Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy
A Look At The Nominees For Album Of The Year At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards
The 2023 GRAMMY Award nominees for Album Of The Year span the landscape of pop, R&B, rap, reggaeton, and more. Here are the nominees — by ABBA, Harry Styles, Beyoncé, Adele, Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, and Lizzo.
For what seems like ages, people have been portending the album's extinction as a viable format. To which we ask: when, exactly?
The GRAMMY for Album Of The Year is a precious honor among many — partly because it celebrates excellence in that timeless format. Ever since at least 1955, when Frank Sinatra released one of the earliest concept albums, the long-player has been a vehicle for transformative — and often world-changing — artistic expressions and achievements.
A big component of that is how songs talk to each other, which is what you lose when considering songs as single releases. And this ineffable commingling of ideas, emotions and narratives is apparent throughout the nominations for Album Of The Year at the 2023 GRAMMYs.
What happens when you meditate on the confluence between Adele's "Easy On Me" and "I Drink Wine"? Or Kendrick Lamar's "We Cry Together" and "Mother I Sober"? Or Coldplay's "Let Somebody Go" and "Coloratura"? And those are just a few examples — live with these albums for a while, and numberless other spiritual links appear.
To absorb how songs can live together — and fight, and make up, and everything else — is one of the true joys of music. And in a transparent, peer-to-peer process, the Recording Academy's voting members decided that these 10 nominees wove together albums that became far more than the sum of their inspired parts.
ABBA — Voyage
Talk about a satisfying return for a band that seemed to never go away — even though ABBA did for a whopping 40 years. And what a comeback, by way of their new album, Voyage — which shared a title with their innovative, virtual concert residency.
The LP reminded the world of why legions of fans fell in love with "Dancing Queen," "Mamma Mia" and the like. While they were unabashedly pop, the palindromic quartet of Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Agnetha Fältskog were forward-thinking enough to bend Pete Townshend and John Lennon's ears.
Reunion albums after so much time away can raise suspicions, but Voyage put them all to bed. Like fellow pop tinkerers Electric Light Orchestra, the new material (like "Keep an Eye on Dan," "No Doubt About It" and "Don't Shut Me Down") could have been beamed from 1975.
This GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year follows their 2022 GRAMMY nomination for Record Of The Year — by way of "I Still Have Faith In You," the lead track from the album.
ABBA have stated that this is their last hurrah; if so, what a magical finale. Because Voyage hits just like the… well, hits.
Adele - 30
A new Adele album, with titles like "Cry Your Heart Out," "Oh My God" and "I Drink Wine" — casual onlookers might envision a soundtrack to an extended ugly-crying session. Well, it can be that if you want it to be.
But Adele is no one-dimensional artist — far from it. And her stunning latest, 30, is a cornucopia of wildly variable moods, production styles and flavors of ear candy.
This is partly due to the inspired production of Greg Kurstin, Max Martin, Shellback, Ludwig Göransson, and other leading lights — and mostly due to Adele hurtling forward as a prime communicator and expresser.
Adele has long been a sturdy presence at the GRAMMYs, earning 15 golden gramophones and 18 nominations up to this point. The 2023 GRAMMY nominations mark another chapter in her musical life.
And it goes beyond 30's GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. The majestic lead single "Easy On Me" was nominated for golden gramophones for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video. (Additionally, Adele: One Night Only is in the running for a GRAMMY for Best Music Film.)
Is 30 a work of bracing catharsis, in a very on-brand sense? Of course — this is Adele we're talking about. But the album maintains a pep in its step, and plenty of surprises in every song.
Here's just one, from before it even came out: "Is that really a feature from Erroll Garner, a jazz pianist who died in 1977?" Only you, Adele.
Bad Bunny — Un Verano Sin Ti
Un Verano Sin Ti may have been one of the hottest pop albums of the year — of any regional genre or national origin. It's the kind of work that bridges international markets, that sells out Yankee Stadium two nights in a row, that debuts at the top of the Billboard 200. (It was the second Spanish-language album to ever do that, to boot.)
And from a GRAMMYs standpoint, the Puerto Rican rapper and singer born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio has the wind in his sails. Not only has he previously won two golden gramophones and been nominated for six; at the 2023 GRAMMYs, Un Verano Sin Ti is up for a GRAMMY for Best Música Urbana Album, and "Moscow Mule" is up for another for Best Pop Solo Performance.
All that being said, Bad Bunny's latest bears a quality rare in offerings from artists of his caliber — it magically maintains a handmade, personal quality that sticks out among the pack.
Loosened-up, tropical-inflected tunes like "Me Porto Bonito," "Yo No Soy Celoso" and "Aguacero" don't chew the scenery to impress you; they seem as natural as breathing, which belies the level of craft involved in each song's construction, and the subtle emotional incisiveness of his messaging.
All of it adds up to a long-player that feels relaxed yet focused feels vaporous without being ephemeral. Un Verano Sin Ti is a summer dream — and an unforgettable one.
Beyoncé - Renaissance
The sociocultural shifts of the past few years have led to a reassessment of music history through the lens of identity. And one big win was the realization that disco, in fact, did not suck — thank you very much.
Not only was the lion's share of the music great, but the discotheque provided a haven for free expression among any number of marginalized groups, in regard to skin color, sexual orientation and gender identity.
