6 Reasons To Be Psyched For Lollapalooza 2019, From J Balvin's Historic Set To Dancing With Shaq

Rosalía and J Balvin

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella


6 Reasons To Be Psyched For Lollapalooza 2019, From J Balvin's Historic Set To Dancing With Shaq

Did you know the Colombian reggaetonero is going to make history as the first Latino headliner at the fest, and that NBA legend, a.k.a. DJ Diesel, will be spinning a set? Read on for more Lolla 2019 highlights

GRAMMYs/Aug 1, 2019 - 03:29 am

Starting tomorrow, Aug. 1, the iconic Lollapalooza festival, launched as a touring show in 1991, returns for its 14th year at Grant Park in Chicago. The four-day event has plenty of big-name and rising acts on the bill to have you dancing until Sunday night, including GRAMMY winners Childish Gambino, Ariana GrandeKacey Musgraves, Flume, H.E.R. and Lil Wayne. GRAMMY nominees Janelle Monáe, Death Cab For Cutie, Tame Impala, 21 Savage and J Balvin—who will make history during his headline set—will also bring fire to the fest, along with Rosalía, the StrokesRÜFÜS DU SOL, Meek Mill, Maggie Rogers, King Princess and many more.

Between the massive fest's eight stages and stacked lineup, there's plenty of music to get lost in and excited about. But the fun doesn't stop there: The mile-long outdoor venue will be packed with fun, and an insane offering of official Aftershows will bring many of your favorite artists to intimate venues around the city. Read on to find out six big reasons to get excited for Lolla 2019.

J Balvin's Historic (& Colorful) Headline Set

Latin GRAMMY winner Balvin has made waves with his joyful, global-airwaves ready take on reggaeton. Earlier this year, he brought pure joy to Coachella's main stage, with backup dancers dressed as clouds and cookies and surprise cameos from fellow Spanish-language heavy-hitters Rosalía and Bad Bunny.

When he takes the stage this Saturday night at Lolla, he will make history as the fest's first Latino headliner. Especially given that one of his major drives as an artist is to break barriers for fellow Spanish-speaking artists and allow Latinos to shine front and center in the global spotlight, this will be a moment not to be missed.

"I want to change the perception about Latinos worldwide. I think people don't know yet how cool we are," Balvin told The New York Times in 2016. "When you see a movie, they always put the Latino on the bad side or in a tacky way. It's not like that. Latinos are shining like a diamond." Shine on, Mr. Balvin. You can catch his glow at 8:45 p.m. Saturday night.

Rosalía's Fresh Take On Flamenco

Latin GRAMMY winner Rosalía, hailing from Barcelona, has also been creating a buzz with her unique brand of música en Español, which is directly influenced from her years studying her country's traditional music and dance, Flamenco. With her captivating voice and empowering lyrics, she blends flamenco claps—palmas—and exclamations—gritas—with infectious electronic beats that she co-produces with El Guincho for music that gets you moving (and maybe even crying).

Rosalía also performed at Coachella this year, as a special guest of Balvin's and for her own much-buzzed about Friday performance, as well as at Lolla's Argentina and Chile fests. With killer outfits and choreography backed by her squad of fellow badass women, her live performance will suck you into her artistic vortex. You can watch her magic Sunday night at 6:00 p.m.

Kacey Musgraves' Golden Hour

Earlier this year at the 61st GRAMMY Awards, country-pop queen Kacey Musgraves earned both Album Of The Year and Best Country Album for her dreamy fourth studio album Golden Hour, along with two other wins for its singles. She has fully stepped into her new role as the vibey sunset queen, performing at several big festivals during the coveted sunset slot.

Starting with a beloved Coachella golden hour set, she brought her powerful voice, coy lyrics and Southern charm (hello, yee-haw jokes!) to other fests this summer, including Governor's Ball and Bonnaroo, during the set time made for this golden lady.

"All that I know, is you caught me at the right time / Keep me in your glow, 'cause I'm having such a good time with you," Musgraves sings on the LP's title track. You can enjoy the glow with her on Sunday at Lolla at her 6:30 p.m. performance.

DJ Diesel, A.k.a. Shaq, Is Ready To Get You Dancing

It may have been a few years since retired NBA MVP Shaquille O'Neal wowed the world with his skills on the court, but when he's not on the sidelines as a sports analyst/commentator, he's busy with his other passion: music. In 1993, he tried out his rap skills and released his first (platinum!) album, Shaq Diesel. He has been making the rounds as a DJ since his first major gig at TomorrowWorld 2015, although, as he recently told Beats1, he has been DJing since 1986.

Recently, he's been on a roll with DJ career—he goes by DJ Diesel now—performing his favorite bass, dubstep and hip-hop selections at more big EDM fests like Tomorrowland in Belgium and nightclubs across the globe for his Summer League 2019 tour.

You may even get to dance with him at the crowd like the stoked Tomorrowlanders that got to rave with him, as witnessed in the amazing video (below) Shaq shared on his Instagram.

Over 55 Aftershows To Keep You Groovin' All Week

Whether or not they're planning on attending the festival each day, many Chicago residents will no doubt find their way into one of the many official Lolla Aftershows held around the city. According to Lolla, this year there are over 55 shows and 110 artists offered, offering a chance to see many of the acts in a more intimate setting. Indie-rock standbys Death Cab For Cutie will be performing a sold-out show at the Metro on Thursday night, while Hozier will take it over on Wednesday. Gary Clark Jr. and Fantastic Negrito will bring the vibes to the Metro on Friday, followed by Musgraves on Saturday and Louis the Child closing it out with their lively Playground party on Sunday.

And that's just one out of 23 Aftershow venues! FISHER and RÜFÜS DU SOL will have the clubs going up on a Thursday, at Soundbar and Spybar respectively, with RUFUS also offering a live show at the Vic Theater on Wednesday night, before the bring the vibes to their Thursday evening performance at the fest. The 10th Annual Lollapalooza Sideshow, co-hosted by Chicago's Queer Pride org and C3, who runs Lolla, will bring circus-style entertainment and great music, from King Princess and several DJs to the East Room.

A Mile Of Fun Around The Park

From Chow Town, where you can enjoy a taste of the best local noms Chicago has to offer, to Lolla Cares, which can help you get involved with impactful nonprofit organizations, including the Obama Foundation, HeadCount and MusiCares, there is plenty to do in between your favorite artists' sets.

And when you're not eating everything in sight, you can live your best life on the roller-skating rink or going shopping at booths from local vendor and the extensive merch offerings, as well as find the brands giving out swag and experiences, like American Eagle's free fanny packs.

Stay tuned to for exclusive interviews and content during Lolla 2019. You can view the full schedule and save your favorites on Lolla's website, where you can also find the Aftershow list and other helpful info like the app and a map. Have fun, stay hydrated and we'll catch you out there, or from your couch as you peep the fest's livestream.

Backstage At Newport Folk Festival's 60th Anniversary


GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.

In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.


Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year


Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

 Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. 

The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 and will be broadcast live on the Univision Television Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. 

"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list. 

At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself  but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the album release of that concert, Juan Gabriel En Vivo Desde El Palacio De Bellas Artes, broke sales records and established his iconic status. 

After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.   

In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.   

Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized. 

For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or

Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Grizzled Mighty perform at Bumbershoot on Sept. 1

Photo: The Recording Academy


Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Alexa Zaske

This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.

The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.

Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."

Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.

Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed. 

Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.

My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.

For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.

(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)

Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images


Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Feb 11, 2019 - 10:58 am

As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.

Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.

"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."

Full Winners List: 61st GRAMMY Awards