meta-scriptAnn Wilson Speaks Fiercely From The Heart |
Ann Wilson fierce bliss
Ann Wilson performs at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

Photo: Steve Jennings/WireImage


Ann Wilson Speaks Fiercely From The Heart

In a career spanning interview, Heart’s lead singer reflects on her new solo album 'Fierce Bliss,' all that’s come before and what’s in store for the band’s 50th anniversary.

GRAMMYs/Jul 18, 2022 - 06:39 pm

Months after the pandemic started, singer Ann Wilson felt the need to be inspired and energized. So she and her husband rented a tour bus and traveled from her Florida home (where she moved from Seattle in 2016) across the U.S. They visited several national parks before driving up to Seattle and down to Los Angeles — a route Wilson has known well over the course of her career as the frontwoman of Heart.

Wilson’s intense wanderlust most likely has its roots in the numerous moves she made with her parents when she was a child. Her father, affectionately nicknamed "Dotes" (as detailed in the Ann and Nancy Wilson autobiography Kicking And Dreaming, co-authored with Charles R. Cross), was a World War II veteran and officer in the Marines, which required numerous moves around the world. While growing up, the Wilson family lived on both the east and west coasts of the U.S., as well as in Taiwan. "There was one English speaking radio station out of the Philippines and that’s where I first heard Little Richard and Elvis and everything that was on the radio," she recalls of that time.

As it turned out, moving around during the pandemic was creatively fruitful for Wilson, who recently turned 72 years old. She recorded several singles in 2021 (including a blistering version of "Rooster" by Alice In Chains) and has followed this up with her just released third solo album Fierce Bliss, which includes original material and covers that include songs by Queen (recorded with Vince Gill), Eurythmics, Robin Trower and Jeff Buckley. 

Around the time she recorded Fierce Bliss, a studio session with Kenny Wayne Shepherd proved so successful that Wilson ended up collaborating with several Nashville studio musicians at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama, among them Tom Bukovac and Tony Lucido. The musicians — now known as "The Amazing Dawgs" — are currently on a national tour with Wilson that runs through September.

During a recent Zoom chat with, Wilson talked about a wide range of topics — from Fierce to maintaining her vocal range and her songwriting process, to some notable live appearances and reflections on musicians she’s met along the way. Wilson also discussed whether she and sister Nancy will reform Heart for their 50th anniversary in 2023.

**There’s so much to take in with Fierce Bliss. The single "Greed" is almost like an instant classic and then it’s surprising to see you cover both Queen and Eurythmics. What was your thinking behind some of these?**

Well, those four covers are songs that I just loved so much and spoke to me and I wasn't satisfied until I got inside them. I had to sing them. I had to meld with them, you know, and I was lucky enough to get [guitarist] Kenny Wayne Shepherd to come and play on "Bridge Of Sighs"  and "Missionary Man"  and Vince Gill to sing on "Love Of My Life." 

Was there a reason why you chose those songs to cover?

Yeah, the reason is that I just loved those songs so much and I  couldn't be satisfied until I got to sing them myself. The musicians I'm working with right now have great ideas and they're just great players and fiery and all that. So a song like the Jeff Buckley song "Forget Her" just blossomed into something that was mine, you know? And it was a great experience all around with those four.

It appears that you met the band in Nashville, jammed and just really hit it off. Then you went down to Muscle Shoals Studios.

We actually met in Muscle Shoals at Fame Studios. I had asked Tom Bukovac to be my main guitarist and he  brought with him [bassist] Tony Lucido. [Drummer] Sean Lane is from Seattle, and [guitar and keyboardist] Paul Moak is from Nashville, and we just gelled in this way that rarely happens during a first meeting. It was almost like magic.

How do you define that? When you say "gel" is it because the ideas are flowing and there’s a good feeling amongst all of you? What is it?

That's part of it. The other big part of it is, can you hang out? Is it a great hang? Do you have a sense of humor that meshes? Can you do some shots together and everybody can hang in and be cool and have fun? 

It was almost like meeting old friends. And the songs kept coming and now we’re writing for another album. So yeah, it’s working and we’ve got something really good going on.

Jennifer Hudson recorded at Muscle Shoals recently as well and also recognized the vibe. Did you feel a sense of recorded history there?

