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Jon Batiste First Black Artist in 14 Years to Take Home Album of the Year Honors at Grammys

Jon Batiste became just the 11th Black artist, and the first in 14 years, to take home album of the year honors at the 64th Grammys Sunday.

The multifaceted singer and musician went into the night with 11 nominations for “We Are,” which peaked at No. 86 on the Billboard 200 music chart, and to the shock of many finished the night with five trophies.

The album took home golden gramaphones for American roots performance and American roots song, best score soundtrack for visual media (in a tie with Carlos Rafael Rivera’s score for The Queen’s Gambit) and best music video for “Freedom.”
“I focused on love and freedom when making this album. I just wanted to give some good ole Black joy to the world. My other focus is family, my mom, my grandfather who is 90, my dad, my sister, and everyone is here,” Batiste said of the win in The Recording Academy’s press room. “I wasn't prepared to win album of the year, but I hope this resonates with the young people to be yourself.”

Prior to Batiste taking home the Grammys top award, fellow jazz musician Herbie Hancock was the last winner for 2008’s “River: The Joni Letters.”

Other big winners included R&B duo Silk Sonic. The collaboration between singer Bruno Mars and rapper Anderson .Paak won record and song of the year for their hit “Leave the Door Open.” They also scored best R&B performance (in a tie with Jazmine Sullivan) and best R&B song.

Click here to see a full list of the nominees and winners.

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