Singer-songwriter Jon Batiste won album of the year at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. The Louisiana-born composer was the favorite of the ceremony, picking up 11 nominations, eventually vying with Michael Jackson and Santana (but falling to three) for the most Grammys in one night.
“I believe that in my heart. There is no better musician, better artist, better dancer, better actor,” said the bandleader of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “Creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a time in their lives when they need it most. It’s like a song or an album is done and he almost has a radar to meet someone when he needs it most.
Earlier in the evening, Batiste picked up four more awards. His song “Cry” earned him honors for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song, while “Freedom” nabbed the top spot for Best Music Video.
His work on the Pixar film “Soul” won a tie for Best Soundtrack for Visual Media, sharing the category with Carlos Rafael Rivera for “The Queen’s Gambit.” Batiste also won the Oscar last week for his original score for “Soul.”
Batiste beat stiff competition in the Album of the Year category, beating Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour,” Kanye West’s “Donda,” Taylor Swift’s “Evermore,” HER’s “Back of My Mind,” “Montero.” by Lil Nas X, “Doja Cat” by “Planet Her”, “Justice” by Justin Bieber, “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish and “Love for Sale” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.
Batiste performed “Freedom” shortly before winning his fifth Grammy. He is the first black artist to win album of the year in 14 years. In 2008, jazz pianist Herbie Hancock won for “River: The Joni Letters.”