You do, you do. And it's a very unassuming place. It’s in the middle of this little kind of nowheresville town, so there's not a bunch of distractions and you just go in there and it's small, funky and vibey. It's just got this sort of welcoming, warm, relaxing, feel about it. It does have the magic that people talk about. There's just an energy there that just makes you wanna open up.  You don't feel inhibited and the ideas just start coming and everyone feels safe. 

The people who run the place are still very down to earth and real. It does give me fresh energy, especially to be out of a corporate type situation. You’re not always looking at yourself in the mirror because your attorney is going to show up or the manager. It’s just you and the musicians. 

**With Fierce Bliss, was there a lyrical theme?**

Well, during the quarantine lockdown period in ‘20 and ‘21,  there was enough peace and quiet around here in the house — just me and my husband. I got to the point where my thoughts got really super loud and I just started writing things down. So the lyrics that I wrote for this record are products of different things that had been inside me for a while. Like the song "Black Wing," I was looking out the window — I live on a river — and all the sea birds are out there free and we're locked in the house.

So I started talking to the birds and that became "Black Wing."  "Greed," I just thought about from checking out the national and world situation. It’s just everywhere. You know, it's just at this high point that I've never seen before in my life. So I just thought, ‘Yeah, there’s a topic’ [Laughs] The words I wrote just all came from my own thoughts.

How is it going on tour now? We’re just leaving COVID and some places are still in it. What precautions do you have to take?

It’s not over, you know, it's just shifting, but to be out on the road, you have to be super careful and I'm guilty of not being careful. We were out on the road last time and I  got too relaxed and  did a meet and greet after a show without a mask. A couple of days later I tested positive.

I'm back — I'm negative now — and I'm feeling good. But just that one little momentary slip and there it was, you know? [Laughs] So we have to be super careful. We have all kinds of protocols. Everyone wears a mask when they’re out amongst the people and are vaccinated and boosted. That’s about the most you can do, really.

With regards to your vocals, how do you keep your voice in such good shape? 

There's no real easy answer to that. I just think that I’m  basically a healthy person and have never smoked or screamed or anything like that. I don't ever mistake  screaming for singing. They're smoking and making their voice do all kinds of really dramatic things and their voice won't be able to take it forever.  

My feeling really is that it's not so much about the skin of the throat. It's about the opening of the soul. If the soul is open, the rest seems to follow because of the mind body connection. I just drink lots of water, try to get sleep, warm up properly before, and then that's it. What I like to do is choose a CD of someone I really like and sing along with before I go on stage. That's a good 40 minutes to warm up right there. Last time out it was Lucinda WilliamsCar Wheels On A Gravel Road record. I’ve been known to do Emmylou Harris and U2 – just various things that depend on whatever mood I’m in at the time.

Going back in your career, there’s a reported story that you and Nancy attended the GRAMMYs (Heart was nominated for four GRAMMY Awards, beginning in 1986), but were scared to be there. What happened?

We were, yeah. And it was for the silliest of girly reasons. It was because that particular show you got up from your seat and you had to climb this flight of steps up to the stage if you won the award. And we didn't want people looking at our butts when we climbed the stairs. But of course, if we would've won, we would've been just fine with it. But we were sitting there going, "Oh my God, does this dress make me look fat?" You know, wow [laughs]. And, we didn’t win, so no worries. But, uh…

Are those types of awards and honors important to you?

Oh, to me, they're flattering. It feels good to be recognized and acknowledged for sure, but it would never be the reason why I'd be doing this. The reason that I do this is for the joy of music.

How do you perceive yourself as an artist?

Well, I perceive myself as never being that comfortable with any kind of formula. The minute somebody says, "You should be doing this,"  that's the minute I start to rebel . So I'm probably never going to be very pliable in people's hands when it comes to creativity. 

But there's something in me that just wants to write and wants to do it. That’s an unnameable thing. It’s kind of like a calling. When I have a good period of writing, when everything seems to be clicking, that is just the most satisfying thing for me. And I don't have any concept of what retirement would be like. I just don't. I think that  my great-grandchildren will probably have to come and drag me off stage.

In your autobiography, there are many well known artists who you have encountered. Some are real historical figures in the musical realm. Do you reflect on your time with Queen, The Rolling Stones and others, or is it just another day?