The engine of RENAISSANCE, Beyoncé's first album in six and a half years, is the eternal power of the dancefloor — both in sound and spirit. Of course, this has been a throughline of her past work, for which she's picked up an astounding 28 GRAMMYs. But never before has it been contained and consolidated on one album like this.
This aesthetic doesn't render RENAISSANCE a mere throwback, but a future-forward addition to the dance/pop lineage. "Cozy" and "Thique" speak to radical self-acceptance; cornerstone track "Plastic Off the Sofa" is cinematic and immersive; despite the title, closer "SUMMER RENAISSANCE" is an on-ramp to revel in these sounds in fall, winter, and spring.
On the 2023 GRAMMYs nominations list, Beyoncé can be found all over the place: on top of this Album Of The Year GRAMMY nomination, RENAISSANCE is up for a GRAMMY for Best Dance/Electronic Album.
And on a track-by-track level, she's represented in the Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Dance/Electronic Recording, Best R&B Performance, Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Remixed Recording categories. "BE ALIVE," Beyoncé's tune for the film King Richard, is nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Song Written For Visual Media.
Beyoncé has made clear that RENAISSANCE is the first in a three-part installment: it's anyone's guess as to where this boundary-breaker will venture next. But until then, this dance party is forever.
Mary J. Blige — Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe)
The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul returned in 2022 in multiple surprising ways. In February, she released Good Morning Gorgeous, a work of emotional depth with a surprising bite to it. (Would another R&B act of her generation drop a track like "On Top," with the cutting-edge MC Fivio Foreign?)
Thirty years after the release of her debut album, What's The 411, the previously nine-time GRAMMY winner hasn't lost one iota of her clarity of creative vision or cachet as an R&B innovator.
This is reflected not only in the bold, brassy sound throughout Good Morning Gorgeous, but the presence of other high-profile guests, like DJ Khaled on "Amazing," Anderson .Paak on "Here With Me," Dave East on "Rent Money," and Usher on "Need Love."
Two days after the album's release, Mary J. Blige stormed the Super Bowl with Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg, in a celebration of hip-hop as an ever-swelling force four decades in.
That performance made abundantly clear that this world would be unrecognizable without the soul edge Blige has brought and continues to bring.
At the 2023 GRAMMYs, she's not only nominated for golden gramophones for Album Of The Year, but Best R&B Album, Best R&B Performance ("Here With Me"), Best Traditional R&B Performance, and Best R&B Song ("Good Morning Gorgeous").
Clearly, the Queen's reign continues unabated.
Brandi Carlile — In These Silent Days
Brandi Carlile is a known quantity far outside of the singer/songwriter these days. She's swelling in the public sphere as a media personality, and friend and booster to a recovering (and returning!) Joni Mitchell.
And that's for a very good reason: few can weave words and melodies like her, and deliver them with such gravitas.
This was clear at the 2022 GRAMMYs, when two cuts from In These Silent Days — "Right on Time" and "A Beautiful Noise" — earned her four GRAMMY nominations, in the Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance categories. (She was also nominated for a GRAMMY for Best American Roots Performance, for her featured appearance on Brandy Clark's "Same Devil.")
But, again, it's how all the songs talk to each other — and Recording Academy members were ravished by all 10. Taken as a whole, In These Silent Days imparts a dizzying amount of literary detail, with the immediacy of a blast of Laurel Canyon air.
"You and Me on the Rock," featuring indie-poppers Lucius, brings the heartache and jubilation of Mitchell's Blue into the 21st century; the strummy abandon expertly disguises the next-level craft beneath the hood.
Elsewhere, the Fleetwood Mac-like "Broken Horses" swings like a pendulum — this is a heavyweight artist we're reckoning with. And it's bracing to hear Carlile almost completely unadorned on impassioned closer "Throwing Good After Bad," lifted by the subtlest strains of a string section.
At the 2023 GRAMMYs, Carlile is also represented in the Best Americana Album category; Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song, for "Broken Horses"; and Best Americana Performance, for "You and Me on the Rock."
On the cover of In These Silent Days, Carlile looks to be casually fixing her collar, as if the contents of the album amounted to a throat-clearing. The album might be partly a letter to the past, but heaven knows what's in her immediate future.
Coldplay — Music Of The Spheres
Coldplay won over the world for writing cleareyed, intimate songs about romantic insecurity and longing; now, they write about everything. Literally everything, transcending the concerns of terra firma and bounding through the celestials.
Everything about Music of the Spheres is a wild swing, which befits a band seemingly destined to carry the torch of the outsized U2.
Frontman Chris Martin said he was inspired by the enormity of the Star Wars universe and the title-track opener — stylized as a Saturn emoji — feels like the Flash Gordon-style opening crawl, an awe-inspiring sci-fi universe whirring to life. And the first single, "Higher Power," reaches for nothing less than the gates of Heaven.
That the Englishmen are able to engage in such space-scraping without sacrificing their core identity is somewhat miraculous. "Humankind" is a Kubrickian update on the anthemic mold they've always adhered to — going all the way back to A Rush of Blood to the Head, which turned 20 in 2022. And "Let Somebody Go," featuring Selena Gomez, feels as pared-down as their intimate, beloved debut, Parachutes.
For a song on the scale of "My Universe," not only guest would do: Martin and company had to tap the arguably biggest pop group on the planet, BTS. The song cycle ends with the 10-minute "Coloratura," which shows how Coldplay manage to stay creatively unpredictable even as their cachet grows heavenward.
