Billie Eilish praises Greta Gerwig as she scores top Grammy for Barbie ballad

Billie Eilish has praised Barbie director Greta Gerwig for creating the “best movie of the year” after she won song of the year at the Grammy Awards.

The 22-year-old singer picked up the coveted prize for her ballad What Was I Made For?, which featured in the blockbuster about the world-famous doll.

She saw off tough competition from music titans – Taylor Swift, SZA, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Jon Batiste, Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo – to claim the gong at the Arena in Los Angeles.

After taking to the stage alongside her brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell, a shocked Eilish said: “Wow, oops, yikes, oh my god. Damn that’s stupid!”

She praised her fellow nominees as “incredible artists” and thanked the Recording Academy, her team, her family and O’Connell, who she described as her “best friend in the world”.

The singer also ensured she name-checked Gerwig, saying: “Thank you to Greta Gerwig for making the best movie of the year”, with the video cutting over to show Swift nodding in agreement.

Earlier in the night, Eilish and O’Connell took home the best song written for visual media for the same track.

She said she is “just in awe” and “grateful every second of my life” for the recognition she has received over the years, adding “I am shocked”.

While O’Connell thanked their father who worked as a construction worker at Mattel Corporation “to keep food on the table” for most of their childhood and Eilish hailed their mother as her “idol” and “inspiration”.

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Finneas and Billie Eilish perform What Was I Made For? during the 66th annual Grammy Awards (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Eilish also performed the track during the ceremony dressed as the 1965 Barbie Poodle Parade doll, donning black sunglasses and a pink head scarf, while O’Connell played the piano.

While Cyrus picked up the record of the year prize for her viral summer hit Flowers at the 66th annual award show.

It followed after the US singer secured her first-ever Grammy earlier in the night when she won best pop solo performance for the song, which dominated the US and UK charts last year.

Later in the show, she performed the hit track on stage in a silver sparkly dress which featured a bedazzled bra and stomach cut-out.

During her performance, she celebrated her win, changing the lyrics in her song, saying: “Then I remember, I just won my first Grammy.”

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Taylor Swift accepts the award for best pop vocal album for Midnights(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Pop megastar Swift also made waves during the ceremony after she announced she would be releasing a new album while picking up the gong for best pop vocal album for Midnights.

As she collected the prize, she said: “Okay this is my 13th Grammy. Which is my lucky number.”

She added: “I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I have been keeping from you for the last two years.

“Which is that my brand new album comes out April 19, it’s called the Tortured Poets Department.”

SZA has picked up three awards, after being the most nominated artist of the night with nine nods.

The 34-year-old singer won best R&B song for Snooze, best progressive R&B album for SOS and the best pop duo prize with Phoebe Bridgers for their track Ghost In The Machine.

SZA, real name Solana Rowe, was emotional as she ran on to the stage to hug Lizzo, who presented the award, who she said she has been friends with since 2019 when they were opening small rooms together.

She added: “I’m just really overwhelmed, you don’t really understand I came really, really far and I can’t believe this is happening and it feels really fake – hi Taylor, I love you,” she said, calling out Swift.

The artist also delivered a theatrical performance of her hit songs Snooze and Kill Bill during the ceremony, which saw her transition from being alone on an elaborate set, which featured burning bins and constructed rooms, to launching into a large-scale dance routine with backing dancers.

Among the other notable performances of the night was Joni Mitchell singing at the award show for the first time at the age of 80.

The Canadian-American singer-songwriter delivered an emotional rendition of Both Sides Now from an armchair alongside Brandi Carlile on the guitar after she won in the best folk category for her 2023 live album, Joni Mitchell At Newport (Live).

Mitchell, who picked up a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2002, graced the stage on the heels of a gradual return to live appearances after suffering a brain aneurysm in March 2015.

US singer Tracy Chapman, 59, also stunned the audience with a rendition of her hit song Fast Car, which she performed with US country singer Luke Combs, whose cover of the track went viral last year.

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Stevie Wonder pays tribute to Tony Bennett during the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

While US singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder led an emotional in-memoriam segment, duetting For Once In My Life alongside a video of the late Tony Bennett who appeared on-screen.

Wonder said: “What’s amazing, I was able to sing the song with someone I’ve admired for so long – his love for art, his love for peace, his love for unity, his love for civil rights.

“Tony, I’m going to miss you forever.”

Other artists remembered included Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Buffett, Shane MacGowan, Burt Bacharach and Andy Rourke, while an emotional Annie Lennox sang Nothing Compares 2 U in memory of Sinead O’Connor.

During the premiere ceremony ahead of the main show, indie singer Bridgers also landed three more Grammys with her supergroup Boygenius.

The trio – comprising Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus – were sporting matching white suits as they picked up best rock song and best rock performance for their hit Not Strong Enough, and best alternative music album for their debut The Record.

Meanwhile Australian singer-songwriter Kylie Minogue was honoured with the inaugural best pop dance recording for hit Padam Padam, which went viral last summer, and marks her second Grammy award.

The best music video Grammy was awarded to a project created for The Beatles song I’m Only Sleeping, which featured 1,300 oil paintings by British filmmaker and animator Em Cooper.

While a documentary on the late David Bowie, titled Moonage Daydream, took home the best music film prize.

The 2024 Grammy Awards ceremony is airing live on CBS and Paramount+.