No, it's never another day. I mean, sometimes I look back on some of those experiences and can’t believe that they really happened. Because at the time that you meet someone like Mick Jagger or Bono it’s always a surprise at how human they are. It’s just like you’re talking to another fellow musician. So, at the time I never really got starstruck, but then later I would go "Wow, that was Bono!" [Laughs]

Your vocal performance of  “Stairway To Heaven” in front of members of Led Zeppelin (at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2016) now has 80 million views on YouTube. What were your memories of that day and what pressure did you feel?

That was a dream day. You wake up and go to a breakfast and then they take you to the White House where you meet the President and First Lady and, and it's like a cocktail hour type thing. You see all kinds of luminaries just hanging about in the White House. Then, you go back to the Kennedy Center and you do your set or your song. And then you go to a big dinner afterward with all the luminaries again,. It's a day where you don't have time to sit and freak out. It's one thing after another, all timed and planned for you. So you just let yourself be a sack of potatoes and get carried through this day.

When your moment comes on the stage, I felt that it was extremely important for me not to get nervous, but to be completely serene while singing that song. At that point I was learning entry level meditation techniques. So I made myself calm before I went on and just did it.  Later I got nervous after it was over like, Wow, did we just do that? From where we were on the stage, we could not see the Led Zeppelin guys up in the boxes or the President that well. So I didn't know that they had an emotional reaction to it until I saw it on YouTube later, like everyone else.

I thought it was very sweet and our mission that day was to please and honor them. And I think that we did please them. So mission accomplished, you know!

You’ve always done many Led Zeppelin covers but your love of the Beatles has been made clear over the years. Are they neck and neck for you?

Yeah, I guess that the difference would be, I feel really uncomfortable ever doing Beatles covers. You know, this is holy stuff. But I think Led Zeppelin is different. I mean, I think that it's holy — especially "Stairway To Heaven" is just a piece of cultural iconography at this point — but  their songs begged to be covered.

You’ve been asked about being a woman in the music industry many times, so let’s not go down that path. But do you feel that what you’re able to do with music is better today, or do you prefer the expansiveness and how rough it was when you were first starting out?

It's not binary for me.I think that  a lot of the ways we used to do things are good and have carried over into the future and the present. For instance, analog recording where you're all in the same room, looking at each other's eyes is something that I think is timeless. 

Social media is the best outreach you can get at a time when touring is difficult. There's Spotify and all that kind of stuff, but there's no big voice over the land that does your advertising for you. You have to do it yourself. So, that's something that I really prefer. But I think it's also very dangerous because of how it can spread bulls*** and people believe it because they read it, you know?

Do you watch any artists today and think they could use some mentoring? After all, you dealt with so many artists in Seattle, particularly during the city's grunge era. Did you ever pull them aside and say ‘You don’t want to go down this path’?

No. I don't think anybody would have dared say that kind of stuff to them because they had a full head of steam on all those guys. They  wanted to say, "F— you" to everything. 

But what I did do, was at that point in Seattle, I had a house that was centrally located on Capitol Hill, which is where most everything was going on. I opened it up to them many times and there were lots of nights where Soundgarden and Mudhoney and Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains would come and hang out and just intermingle with each other. And guitars would come out and people would go swimming in the pool and sit around on my carpets and drink beer (laughs). 

That was a good thing for them because it was a safe house and  lots of people — quite a few people — from that era didn't make it out alive. So there was a lot of tragedy. The loss of [Alice In Chains lead singer] Layne Staley, for instance, and just the different ones. So there was a lot of grief that went on as a group, as a music community and that’s where we got close.

It sounds like you really love these creative communities where people let the music ideas flow.

Yeah. I think that where the magic happens is when people get together and exchange ideas and bounce off each other.

You’re so prolific right now. You’ve mentioned the possibility of another album already. Do you see this carrying on?

Yeah, I do see it carrying on.  I never make predictions about success. I gave that up a long time ago, trying to predict what song's gonna be the next hit single or whatever. That is just unknowable to me. But what I can do now with these ideas I have is just get 'em down and go in with this group of excellent musicians. I have the “Amazing Dawgs” and shape 'em and what we have is really energized, fiery and sharp. I think it’s working for us right now. It’s real.

