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Ladies night: Beyoncé, Swift make history as others win big

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Beyonce accepts the award for best R&B performance for "Black Parade" at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

NEW YORK – Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era.

Four women won the top four prizes Sunday, including Swift, who became the first female performer to win album of the year three times. Beyoncé — with her 28th win — became the most decorated woman in Grammy history.

H.E.R. won song of the year and Billie Eilish picked up her second consecutive record of the year honor, telling the audience that best new artist winner Megan Thee Stallion deserved the award.

Though women have won all top four awards in the past – including Eilish’s sweep last year – it marked the first time four separate and solo women won the top four honors.

“I feel like there’s been a lot of female empowerment and lots of women winning awards tonight. And so it’s been absolutely amazing to just be alongside all that, to feel that energy," Dua Lipa, who won best pop vocal album, said backstage.

Swift won the top prize with “folklore," the folky, alternative album she released as a surprise last year. She previously won album of the year with “Fearless” and “1989.”

Beyoncé walked into the show with 24 wins and picked up four honors, including best R&B performance for “Black Parade,” best music video for “Brown Skin Girl” as well as best rap performance and best rap song for “Savage,” with Megan Thee Stallion.

“As an artist I believe it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect time and it’s been such a difficult time,” Beyoncé said onstage as she won best R&B performance for “Black Parade,” which was released on Juneteenth.