On top of Music of the Spheres' GRAMMY nominations for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, "My Universe" is represented in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. But whether or not Coldplay ultimately take home their golden gramophones, they've made an album that belongs to the planets and stars.
Kendrick Lamar — Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
In the years since his gritty, explosive DAMN., Kendrick Lamar went off the grid and into a period of profound self-examination.
"I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts. Writing. Listening," Lamar wrote in an August 2021 blog post. "Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family. While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most."
When the Pulitzer Prize winner and (at the time) 14-time GRAMMY winner finally dropped a new song, "The Heart Pt. 5," it was clear that introspection had resulted in work of a renewed and downright frightening intensity.
"I come from a generation of pain, where murder is minor/ Rebellious and Margielas'll chip you for designer," the MC, who now nicknames himself "Oklama," rapped in the attendant video. "Belt buckles and clout, overzealous if prone to violence/ Make the wrong turn, be it will or the wheel alignment."
As the stark, one-shot video progressed, Lamar's face morphed into deepfake impersonations of O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Jussie Smollett, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant, and Nipsey Hussle — as the latter, who was murdered in 2019, he rapped about gazing at his family and friends from heaven.
A track like that wouldn't have fit the concept of Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, and accordingly, wasn't on the album. Because Mr. Morale is foremost an album about fatherhood, fidelity, and destroying old attitudes by fire. "Kendrick made you think about it, but he is not your savior," he reminds us at the outset of "Savior," demolishing his self-mythology.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout an exhilarating and exhausting 78 minutes, Lamar ruthlessly interrogates his ingrained attitudes about fatherhood ("Father Time"), relationships with women ("We Cry Together"), and transgender relatives ("Auntie Diaries").
At the 2023 GRAMMYs, "The Heart Pt. 5" was nominated for GRAMMYs for Song Of The Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Melodic Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song.
And the courageous and unflinching Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers picked up GRAMMY nominations for Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album. Its resonance extends past the lyrical subject matter, or the gonzo arrangements where every musical decision seems wildly unorthodox.
Because if you zoom out, it's unlike anything Lamar — or any other rapper, for that matter — has ever made.
Lizzo — Special
In the past few years, Lizzo has enjoyed an expeditious ascent from flute-toting, self-loving charmer to a downright media titan. In her Amazon Prime reality show "Watch Out for the Big Grrrls," plus-sized models compete to become her backup dancer; her eye-popping VMAs dress reflected how her idiosyncratic visual aesthetic is rapidly gaining steam.
And her 2022 was typified by her latest album, Special, which consolidates her musical gifts and ever-evolving messaging in a cohesive blend of funk, disco, hip-hop, and pop. The single "About Damn Time" is practically destined to loom large in her legend; it joins "Good as Hell," "Truth Hurts," and the rest as calling-cards for her meme-friendly, feel-good outlook.
But the singles weren't exactly the point this time around: the matured and restrained Special is a window into Lizzo's particular universe, where the headline is "You matter, just the way you are."
Lizzo has previously picked up three GRAMMYs and three GRAMMY nominations; at the 2023 GRAMMYs, "About Damn Time" is nominated for GRAMMYs for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. Additionally, by way of a Purple Disco Machine remix, said track is represented in the Best Remixed Recording category.
And because of the way that song interacts with vulnerable album tracks like "Naked" and "If You Love Me," Recording Academy membership decreed that Special is in the running for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Because when you strip away the memes, the hashtags, and the media appearances, Lizzo makes albums — superb ones. And when it comes to honors like this, it's, well, about damn time.
Harry Styles — Harry’s House
But his third album, Harry's House, ups the ante in a new way; it presents a totally liveable, self contained domicile. Within the LP, can take a load off on the couch, pontificate in the kitchen, or brood on the edge of the bed.
How can an album take on such qualities? That's partly because every song, "Music for a Sushi Restaurant" to "Late Night Talking" to "Love of My Life," is imbued with that charm only Styles possesses — the one that lays waste to Madison Square Garden and gave him a Hollywood star turn in Don't Worry Darling.
And the sheer concision and earworm hook of his titanic single "As It Was" raises even more questions than it does answers. Here's one: which perfect pop songs hasn't he written yet?
At the 2023 GRAMMYs, "As It Was" has been nominated for GRAMMYs for Song Of The Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video; Harry's House is nominated for GRAMMYs for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. If Styles wins in any of these categories, he will add to his previous GRAMMY win, for Best Pop Solo Performance for Fine Line's "Watermelon Sugar."
Clearly, fans worldwide set up camp at Harry's House, and have no plans to vacate anytime soon. Because amid all the other reasons, it's just too much fun to kick back in there.
The 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, returns to Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.
The eligibility period for the 65th GRAMMY Awards is Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 – Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. All eligible awards entries must be released within this timeframe.
The Recording Academy and GRAMMY.com do not endorse any particular artist, submission or nominee over another. The results of the GRAMMY Awards, including winners and nominees, are solely dependent on the Recording Academy’s Voting Membership.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood
6 Takeaways From 'Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé'
A celebration of Beyoncé’s 2022, multi-GRAMMY-award winning record, the 'Renaissance' documentary grossed $21 million in its first weekend in theaters and offers an in-depth look at one of this year’s hottest tours.
If there’s one thing that’s clear in Beyoncé’s new concert documentary — the referentially titled Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé — it’s that the singer works very, very hard.
Released in theaters on Dec. 1, the almost three-hour-long film follows the native Houstonian on the road this past summer, giving viewers an inside look at both the actual show and what’s going on inside Beyoncé’s head at any given time. (Spoiler alert: A lot!)