Obviously, you have a big anniversary coming up. Do you have plans for that?

Yes we do. I’m not at liberty to say exactly what they are yet because it’s such early days, but sure. It will be next year. And we’re doing a thing. Definitely. We’re still formulating it now.

Nancy Wilson On Her New Album, 'You & Me,' Missing The "Angels" Of Rock & The Future Of Heart

Rihanna attends Marvel Studios' "Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever" Premiere on October 26, 2022 in Hollywood, California.

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images


10 Love Songs That Have Nothing to Do With Love: From "Every Breath You Take" To "Baby It's Cold Outside"

Don't let the song titles fool you. From misogynist attitudes to tales of coercion and even a secret pregnancy, many popular love songs aren't about love at all.

GRAMMYs/Feb 14, 2024 - 03:46 pm

Many studies on love have proven that it seems to be a trait present throughout species. Although it's undeniable that the capacity for love is universal, evidence suggests love manifests differently across individuals. That is why, for many people, love is undefinable, with the word meaning something for one and something else for another. 

This point has never been proven more true than in love songs. Numerous musicians and bands have sung about love, but their definition or meaning of the word and yours might be wholly different. You would be surprised to learn how many love songs have absolutely nothing to do with emotional or physical love.

When you delve beneath the surface, "love" songs are sometimes twisted, uncomfortable, sadistic, and unsavory. So, let's look at 10 love songs with nothing to do with love and everything to do with what they shouldn’t. 

"Every Breath You Take" - the Police 

When the Police released "Every Breath You Take" in 1983, it immediately became a huge hit, reaching No.1 on U.S., UK, Canadian, Irish, and South African charts. On the surface, this song seems romantic, which is why it made its way into numerous movie scenes and weddings, but the lyrics are uncomfortable and prove the song is not actually about love. 

Frontman Sting sings, "I'll be watching you," and, "Oh, can't you see, you belong to me?" about the song's object of affection. Rather than lyrics about a lover, it's believed that the song is about a stalker. At the time Sting was suffering a mental breakdown, making the verses infinitely more evil.

In fact, Sting himself said: "I think it's a nasty little song, really rather evil. It's about jealousy and surveillance and ownership."

"Rollercoaster of Love" - Ohio Players 

On the surface, the lyrics "It's a rollercoaster ride/we're on top for the moment/ and then we'll take that dive" seem to describe a relationship's exhilarating ups and downs. However, there has been much debate over the years about the true meaning behind the Ohio Players' staple. 

The most popular theory is that the song is about life's ups and downs, not love, but we'll never know. According to late frontman Leroy Bronner who wrote the tune, "To this day, I don't know what I wrote." He continued, "The words didn't make sense to me. But it was a hit."

The song also has a much darker recording humor, which further alienates it from the genre of love songs. According to the rumor to which the band responded "No comment," the scream on the track was the sound of a woman being murdered in the recording studio. 

The woman's death is an urban legend, but the band decided to leave it in as a joke and as a way to create buzz for the song, with the actual scream belonging to keyboard player Billy Beck. 

"Can't Feel My Face" - the Weeknd  

The Weeknd is well known for penning lyrics that have multiple meanings, so it's not surprising that his hit track "Can't Feel My Face" isn't really about love. 

With the lyrics: "I can't feel my face when I'm with you/But I love it" and "And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb/And she'll always get the best of me; the worst is yet to come." It sounds like a dark love song about a man who is so in love that he loses all control, which is plausible, but it's more likely the song is about cocaine. 

According to Billboard, the song is about drug dependency, and the Weeknd is crooning about cocaine and likening it to a bad relationship. The Weeknd had hinted at the song being about drugs when he commented: "I just won a new award for a kids' show, Talking 'bout a face numbing off a bag of blow." Unfortunately, it's not very romantic. 

"Umbrella" - Rihanna

Most believe that one of Rihanna's most famous songs is about a woman comforting her partner and explaining that she will be there for him through the good and bad times. "Baby 'cause in the dark you can't see shiny cars/And that's when you need me there. With you, I'll always share," she sings.

However, a few people believe "Umbrella" is about the corruption of a person's soul – Rhianna's in this case. Some believe that the 2007 hit is about Rhianna welcoming the devil into her heart, body, and soul. While this is more of a conspiracy theory than anything else,  a pastor recently posted on TikTok that he came back from hell, and "Umbrella" was one of the songs being used to torture individuals. 

