of collaborators including Kirk Franklin, The Clark Sisters, Yolanda Adams and Mary Mary.

Written by Akosua DF, Premier Gospel Presenter

Watch PJ Morton's interview with Premier Gospel here:

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