Take A Closer Look At The Best Music Video Nominees | 2021 GRAMMYs
Visuals from Beyoncé, Future featuring Drake, Anderson .Paak, Harry Styles and Woodkid will vie for the prize of Best Music Video at the 2021 GRAMMYs
Updated Jan. 5, 2021.
Every picture tells a story, don't it? With visual aesthetics and original style more important than ever in the music world, the Best Music Video category continues to honor the most stunning, striking and moving music videos the year has to offer. Honoring the artist, video director and video producer, this award has gone to past winners and visionary music video pioneers like Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Lady Gaga and OK Go.
But today, the art of the music video has evolved well past visual experimentation, as music-makers push the medium toward meaningful social statements, moving storytelling and truly original art. In recent years, Kendrick Lamar's "HUMBLE.," Childish Gambino's "This Is America" and Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" took home the honor, setting the conceptual bar high for all who follow.
Today, GRAMMY.com takes a closer look at the Best Music Video nominees at the 2021 GRAMMYs, a stellar class of visual artists ready to carry the torch.
To find out who will win, tune into the 2021 GRAMMYs Sunday, March 14, on CBS.
"Brown Skin Girl," Beyoncé
Beyoncé returns to this category four years after winning it for her commanding and provocative 2016 video for "Formation." This time around, her breathtakingly beautiful "Brown Skin Girl" video, from her Black Is King visual album, with daughter Blue Ivy, plus SAINt JHN and WizKiD, is a feast for the fashion-forward and a celebration of Black and brown female beauty everywhere. The video's various venues and styles weave together in a stylish, six-minute sight to behold, featuring cameos from Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong'o and former Destiny's Child bandmate Kelly Rowland.
True to her fierce creative vision and limitless talent, Bey also directed the video alongside director Jenn Nkiru. The nomination also recognizes the video's producers Lauren Baker, Astrid Edwards, Nathan Scherrer and Erinn Williams, the latter of whom won the GRAMMY for Best Music Film alongside Beyoncé for the epic 2019 documentary concert film, Homecoming, at the 2020 GRAMMYs.
"Life Is Good," Future Featuring Drake
GRAMMY-winning rap heavyweights Future and Drake don't quit their day jobs in their hilarious "Life Is Good" music video. In the clip, they go back to work taking out the trash, setting up the Genius Bar, fixing cars and more. On a break from their fast food gig, they dream aloud about saving up for studio time and making it big. They ultimately end up behind the cameras of their own video, meta-directed by the actual Director X, real name Julien Christian Lutz. Try not to laugh as they all ham it up, and look closely for cameos from 21 Savage, Lil Yachty, Mike Will Made It and Big Bank Black.
Taken from Future's eighth album, High Off Life, the "Life Is Good" video dropped back in January and stands as a gut-busting, working-class snapshot of a simpler time. The Best Music Video nod also includes a nomination for the video's producer, Harv Glazer.
"Lockdown," Anderson .Paak
The people are rising. Three-time GRAMMY winner Anderson .Paak's on-location report from the streets of Los Angeles in "Lockdown" shows life in the shadows of the Black Lives Matter movement, which grew to define the battle against social injustice in 2020 America. Honoring the lives and tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and far too many more at the hands of police, .Paak and GRAMMY-winning director Dave Meyers, known for his work with Kendrick Lamar, craft a lasting image of the quieter side of an uprising to accompany the bold social statement song, released as a single in June.
Nathan Scherrer, who is also nominated in the category for his work on Beyoncé's "Brown Skin Girl" and Harry Styles' "Adore You," also receives the nod for his work here as producer.
"Adore You," Harry Styles
They say if you love someone, you should set them free. In the year's most unlikely on-screen pairing, One Direction alum Harry Styles falls for a fish who keeps outgrowing his makeshift tanks while longing to return to the open sea. The extended version even features an introduction to the land of Eroda, where none other than Rosalía narrates the larger story arc of how Styles turned all the frowns in the fictional, magical land upside down.
"It's the first idea that popped to mind after the first listen to the song, and the first idea I pitched to Harry. It was a story that underscored my understanding of what Harry stood for and felt it was necessary to tell it as a narrative to convey his optimism," Dave Meyers, who directed the heartwarming romp, said of the concept. Mission accomplished.
Jo Coombes, Ellen DeFaux, Tom Gardner and Nathan Scherrer produced the "Adore You" video.