"All I Wanna Do is Make Love To You" -  Heart

If you listen carefully to the lyrics in "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," it's clear that the 1990 song actually about deceit. 

Nancy and Ann Wilson are singing about being in love with another man who cannot provide her with children because he is impotent — so she finds a willing one-night stand. She sings, "I didn't ask him his name, this lonely boy in the rain." When morning comes, the protagonist says "All I left him was a note/ I told him I am the flower; you are the seed. We walked in the garden; we planted a tree."

After some time has passed, she's unnerved to come across his path, presumably pregnant: "You can imagine his surprise when he saw his own eyes/I said please, please understand/I'm in love with another man/And what he couldn't give me was the one little thing that you can."

"Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga

"Bad Romance" was developed as an experimental pop record featuring elements of German techno and house. With more than 184 million YouTube streams, the 2008 track quickly became one of Lady Gaga's best songs. 

On the surface, "Bad Romance" centers on the pull of a love that's bad for you: "I want your ugly, I want your disease/I want your everything as long as it's free/I want your love." However, it's not so straightforward. 

Gaga said she drew inspiration from the paranoia she experienced while on tour. She also stated the song is about her attraction to unhealthy romantic romances that are not always about love. 

"Young Girl" - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

Not all love is appropriate, as the song "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap proves. This 1968 single is wholly inappropriate and creepy (and illegal), but it still managed to become one of the band's best-known songs. In fact, despite the lyrics being more about unsavory infatuation than love, it still reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (just behind "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"). 

Initially, this song doesn't appear inappropriate with lyrics  "Young girl, get out of my mind" possibly referencing the romance of a slight age gap. But the group doubles down: "My love for you is way out of line/ Better run, girl/You're much too young, girl."

If these words aren't enough to prove the song is about being infatuated with an underage girl, you might be convinced by lead singer Gary Puckett singing, "Beneath your perfume and make-up you're just a baby in disguise" and "Get out of here before I have the time to change my mind." 

"Under My Thumb" - by the Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have had their share of controversy over the years, and it's not hard to see why when you consider the meaning behind many of their big hits. "Under My Thumb" might have been marketed as a love song, but it's about a relationship rooted in hate and control. 

With lyrics such as "Under my thumb/It's a squirmin' dog who's just had her day/Under my thumb/

A girl who has just changed her ways," it's apparent that Mick Jagger is singing less about heartbreak and more about power. The misogyny is so clear in this song that it made it into the book Under My Thumb: Songs That Hate Women and the Women That Love Them.

"Baby It's Cold Outside" - Dean Martin 

One of the most popular holiday season love songs, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written by Frank Loessser and performed by Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald. It's difficult to say if these musicians knew the song's sinister and controversial underbelly. 

"Baby It's Cold Outside" is about a man who pressures a woman to stay at his home by any means necessary. The woman in the song tries to give reasons why she cannot stay with lyrics like "My mother will start to worry" and "My father will be pacing the floor." Yet, her concerns are shot down at every turn, with the man using the bad weather outside to keep her captive. Fortunately, the song has been remade with consensual lyrics, thanks to Kelly Clarkson and John Legend

"You're Gorgeous" - Babybird

This song may have a happy rhythm, but if you pay attention to the lyrics, there is much more to this song than meets the eye. Although the song appears to be about a man who would do anything for his lady love, it is about exploitation. 

This song — the British group's biggest hit, from 1996 — is about a sleazy photographer who takes advantage of a young and naive model and photographs her for men's magazines. The lyrics "You got me to hitch my knees up/And pulled my legs apart" details the true nature of this song.

"People should never be told how to interpret a song," Babybird told the blog Essentially Pop. "So, if they thought it was romantic, then fine." He continued, "Sadly, very few people got the true meaning, which is about male predatory behavior, but in popular music, most critics are a little blind to correct interpretation."

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Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and brother Noel Gallagher in 1995
Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and brother Noal Gallagher in 1995

Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images


7 Musical Sibling Rivalries: CCR, Oasis, The Kinks & More

Sometimes arguments between siblings are brief and forgiving. Other times, the damage is irreparable. Read on for seven historic sibling rivalries, break-ups and reunions in rock and pop history.

