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10 Things We Learned At "An Evening With LeAnn Rimes" At The GRAMMY Museum
LeAnn Rimes speaks at the GRAMMY Museum event "An Evening With LeAnn Rimes."

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Recording Academy™️/photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images© 2022

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10 Things We Learned At "An Evening With LeAnn Rimes" At The GRAMMY Museum

At the GRAMMY Museum special public program, country music star Leann Rimes switched from cracking jokes to hitting high notes effortlessly.

GRAMMYs/Jun 3, 2022 - 04:10 pm

During the first week of the GRAMMY Museum’s The Power of Women In Country Music exhibition, LeAnn Rimes stopped by the Clive Davis Theater for a special public program. Held May 31, "An Evening With LeAnn Rimes" was moderated by Marissa R. Moss, the author of the recently published book, Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be.

Rimes — who still retains the title of youngest recipient of a GRAMMY Award — is celebrating a quarter-century of making music with her "The story…so far tour," which continues through September. This fall, Rimes will release her 18th studio album, god’s work. The singer is also a spokesperson for mental health and wellbeing, most consistently through her "Wholly Human" podcast and her blog, Soul of Everle.

As with her stage shows, Rimes stepped on the stage and immediately sat at the grand piano for a stripped-down version of "Remnants." The evening continued with conversation between Rimes and Moss, as well as select songs from Rimes’ rich discography; Rimes switched effortlessly between cracking jokes and hitting high notes. Whether she was talking or singing, Rimes remained vulnerable and open, answering both Moss’ and the audience’s questions honestly — even taking an impromptu request for her rendition of the Righteous Brothers’ "Unchained Melody," a cappella.

More than a few tears were shed by Rimes and attendees alike. Here's what we learned in between this outpouring of emotion.

Rimes Relates To A Line From Baz Luhrmann's Elvis

Rimes paraphrased a line from Elvis that states: Things we are too afraid to say, you find in our music. She explained that great songwriting is a craft, but also comes from the heart.

As a young person, Rimes expressed her range of emotion through music. Rimes' openness to the heart-driven aspect of her craft helps her fans feel the difficult emotions they may otherwise try to avoid.  

Celebrities Can Now Be Human — And Rimes Is Embracing It

Being a difficult celebrity is considered a compliment these days, Rimes observed. Where she was once afraid of showing her humanity, Rimes no longer worries about it. This is particularly true of emotions such as rage, which Rimes lets loose on god’s work.  

Experience Has Influenced Rimes' Performance 

Rimes has hits that she doesn’t perform because she doesn’t like them, and/or relate to their original sentiment anymore. She has learned to grow and live with the catalog songs she does perform, changing the arrangements and tone on certain songs — including her biggest hit, "How Do I Live."

Leanna Rimes and Marissa R. Moss

LeAnn Rimes and author Marissa R. Moss | Photo: Courtesy of the Recording Academy™️/Photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images© 2022

Women In Country Music Must Be Extraordinary

Moss observed that men in country music gain success for being similar, while the women in the genre have to be extraordinary —  from their sound to their look. The latter is is reflected in the many outfits on display at The Power of Women In Country Music exhibition.

In contrast to the elaborate fashion choices of the other women in the exhibition, Rimes’ outfit on display — a simple, strappy shift dress — is noticeably understated. The singer acknowledged that she has always been drawn to simplicity, even when she thought she had to be, or look, otherwise.

Rimes’ Songwriting Process Involves A Large Whiteboard

In response to a question from the audience about her songwriting process, Rimes said she kept ideas and titles and words in the Notes app on her phone. She and longtime collaborator Darrell Brown write words from the app on a whiteboard and see what jumps out. 

Most of the time, the pair know what the song is about and the melody will come. Rimes admitted that it was probably more of a methodical process than what she was explaining, but that it didn’t feel that way. 

The Words On God's Work Are Intentionally Written Lowercase

Rimes not capitalizing the word "god" in an Instagram post created quite a storm on the platform and in the media. As a result, she intentionally made all the wording on her upcoming album lowercase in order to really start a conversation. 

Rimes Has a New Tattoo In Connection With One Of The Songs On God’s Work

"The wild," one of the songs from God’s Work which features Sheila E. on drums as well as Mickey Guyton is commemorated in a "kiss the wild" tattoo from celebrity tattoo artist Winterstone. Rimes admitted that she cries every time she performs the song, and that she has to get through the crying to eventually become numb.

LeAnn Rimes and dress at grammy museum

LeAnn Rimes poses with one of her dresses at the GRAMMY Museum | Photo: Courtesy of the Recording Academy™️/Photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images© 2022

The Last Two Years Provided A Long-Overdue "Relax And Reset"

At the start of the evening, Rimes joked that she has been rising from the ashes over and over again for the last 25 years. "The last two years were a good relax and reset I haven’t had since I was 13," she said.