The latest in a string of concert films released in theaters in recent months, Renaissance was filmed at several dates along the 56-date sold out tour. The all-stadium Renaissance tour ran from May to October of this year and traversed much of Europe and North America.
A celebration of Beyoncé’s 2022, multi-GRAMMY-award winning record, the Renaissance movie grossed $21 million its first weekend in theaters. Here are six things we took away from watching Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé.
Renaissance Required A Ton Of Manpower & Steel
A few songs into the documentary, Beyoncé relaying her intentions for the film. She wants everyone to see the tour, of course, but she also really wants people to know about just how much went into even getting the tour off the ground. "The beauty is in the process," she said, showing off a massive binder full of different iterations of what the tour’s stage could have looked like.
The actual process of building the show from inception to launch, she said, took about four years. The Renaissance tour also required countless man hours, and not just by her team. The multi-continent tour required stagehands to build the massive screen every night, an army of hair braiders, costumers, makeup artists, dancers, caterers, and drivers.
Renaissance required multiple teams: One for the current show, and two other advance teams working ahead to build one of two additional stages at a stadium down the line. All told, there were 160 vehicles on tour, from semi trucks to buses. And while that might seem like it would cost a fortune, Beyoncé noted that the most expensive part of crafting the tour was the steel required to build a roof over their stage every single night.
That’s part of the reason, Beyoncé said in the film, that she put the crew in reflective silver jumpsuits every single night. She wanted fans to notice them, she says, "because it’s beautiful to see what they do."
Beyoncé Knows Ballroom
Anyone who’s heard the Renaissance album knows that it’s imbued with notes of queer ballroom culture, house music, and the sounds of the ‘70s and ‘80s dance underground. In the movie, Beyoncé relays how she learned about that music as a child thanks to her "Uncle Johnny," one of her mom’s longtime friends.
A Black gay man growing up in the south in the 1950s, Uncle Johnny faced more than his share of hardships, but found relative success through his work in the fashion industry. He crafted many of the early Destiny’s Child costumes, and brought house and ballroom culture into the Knowles' home by playing records.
On the album, Beyoncé pays homage to Uncle Johnny on "Heated," and also shows a photo of him with her mom at the end of the show. In the film, Bey wears her prom dress — which Johnny crafted — and, honestly, it still looks pretty on trend, even after all these years.
Beyond Uncle Johnny, though, it’s clear that Beyoncé has put in the work to know not just the history of ballroom (see: tour MC Kevin JZ Prodigy) but also its present. She pays tribute to Black trans and queer legends like TS Madison, MikeQ, Kevin Aviance and Big Freedia, and gives screen and face time to the Dolls, a group of four performers skilled in voguing and ballroom-style dance. (Side note: If you like Renaissance and you like the work of The Dolls and/or Mike Q, go check out "Legendary," a ballroom reality show that originally aired on HBO Max.)
The Renaissance Tour Had Fashions
Anyone following Beyoncé or members of the Bey Hive on Instagram this year knows that the singer was really turning things out fashion-wise on the Renaissance tour. But seeing all the costumes on the big screen can give you a true sense of the massive size and scope of the show's sartorial vision.
The documentary uses quick cuts during songs to hop from outfit to outfit, and it’s always more jaw-dropping than jarring. Beyoncé not only had multiple outfit changes every show, but she her looks changed throughout the tour. Every dancer (there had to be at least 16) and every member of the band also varied their wardrobe. Each outfit was impeccable, covered in rhinestones, and had to be built to move — and it had to look amazing. And they all did!
Beyoncé Grinds Hard
It should come as no surprise that Beyoncé is incredibly hard-working; only someone with an intense work ethic and extreme talent could have come as far as she has. That said, seeing how intricately involved she is in every little moment of the tour is staggering. For example, she said she’s learned a lot about lighting over the years so that she can work, every single night, to get the lights just how she wants them to be. (With the way her hair blows just so, she must also have a certificate in fan science.) The film shows Bey discussing truss lengths and smoke machines and, after one stage person tells Beyoncé that, no, sorry, they don’t make a support in that length, she comes back at him with, "Actually, i was just looking it up, and they do exist."
Putting aside the fact that being one-upped by Beyoncé would be both humbling and amazing, the fact that she even gets that deep into the nitty-gritty is mind-blowing.
Beyoncé said part of her drive is due to the fact that, because she’s a Black woman, people haven’t always taken her that seriously. People have had a tendency to ignore what she wants or needs, and because of that, she’s had to build up a level of fortitude that would put all of us to shame. Those people might push past or ignore her requests, but she’ll keep asking — and then she’ll start telling. "Eventually," she says, "they realize ‘this bitch will not give up.’"
All that grinding has taken a toll on the singer, though. She had knee surgery not too long ago, and she had to rehab extra hard to get ready for the tour. (She still grits through pain at points.) She also gets regular massages on the road, and she probably sleeps much less than she actually needs to.
11-Year-Old Blue Ivy Is Getting Ready To Rule
In one of the first glimpses we get of Beyoncé and Jay-Z's daughter in the movie, Blue Ivy is sitting behind her mom at tech rehearsals. It’s clear that Blue is taking it all in and knows she's studying at the feet of masters (her parents), preparing to take over the world of popular music.
