10 Must-See Moments From The 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show, From Anderson .Paak To BTS To Megan Thee Stallion


Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


10 Must-See Moments From The 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show, From Anderson .Paak To BTS To Megan Thee Stallion

The 2021 GRAMMY Awards show may have been reimagined in comparison to past editions. But that simplicity added elegance and kept the music front and center, from BTS to Cardi B and beyond

GRAMMYs/Mar 15, 2021 - 11:50 pm

Music's Biggest Night more than lived up to that tagline last night at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, broadcast from downtown Los Angeles. An elegantly scaled-back event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRAMMYs still managed to seem as big and celebratory as they've ever been.

From Harry Styles’ delightful opening performance to Cardi B's and Megan Thee Stallion’s captivating combination to South Korea's always-engaging BTS, the GRAMMYs exemplified the special power of music. For a few lively hours, it transported viewers to another plane and provided a reprieve from the pandemic.

Trevor Noah Kept Things Jovial

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah was a charming GRAMMYs host. Noah balanced his terrific sense of humor with his deep love of music and appreciation of artistry, keeping the show's tone upbeat and fun after a tough year. Noah said the last year has felt like a decade due to the coronavirus in his opening monologue.Acknowledging our world gone Zoom, Noah joked that the Staples Center behind him was real—not a Zoom background. 

Noah ended his short but sweet opening monologue on a hopeful note. "We're hoping that this is all about what 2021 can be, you know," he said. "Full of joy, new beginnings and coming together, never forgetting what happened in 2020, but full of hope for what is to come. So, let's do this, people."

Three Sisters, One Classic Sound

Los Angeles natives HAIM performed their GRAMMY-nominated rock song "The Steps" from their GRAMMY-nominated record Women in Music, Pt. III. Billie Eilish, FINNEAS and Harry Styles looked on and grooved along with the high-energy, lovable sisters.

With Danielle on drums, Este on bass (on her birthday, to boot!), and Alana on guitar, the sisters were effortlessly rock-cool, their voices blending seamlessly. Haim quickly demonstrated their musical versatility, switching it up on the song's second verse, where Danielle took over on guitar and Alana played drums.

Black Pumas Brought The Soul

Multiple GRAMMY-nominated Austin band Black Pumas performed their soulful song "Colors." In a short film introducing the duo, singer Eric Burton recalled moving from New Mexico to Los Angeles in 2014, where he had to take two trains and two buses to busk at the Santa Monica Pier.

Burton said he had a love-hate relationship with street performing. Yet he always performed as if he was on the GRAMMYs stage, which he dreamed about as a little kid. With backup singers, wailing guitars, and smooth vocals, the dynamic performance—replete with a screeching yowl or two—gave the night some essential groove.

Enter DaBaby

Multiple GRAMMY-nominated rapper DaBaby performed the GRAMMY-nominated "Rockstar" with multiple GRAMMY nominee Roddy Ricch and a guest appearance by Anthony Hamilton. Backed by a gospel choir of older folks dressed as judges in robes, DaBaby kicked off his performance with his back to the audience, facing the choir and waving a conducting baton.

When Ricch and Hamilton took the mic, DaBaby turned around and conducted the choir. DaBaby added lyrics to the original version of "Rockstar," rapping about his GRAMMYs performance right then and there. "My skin don't look the same, so I get singled out/ Right now, I'm performing at the GRAMMYs; I’ll probably get profiled before leaving out."

Rounding out the ensemble was violinist MAPY. DaBaby then joined GRAMMY winner Dua Lipa for the disco-infused "Levitating."

Introducing… Silk Sonic!

Anderson .Paak, who won a GRAMMY for Best Melodic Rap Performance, and Bruno Mars debuted their new R&B project Silk Sonic. The performance followed a playful campaign on Twitter during GRAMMY week. They tweeted at the Recording Academy that they are "two out of work musicians" who would love to perform, a request that was happily obliged.

Performing their '70s soul-infused first single "Leave the Door Open" from their forthcoming record An Evening with Silk Sonic in throwback suits and shades, the pair delivered a smooth, crowd-pleasing performance. 

They even caught the eyes and ears of Halle Berry, who tweeted "Ima leave the door ooopen!"

A Touching In Memoriam

During a year in which we lost over 500,000 American lives to the pandemic, the In Memoriam tribute was even more poignant. Noah introduced the segment, explaining that because of the number of people we tragically lost in the last year, not all the names would appear, but they'd all be online after the show. 