Today, she is more present during the experience of performing. Rimes said she recognizes how high she feels after a concert, but also just how much it takes out of her, creating low she is when she wakes up the next day. 

Rimes Kept Herself Young For Other People

Rimes won her first GRAMMY Award at age 14, taking home the golden gramophone for Best New Artist in 1997. At the GRAMMY Museum event, Rimes said she "kept parts of herself young" for years for everyone who needed to see her that way. 

As Rimes grew as both a person and an artist, she was determined to step into her own. At some point, she told the audience, she had to "burn that house down" for herself. 

The More Random A Collaboration, The Better

The first single from god’s work features Ziggy Marley, Ledisi and Ben Harper. The more random a pairing, the better, Rimes said in regards to collaborations. She called herself "genre-fluid," but also said that classic country music is a passion.

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Take Over The GRAMMY Museum
Ryan Lewis, Zach Quillen and Macklemore

Photo: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage.com

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Take Over The GRAMMY Museum

Hip-hop duo discuss their career beginnings and creating their GRAMMY-nominated album The Heist

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

Current seven-time GRAMMY nominees Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, along with their manager Zach Quillen, recently participated in an installment of the GRAMMY Museum's A Conversation With series. Before an intimate audience at the Museum's Clive Davis Theater, the hip-hop duo and Quillen discussed the beginning of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' career, having creative control over their work and recording their GRAMMY-nominated Album Of The Year, The Heist.

"I met somebody [who] had the same dedication as me, [who] put everything into the music, everything into the craft," said Ben Haggerty (aka Macklemore) regarding meeting Lewis. "I wanted a career and Ryan was somebody [who] had the same discipline and sacrificed everything."

"I think it took a little while before it became clear to me who [Macklemore] was going to be," said Lewis. "I think the first indication of that was with the song 'Otherside' from the VS. Redux EP]. … That song … embodied so much. It was a story nobody was telling. … It was just somebody who was dying to be on the mike and to say something."

Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and DJ/producer Lewis have been making music fans take notice since they released their debut EP, 2009's The VS. EP. They followed with VS. Redux, which reached No. 7 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart. The duo made waves in 2011 with the release of their hit single "Can't Hold Us" featuring Ray Dalton. The next year Macklemore was featured on the cover of XXL Magazine's coveted freshman class issue, and Rolling Stone dubbed the duo an "indie rags-to-riches" success story.

Released in 2012, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' debut studio album, The Heist, reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, propelled by the No. 1 hits "Can't Hold Us" and "Thrift Shop," the latter of which reached multi-platinum status and remained on top of the charts for six weeks. The album garnered a nomination for Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album at the 56th GRAMMY Awards, while "Thrift Shop" earned a nod for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. The duo's Top 20 hit "Same Love" featuring Mary Lambert earned a nomination for Song Of The Year and has been adopted by some as a pro-equality anthem. The duo garnered additional nominations for Best New Artist and Best Music Video for "Can't Hold Us."

Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include Icons Of The Music Industry: Ken Ehrlich (Jan. 14) and A Conversation With Peter Guralnick (Jan. 15).

Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures Exhibit Will Showcase The Surf-Rock Icons' Impact On Pop Culture

The Ventures

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Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures Exhibit Will Showcase The Surf-Rock Icons' Impact On Pop Culture

The exhibit, opening Dec. 7, will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run" and more

GRAMMYs/Nov 22, 2019 - 01:44 am

Influential instrumental rock band The Ventures are getting their own exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles that will showcase the band's impact on pop culture since the release of their massive hit "Walk, Don't Run" 60 years ago. 

The Rock Hall of Fame inductees and Billboard chart-toppers have become especially iconic in the surf-rock world, known for its reverb-loaded guitar sound, for songs like "Wipeout," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Walk, Don't Run." The Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures exhibit opening Dec. 7 will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run," a Fender Limited Edition Ventures Signature guitars, rare photos and other items from their career spanning six decades and 250 albums. 

“It’s such an honor to have an exhibit dedicated to The Ventures at the GRAMMY Museum and be recognized for our impact on music history,” said Don Wilson, a founding member of the band, in a statement. "I like to think that, because we ‘Venturized’ the music we recorded and played, we made it instantly recognizable as being The Ventures. We continue to do that, even today."

Don Wilson, Gerry McGee, Bob Spalding, and Leon Taylor are current band members. On Jan. 9, Taylor's widow and former Fiona Taylor, Ventures associated musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and others will be in conversation with GRAMMY Museum Artistic Director Scott Goldman about the band's journey into becoming the most successful instrumental rock band in history at the Clive Davis Theater. 

"The Ventures have inspired generations of musicians during their storied six-decade career, motivating many artists to follow in their footsteps and start their own projects," said Michael Sticka, GRAMMY Museum President. "As a music museum, we aim to shine a light on music education, and we applaud the Ventures for earning their honorary title of 'the band that launched a thousand bands.' Many thanks to the Ventures and their families for letting us feature items from this important era in music history."

