Photo: Matthew Murphy
How Broadway-Bound "& Juliet" Reimagines The Music Of Britney Spears And Max Martin For The Musical Theater: Hear The Broadway Version Of "...Baby One More Time"
"& Juliet," a new Broadway musical soundtracked by beloved pop songs of the last three decades, is reimagining Max Martin's music in a different arena: musical theater. Hear a sneak peek in this remake of the Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time."
The original "...Baby One More Time" permanently changed the sound of pop music. Now, Broadway is up next.
First heard in 1998, the memorable opening to "...Baby One More Time" — that piercing, unforgettable three-note piano riff recognized around the globe — introduced Britney Spears to the world.
Behind the historic debut was five-time GRAMMY winner and superproducer Max Martin, who wrote and produced the track that would launch Spears into the mainstream and pave the way for the next generation of women in pop.
Now, "& Juliet," a new musical that imagines what might've happened if Juliet lived at the end of "Romeo and Juliet" and is soundtracked by beloved pop songs of the last three decades, is reimagining Martin's music in a different arena: musical theater. The musical, which premiered in England in 2019 and debuts on Broadway in New York City this fall, features an array of Martin/Spears classics as well as songs like "Everybody" (Backstreet Boys), "Domino" (Jessie J), "Since U Been Gone" (Kelly Clarkson), and "Can't Feel My Face" (the Weeknd).
Ahead of the musical's debut, Martin and the "& Juliet" crew are premiering the Broadway version of "...Baby One More Time" exclusively on GRAMMY.com ahead of the cast recording's release, also out October 28.
The song, co-orchestrated and arranged by two-time GRAMMY winner Bill Sherman ("Hamilton," "In the Heights"), builds on a greater string section and nods to Martin's original piano riff; it also introduces newcomer Lorna Courtney.
"The plodding strings and drums are akin to Juliet's heartbeat as she describes the trouble that she is in and how she longs to change her path. As we were creating the overall tone and sound of the show, we thought that the string quartet could act as the glue between today's pop music and the sounds of the Shakespearean era," Sherman tells GRAMMY.com.
Encounters with pop music in high school and college fostered GRAMMY winner Stark Sands' love for the genre. Sands plays Shakespeare, but it wasn't until he was cast that he reflected on the impact artists such as Spears had in his life.
"Those hits were ubiquitous, and my radio was always on — from my bedroom to my car to my headphones — so I walked into '& Juliet' knowing these songs backwards and forwards," Sands tells GRAMMY.com. "They already had significance and a sense of place in my life from that time. But after being immersed in '& Juliet' for just a few months, these same songs have a new and different meaning and connection to my day-to-day life. I'm really excited for fans of the show to discover the same thing."
Sands also had a positive experience working with Martin on "& Juliet." "Based on Max's track record, he could easily be an intimidating producer to work with, but of course, it's the exact opposite. He's the most encouraging and supportive person you could imagine, and having that kind of bedside manner in a recording studio, combined with his uncanny knack of crafting hits, is obviously a winning formula."
This story echoes those of Sands working with Cyndi Lauper and Billie Joe Armstrong in "Kinky Boots" and "American Idiot," respectively. They pushed his artistic limits and provided creative affirmation, which he's now bringing to his "& Juliet" role.
"Billie Joe taught me to let go and access those deep, ugly emotions that we're conditioned to repress and how to release them into a song," Sands said. "Working with Cyndi on 'Kinky Boots' showed me how to stand up for myself as an artist and reinforced my desire to constantly strive for improvement."
He hopes "& Juliet" has as deep an impact on Broadway as "…Baby One More Time" has had on music, especially after the industry's extended shutdown.
"There's a magic there that doesn't exist anywhere else — you can feel it as an audience member and as a performer."
As long as there's loneliness to confess, the message of "& Juliet" will resonate with seasoned and new theatergoers and music enthusiasts alike, regardless of age. And with "& Juliet" in tow, Martin, a singular presence in pop music, is now destined to become a torchbearer of Broadway's magic and promise.
Jay Z Tops 56th GRAMMY Nominations With Nine
Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell Williams earn seven nods each; other top nominees include Daft Punk, Drake, Lorde, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift
Nominations for the 56th GRAMMY Awards were announced tonight by The Recording Academy and reflected one of the most diverse years with the Album Of The Year category alone representing the rap, pop, country and dance/electronica genres, as determined by the voting members of The Academy. Once again, nominations in select categories for the annual GRAMMY Awards were announced on primetime television as part of "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night," a one-hour CBS entertainment special broadcast live from Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
Jay Z tops the nominations with nine; Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell Williams each garner seven nods; Drake and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig are up for five awards.
"This year's nominations reflect the talented community of music makers who represent some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry of the year in their respective fields," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Once again, The Academy's awards process and its voting membership have produced an impressive list of nominations across various genres promising music fans a spectacular show filled with stellar performances and unique 'GRAMMY Moments.' We are off to a great start and look forward to GRAMMY Sunday as Music's Biggest Night takes the stage."