A lot was made about Blue Ivy’s appearances on stage during the Renaissance tour — and for good reason. The decision to put Blue on stage wasn’t made lightly. Beyoncé said she always felt like a stadium stage wasn’t an appropriate place for an 11 year old, but eventually made an agreement with her daughter that, if she rehearsed hard with the dance team and put in the work, that she could do one show.
When that show went great, and then she was on the whole rest of the run. Fans in the audience held signs up singing her praises; people waited to see what she’d wear. And as Beyoncé said in the film, the tour lit a spark and set Blue's work ethic into high gear. While it’s still too early to tell what that’s really going to be, whatever it is will undoubtedly be a very big deal.
Renaissance Is For The Fans
While Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé is, at its core, a film about Beyoncé doing a tour and singing a bunch of songs, it’s also clearly a love letter to Beyoncé’s fans.
The Bey Hive feature very prominently in the film: There are hundreds of shots of people dancing, screaming, crying, or gawking in the audience. The documentary offers loving looks at the queer fans in the audience, the Black fans in the audience, and the people who really went all out on their outfits.
That adoration extended into the movie theater, too. At a Los Angeles screening, attendees dressed all in silver and clapped after every song. They even brought their kids, who they wanted to experience the Renaissance.
As Beyoncé says in the movie, in doing the Renaissance tour, she wanted to create a "cycle of pure love" or a "transfer of energy" between her in the audience, where she’d give them everything she had, and they’d give their all to her. That goal translated to the movie, which sounded great in the theater and had everyone in awe of Bey's artistry. Beyoncé, clearly, is an artist and a visionary and Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé is one reminder of her genius.
Photo: Adrián Monroy/Medios y Media/Getty Images
New Music Friday: Listen To Releases From Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, ATEEZ & More
December begins with a blast of new music from some of music's biggest stars. Press play on five new releases Jung Kook & Usher, Tyla and others, out on Dec. 1.
While 2023 may be coming to an end, the first releases of December prove that it's far from time to wind down.
From Taylor Swift — who released "You’re Losing Me," a song originally recorded for her 2022 smash album — to Dua Lipa’s extended edit of her single "Houdini," and Lana Del Rey's cover of "Take Me Home, Country Roads," listeners are being treated to new tracks from familiar favorites today.
Start off your month by listening to these tracks and albums from seven artists that will jumpstart your month.
Beyoncé - "MY HOUSE"
Queen Bey surprised fans with an early Christmas present by dropping "MY HOUSE," her first single since 2022’s Renaissance. This track was featured during the credits of her new Renaissance concert film.
Written and produced by The-Dream, this song showcases Beyoncé’s rapping skills, as she effortlessly weaves verses over a powerful horn melody. There's a vibe check in the song's second half, where the music becomes a smooth, electronic dance groove reminiscent of Renaissance’s ballroom vibe.
Jung Kook & Usher - "Standing Next To You (Remix)"
BTS' pop singer Jung Kook is back with a remix to his track "Standing Next To You," this time joined by an R&B sensation. The remix features a new verse from Usher, who adds a delicate touch to the vibrant, high-paced song.
The original track was released last month as a single on Jung Kook’s debut album, GOLDEN. This could be fans' last time hearing Jung Kook's music for a while — the "golden maknae" of BTS announced he’s enlisting for mandatory military service this month.
Tyla - "Truth or Dare"
GRAMMY-nominated Afrobeats star Tyla is closing the year with a sneak peek of her upcoming self-titled album. The hypotonic single "Truth or Dare," following the success of her GRAMMY-nominated song "Water" (the song is nominated for Best African Music Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs alongside "Amapiano" by ASAKE & Olamide, "City Boys" by Burna Boy, Davido's "UNAVAILABLE" feat. Musa Keys, and "Rush" by Ayra Starr).
In this new song, Tyla revisits an old flame — this time with newfound wisdom and assurance that she won’t fall for his charm anymore: "So let's play truth or dare, dare you to forget / That you used to treat me just like anyone."
Tyla announced her upcoming self-titled album on social media, captioning, "African music is going global and I’m so blessed to be one of the artists pushing the culture. I’ve been working on my sound for 2 years now and I’m so ready for the world to hear it."
Lana Del Rey - "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
This cover might not come as a shock for fans after she referenced a line from Denver’s 1972 "Rocky Mountain High" on her track "The Grants" from GRAMMY-nominated album Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. (At the 2024 GRAMMYs, Did You Know is nominated for Album Of The Year alongside Jon Batiste's World Music Radio, Olivia Rodrigo's Guts, Swift's Midnights, Janelle Monae's The Age Of Pleasure, SZA's SOS, Miley Cyrus' Endless Summer Vacation and the record by boygenius. Did You Know is also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album alongside The Car by Arctic Monkeys, PJ Harvey's I Inside The Old Year Dying, Gorillaz's Cracker Island and boygenius' album.)
The track features Del Rey’s signature soothing vocals, as a Western-style melody balances the instrumentation. She brings her own sultry style to this '70s country classic, while continuing to show her musical versatility.
ATEEZ - The World EP:FIN:WILL
Five years after their debut album, K-pop group ATEEZ have returned with The World EP:FIN:WILL. The 12-track album is led by "Crazy Form," an Afrobeats/dancehall-influenced track, and also features many solo and unit tracks from the group.
Members Hong Joong and Seonghwa took the reins on "Matz," a dynamic hip-hop track, while Yeosang, San and Wooyoung collaborated for the R&B-influenced "It’s You."