GRAMMYs/Nov 27, 2023 - 04:04 pm

It stands to reason that, in music, the family that plays together stays together, although that’s not always the case.

For every Kings of Leon, Haim, Jonas BrothersJackson 5, Osmonds, Isley Brothers, Bee Gees or Hanson that stand the test of time, there are other family-based groups where the grueling and interdependent nature of rock stardom has led to dissension in the ranks.

 Sometimes those arguments between siblings are brief and forgiving. On other occasions, wedges are forged and sides are taken, resulting in either a permanent breakup of an act; a launch into new creative horizons; or hopefully a reconciliation.

 Here are seven well-known acts whose internal bickering between has led to either unexpected ends or surprising detours

The Everly Brothers: Don & Phil Everly

The Everlys' close-knit country pop and rock 'n' roll harmonies — which netted immortal chart-toppers "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up, Little Susie" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream" — inspired everyone from the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. As such, it's difficult to fathom that the Don and Phil Everly were so at odds for the better part of a decade that they'd spend entire evenings together on stage without exchanging a word.

A 2014 Los Angeles Times article reported that "vastly different views on politics and life," drove a wedge between  Don and Phil.  The brothers broke up at least twice; their first estrangement followed a 1973 show at the California theme park Knott's Berry Farm, when Phil smashed his guitar and walked offstage.

That split resulted in separate careers up until a 1983 reunion at London's Royal Albert Hall and the recording of several albums, including EB'84 with producer Dave Edmunds.

Phil Everly died of pneumonia in 2014 at the age of 74, while Don succumbed to undisclosed causes at the age of 84 in 2021.

 It is unknown if the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipients ever reconciled.

 The Louvin Brothers: Ira & Charlie Louvin

Grand Ole Opry legends and brothers Charlie and Ira Louvin are known for such songs as "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby" and "Hope That You're Hoping."

Born in Henagar, Alabama, the Louvin's country, bluegrass and gospel sound developed from their strict Baptist upbringing.  Yet the brothers preached one philosophy in song, Ira, who complemented Charlie's guitar on mandolin,  lived another: His inability to resist vices — drinking and womanizing — prompted Charlie to go solo in 1963.

Ira continued to lead a colorful life: his third wife shot him four times in the chest and twice in the hand after he allegedly tried to kill her with a telephone cord- but Louvin survived.

However, it was a 1965 car crash that eventually claimed Ira and his fourth wife, Anne: they were killed by a drunk driver. 

The tragedy cut short any chance of  a duo reunion, although Charlie enjoyed several Top 40 country hits through 1971. 

The Louvin Brothers were  enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. 

The Kinks: Ray & Dave Davies

English rock rebels the Kinks have sold more than 50 million albums since forming in the '60s, although most of their  hits — "Lola," " You Really Got Me," "Apeman," "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" and "Come Dancing" among others — stemmed from the pen of Ray Davies.

Contrary to popular belief, brother Dave says he is good with that equation — but admits that the relationship between them is naturally tumultuous.

Dave Davies explained the dynamics of his relationship with Ray to The Daily Mail in 2017, describing it as "a married couple who have just reached the end of the road."

"You know when one partner gives and gives and the other takes, and finally you realise (sic) you can’t do it any more?’

"You can’t divorce your brother, though. ‘No, you can’t. So we are stuck with each other, but I think I’ve accepted that this is just the way our relationship is.

In a separate interview with  The Daily Express in 2011, Ray agreed. "When we were together it was aggressive, violent, powerful but we triggered off each other."

Still, the dust-ups between them were legendary, leading to a two-decade rift.

As recently as 2018, there's been talk that Ray and Dave Davies had buried the hatchet and were intent on reuniting the Kinks... but here we are in 2023 and that possibility seems no closer to reality.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: John & Tom Fogerty

After American rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) formed in El Cerrito, California in 1959 (they began as the Blue Velvets and rechristened themselves several times before settling on CCR in 1968), it was clear that lead singer, guitarist and songwriter John Fogerty was calling the shots — including acting as the band's manager.

