Neil Portnow, Mayor Bill de Blasio and John Poppo cut the ribbon on the Recording Academy's new headquarters in New York
Photo Cindy Ord/Getty Images
2018 GRAMMY Week: The Recording Academy Hits The Ground In New York
With Music's Biggest Night returning to the Big Apple for the first time in 15 years, the Academy kicked off GRAMMY Week in NYC style
The Recording Academy jolted the electricity in New York City up a few notches today. With Monday, Jan. 22 ushering in GRAMMY Week, the reality of the return of Music's Biggest Night to Madison Square Garden for the first time in 15 years beckons. And if the two official events that bookended the day are any indication, the excitement in the city is palpable.
To start the proceedings, this morning Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow and Chair John Poppo participated in a special ribbon-cutting ceremony with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to christen the organization's new local headquarters: an impressive townhouse situated across East 37th Street from the J.P. Morgan Museum.
"This marks the first time the Academy will own our own offices and a real piece of the Big Apple," said Portnow.
During his remarks, de Blasio commented on how New York City will benefit by the powerful force that is GRAMMY Week.
"We're so happy to have the [60th GRAMMY Awards] back where, in our humble opinion, they belong," said de Blasio. "There will be real economic opportunity created by this wonderful week: It's projected to have an impact of [$200 million] on the city's economy, and we know that impact will go well beyond the seven exciting days ahead."
Speaking of impact, in the evening the Recording Academy hosted an official GRAMMY Week welcome reception convening local officials, dignitaries, and the organization's executive staff and elected leadership. The reception was nestled within Hudson Yards, an impressive real estate development that will ultimately become a massive nexus of culture, commerce and cuisine.
Spanning seven full city blocks and more than 18 million square feet, the sprawling project is touted as the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center.
"[Hudson Yards] is really the new heart of New York," said Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards. "It's where the city is going in the next five or 10 years."
But the focus for this week in New York is the 60th GRAMMY Awards, a milestone telecast for not only the organization but also for Portnow.
"[This year] is actually interesting for me," said Portnow, a native New Yorker. "It's full circle because my first year as President of the Academy was the year that we were here last [in 2003] and we were in Madison Square Garden. It's not only a homecoming but it's quite emotional. We're thrilled to be here."
"The GRAMMYs coming here, given New York being the cultural capital of the United States, is so important for the city," said Corey Johnson, speaker of the New York City Council.
The GRAMMYs' storied history includes previous telecasts hosted at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and the Uris Theatre. As a melting pot of so many popular genres, New York is an appropriate home for Music's Biggest Night, which will honor music excellence in 84 categories.
"This is the music and cultural center of the world," said Poppo. "You can't think about music without thinking about the iconic [New York] venues and how many different kinds of music started here. Salsa started here. Hip-hop — no matter what anybody tells you — started here. You had the punk revolution. You had folk blowing up in Greenwich Village. The days of Studio 54 and disco and Broadway. It just goes on and on."
Fittingly, GRAMMY Week will feature a slate of events that are arguably as diverse as New York's cultural footprint.
The festivities will include the Producers & Engineers Wing's annual celebration honoring Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz, the GRAMMY Salute to Classical Music celebrating the music of Leonard Bernstein, multiple performances by the GRAMMY Museum's GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session students, and Clive Davis and the Recording Academy's Pre-GRAMMY Gala, which will honor one of this year's top GRAMMY nominee, Jay-Z.
"The key thing about [GRAMMY Week] this year, because it's in New York and we have a free pass, [is] we've had an opportunity to reinvent [our] events," said Poppo. "And that's what is exciting."
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
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.
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
What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.
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.
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
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.
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.
Photo: David Crotty/Getty Images
Mariah Carey Tells Fans Fire Music Is Coming With New Album 'Caution'
The sultry R&B/pop superstar has announced she will release her 15th studio album next month – what will she bring us this time around?
Never one to do things quietly, the GRAMMY-winning R&B/pop diva with the angelic voice Mariah Carey came boldly onto the scene in 1990 with her GRAMMY-nominated debut self-titled album. At the 33rd GRAMMY Awards she took home her first two wins: Best New Artist and for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Vision Of Love," which she performed on the GRAMMY stage. The song was the album's first single and Carey's first No. 1 song. Since taking center stage at the beginning of the '90s the star hasn't looked back, releasing 13 studio albums and plenty of hits over the years. Four years after the release of her last album, she has announced that her next one is a month away. What will she serve up on her 15th LP?
The star recently shared on Twitter that her latest album is called Caution and will be released on Nov. 16, 2018. We first got a hint of a new album on Sept. 13 when she announced an album was in the works and released the lead single, "GTFO." The album's second single, "With You," followed on Oct. 4.
On "GTFO" she confidently asks a soon-to-be-ex lover "How 'bout you get the f*** out?" in breathy vocals over a slow, melodic beat by GRAMMY-winning producer Nineteen85. "With You" feels like a classic Carey R&B love song with her angelic vocals backed by snapping and a melodic slow jam groove produced by hip-hop beat maker DJ Mustard, who lets her voice shine on an uncharacteristically mellow track for him. These songs hint that her latest release will give us songs that not only showcase her incredible vocal range and versatility, but also give us both nostalgia-inducing tracks as well as radio-ready hits.
"GTFO" gives us a taste of some of the new flavor that she is bringing to her new album, singing the song's coy lyrics completely in more-understated breathy vocals without belting any big high notes, not even during the chorus. It's a catchy, playful breakup song, as she confidently sings "get the f*** out/how 'bout you take your tings and be on your merry way?/Fly off with the wind, bye bye baby/How 'bout you scusami, Mimi'll call you a valet."
The song was co-written and co-produced by Jeff Jefferies aka Nineteen85, who is half of OVO R&B duo dvsn and is responsible for producing some of Drake's biggest hits, including the GRAMMY-winning mega-hit "Hotline Bling." On the Drake's song "Emotionless" from his latest album, Scorpion, he samples Carey's lyrics from remixed classic hit "Emotions." Hopefully Jefferies has some catchy hits up his sleeve for Carey, and maybe even brings in some OVO artist surprises.
Carey has released some great collabs over the years, a majority with R&B and hip-hop artists, including Boyz II Men on heartfelt slow jam "One Sweet Day" from 1995's Daydream and Jay-Z on the upbeat classic belter "Heartbreaker" from 1999's Rainbow. We can only hope that the new album will offer some new, soon-to-be-classic hits with some of our other favorite artists.
Her most recent album, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, released in 2014, had more collab tracks than usual for her, which could perhaps point towards some hot features on Caution. The deluxe edition of the 2014 album had six songs with other artists, including rappers Nas, Fabolous, Wale and R. Kelly as well as R&B singers Miguel and Mary J. Blige. The album's lead single, "Beautiful," has Miguel and Carey singing a soulful, feel-good duet, while "Dedicated" features a bounce-y, electronic-infused hip-hop beat with a verse from Nas. Seeing that she worked with big-time hip-hop producers on the new album's lead singles, we can only hope that they not only offered their production genus to more of the tracks, but perhaps brought some of their friends into the studio as well.
Fans only have to wait a month for the full dose of new music from Carey, but until then we will send our prayers to the music gods that the album will feature all of our dream collabs, perhaps some old and new friends, and offer up some new favorite songs, with some to slow dance to and others to belt out in the shower.