Meet This Year's Best Pop Solo Performance Nominees | 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show
It has been another year of incredible pop music. Take a look at the songs that are nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards, including Justin Bieber, Brandi Carlile, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, and Olivia Rodridgo
Editor's Note: The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The below article was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to reflect the new show date and location.
The GRAMMY Pop categories always see some stiff competition, and the 2022 GRAMMY Awards show is no different.
This year’s lineup of nominees for Best Pop Solo Performance features pop’s newest princess Olivia Rodrigo, powerhouses Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Billie Eilish, and a first-time pop entry from Americana star Brandi Carlile. Considering the vocal talent among those five, there’s no telling which song will come out on top.
We’ll find out who wins this highly competitive category on the 64th Annual Grammy Awards airing on CBS on April 3, 2022. In the meantime, take a look at this year’s infinitely talented nominees whose extraordinary vocals have captivated millions.
Nominations for the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show are officially here! See the full list of nominations.
"Anyone" — Justin Bieber
Synth-pop love song “Anyone,” the third single from Justin Bieber’s sixth record Justice, sees the two-time GRAMMY winner professing his never-ending devotion to his lover (which, of course, is his beloved wife Hailey).
The heartfelt track is quite the romantic epic, beginning with Bieber’s hushed vocals over a buoyant beat before blasting into an anthemic chorus as the singer proclaims, “You are the only one I'll ever love/ Yeah, you, if it's not you, it's not anyone.”
While “Anyone” isn’t one of Bieber’s most commercially successful singles, it’s arguably one of Bieber’s most impassioned vocal performances of his career, serving as an album highlight and an adorable display of affection for his wife.
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"Right On Time" — Brandi Carlile
“Right On Time,” the lead single for Carlile’s seventh studio album, In These Silent Days, is the six-time GRAMMY winner’s sonic response to quarantine. The beautifully melancholic and piano-driven ballad finds Carlile desperate to reconcile with someone close to her, after she unwittingly destroys a relationship by unleashing a torrent of pent up emotion.
“Help me to rewind and we can find ourselves again,” sings Carlile on the first verse. The gripping song starts with a simple piano before drums, organ, and guitars enter the mix for the second half, which sees Carlile’s dynamic vocals soar.
Co-written with Dave Cobb — who co-produced the track with Shooter Jennings — and brother bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth, “Right On Time” marks Carlile’s first pop nomination.
Read More: Backstage At The 63rd GRAMMYs: Brandi Carlile Praises The "Artistic Threads That Chain Us All Together" Ahead Of Music’s Biggest Night
"Happier Than Ever" — Billie Eilish
Like all of Eilish’s catalog, “Happier Than Ever” — the title track to her 2021 album — was written with and produced by the singer’s brother, Finneas O’Connell, in their home recording studio. But coming in at just under 5 minutes, the sibling masterminds’ longest song to date may also be their most cinematic.
The jazz and torch ballad-inspired tune, which begins softly with Eilish’s intimately delivered vocals and a soft acoustic guitar, finds Eilish telling a selfish and self-destructive ex-boyfriend that she’s happier away from him. "When I'm away from you, I'm happier than ever," sings Eilish.
Then, halfway through, the track breaks into a sweeping electric extravaganza, as Eilish raises her voice to declare, “I don't relate to you, no/ 'Cause I'd never treat me this s***ty.”
Eilish hearkens back to the gritty guitar and pounding production of her Album Of The Year-winning When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? on the remainder of “Happier Than Ever,” reminding listeners just how versatile her voice and her sound can be.
Read More: Billie Eilish's Road To Happier Than Ever: How The Superstar Continues To Break Pop's Status Quo
"Positions" — Ariana Grande
Less than two years after Ariana Grande served up all of the sass on her GRAMMY-nominated LP, 2019’s Thank U, Next, she fell in love, flipped the script, and delivered another smash.
The sexy, smooth song finds Grande smitten with a romantic partner for whom she’d do anything, while trying to avoid mistakes she made in past relationships. “Know my love infinite, nothin' I wouldn't do/ That I won't do, switchin' for you,” she asserts on the undulating chorus.
The R&B-infused “Positions” — which features her signature wavy harmonic production, pizzicato guitar, viola, and trap drums — became Grande’s fifth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting atop the chart in November 2020. The feat further extended a record Grande had already set, as she has the most number-one debuts in history — solidifying her position as one of pop’s reigning queens.
GRAMMY Flashback: Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande Win Best Pop Duo/Group Performance For "Rain On Me" | 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show
"drivers license" — Olivia Rodrigo
After Olivia Rodrigo caught attention with her original song “All I Want” from the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (in which she stars as the lead female, Nini), she took her career to new heights with the instant phenomenon, “drivers license.”
The piano-driven power ballad finds Rodrigo heartbroken and ruminating over an ex-boyfriend while driving around her neighborhood — and past her ex’s street — while speculating that he’s moved on with a new romantic partner. The simple, yet affecting production allows Rodrigo’s tender vocals to shine, starting off with a low-ringing piano before building to an echoing belt-along chorus that climaxes with the heart-rending lyric, “Guess you didn't mean what you wrote in that song about me.”
