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Travel Around The World With The Best Global Music Album Nominees | 2021 GRAMMYs

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Travel Around The World With The Best Global Music Album Nominees | 2021 GRAMMYs

As the category name gets an inclusive refresh, GRAMMY.com dives into the Best Global Music Album nominees at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, which include albums by Antibalas, Burna Boy, Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar and Tinariwen

GRAMMYs/Nov 30, 2020 - 01:47 am

An important and inclusive change is pulsing through the 2021 GRAMMYs process and resonating across the music community worldwide. The category formerly known as Best World Music Album will now be known as Best Global Music Album moving forward. For the inaugural class of nominees under the reimagined category banner, the nod is twice as sweet. 

The adjustment in wording may seem subtle to some, but after deep research and conversations with artists, ethnomusicologists and linguists from around the world, the name refresh has been made to squarely address the baggage and connotation of "world music" by using a more adaptive and inclusive category title. 

"The change symbolizes a departure from the connotations of colonialism, folk and 'non-American' that the former term embodied while adapting to current listening trends and cultural evolution among the diverse communities it may represent," the Recording Academy explained in an email to its members. 

Read More: Why The GRAMMY Awards Best Global Music Album Category Change Matters

The Best Global Music Album nominees at the 2021 GRAMMYs reflect the spirit of vast musical diversity and cultural inclusion that the newly renamed category was created to celebrate. Today, GRAMMY.com takes a closer look at the albums and artists up for the honor.

To find out who will win, tune into the 2021 GRAMMYs Sunday, March 14, on CBS.

Fu Chronicles, Antibalas

Two decades and seven albums into their ascension from Brooklyn to the biggest stages across the world, Antibalas have earned their first career GRAMMY nomination for Fu Chronicles. Daptone Records, the legendary label who released the project, aptly describes the album as "a thrilling sonic journey of kung fu meets Afrobeat," and it certainly exudes the energy and electricity of both.

Recorded with 17 musicians packed into Daptone House of Soul in Bushwick, N.Y., and later sculpted and shaped by visionary members Duke Amayo, Martín Perna and Gabriel Roth, Fu Chronicles sizzles and bursts with the relentless energy of the band's live performance experience heard as a soundtrack blasting through an arcade fighting game. Endearingly, the album's martial arts theme makes for the perfect pairing with Antibalas' Afrobeat mastery.  

Twice As Tall, Burna Boy

After a decade on the rise, Nigerian Afro-fusion sensation Burna Boy had a breakthrough year in 2019. He made a major statement Stateside with his appearance at Coachella and dropped his formidable, feature-filled fourth album, African Giant, which earned him his first career GRAMMY nomination. Now, he's back to take another crack at the newly renamed category with his follow-up, Twice As Tall

On the album, Burna Boy continues to torch limitations, seamlessly blending styles and genres and fearlessly fueling the fire heating the melting pot of pop, Afrobeat, dancehall, reggae and more. Beyond boasting features from such style-spanning artists as Stormzy, Youssou N'Dour, Naughty By Nature and Chris Martin of Coldplay, Twice As Tall is a masterclass in the vibe and hustle that have made Burna Boy an international musical force. 

Read More: Burna Boy Talks 'African Giant,' Damian Marley & Angelique Kidjo Collab, Responsibility As A Global Artist

Agora, Bebel Gilberto

The return of internationally beloved star Bebel Gilberto was as triumphant as it was hard-won. Agora is the Brazilian singer-songwriter's first new album in six years, but it was created in the wake of a series of devastating personal tragedies, including the loss of both of her parents and her best friend. But Gilberto perseveres through the pain on Agora, preserving her unmistakable, silky vocal tone while introducing delicate electronic flairs, thanks to producer Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, David Byrne); the album ultimately bestowed her devoted fans everywhere a satisfying mix of familiar and fresh. 

With Agora, Gilberto nabs her fourth nomination in the category, and her first in a decade, as she seeks her first-ever career win. 

Love Letters, Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar has covered a lot of ground in her two-decade career as a prodigious mixologist of Eastern and Western music. Yet the GRAMMY-nominated sitarist/songwriter found new, more personal territory to explore with Love Letters, exemplified by the album's lead single, "Loveable" featuring Cuban-French twin-sister duo Ibeyi. The result was an album both elemental and cathartic with a heart that transcends hemispheres.

"I've written from a personal place before, of course, but there was something particularly tender and raw about the process this time," Shankar said of the project

After six career nominations in this category, Shankar seeks her first GRAMMY win at the 2021 GRAMMYs. She follows in the footsteps of her father and mentor, Ravi Shankar, who earned four GRAMMY awards and 10 nominations throughout his legendary career as well as a posthumous Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

Amadjar, Tinariwen

Tinariwen created Amadjar, their ninth album, not by meticulously overdubbing parts in the confines of a recording studio, but rather by recording live under a large tent in the deserts of Nouakchott, Mauritania, sans headphones and effects. Accordingly, the album captures the spirit of the group's unique folk/rock, guitar-based take on a very-much-alive West African musical tradition and features memorable appearances by an array of musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, including Noura Mint Seymali, Micah Nelson, Cass McCombs, Rodolphe Burger, Stephen O'Malley and Warren Ellis, the latter of whom is best known for his work with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Grinderman. 