During a Seoul press conference, Lead Hong Joong spoke about the group’s evolution and how fans should look forward to future releases.
"This year marks our fifth debut anniversary and so far, our greatest achievement has been establishing a strong relationship with our fans around the world. We hope to continue presenting music that can make our fans proud of us," he said.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood
Listen: Beyoncé Releases "My House," Her First New Song Post-'Renaissance'
The first taste of new Beyoncé music after her 'Renaissance' era is here. "My House" stems from the end credits of her 'Renaissance' film, and was co-produced by The Dream.
Between four GRAMMYs and a massive stadium tour, 2023 was the year of Beyoncé's Renaissance. And just as the last month of the year began, Bey decided the dance party wasn't over.
On Dec. 1, the 32-time GRAMMY winner released "My House." Co-produced by The-Dream — who co-produced 10 of Renaissance's 16 tracks — "My House" is another club banger that works as both a coda to the Renaissance epoch, and a bridge to an altogether new one.
"Don't give a f— about my house/ Then get the f— up out my house," Beyoncé threatens, as the throbbing chorus swells with intensity. The song is featured in the end credits of Beyoncé's Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé, which also dropped today.
"Be careful what you ask for, 'cause I just might comply," Bey said on Instagram when revealing the trailer — and by the merits of "My House" alone, she followed through. Check out the new song below, and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more on Beyoncé's constant creative evolution.
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20 Iconic Hip-Hop Style Moments: From Run-D.M.C. To Runways
From Dapper Dan's iconic '80s creations to Kendrick Lamar's 2023 runway performance, hip-hop's influence and impact on style and fashion is undeniable. In honor of hip-hop's 50th anniversary, look back at the culture's enduring effect on fashion.
In the world of hip-hop, fashion is more than just clothing. It's a powerful means of self-expression, a cultural statement, and a reflection of the ever-evolving nature of the culture.
Since its origin in 1973, hip-hop has been synonymous with style — but the epochal music category known for breakbeats and lyrical flex also elevated, impacted, and revolutionized global fashion in a way no other genre ever has.
Real hip-hop heads know this. Before Cardi B was gracing the Met Gala in Mugler and award show red carpets in custom Schiaparelli, Dapper Dan was disassembling garment bags in his Harlem studio in the 1980s, tailoring legendary looks for rappers that would appear on famous album cover art. Crescendo moments like Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring-Summer 2023 runway show in Paris in June 2022 didn’t happen without a storied trajectory toward the runway.
Big fashion moments in hip-hop have always captured the camera flash, but finding space to tell the bigger story of hip-hop’s connection and influence on fashion has not been without struggle. Journalist and author Sowmya Krishnamurphy said plenty of publishers passed on her anthology on the subject, Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion, and "the idea of hip hop fashion warranting 80,000 words."
"They didn't think it was big enough or culturally important," Krishnamurphy tells GRAMMY.com, "and of course, when I tell people that usually, the reaction is they're shocked."
Yet, at the 50 year anniversary, sands continue to shift swiftly. Last year exhibitions like the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip-Hop Style popped up alongside notable publishing releases including journalist Vikki Tobak’s, Ice Cold. A Hip-Hop Jewelry Story. Tabak’s second published release covering hip-hop’s influence on style, following her 2018 title, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop.
"I wanted to go deeper into the history," Krishnamurphy continues. "The psychology, the sociology, all of these important factors that played a role in the rise of hip-hop and the rise of hip-hop fashion"
What do the next 50 years look like? "I would love to see a hip-hop brand, whether it be from an artist, a designer, creative director, somebody from the hip-hop space, become that next great American heritage brand," said Krishnamurphy.
In order to look forward we have to look back. In celebration of hip-hop’s 50 year legacy, GRAMMY.com examines iconic moments that have defined and inspired generations. From Tupac walking the runways at Versace to Gucci's inception-esque knockoff of Dapper Dan, these moments in hip-hop fashion showcase how artists have used clothing, jewelry, accessories, and personal style to shape the culture and leave an indelible mark on the world.
The cover art to Eric B and Rakim’s Paid in Full
Dapper Dan And Logomania: Luxury + High Fashion Streetwear
Dapper Dan, the legendary designer known as "the king of knock-offs," played a pivotal role in transforming luxury fashion into a symbol of empowerment and resistance for hip-hop stars, hustlers, and athletes starting in the 1980s. His Harlem boutique, famously open 24 hours a day, became a hub where high fashion collided with the grit of the streets.
Dapper Dan's customized, tailored outfits, crafted from deconstructed and transformed luxury items, often came with significantly higher price tags compared to ready-to-wear luxury fashion. A friend and favorite of artists like LL Cool J and Notorious B.I.G., Dapper Dan created iconic one-of-a-kind looks seen on artists like Eric B and Rakim’s on the cover of their Paid in Full album.
This fusion, marked by custom pieces emblazoned with designer logos, continues to influence hip-hop high fashion streetwear. His story — which began with endless raids by luxury houses like Fendi, who claimed copyright infringement — would come full circle with brands like Gucci later paying homage to his legacy.
Athleisure Takes Over
Hip-hop's intersection with sportswear gave rise to the "athleisure" trend in the 1980s and '90s, making tracksuits, sweatshirts, and sneakers everyday attire. This transformation was propelled by iconic figures such as Run-D.M.C. and their association with Adidas, as seen in photoshoots and music videos for tracks like "My Adidas."