It’s a sentiment so hyper-specific that it’s relatable to the now 18-year-old’s peers and beyond, which was immediately apparent upon the song’s January release. “drivers license” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, where it sat for a consecutive eight weeks, becoming the longest-running number-one debut single in the chart's history.
The track was also the biggest first-week global streaming debut on Amazon Music, and broke the Spotify record for most streams of a non-holiday song in one day, before breaking its own record the very next day, making it the most ever streamed song on Spotify in a single week.
2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominations List
Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage.com
Meet Justin Bieber With GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions
Bid on an exclusive VIP concert experience to meet Justin Bieber
GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions has launched a new auction offering bidders the opportunity to bid on an exclusive VIP concert experience with Justin Bieber. Open now through Oct. 25, the auction package features two tickets and meet-and-greet passes to an upcoming Bieber concert.
To place your bid on this exclusive experience, visit www.charitybuzz.com. All proceeds will benefit the GRAMMY Foundation.
A Tribute In Black To Johnny Cash
A star-studded roster of GRAMMY-winning talent celebrates the music and 80th birthday of Johnny Cash in Austin, Texas
Though Johnny Cash passed away in 2003, he's having a very good year in 2012. The latest in a series of events honoring the man in black — an 80th-birthday tribute titled We Walk The Line: A Celebration Of The Music Of Johnny Cash — drew a slew of GRAMMY-winning performers to Austin, Texas, for a lively Friday-night show on April 20 at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater.
Top billing went to Cash's surviving Highwaymen brethren, GRAMMY winners Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, who teamed with Shooter Jennings (son of late GRAMMY-winning Highwayman Waylon Jennings) and Jamey Johnson in a reunion of sorts on the song "Highwayman." Under a large banner bearing an image of Cash strumming a guitar, flanked by two silhouettes, Nelson also teamed with GRAMMY winner Sheryl Crow on "If I Were A Carpenter."
Crow sounded almost as if she were addressing Cash when she joked to Nelson, "I would definitely have your baby — if I could. If I didn't have two others of my own. And if you weren't married. And if I wasn't friends with your wife."
Audience members cheered lustily in approval, as they did throughout most of the show, a taped-for-DVD benefit for the childhood muscular dystrophy foundation Charley's Fund. Just hours earlier, many of them had watched as Nelson helped unveil his new statue in front of the theater, which sits on a street also named after him.
The event was produced by Keith Wortman with GRAMMY-winning producer Don Was serving as musical director. Was recruited Buddy Miller, Greg Leisz, Kenny Aronoff, and new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ian McLagan of the Faces as the house band. The handpicked all-star roster of performers ranged from Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, Brandi Carlile, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Andy Grammer, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Pat Monahan of Train to Ronnie Dunn, Shelby Lynne, Old 97's lead singer Rhett Miller, Lucinda Williams, and even Austin-based actor Matthew McConaughey, who, in addition to emceeing, sang "The Man Comes Around."
"We wanted a real broad, diverse group of artists," Wortman said backstage. "With Cash, you're as likely to find his music in a punk rock music fan, a heavy metal fan and a Nashville music fan, so he's not just a country music guy."
GRAMMY winner Monahan, who sang Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through The Night," commented before the show, "I think of Johnny Cash as a style, as you would think of clothing, or music or whatever. He was his own thing. No can can really describe Johnny Cash entirely.
"And no one could deliver a song quite like him," continued Monahan. "He sang hundreds of other songwriters' songs and he made those songwriters important because of the way he delivered what they were saying. There's not much that I don't respect about him, and I told his son [John Carter Cash] earlier that I'm almost more inspired by the love for his family than his music."
Lynne, who won the Best New Artist GRAMMY in 2000, sang "Why Me Lord," another song penned by Kristofferson, and delivered a spirited duet with Monahan on "It Ain't Me Babe," said Cash has influenced "all of us."
"We appreciate the majestic rebellion that Johnny gave us all in the music business. And he's also one of the great American icons of all time," she added.
Among the acts who earned the loudest applause in a night full of high-volume appreciation was the GRAMMY-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, the bluegrass quartet re-exposing the genre's African-American roots. Their rendition of "Jackson" was among many highlights. Earlier, co-founder Dom Flemons revealed the personal inspiration of Cash's catalog.
"Johnny Cash's music has had an impact on me as a rock and roll singer, a country singer, as a folk music performer and great interpreter of song. I just love everything that he's done," said Flemons.
Bandmate Hubby Jenkins added, "Johnny Cash was really great about putting emotional investment into every song that he sang."
Co-founder Rhiannon Giddens said Cash’s core was his voice and his subject matter, and no matter how much production was added, it never diluted his message.
Miller, who named his band after "Wreck Of The Old '97," a song popularized by Cash, said their intent was to sound like "Johnny Cash meets the Clash." He also recalled always picking "Ring Of Fire," a classic inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1999, on the tabletop jukebox during childhood visits to a Dallas diner.
