Jon Batiste takes ‘Album of the Year’ at the 2022 Grammys, wins on 5 of his 11 nominations

Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 10:35 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It’s impossible to listen to Jon Batiste’s groove-filled album “We Are” and not come away feeling more joyful from the experience.

The catchy collection, steeped in some of New Orleans’ best musical traditions, has been a powerhouse since it dropped in March 2021. It has only gotten more exposure in the past three weeks since its single “Freedom” has been used as the bouncy March Madness theme song in coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

But at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, the album launched its creator into an even higher stratosphere of celebrity and success. The Metairie-born, Kenner-raised Batiste took home the music industry’s highest honor -- the coveted Album of the Year award -- for “We Are.”

After three winless nominations in previous years, Batiste also left the night as a five-time Grammy winner, taking home more trophies than any other artist.

Jon Batiste is seen in the audience before going on stage to accept the award for best music...
Jon Batiste is seen in the audience before going on stage to accept the award for best music video for "Freedom" at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)(Chris Pizzello | Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Batiste, 35, led all performers with 11 Grammy nominations across a remarkable six genre fields.

Batiste won Best Music Video for his New Orleans-shot “Freedom,” Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “Cry,” and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the Disney and Pixar’s animated hit “Soul.” Batiste had previously won an Oscar for Best Original Score for “Soul,” with collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Other big winners on Grammy night included Silk Sonic -- the Bruno Mars-Anderson.Paak collaboration -- which took Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for “Leave The Door Open.”

Young hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo took three awards, winning Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album for “Sour” and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Drivers License.”

Batiste already had achieved television success as the bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But recognition from The Recording Academy had previously eluded the St. Augustine High and NOCCA product. Eight of his nominations this year stemmed from “We Are,” the other three were linked to “Soul.”

The speculative website on Sunday had Billie Eilish as a 10-1 favorite to win the Album of the Year trophy, followed by Rodrigo (11-1), Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga for “Love for Sale” at 12-1, Lil Nas X for “Montero” at 14-1, H.E.R. for “Back of My Mind” at 14-1, and Batiste tied at 15-1 with Taylor Swift for “Evermore.”

For Record of the Year, Batiste was listed as the ninth choice at 20-1 odds for “Freedom,” while Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” at 10-1 and Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” and Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” at 23-2 were the analysts’ favorites.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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