Grammys 2023: Kendrick Lamar & Taylor Swift Are Vying for Best Music Video. Both Would Achieve Major Firsts If They Won

Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar shared a Grammy for best music video seven years ago for the visual for their smash collab “Bad Blood.” This year, they’re competing in that category – and both would achieve major firsts if they won.

Swift, nominated for “All Too Well: The Short Film,” would become the first artist to win for a video on which she or he was the sole director.

Lamar, nominated for “The Heart Part 5,” would become the first three-time winner as an artist in the category’s history and the first two-time winner as a co-director. He co-directed the clip with Dave Free.


Lamar and Swift are competing in a second category this year — song of the year. Lamar is nominated for co-writing “The Heart Part 5,” Swift for co-writing “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film).”

Let’s take a closer look at the competition in the two video categories, best music video and best music film.

Best music video

Nominees: Adele’s “Easy on Me” (Xavier Dolan, director); BTS’ “Yet to Come (Yong Seok Choi, director); Doja Cat’s “Woman” (Child., director); Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5” (Dave Free & Lamar, directors); Harry Styles’ “As It Was” (Tanu Muino, director); Swift’s “All Too Well: The Short Film” (Swift, director).

Four artists have won best music video for videos they co-directed. Missy Elliott co-directed “Lose Control,” the 2005 winner, with Dave Meyers. OK Go co-directed “Here It Goes Again” (2006) with Trish Sie. Lamar co-directed “Humble.” (2017) with Free, his partner in The Little Homies and Meyers. Beyoncé co-directed “Brown Skin Girl” (2020) with Jenn Nkin.

But Swift would break new ground, becoming the first artist to win for an entirely self-directed video.

If Swift wins, she’d become the seventh artist to win twice in the category (as an artist, without regard to who directed the clips). She would follow Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Johnny Cash, Lamar and Beyoncé. 

If Lamar were to win, he’d become the first three-time winner as an artist. He first won for “Bad Blood,” which was directed by Joseph Kahn. He next won for “Humble.,” which he co-directed with Free and Meyers. As noted above, he co-directed “The Heart Part 5” with Free.

Adele could also join the club of two-time winners (as an artist). She won the 2011 award for “Rolling in the Deep.”

Best music film

Nominees: Adele’s Adele One Night Only (Paul Dugdale, director); Justin Bieber’s Our World (Michael D. Ratner, director); Billie Eilish’s Billie Eilish Live at the O2 (Sam Wrench, director); Rosalía’s Motomami (Rosalía Tiktok Live Performance) (Ferrán Echegaray, Rosalía Vila Tobella and Stillz, directors); Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s A Band A Brotherhood A Barn (Daryl Hannah, director); and the Various Artists film Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story (Frank Marshall & Ryan Suffera, directors).

In this category, two artists have won for films they co-directed, but again no artist has won for an entirely self-directed film. Alanis Morissette won for Jagged Little Pill, Live (1997), which she co-directed with Steve Purcell. Beyoncé won for Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce (2019) which she co-directed with Ed Burke.

Spanish superstar Rosalía could join that short list this year. She is nominated for Motomami (Rosalía Tiktok Live Performance), which she co-directed with Ferrán Echegaray and Stillz.

This is Daryl Hannah’s first nomination for an EGOT-level award. The veteran actress and budding director directed her husband Neil Young’s music film.

Paul Grein