"I didn't know what it was about, but I knew that the guy who was singing it was singing it with everything he had," said Miller, dressed in black in homage to "one of my all-time heroes." "And there was so much heart behind it, and so much conviction. And nobody could sell a song like Johnny Cash. He meant every word he said, and if he didn't mean it, he made it sound like he meant it."
(Austin-based journalist Lynne Margolis currently contributes to American Songwriter, NPR's Song of the Day and newspapers nationwide, as well as several regional magazines and NPR-affiliate KUT-FM's "Texas Music Matters." A contributing editor to The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen from A To E To Z, she has also previously written for Rollingstone.com and Paste magazine.)
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Haus Laboratories
WATCH: Lady Gaga And Ariana Grande Team Up For "Rain On Me"
Grande enters the "Stupid Love" singer's futuristic world as the two pop sensations dance together in an out-of-this-planet setting
"I can feel it on my skin (It's comin' down on me)/ Teardrops on my face (Water like misery)/ Let it wash away my sins (It's coming down on me)," the global pop stars sing together on the chorus. "I'd rather be dry, but at least I'm alive/ Rain on me, rain, rain."
The song is an empowering track about being comfortable with letting tears fall. Gaga revealed the many layers behind the song in an interview with Vulture, sharing that some of the inspiration for it came from her relationship with drinking. "This is about an analog of tears being the rain. And you know what it’s also a metaphor for, is the amount of drinking that I was doing to numb myself," she said. "I’d rather be dry. I’d rather not be drinking, but I haven’t died yet. I’m still alive. Rain on me."
She added that the song also went beyond that. "Okay, I’m going to keep on drinking. This song has many layers," she said.
Grande enters the "Stupid Love" singer's futuristic world in the video released Friday, May 22, with the two dancing together in an out-of-this-planet setting. The video ends with them in a strong embrace.
Gaga has shared how much the collaboration with Grande means to her and thanked Grande for "reminding me I’m strong." Before the video's release, she tweeted out a special message to the "Stuck with U" singer.
"One time I felt like I was crying so much it would never stop. Instead of fighting it, I thought bring it on, I can do hard things. @arianagrande I love you for your strength and friendship. Let’s show them what we’ve got," she tweeted.
Grande returned the love with more love, revealing what sharing a track with Gaga means to her.
"one time ..... i met a woman who knew pain the same way i did... who cried as much as i did, drank as much wine as i did, ate as much pasta as i did and who’s heart was bigger than her whole body. she immediately felt like a sister to me," she tweeted. "she then held my hand and invited me into the beautiful world of chromatica and together, we got to express how beautiful and healing it feels to mothafuckinnnn cry ! i hope this makes u all feel as uplifted as it does for us both. i love u @ladygaga , u stunning superwoman !"
Watch the full video above. Chromatica is set to be released on May 29.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Ariana Grande Donates Proceeds From Atlanta Show To Planned Parenthood
"Ariana Grande's generous donation comes at a critical time—in Georgia and across the country, anti-women's health politicians are trying to ban all safe, legal abortion," Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement
Today, Planned Parenthood confirmed that GRAMMY winner Ariana Grande has donated the proceeds from her June 8 concert in Atlanta, around $250,000, to the reproductive health non-profit. The contribution follows several Southern states, including Georgia, passing restrictive anti-abortion bills in May.
This is incredible, @arianagrande — thank you!— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) June 12, 2019
We're so grateful for your longstanding commitment to supporting women’s rights & standing with Planned Parenthood to defend access to sexual and reproductive health care. #IStandWithPP #StopTheBans https://t.co/zFkBVONNK9
"Ariana Grande's generous donation comes at a critical time—in Georgia and across the country, anti-women's health politicians are trying to ban all safe, legal abortion," Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement to People, who broke the news.
Wen, who is a medical doctor and the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, spoke to the critical timing of Grande's donation, at a time when lawmakers are rolling back years of women's rights legislation:
"This is not what the American people want, nor is it something they'll stand for. Thanks to inspiring support like hers, Planned Parenthood can continue to fight back—in the courts, in Congress, in state houses, and in the streets—against these dangerous attacks on people's health and lives. We are so grateful to Ariana for her longstanding commitment to supporting women's rights and standing with Planned Parenthood to defend access to reproductive health care. We won't stop fighting—no matter what."
As People and other outlets point out, the donation follows the singer's response to hate speech made outside of the Atlanta concert. Ari fans tweeted a video of a protester outside of the venue making homophobic, sexist and racist comments over a P.A. system to the young women. Grande commented on the post, writing: "man... saddened but not surprised by this one bit. I'm so sorry any of my fans had to encounter this. we will do our best to ensure this doesn't happen again. proud of u all for not fighting / engaging violently. never worth it. wishing him peace & a healed heart cause girl yikes."
The Atlanta show was one of the stops on the pop star's Sweetener World Tour, which continues across North America until mid-July, after which she'll headline Lollapalooza on Aug. 4, then take the tour across the pond to London on Aug. 17 for its European leg.