The segment opened with footage of GRAMMY-winner Bill Withers, who died in March, performing his GRAMMY-winning song "Ain't No Sunshine." Then, Bruno Mars (on vocals) and Anderson .Paak (on drums) honored rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, who died in May, with "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Long Tall Sally."

Lionel Richie, who wrote Kenny Rogers' hit song "Lady," performed the song in a touching tribute to the country legend and Richie's longtime friend who died last March. After his performance, an emotional Richie said, "I miss you, Kenny. I miss you, man." 

There was also footage of country legend Charley Pride, who died in December from complications of coronavirus, singing his GRAMMY-winning song "Kiss an Angel Good Morning," and multiple GRAMMY-winner Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who died last summer, conducting the score to "Cinema Paradiso."

Brandi Carlile paid tribute to her friend, the GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter John Prine, who died in April from complications related to the coronavirus, with a stirring performance of his song "I Remember Everything." At the end of her performance, Carlile said, "We all thank you, John. For everything."

Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard took the stage with Coldplay's Chris Martin accompanying her on the piano. They performed a powerful rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone," originally written by Rodgers and Hammerstein and a hit song in the 1960s for Gerry and the Pacemakers, whose lead singer Gerry Marsden died in January. 

The segment ended with a tribute to Walter C. Miller, a longtime veteran director of the GRAMMY Awards, Tonys, Emmys, and CMAs who died last year.

Country's Leading Lights Shone Bright

Country artist Mickey Guyton, who Noah introduced as the first Black female solo artist ever nominated in the country category, performed her gorgeous GRAMMY-nominated song "Black Like Me," giving an especially stirring and goosebumps-inducing performance with a backing gospel choir. Vibrant GRAMMY-winner Miranda Lambert performed her catchy country GRAMMY-nominated hit "Bluebird."

GRAMMY-nominated Maren Morris performed her hit GRAMMY-nominated song "Bones" accompanied by John Mayer on guitar. With Morris wearing a red gown and diamond choker and Mayer dressed casually in a blazer, white t-shirt and jeans, the pair looked at odds with each other. Still, they had powerful chemistry and seemed to be having a good time, with Mayer smiling broadly at Morris.

Post Malone Took Us To Church

A multiple-GRAMMY nominated Post Malone performed his poignant GRAMMY-nominated song "Hollywood's Bleeding." Opening with a robed choir holding candles in the darkness, Malone emerged on stage dressed entirely in leather covered in crosses with a giant cross hanging around his neck. Kneeling over in complete darkness, which became illuminated by purple lighting, Malone gave a focused and vibrant performance surrounded by dry ice.

BTS Made A Joyful Sound

South Korea's BTS, who made their GRAMMY debut last year performing alongside Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, and Nas, were first-time GRAMMY nominees this year. The seven-member boy band closed out the show from Seoul, Korea, on a set resembling the GRAMMYs in downtown Los Angeles.

Looking sharp in their colorful suits, they performed their GRAMMY-nominated smash hit "Dynamite." The slick choreography took the seven members on a journey from a rose-festooned stage to a red carpet with fireworks to a rooftop with strobe lights.

Lil Baby Raised His Voice

Multiple GRAMMY-nominated rapper Lil Baby took on police brutality with his highly charged performance of his GRAMMY-nominated song "The Bigger Picture." The performance opened with pulling over actor Kendrick Sampson and removing him from his car. As a quote by writer and activist James Baldwin was piped in, the police opened fire.

Activist Tamika Mallory appeared on stage, putting a call out to President Biden, saying, "President Biden, we demand justice, equity, policy and everything else that freedom encompasses." 

Later, Killer Mike made a surprise appearance rapping a verse from RTJ4's "Walking in the Snow." Lil Baby ended his moving performance standing on a police cruiser as fireworks are set off, his face turned toward the sky as he holds one arm high above his head.

2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Winners & Nominees List

Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY


Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs



Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs


Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

The Hawaiian native takes home Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like" at the 60th GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 08:11 am

Feeling the 24K Magic, Bruno Mars' successful progress through the categories he's been nominated in at the 60th GRAMMY Awards picked up another one at Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like."

Christopher Brody Brown and Philip Lawrence co-write with Mars under the name Shampoo Press & Curl. The other winning songwriters for Mars' hit tonight in this category are James Fauntleroy and production team "The Sterotypes" — Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and  Jonathan Yip.

For additional "Finesse" on stage at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Mars was joined by Cardi B for a reprise of their 148-million-views hit remix.

The Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award wrapped up the night and wrapped up Bruno Mars' complete rampage through his six nominated categories — now six wins.