Following are the nominations in the General Field categories:
Album Of The Year:
The Blessed Unrest — Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City — Kendrick Lamar
The Heist — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red — Taylor Swift
Record Of The Year:
"Get Lucky" — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
"Radioactive" — Imagine Dragons
"Royals" — Lorde
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Bruno Mars
"Blurred Lines" — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
Song Of The Year:
"Just Give Me A Reason" — Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
"Roar" — Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
"Royals" — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
"Same Love" — Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert)
Best New Artist:
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Following is a sampling of nominations in the GRAMMY Awards' other 29 Fields:
For Best Pop Solo Performance, the nominees are "Brave" by Sara Bareilles; "Royals" by Lorde; "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars; "Roar" by Katy Perry; and "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake.
The nominees for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance are "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams; "Just Give Me A Reason" by Pink Featuring Nate Ruess; "Stay" by Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko; "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams; and "Suit & Tie" by Justin Timberlake & Jay Z.
For Best Dance/Electronica Album, the nominees are Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; Settle by Disclosure; 18 Months by Calvin Harris; Atmosphere by Kaskade; and A Color Map Of The Sun by Pretty Lights.
The Best Rock Performance nominees are "Always Alright" by Alabama Shakes; "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" by David Bowie; "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons; "Kashmir (Live)" by Led Zeppelin; "My God Is The Sun" by Queens Of The Stone Age; and "I'm Shakin'" by Jack White.
For Best Alternative Music Album, the nominees are The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You by Neko Case; Trouble Will Find Me by The National; Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails; Lonerism by Tame Impala; Modern Vampires Of The City by Vampire Weekend.
The nominees for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration are "Power Trip" by J.Cole Featuring Miguel; "Part II (On The Run)" by Jay Z Featuring Beyoncé; "Holy Grail" by Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake; "Now Or Never" by Kendrick Lamar Featuring Mary J. Blige; and "Remember You" by Wiz Khalifa Featuring The Weeknd.
For Best Rap Album, the nominees are Nothing Was The Same by Drake; Magna Carta…Holy Grail by Jay Z; Good Kid, M.A.A.D City by Kendrick Lamar; The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; and Yeezus by Kanye West.
The Best Country Album nominees are Night Train by Jason Aldean; Two Lanes Of Freedom by Tim McGraw; Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves; Based On A True Story by Blake Shelton; and Red by Taylor Swift.
The nominees for Best Americana Album are Old Yellow Moon by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell; Love Has Come For You by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell; Buddy And Jim by Buddy Miller And Jim Lauderdale; One True Vine by Mavis Staples; and Songbook by Allen Toussaint.
This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to Rob Cavallo, Dr. Luke, Ariel Rechtshaid, Jeff Tweedy, and Pharrell Williams.
This year's GRAMMY Awards process registered more than 22,000 submissions over a 12-month eligibility period (Oct. 1, 2012 – Sept. 30, 2013). GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 11 to the voting members of The Recording Academy. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 8, 2014, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the 56th GRAMMY telecast.
The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Jan. 26, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, and Louis J. Horvitz is director.
For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
GRAMMY Insider: Eminem, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake
All the GRAMMY winners news, including this week's No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 and a new university course on the Boss
(The GRAMMY Insider keeps you up to date about news on your favorite GRAMMY winners, including information about new album releases, tour updates, notable media appearances, interviews, and more.)
It was a "Berzerk" week for Eminem, whose The Marshall Mathers LP 2 debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 792,000 units sold, marking the second-biggest debut of the year behind Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, which moved 968,000 units in March.
The gospel according to Bruce Springsteen will soon be part of the curriculum at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Available as a freshman seminar, the course will examine the theology of the Boss' entire catalogue and will be taught by professor and longtime Springsteen fan Azzan Yadin-Israel.
The 20th anniversary of the release of Frank Sinatra's 1993 Duets album will be celebrated on Nov. 19 with the release of Frank Sinatra: Sinatra Duets — Twentieth Anniversary, a deluxe package that will also include Sinatra's 1994 follow-up, Duets II. In related news, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey has announced Sinatra Select, a specially crafted bottle inspired by the Chairman himself. … On Nov. 25 Barbra Streisand will release Back To Brooklyn, a live album/DVD package commemorating her two-night homecoming stay at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2012. On Nov. 29 PBS will air the concert in its entirety as part of its Arts Fall Festival. … Britney Spears will release her new album Britney Jean on Dec. 3. The album will feature guest appearances by will.i.am, T.I. and Spears' sister, Jamie Lynn.
