(L-R) Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus of US indie group boygenius accept the Grammy for Best Rock Song for 'Not Strong Enough' -- one of several on the night for the supergroup / © AFP
The supergroup boygenius jumped to the front of the Grammys pack Sunday at the pre-gala ceremony, cleaning up in the rock categories while fellow top nominees SZA and Billie Eilish also grabbed early trophies.
But it's anyone's guess who will take home the evening's major prizes later on, with Taylor Swift in contention in one of the more eclectic nomination fields in recent memory.
Women make up the vast majority of the contenders for the top Album and Record of the Year prizes, with just one man, the jazz polymath Jon Batiste, in the running.
SZA, shown here at the 2018 Met Gala, has the most Grammy nominations of anyone with nine -- and one award so far / © AFP/File
Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker -- the members of boygenius -- were giddy with delight as they ran onstage to accept three trophies during the pre-ceremony, when most of the 90-plus Grammys are handed out.
"I feel kinda like a kid, because that was the last time that something like this felt possible," said Dacus, with Baker adding: "This band is my family, I love them."
Bridgers also scooped a prize for her pop collaboration with SZA, who tweeted "WE GOT ONE!!" after their win was announced.
SZA also claimed the prize for best progressive R&B album for "SOS."
Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monae and Lana Del Rey are also in the mix to take home trophies.
- History for Taylor? -
Taylor Swift, shown here at the premiere of her smash Eras Tour film, could make Grammy history by winning a fourth Album of the Year prize / © AFP/File
An Album of the Year win for Swift would be her fourth -- the most for any artist, a new record that would break the tie she is currently in with Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.
It would be a cherry on top for the 34-year-old, who is already the toast of the music world.
She makes headlines with every breath, not least for her romance with NFL star Travis Kelce, who can't make it to the ceremony as he's tied up preparing for next weekend's Super Bowl.
That seven of eight nominees in the Album and Record of the Year categories are women or gender fluid is a sea change many industry watchers see as long overdue.
Speaking to AFP at a pre-Grammys gala over the weekend, the head of the Recording Academy -- the organization behind the awards -- said he's "optimistic" that the strong showing among women nominees is not just a one-off, but part of larger institutional change.
"We're always going to tinker with the voting, we're always going to try to improve it and look at what's happening in music, and the percentages of what's being created and consumed. We want to make sure we're matching that," he said.
"We're going to keep pushing."
- Joni Mitchell wins -
Billie Eilish (R) and her brother Finneas O'Connell won the Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media for 'What Was I Made For?' from the film 'Barbie' / © AFP
The Grammys will also have a heavy dose of Barbie World: music from the effervescent summer smash earned 11 nods thanks to a bevy of catchy performances, including from Eilish, Dua Lipa, rapper Nicki Minaj and the movie's sleeper standout... Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling.
Music from the film won two awards during the pre-show -- one for best compilation soundtrack for visual media and another to Eilish for best song written for visual media, for her hit "What Was I Made For?"
Eilish called "Barbie" the "most incredible, most beautiful empowering movie" in her acceptance speech along her brother and co-writer, Finneas O'Connell.
Music from the film has four more shots during the broadcast gala.
Killer Mike (C) won big in the rap categories, taking three prizes including best rap album / © AFP
The rapper Killer Mike won big in the rap categories, taking home three trophies for music off his album "Michael."
"I consciously set out to make the best album in the world," he told journalists backstage.
"I consciously set out to tell the story of a young Black boy growing up on the west side of Atlanta so that the world can see that our narrative isn't just victimization and losing, but we can win, we can thrive and prosper."
And Joni Mitchell beamed as she accepted the honor for best folk album, for "Joni Mitchell At Newport," a live recording of her performance at the storied festival that came just years after an aneurysm led to fears she might never play again.
Music legend Joni Mitchell (L) accepts the Grammy for Best Folk Album" with US singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile (R) / © AFP
"We had so much fun at that concert, and I think you can feel it on the record," she said onstage wearing long, silky patterned robes and her signature beret.
She is set to perform during the gala broadcast ceremony for the first time, more than half-a-century after winning her first Grammy.
Top nominees including SZA, Eilish and Rodrigo also are on deck to perform.
Comedian Trevor Noah, who once again lost the prize for best comedy album to Dave Chappelle, hosts the main Grammys gala, which begins at 5:00 pm (0100 GMT Monday).