LL Cool J. Photo: Paul Natkin/Getty Images
LL Cool J’s Kangol Hat
The Kangol hat holds a prominent place in hip-hop fashion, often associated with the genre's early days in the '80s and '90s. This popular headwear became a symbol of casual coolness, popularized by hip-hop pioneers like LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C. The simple, round shape and the Kangaroo logo on the front became instantly recognizable, making the Kangol an essential accessory that was synonymous with a laid-back, streetwise style.
Dr. Dre, comedian T.K. Kirkland, Eazy-E, and Too Short in 1989. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
N.W.A & Sports Team Representation
Hip-hop, and notably N.W.A., played a significant role in popularizing sports team representation in fashion. The Los Angeles Raiders' gear became synonymous with West Coast hip-hop thanks to its association with the group's members Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube, as well as MC Ren.
Slick Rick in 1991. Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives
Slick Rick’s Rings & Gold Chains
Slick Rick "The Ruler" has made a lasting impact on hip-hop jewelry and fashion with his kingly display of jewelry and wealth. His trendsetting signature look — a fistful of gold rings and a neck heavily layered with an array of opulent chains — exuded a sense of grandeur and self-confidence. Slick Rick's bold and flamboyant approach to jewelry and fashion remains a defining element of hip-hop's sartorial history, well documented in Tobak's Ice Cold.
Tupac Walks The Versace Runway Show
Tupac Shakur's runway appearance at the 1996 Versace runway show was a remarkable and unexpected moment in fashion history. The show was part of Milan Fashion Week, and Versace was known for pushing boundaries and embracing popular culture in their designs. In Fashion Killa, Krishnamurpy documents Shakur's introduction to Gianni Versace and his participation in the 1996 Milan runway show, where he walked arm-in-arm with Kadida Jones.
TLC. Photo: Tim Roney/Getty Images
Women Embrace Oversized Styles
Oversized styles during the 1990s were not limited to menswear; many women in hip-hop during this time adopted a "tomboy" aesthetic. This trend was exemplified by artists like Aaliyah’s predilection for crop tops paired with oversized pants and outerwear (and iconic outfits like her well-remembered Tommy Hilfiger look.)
Many other female artists donned oversized, menswear-inspired looks, including TLC and their known love for matching outfits featuring baggy overalls, denim, and peeking boxer shorts and Missy Elliott's famous "trash bag" suit worn in her 1997 music video for "The Rain." Speaking to Elle Magazine two decades after the original video release Elliot told the magazine that it was a powerful symbol that helped mask her shyness, "I loved the idea of feeling like a hip hop Michelin woman."
Diddy Launches Sean John
Sean "Diddy" Combs’ launch of Sean John in 1998 was about more than just clothing. Following the success of other successful sportswear brands by music industry legends like Russell Simmons’ Phat Farm, Sean John further represented a lifestyle and a cultural movement. Inspired by his own fashion sensibilities, Diddy wanted to create elevated clothing that reflected the style and swagger of hip-hop. From tailored suits to sportswear, the brand was known for its bold designs and signature logo, and shared space with other successful brands like Jay-Z’s Rocawear and model Kimora Lee Simmons' brand Baby Phat.
Lil' Kim. Photo: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Lil’ Kim Steals The Show
Lil' Kim’s daring and iconic styles found a kindred home at Versace with
In 1999, Lil' Kim made waves at the MTV Video Music Awards with her unforgettable appearance in a lavender jumpsuit designed by Donatella Versace. This iconic moment solidified her close relationship with the fashion designer, and their collaboration played a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of hip-hop fashion, pushing boundaries and embracing bold, daring styles predating other newsworthy moments like J.Lo’s 2000 appearance in "The Dress" at the GRAMMY Awards.
Lil Wayne Popularizes "Bling Bling"
Juvenile & Lil Wayne's "Bling Bling" marked a culturally significant moment. Coined in the late 1990s by Cash Money Records, the term "bling bling" became synonymous with the excessive and flashy display of luxury jewelry. Lil Wayne and the wider Cash Money roster celebrated this opulent aesthetic, solidifying the link between hip-hop music and lavish jewelry. As a result, "bling" became a cornerstone of hip-hop's visual identity.
Jay-Z x Nike Air Force 1
In 2004, Jay-Z's partnership with Nike produced the iconic "Roc-A-Fella" Air Force 1 sneakers, a significant collaboration that helped bridge the worlds of hip-hop and sneaker culture. These limited-edition kicks in white and blue colorways featured the Roc-A-Fella Records logo on the heel and were highly coveted by fans. The collaboration exemplified how hip-hop artists could have a profound impact on sneaker culture and streetwear by putting a unique spin on classic designs. Hova's design lives on in limitless references to fresh white Nike kicks.
Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams. Photo: Mark Davis/WireImage
Pharrell Williams' Hat At The 2014 GRAMMYs
Pharrell Williams made a memorable red carpet appearance at the 2014 GRAMMY Awards in a distinctive and oversized brown hat. Designed by Vivienne Westwood, the hat quickly became the talk of the event and social media. A perfect blend of sartorial daring, Pharrell's hat complemented his red Adidas track jacket while accentuating his unique sense of style. An instant fashion moment, the look sparked innumerable memes and, likely, a renewed interest in headwear.