Less of a conventionally defined band and more of a living, breathing collective of songwriters and musicians, Tinariwen won their first career GRAMMY for their 2011 album Tassalli and notched another nomination three years ago for Elwan (2017).

2021 GRAMMYs: Complete Nominees List

Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

 
This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.

Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream

Brittany Howard

Photo: C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images

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Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream

Proceeds from the event will be go toward loans to small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses, via Accion Opportunity Fund

GRAMMYs/Jun 16, 2020 - 04:13 am

This Saturday, June 20, artists including Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz and more will come together for Small Business Live, a livestream fundraiser event for small businesses facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Proceeds from the livestream will go to Accion Opportunity Fund to support small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses.

“Entrepreneurs of color are denied credit more often and charged higher rates for money they borrow to fund their businesses. We need to accelerate support to underserved businesses in order to reach our full potential,” Accion Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia said. “We have to decide what we want our Main Streets to look like when this is over, and we must act decisively to keep small businesses alive and ready to rebuild. This is a fun way to do something really important. Everyone’s support will make a huge difference to small business owners, their families and employees who have been devastated by this pandemic, the recession, and centuries of racism, xenophobia and oppression.”

Tune in for Small Business Live Saturday, June 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT on smallbiz.live. The site also provides a full schedule of programs and links to watch the livestream on all major digital platforms. To learn more about Accion Opportunity Fund, visit the organization's website.

Ivan Barias On Silence As Complicity, Holding Major Labels Accountable & How To Be A Non-Black Latinx Ally

DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle And John Legend Win Best Rap/Sung Performance For "Higher" | 2020 GRAMMYs

DJ Khaled, Samantha Smith and John Legend

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle And John Legend Win Best Rap/Sung Performance For "Higher" | 2020 GRAMMYs

DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle and John Legend take home Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 27, 2020 - 09:05 am

DJ Khaled, featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend, has won Best Rap/Sung Performance for "Higher" at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards. The single was featured on DJ Khaled's 2019 album Father of Asahd and featured Hussle's vocals and Legend on the piano. DJ Khaled predicted the track would win a GRAMMY.

"I even told him, 'We're going to win a GRAMMY.' Because that's how I feel about my album," DJ Khaled told Billboard. "I really feel like not only is this my biggest, this is very special."

After the release of the song and music video -- which was filmed before Hussle's death in March -- DJ Khaled announced all proceeds from "Higher" will go to Hussle's children.

DJ Khaled and co. beat out fellow category nominees Lil Baby & Gunna ("Drip Too Hard"), Lil Nas X ("Panini"), Mustard featuring Roddy Ricch ("Ballin") and Young Thug featuring J. Cole & Travis Scott ("The London"). Hussle earned a second posthumous award at the 62nd GRAMMYs for Best Rap Performance for "Racks In The Middle." 

Along with Legend and DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and YG paid tribute to Hussle during the telecast, which concluded with "Higher."

Check out the complete 62nd GRAMMY Awards nominees and winners list here.

ReImagined At Home: Watch Ant Clemons Croon The Cosmic Blues In Performance Of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"

Ant Clemons

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ReImagined At Home: Watch Ant Clemons Croon The Cosmic Blues In Performance Of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"

Singer/songwriter Ant Clemons puts his own spin on Bill Withers' immortal "Ain't No Sunshine" in an exclusive performance for ReImagined At Home

GRAMMYs/Jun 15, 2021 - 08:13 pm

Why has Bill Withers' immortal hit, "Ain't No Sunshine," endured for decades? And, furthermore, why does it seem set to reverberate throughout the ages?

Could it be because it's blues-based? Because it's relatable to anyone with a pulse? Because virtually anyone with an ounce of zeal can believably yowl the song at karaoke?

Maybe it's for all of those reasons and one more: "Ain't No Sunshine" is flexible

In the latest episode of ReImagined At Home, check out how singer/songwriter Ant Clemons pulls at the song's edges like taffy. With a dose of vocoder and slapback, Clemons recasts the lonesome-lover blues as the lament of a shipwrecked android.

Giving this oft-covered soul classic a whirl, Clemons reminds music lovers exactly why Withers' signature song has staying power far beyond his passing in 2020. It will probably be a standard in 4040, too.

Check out Ant Clemons' cosmic, soulful performance of "Ain't No Sunshine" above and click here to enjoy more episodes of ReImagined At Home.

ReImagined At Home: Keedron Bryant Powerfully Interprets John Legend's Love Song "Ordinary People"