H.E.R., Thundercat, The Strokes, Body Count win at the Grammys 2021

[L-R] H.E.R., Thundercat, Albert Hammond Jr. and Ernie C
(Image credit: Patrick Smith/Burak Cingi/Jim Bennett/Gonzales Photo/Nikolaj Bransholm/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

The 63rd Grammy Awards – and first to take place in a virtual format – were held last night (March 14), and it was a stellar evening for guitar-playing acts.

Among those to scoop awards were H.E.R., who won Song of the Year with I Can't Breathe; Thundercat, who bagged Best Progressive R&B Album with his star-studded 2020 effort It Is What It Is; The Strokes, who secured Best Rock Album with The New Abnormal; and Body Count, whose politically fueled Bum-Rush won them Best Metal Performance.

Other guitar-playing artists to bag awards included Taylor Swift, whose Folklore earned her the coveted Album of the Year prize; Brittany Howard, who won Best Rock Song with Stay High; and Fantastic Negrito, who landed Best Contemporary Blues Album for Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?

The late John Prine won Best American Roots Performance for I Remember Everything, while Live at the Royal Albert Hall secured Snarky Puppy Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

Andrew Watt, meanwhile, won Producer of the Year for for his work on Ozzy Osbourne's Ordinary Man, as well as albums from Miley Cyrus and Post Malone.

This year also marked the first-ever instance of an all-female Best Rock Performance category, with HAIM, Brittany Howard, Big Thief, Phoebe Bridgers and Grace Potter securing nominations. The award was ultimately won by Fiona Apple for Shameika, while Fetch the Bolt Cutters landed Best Alternative Music Album.

Also notably, while psych-soul duo Black Pumas missed out on winning Record of the Year for their track Colors, they offered up a highly energetic live rendition of the track at the socially distanced ceremony.

Check out a full list of the guitar-playing nominees at this year's ceremony below (winners in bold):

Album of the Year

  • Folklore – Taylor Swift
  • Chilombo – Jhené Aiko
  • Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition) – Black Pumas
  • Everyday Life – Coldplay
  • Djesse Vol. 3 – Jacob Collier
  • Women in Music Pt. III – Haim
  • Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
  • Hollywood’s Bleeding – Post Malone

Song of the Year

  • I Can’t Breathe – H.E.R.
  • Black Parade – Beyoncé
  • The Box – Roddy Ricch
  • Cardigan – Taylor Swift
  • Circles – Post Malone
  • Don’t Start Now – Dua Lipa
  • Everything I Wanted – Billie Eilish
  • If the World Was Ending – JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels

Best Rock Album

  • The New Abnormal – The Strokes
  • A Hero’s Death – Fontaines D.C.
  • Kiwanuka – Michael Kiwanuka
  • Daylight – Grace Potter
  • Sound & Fury – Sturgill Simpson

Best Alternative Music Album

  • Fetch the Bolt Cutters – Fiona Apple
  • Hyperspace – Beck
  • Punisher – Phoebe Bridgers
  • Jaime – Brittany Howard
  • The Slow Rush – Tame Impala

Best Rock Performance

  • Shameika – Fiona Apple
  • The Steps – HAIM
  • Stay High – Brittany Howard
  • Not – Big Thief
  • Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers
  • Daylight – Grace Potter

Best Progressive R&B Album

  • It Is What It Is – Thundercat
  • Chilombo – Jhené Aiko
  • Ungodly Hour – Chloe x Halle
  • Free Nationals – Free Nationals
  • Fuck Yo Feelings – Robert Glasper

Best Country Album

  • Wildcard – Miranda Lambert
  • Nightfall – Little Big Town
  • Never Will – Ashley McBryde
  • Lady Like – Ingrid Andress
  • Your Life Is a Record – Brandy Clark

Best Metal Performance

  • Bum-Rush – Body Count
  • Underneath – Code Orange
  • The In-Between – In This Moment
  • Bloodmoney – Poppy
  • Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) – Power Trip

Best Rock Song

  • Stay High – Brittany Howard
  • Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers
  • Lost in Yesterday – Tame Impala
  • Not – Big Thief
  • Shameika – Fiona Apple

Best Country Solo Performance

  • When My Amy Prays – Vince Gill
  • Stick That in Your Country Song – Eric Church
  • Who You Thought I Was – Brandy Clark
  • Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
  • Black Like Me – Mickey Guyton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

  • 10,000 Hours – Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber
  • All Night – Brothers Osborne
  • Ocean – Lady A
  • Sugar Coat – Little Big Town
  • Some People Do – Old Dominion

Best Country Song

  • Crowded Table – The Highwomen
  • Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
  • The Bones – Maren Morris
  • More Hearts Than Mine – Ingrid Andress
  • Some People Do – Old Dominion

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

  • Live at the Royal Albert Hall – Snarky Puppy
  • Axiom – Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah
  • Chronology of a Dream: Live at The Village Vanguard – Jon Batiste
  • Take the Stairs – Black Violin
  • Americana – Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill Frisell

Best American Roots Performance

  • I Remember Everything – John Prine
  • Colors – Black Pumas
  • Deep In Love – Bonny Light Horseman
  • Short and Sweet – Brittany Howard
  • I’ll Be Gone – Norah Jones & Mavis Staples

Best American Roots Song

  • I Remember Everything – John Prine
  • Cabin – The Secret Sisters
  • Ceiling to the Floor – Sierra Hull
  • Hometown – Sarah Jarosz
  • Man Without a Soul – Lucinda Williams

Best Traditional Blues Album

  • Rawer than Raw – Bobby Rush
  • All My Dues are Paid – Frank Bey
  • You Make Me Feel – Don Bryant
  • That’s What I Heard – Robert Cray Band
  • Cypress Grove – Jimmy “Duck” Holmes

Best Contemporary Blues Album

  • Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? – Fantastic Negrito
  • Live at the Paramount – Ruthie Foster Big Band
  • The Juice – G. Love
  • Blackbirds – Bettye LaVette
  • Up and Rolling – North Mississippi Allstars

Best Folk Album

  • All the Good Times – Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
  • Bonny Light Horseman – Bonny Light Horseman
  • Thanks for the Dance – Leonard Cohen
  • Song for Our Daughter – Laura Marling
  • Saturn Return – The Secret Sisters

Best Regional Roots Music Album

  • Atmosphere – New Orleans Nightcrawlers
  • My Relatives – ‘Nikso’ Kowaiks – Black Lodge Singers
  • Cameron Dupuy and The Cajun Troubadours – Cameron Dupuy And The Cajun Troubadours
  • Lovely Sunrise – Nā Wai ʽEhā
  • A Tribute to Al Berard – Sweet Cecilia

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.