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A Tribute In Black To Johnny Cash

A star-studded roster of GRAMMY-winning talent celebrates the music and 80th birthday of Johnny Cash in Austin, Texas

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

Though Johnny Cash passed away in 2003, he's having a very good year in 2012. The latest in a series of events honoring the man in black — an 80th-birthday tribute titled We Walk The Line: A Celebration Of The Music Of Johnny Cash — drew a slew of GRAMMY-winning performers to Austin, Texas, for a lively Friday-night show on April 20 at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater.

Top billing went to Cash's surviving Highwaymen brethren, GRAMMY winners Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, who teamed with Shooter Jennings (son of late GRAMMY-winning Highwayman Waylon Jennings) and Jamey Johnson in a reunion of sorts on the song "Highwayman." Under a large banner bearing an image of Cash strumming a guitar, flanked by two silhouettes, Nelson also teamed with GRAMMY winner Sheryl Crow on "If I Were A Carpenter."

Crow sounded almost as if she were addressing Cash when she joked to Nelson, "I would definitely have your baby — if I could. If I didn't have two others of my own. And if you weren't married. And if I wasn't friends with your wife." 

Audience members cheered lustily in approval, as they did throughout most of the show, a taped-for-DVD benefit for the childhood muscular dystrophy foundation Charley's Fund. Just hours earlier, many of them had watched as Nelson helped unveil his new statue in front of the theater, which sits on a street also named after him.

The event was produced by Keith Wortman with GRAMMY-winning producer Don Was serving as musical director. Was recruited Buddy Miller, Greg Leisz, Kenny Aronoff, and new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ian McLagan of the Faces as the house band. The handpicked all-star roster of performers ranged from Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, Brandi Carlile, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Andy Grammer, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Pat Monahan of Train to Ronnie Dunn, Shelby Lynne, Old 97's lead singer Rhett Miller, Lucinda Williams, and even Austin-based actor Matthew McConaughey, who, in addition to emceeing, sang "The Man Comes Around."

"We wanted a real broad, diverse group of artists," Wortman said backstage. "With Cash, you're as likely to find his music in a punk rock music fan, a heavy metal fan and a Nashville music fan, so he's not just a country music guy." 

GRAMMY winner Monahan, who sang Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through The Night," commented before the show, "I think of Johnny Cash as a style, as you would think of clothing, or music or whatever. He was his own thing. No can can really describe Johnny Cash entirely. 

"And no one could deliver a song quite like him," continued Monahan. "He sang hundreds of other songwriters' songs and he made those songwriters important because of the way he delivered what they were saying. There's not much that I don't respect about him, and I told his son [John Carter Cash] earlier that I'm almost more inspired by the love for his family than his music."

Lynne, who won the Best New Artist GRAMMY in 2000, sang "Why Me Lord," another song penned by Kristofferson, and delivered a spirited duet with Monahan on "It Ain't Me Babe," said Cash has influenced "all of us."

"We appreciate the majestic rebellion that Johnny gave us all in the music business. And he's also one of the great American icons of all time," she added.

Among the acts who earned the loudest applause in a night full of high-volume appreciation was the GRAMMY-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, the bluegrass quartet re-exposing the genre's African-American roots. Their rendition of "Jackson" was among many highlights. Earlier, co-founder Dom Flemons revealed the personal inspiration of Cash's catalog.

"Johnny Cash's music has had an impact on me as a rock and roll singer, a country singer, as a folk music performer and great interpreter of song. I just love everything that he's done," said Flemons.

Bandmate Hubby Jenkins added, "Johnny Cash was really great about putting emotional investment into every song that he sang."

Co-founder Rhiannon Giddens said Cash’s core was his voice and his subject matter, and no matter how much production was added, it never diluted his message. 

Miller, who named his band after "Wreck Of The Old '97," a song popularized by Cash, said their intent was to sound like "Johnny Cash meets the Clash." He also recalled always picking "Ring Of Fire," a classic inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1999, on the tabletop jukebox during childhood visits to a Dallas diner. 

"I didn't know what it was about, but I knew that the guy who was singing it was singing it with everything he had," said Miller, dressed in black in homage to "one of my all-time heroes." "And there was so much heart behind it, and so much conviction. And nobody could sell a song like Johnny Cash. He meant every word he said, and if he didn't mean it, he made it sound like he meant it."

(Austin-based journalist Lynne Margolis currently contributes to American Songwriter, NPR's Song of the Day and newspapers nationwide, as well as several regional magazines and NPR-affiliate KUT-FM's "Texas Music Matters." A contributing editor to The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen from A To E To Z, she has also previously written for and Paste magazine.)