Kanye’s Rise & Fall At Adidas (2013-2022)
Much more than a "moment," the rise and eventual fall of Kanye’s relationship with Adidas, was as documented in a recent investigation by the New York Times. The story begins in 2013 when West and the German sportswear brand agreed to enter a partnership. The collaboration would sell billions of dollars worth of shoes, known as "Yeezys," until West’s anti-semitic, misogynistic, fat-phobic, and other problematic public comments forced the Adidas brand to break from the partnership amid public outrage.
Supreme Drops x Hip-Hop Greats
Supreme, with its limited drops, bold designs, and collaborations with artists like Nas and Wu-Tang Clan, stands as a modern embodiment of hip-hop's influence on streetwear. The brand's ability to create hype, long lines outside its stores, and exclusive artist partnerships underscores the enduring synergy between hip-hop and street fashion.
A model walks the runway at the Gucci Cruise 2018 show. Photo: Pietro D'Aprano/Getty Images
Gucci Pays "homage" to Dapper Dan
When Gucci released a collection in 2017 that seemingly copied Dapper Dan's distinctive style, (particularly one look that seemed to be a direct re-make of a jacket he had created for Olympian Dionne Dixon in the '80s), it triggered outrage and accusations of cultural theft. This incident sparked a conversation about the fashion industry's tendency to co-opt urban and streetwear styles without proper recognition, while also displaying flagrant symbols of racism through designs.
Eventually, spurred by public outrage, the controversy led to a collaboration between Gucci and Dapper Dan, a significant moment in luxury fashion's acknowledgement and celebration of the contributions of Black culture, including streetwear and hip-hop to high fashion. "Had Twitter not spotted the, "Diane Dixon" [jacket] walking down the Gucci runway and then amplified that conversation on social media... I don't think we would have had this incredible comeback," Sowmya Krishnamurphy says.
A$AP Rocky x DIOR
Self-proclaimed "Fashion Killa" A$AP Rocky is a true fashion aficionado. In 2016, the sartorially obsessed musician and rapper became one of the faces of Dior Homme’s fall/winter campaign shot by photographer Willy Vanderperre — an early example of Rocky's many high fashion collaborations with the luxury European brand.
A$AP Rocky's tailored style and impeccable taste for high fashion labels was eloquently enumerated in the track "Fashion Killa" from his 2013 debut album Long. Live. ASAP, which namedrops some 36 luxury fashion brands. The music video for "Fashion Killa" was co-directed by Virgil Abloh featuring a Supreme jersey-clad Fenty founder, Rihanna long before the two became one of music’s most powerful couples. The track became an anthem for hip-hop’s appreciation for high fashion (and serves as the title for Krishnamurphy’s recently published anthology).
Cardi B. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
Cardi B Wears Vintage Mugler At The 2019 GRAMMYs
Cardi B has solidified her "it girl" fashion status in 2018 and 2019 with bold and captivating style choices and designer collaborations that consistently turn heads. Her 2019 GRAMMYs red carpet appearance in exaggerated vintage Mugler gown, and many custom couture Met Gala looks by designers including Jeremy Scott and Thom Browne that showcased her penchant for drama and extravagance.
But Cardi B's fashion influence extends beyond her penchant for custom high-end designer pieces (like her 2021 gold-masked Schiaparelli look, one of nine looks in an evening.) Her unique ability to blend couture glamour with urban chic (she's known for championing emerging designers and streetwear brands) fosters a sense of inclusivity and diversity, and makes her a true trendsetter.
Beyoncé & Jay-Z in Tiffany & Co.’s "About Love" campaign
The power duo graced Tiffany & Co.'s "About Love'' campaign in 2021, showcasing the iconic "Tiffany Yellow Diamond," a 128.54-carat yellow worn by Beyoncé alongside a tuxedo-clad Jay-Z. The campaign sparked controversy in several ways, with some viewers unable to reconcile the use of such a prominent and historically significant diamond, sourced at the hands of slavery, in a campaign that could be seen as commercializing and diluting the diamond's cultural and historical importance. Despite mixed reaction to the campaign, their stunning appearance celebrated love, adorned with Tiffany jewels and reinforced their status as a power couple in both music and fashion.
Kendrick Lamar Performs At Louis Vuitton
When Kendrick Lamar performed live at the Louis Vuitton Men’s spring-summer 2023 runway show in Paris in June 2022 following the passing of Louis Vuitton’s beloved creative director Virgil Abloh, he underscored the inextricable connection between music, fashion and Black American culture.
Lamar sat front row next to Naomi Campbell, adorned with a jeweled crown of thorns made from diamonds and white gold worth over $2 million, while he performed tracks including "Savior," "N95," and "Rich Spirit'' from his last album, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers before ending with a repeated mantra, "Long live Virgil." A giant children’s toy racetrack erected in the Cour Carrée of the Louvre became a yellow brick road where models marched, clad in designer looks with bold, streetwear-inspired design details, some strapped with oversized wearable stereo systems.
Pharrell Succeeds Virgil Abloh At Louis Vuitton
Pharrell Williams' appointment as the creative director at Louis Vuitton for their men's wear division in 2023 emphasized hip-hop's enduring influence on global fashion. Pharrell succeeded Virgil Abloh, who was the first Black American to hold the position.
Pharrell's path to this prestigious role, marked by his 2004 and 2008 collaborations with Louis Vuitton, as well as the founding of his streetwear label Billionaire Boy’s Club in 2006 alongside Nigo, the founder of BAPE and Kenzo's current artistic director, highlights the growing diversity and acknowledgment of Black talent within high fashion.