The exhibit will run Dec. 7–Aug. 3, 2020 at the GRAMMY Museum

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Julia Michaels Deconstructs "Issues," Writing Songs | "Required Listening" Podcast

Scott Goldman and Julia Michaels

Photo: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage.com

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Julia Michaels Deconstructs "Issues," Writing Songs | "Required Listening" Podcast

Go inside the bright mind of one of pop's most promising singer/songwriters and learn about her songwriting process, her transition to the spotlight and the three female artists she admires

GRAMMYs/Feb 8, 2018 - 11:57 pm

Julia Michaels' career has soared within the past year. Already a talented songwriter with writing credits such as Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran, and Fifth Harmony to her name, Michaels took a leap of faith with the release of her third solo EP, 2017's Nervous System.

Listen Now: "Required Listening," Episode 3 With Julia Michaels

Though Michaels has admitted to being nervous about moving to the forefront as an artist in her own right, the gamble paid off. The single "Issues" went gangbusters all the way to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and her EP cracked the Top 50. Plus, the Davenport, Iowa, native scored two nominations for the 60th GRAMMY Awards: Song Of The Year for "Issues" and Best New Artist.

What makes Michaels tick musically, how did she overcome her trepidation and why does she rely on feelings to guide her songwriting?

You'll learn the answers and so much more on the latest episode of "Required Listening," the new music podcast by HowStuffWorks and the GRAMMY Museum in partnership with the Recording Academy.

"It depends on the person. A lot of the times I'll just talk to them [first]," said Michaels regarding collaborating with other artists. "I mean we're all human. We all cry the same. We all bleed the same. So I try to make people feel as comfortable as possible to be able to tell me things, even if the artist that I'm with doesn't write, just having them talk is lyrics in itself. You know, them explaining their day or expressing how they feel. It's like, "That's amazing ... if that's how you're feeling we should write that.'"

As a matter of fact, Michaels told the host of "Required Listening," GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Scott Goldman, that she lets her feelings pilot her songwriting instead of traditional conventions — a process that has yielded gems such as "Issues."

"I'm not that calculated when I write," said Michaels. "I'm all heart when I write so I don't think about the algorithm of a song or the mathematics of a song. I just think, 'This feels good to me,' and just kind of go with that."

When peppered by Goldman with a question about coming into the limelight as a recording artist, Michaels was quick to point out that she has benefitted from plenty of help and encouragement.

"I think a lot of people have helped me get there," said Michaels. "My manager, Beka Tischker, she's been with me for six years. She's always believed in me. … And this year a lot of people have come into my life. I mean even my band — Dan Kanter, who's my guitar player … he's been with me since the beginning of the artist transition. I can't even do it without him at this point. ... There's a lot of people in my life, especially this year, that have made me feel comfortable and confident."

Speaking of confidence, Michaels has taken cues from plenty of her self-assured peers. She cited three artists, in particular, who have inspired her career path.

"I'm not that calculated when I write. I'm all heart." — Julia Michaels

"[Pink is] a bad*," said Michaels. "I love Fiona Apple. I love a lot of artists that are not afraid to say what they want to say. I love artists that write their own music. Laura Marling — she's very much from her point of view, very much whatever she wants to do. And plus her voice is so haunting and beautiful."

"Required Listening" launched on GRAMMY Sunday, Jan. 28, with the first episode featuring an in-depth conversation with GRAMMY winners Imagine Dragons and the second detailing "The Defiant Ones" with Allen Hughes and Jimmy Iovine.

Future guests will include Sean "Diddy" Combs, Dan Auerbach, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, and Lindsey Buckingham and Christie McVie of Fleetwood Mac, among others.

Attention Music Fans: Take The GRAMMY Challenge Now On Kik And Facebook Messenger

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GRAMMY Museum To Launch Cheap Trick: I Want You To Want Me! Sept. 12

Exhibit to feature artifacts from the private collection of the iconic power-pop band

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Sept. 12 the GRAMMY Museum will launch Cheap Trick: I Want You To Want Me! — a one-of-a-kind exhibit offering visitors an in-depth look at the more than 35-year career of power-pop progenitors Cheap Trick.

Located in the Museum's Mike Curb Gallery on the fourth floor, artifacts on display will include guitars played by Rick Nielsen, including his 1952 Fender Telecaster used during a performance at Budokan in Tokyo; costumes worn on the album cover of 1979's Dream Police; and original lyrics, photographs, and tour ephemera, among other items.

In conjunction with the launch of the exhibit, on Sept. 12 Cheap Trick will visit the GRAMMY Museum's Clive Davis Theater to participate in a question-and-answer session and perform a brief set as part of the Museum's An Evening With series.

Cheap Trick: I Want You To Want Me! will be on display through June 2014.