The leadoff track from Woodkid's 2020 sophomore album, S16, got a special visual treatment that is probably unlike anything you've seen before. The video for "Goliath," directed by the French artist, born Yoann Lemoine, himself transports the viewer to an industrial construction dystopia where massive, maniacal, mechanical machinery carves away at the earth, feeding the debris—through pulsing rhythms that match the music, mind you—into a super cauldron that births a gigantic, fiery, rising blob before cutting to black with the track's final drum smack. The result is intense, unique and stirring.
Woodkid's much-anticipated S16 arrived seven years after his 2013 debut—and the wait was worth it. The latest in his catalog of epic music videos, "Goliath" has earned Woodkid his third nomination in the category, following nods for "The Golden Age" at the 2014 GRAMMYs and "Run Boy Run" at the 2013 GRAMMYs. Will this be his lucky year to take home the golden gramophone for Best Music Video?
Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
Rolling Loud Festival Los Angeles Reveals 2019 Lineup
Find out who's bringing the heat to the hip-hop fest returning to L.A. this December
Today, Rolling Loud revealed the massive lineup for their final music festival of 2019, Rolling Loud Los Angeles, which is set to take over the Banc of California Stadium and adjacent Exposition Park on Dec. 14–15.
This iteration of "the Woodstock of Hip-Hop," as the all-knowing Diddy has called it, will feature Chance the Rapper, Lil Uzi Vert, Juice WRLD, Young Thug and Lil Baby as Saturday's heavy-hitting headliners. Sunday's headliners are none other than Future, A$AP Rocky, Meek Mill, YG and Playboi Carti.
L.A.'s own Blueface, Tyga and Doja Cat, are slated to perform, as well as representatives from the diverse rap scenes across the country, including Wale, Juicy J, Lil Yachty, Megan Thee Stallion, Gunna, Tyla Yaweh, Machine Gun Kelly and Yung Gravy.
The lineup announcement follows the successful wrap of Rolling Loud Bay Area in Oakland this past weekend. The event's flagship Miami event took place in May this year, and the New York and Hong Kong debut editions will both take place later this month.
Some of y’all not ready for these moshpits https://t.co/3nlaudjapq— Randy (@randyt0321) October 1, 2019
Photo: Daniel C. Sims/Getty Images
Solange To Play Benefit Show For Hurricane Harvey Relief
GRAMMY winner adds her name to the list of artists who are helping to raise millions in relief efforts for victims
GRAMMY winner Solange has announced she will be performing a benefit show to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The performance, called Orion's Rise, will be held at Boston's Orpheum Theatre on Sept. 8.
"I'm committed to partnering with organizations on the ground in Houston and making contributions to uplift the city that raised me with so much love," said Solange, a Houston native.
This announcement comes on the heels of other artists pledging their support, including Solange's sister, Beyoncé. But they are certainly not the only ones.
Comedian Kevin Hart pledged $50,000 to relief efforts, and the fund he organized has earned nearly $2 million in additional financial support, with contributions from artists such as the Chainsmokers. All funds will go to the American Red Cross.
The Kardashians and Jenners, Nicki Minaj, and DJ Khaled have also announced they will make donations. Jennifer Lopez and her partner Alex Rodriguez joined in the fundraising efforts, pledging $25,000 each to the Red Cross.
In addition, GRAMMY winner Jack Antonoff is matching donations up to $10,000 for the Montrose Center in Houston, an LGBT community center. Chris Brown will donate $100,000 directly to "the people," and T.I. will donate $25,000 to relief efforts.
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
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.
"GRAMMY Effect" Spikes Sales
"GRAMMY Effect" Spikes Sales
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards drove a 3.3 percent increase in album sales compared to last week, according to a Billboard report. The 2010 GRAMMY Nominees album jumped to No. 5 with sales of 71,000 units, a 55 percent increase. Top GRAMMY winner Beyoncé's I Am…Sasha Fierce rose to No. 14 with sales of 32,000 copies, a 101 percent increase. Other GRAMMY performers experiencing sales increases include Pink (up 234 percent), Dave Matthews Band (up 114 percent), the Zac Brown Band (up 82 percent), the Black Eyed Peas (up 76 percent), Taylor Swift (up 58 percent), and Lady Gaga (up 17 percent). Lady Antebellum, who also performed on the telecast, remained at No. 1 for the second consecutive week. (2/10)
Grainge Promoted To UMG CEO
Universal Music Group International Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge has been promoted to CEO of Universal Music Group, effective Jan. 1, 2011. He will succeed Doug Morris and report to Jean-Bernard Lévy, chairman of the management board of Vivendi. Grainge will relocate from London to New York to serve as co-CEO of UMG in tandem with Morris for six months starting July 1. Morris, who has served as UMG chairman and CEO since 1995, will remain as company chairman. (2/10)