T-Swizzle and hip-hop? Taylor Swift recently paid tribute to Eminem with an acoustic cover of his GRAMMY-winning song "Lose Yourself" during an interview on Pittsburgh's WOGI-FM. … The music of Jack White will be celebrated on the forthcoming album Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute To Jack White, set for release on Nov. 19. Artists paying tribute to White include Gary U.S. Bonds, Wanda Jackson and Shooter Jennings.
Witches, actors and Stevie Nicks … oh my. According to a report this season of "American Horror Story: Coven" will be graced with a bewitching appearance by the legendary Fleetwood Mac singer. … Fab Four fans, save the date: "The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles" will air on CBS Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, from 8–10 p.m. ET/PT. The primetime special will celebrate the remarkable legacy of the seven-time GRAMMY-winning group and their historic first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" — exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of the original event.
Jay-Z's Made In America concert documentary was directed by Ron Howard and will be released to theaters in 2014. … Kill The Trumpet Player, the long-awaited biopic on jazz pioneer Miles Davis, is now underway with Don Cheadle serving as director and actor in the role of Davis, alongside Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana.
When asked about having babies, newlywed Kelly Clarkson said she and husband Brandon Blackstock are trying "like rabbits." … Former "American Idol" judge Mariah Carey recently likened her stint as a judge on the series — along with Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban — to "going to work every day in hell with Satan," but didn't reveal who "Satan" might be.
Photo: Jo Hale/Redferns
Taylor Swift On Track For Top-Selling Tour For Summer 2018
Ed Sheeran earns top per-show act status according to StubHub's annual preview report, with the Eagles, Harry Styles, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z also ranking high on the list
Last week we asked you to vote on your most anticipated summer tour, from the TDE Championship Tour and G-Eazy to Luke Bryan, Harry Styles, and more. On May 30 Stub Hub released their fourth annual report on the hottest in-demand summer 2018 tours by the numbers. Let's see how your vote stacks up.
Taylor Swift is predicted to be the top-selling act overall and the seventh highest when calculating the per-show rate, while Ed Sheeran raked in the best overall position according to per-show sales spanning U.S. tour dates from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2018.
Overall, Swift is followed by the Eagles' tour at No. 2, who also placed third highest when factoring in a per-show rate. Third overall was Styles, followed by Beyoncé and Jay-Z's co-headlining tour at No. 4 and the Foo Fighters at No. 5. Others who made the Top 10 for best-selling artist overall include Kenny Chesney, U2, Journey and Def Leppard's co-headlining tour, and Sam Smith (No. 10).
George Strait rounded out second place for most sales per show behind Sheeran. Pearl Jam, whose guitarist Mike McCready was just honored at the 2018 MusiCares Concert For Recovery, also placed in the Top 10 for best-selling act per show, along with Billy Joel, Justin Timberlake, Pink, U2, and the Foo Fighters.
Billboard pointed out that women had a strong representation among the Top 30 overall and per-show tours. In addition to T-Swizzle and Queen Bey, Britney Spears, Shakira, and Shania Twain all earned prominent placement. Swift also outpaced her closest companions on the list by a wide margin, besting the Eagles by 40 percent and Styles by 65 percent.
So what do you think? Where did your favorite artist rank via the numbers?
GRAMMY Winners To Perform At Haiti Benefit
GRAMMY Winners To Perform At Haiti Benefit
GRAMMY-winning artists Christina Aguilera, Bono, Alicia Keys, and Sting are among the artists who will perform at the "Hope For Haiti Now" benefit taking place Jan. 22 in New York. Hosted by GRAMMY winner Wyclef Jean, the show will be televised across more than a dozen broadcast and cable networks and will benefit Oxfam America, Red Cross, and UNICEF, among others, in support of the victims of the recent Haiti earthquake. (1/19)
Celine Dion Is Decade's Top-Earning Artist
Celine Dion has been named the No. 1 artist on the Los Angeles Times' Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking of artists' combined album sales and concert revenue from the past decade. Dion totaled $748 million in revenue, followed by Kenny Chesney with $742 million, Dave Matthews Band with $737.4 million, the Beatles with $627.3 million, and U2 with $609.7 million. Rounding out the list were Toby Keith, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Tim McGraw, and Britney Spears. (1/19)
BRIT Awards Nominees Announced
The BRIT Awards 2010 nominees were announced with Lily Allen, Florence & The Machine, Lady Gaga, and Pixie Lott leading the field with three nominations each. Others artists receiving nods include Dizzee Rascal, Jay-Z, JLS, La Roux, and Paolo Nutini. The BRIT Awards will take place Feb. 16 at Earls Court Arena in London. (1/19)
Japanese Physical Market Declines
Audio production totaled 214.3 million units in Japan in 2009, a 13 percent decline from the previous year, for a value of $2.75 billion, representing a 16 percent year-over-year decline, according to Recording Industry Association of Japan. While audio production declined, music video production totaled 59.2 million units, up 6 percent over 2008, for a value of $739 million, a 2 percent increase. (1/19)