CCR included Fogerty's brother Tom, who played rhythm guitar;  bass player Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford.  Following  a particularly lucrative period between 1969 and 1970,  John  decided that Tom would no longer sing lead on or co-write any song while he was in the band, despite previously handling lead vocals and collaborating on some pre-CCR material.

"He cut Tom Fogerty out from singing," Clifford told AZ Central in 2015.  'Without Tom...there wouldn't have been a Creedence Clearwater Revival. When Tom graciously gave up the vocals to his younger brother, he had no idea that he would never be singing another song again. So Stu and I and Tom were always at odds with John about that."

Tom Fogerty left after 1970's Pendulum, and apart from a 1980 reunion during his wedding reception, CCR never performed again.  He died in 1990 after contracting AIDS from HIV-infected blood during a transfusion during back surgery, and was posthumously inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Heart: Ann & Nancy Wilson

One of the top female-led rock bands in modern music history thanks to hits like "Magic Man" and "What About Love," Heart has been the role model for thousands of musicians.

But the first public signs of friction between sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson occurred in August 2016, when Ann's husband Dean Wetter was arrested for assaulting Nancy's 16-year-old twin sons after he boys reportedly left open the door to his RV.

Rolling Stone reported that the siblings hadn't spoken  to each other since the 2016 tour ended, but relations have eventually warmed up. The sisters reunited for Heart's  53-date Love Alive tour in 2019 - and more recently, Nancy joined Ann Wilson and her band Tripsitter on stage October 10 in Santa Rosa California to perform "Barracuda."  They received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.

Ann Wilson has continued to release solo albums and front her band Tripsitter, while guitarist Nancy has formed Nancy Wilson's Heart.

In a 2022 Guitar World interview, Ann said she and Nancy are "okay," but have different ideas for the future of Heart. "We haven't figured out a compromise yet," she admitted.

The Black Crowes: Chris & Rich Robinson

Sometimes, money and control carry more weight than people insinuate.

Guitarist Rich Robinson left the Black Crowes in January 2015 due to an alleged ownership agreement with brother and vocalist Chris. Both men divided and  conquered with solo careers but remained largely incommunicado for almost five years.

But in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, both Rich and Chris credited their children with healing the rift between them. 

"My daughter, Cheyenne (now 11), was like: ‘What’s the deal with you and Uncle Rich, and why don’t I know my cousins?’"Chris told the paper. "Those are the kind of questions that will make you think and reflect."

"Definitely. Kids are honest and curious, and they don’t have issues like Chris and I did," Rich said  in a joint interview with his brother. "So, as Chris said, that opened a door (to reconciliation)."

Together again since 2021, the Black Crowes will be shaking their moneymakers opening the final Aerosmith tour, once Steven Tyler's larynx heals. 

Oasis: Liam & Noel Gallagher

While backstage in 2009 in Paris, the tumultuous in-fighting between Oasis' Liam and Noel Gallagher reached new heights; a violent fistfight that drove a nail into the coffin of the band.

Noel's statement: "It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. 'People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."

This was the last in a number of physical altercations that had taken place over the years during tours. Since the split, Noel has been recording and touring with his band the High Flying Birds while Liam first took to the road and studio with Beady Eye, which split in 2014; he's now performing solo.

However, Liam has reportedly expressed interest in reuniting  with Noel and strike up Oasis, though whether there have been any private conversations towards this end remains to be seen.

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Kendrick Lamar GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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Nirvana at 2023 Special Merit Awards
(L-R): Nirvana's Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl accept the Recording Academy's 2023 Special Merit Awards Ceremony.

Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images


Here's What Happened At The Recording Academy's 2023 Special Merit Awards Ceremony Honoring Nile Rodgers, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Nirvana, The Supremes & More

In addition to seven music legends receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, the GRAMMY Week event honored recipients of the Music Educator Award, Trustees Awards and Technical GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMYs/Feb 7, 2023 - 10:14 pm

Amid the madness of GRAMMY Week, there was an air of tranquility surrounding the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on the afternoon of Feb. 4. The sunlit streets were nearly empty, the red carpet was discreetly hidden from public view. Inside the theater, music royalty, entertainment journalists and GRAMMY nominees congregated for one of the week's most emotionally charged events: the Special Merit Awards Ceremony.

Music teacher Pamela Dawson beamed as Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. handed her the 2023 GRAMMY Music Educator Award. Mama Dawson, as she is known among her students at DeSoto High School in Texas, is loved by all for her relentless positivity and encouragement. "I thank you God for giving me the gift of music," she said. "My mother believed in me even when I didn't. My heritage is a big loving heart that I can give to others."

In the Technical GRAMMY Award department, the Academy recognized the efforts of the Audio Engineering Society and Dr. Andy Hildebrand — inventor of the Auto-Tune software program.    

The Trustees Awards honorees were Henry Diltz, who photographed iconic album covers of the '60s and '70s; the late Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist and educator; and the late Jim Stewart, founder of the mythical Stax Records.

"Dad had an open-door policy that helped create a utopian reality," said Stewart's daughter Lori, addressing the label's unusual-for-the-time policy of working with talented artists regardless of their racial or ethnic background. "More than a business, Stax was a family."

Then, it was time to salute the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the gallery of selected artists painted a wondrous picture of popular music — from classic rock and grunge to soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, and blues.

In his typical unconventional fashion, 10-time GRAMMY winner Bobby McFerrin accepted his award doing what he does best: singing. "I want to have some fun today," began the "Don't Worry Be Happy" hitmaker in his inimitable falsetto. Backed briefly on vocals by his three adult children, McFerrin smiled and improvised, surprised and delighted, crediting his late father — the first Black singer to be offered a contract at the Metropolitan Opera — as a major inspiration. "Have fun," he concluded. "Play. Don't think. Be good to yourself.'

Equally moving — but in a more grungy, Seattle kind of way — was seeing the surviving members of '90s pioneers Nirvana. "Kurt Cobain is never far away," said the band's bassist and founding member Krist Novoselic. "Just turn on the radio." He also thanked young people from all over the world for the many fan letters he continues to receive, as drummer Dave Grohl and guitarist Pat Smear stood by his side, nodding approvingly.

Legendary blues singer Ma Rainey (1886-1939) received a long-overdue induction to the Lifetime Achievement gallery. On hand to collect the award were her great nephew, Frank Nix, and great great niece Cassandra Behler. "Ma was an amazing performer and businesswoman," said Behler. "I can't imagine the sacrifices she made for her career and lifestyle."

Prolific beyond any reasonable expectation, guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers was visibly moved — almost lost for words. "I'm sorry to be so emotional," he told the crowd, which responded with an even bigger round of applause. "This journey was a series of steps." 

The founder of disco-funk collective CHIC, Rodgers is known for his unmistakable guitar sound — adding waves of funk to every single genre it touches — and sensitive production work. When he thanked the musicians that he worked with, the list was regal, including David Bowie, Diana Ross, Bryan Ferry, and Beyoncé — the latter of whom he would go on to win Best R&B Song with at the 2023 GRAMMYs (and accept on her behalf!).

"Do you like my coat?," asked English-American rapper and producer Slick Rick "The Ruler," showing off an elegant, light purple coat over his suit and matching tie. "Macy's women's section." Slick's speech was as witty as his rapping. He mentioned listening to Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By" as a kid, then outlined his love for the music of the Beatles, the Supremes, Jamaican dancehall and hip-hop — and his fateful move to the U.S. in 1976.

Fittingly, the Supremes were also honorees this year. During their induction, Florence Ballard's daughter Lisa Chapman explained that she couldn't share any personal anecdotes because her mother died when she was only 3 years old. "I thank [the late] Mary Wilson, because she never left my Mom's side," she said. "They're probably sipping on the finest champagne right now," added Wilson's daughter Turkessa Babich. "They are always with us."

The last artists to be honored were two immensely talented sisters, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart. The sibling duo changed the nature of the game for women in hard rock, and guitarist Nancy Wilson spoke of her beginnings in music. "I left college in 1974 to join the band," she recalled. "Our dream was to be the Beatles. Not to be their girlfriends, or marry one of them, but to be them — and we did it." 

Wilson was effusive in praising her sister, powerhouse singer Ann. "We survived the sheer insanity of a rock 'n' roll circus. We were two military brats, two badasses, and we stood up. We rocked our butts off, and we did all of it together."

Wilson's last words — bringing the event to its conclusion — were dedicated to the fans: "You were always the reason for us to catch dreams in our butterfly nets."

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