Black Sabbath in 1970
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Black Sabbath On Their Legacy: "We've Already Influenced A Lot Of Bands" | GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends
Watch GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends on Fri. Oct. 18 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check your local listings)
Moments before they received the Recording Academy's high honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward of GRAMMY-winning metal group Black Sabbath took a moment to reflect on their influential half-century-long career.
"It's great, after all these years. We were written off as nothing when we first started out, and here we are getting a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award," Butler shared backstage at the 2019 GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends, where the awards were given to a handful of music icons.
"As for the future generations, we've already influenced a lot of bands, a lot of bands that are out now and starting out now and citing us as their main influence," Butler added when asked about their hope to influence the next group of hard rockers.
During the show, Rival Sons, who toured as main support for Sabbath's The End Tour, paid tribute with a medley sampling a few of their big songs.
Black Sabbath were part of a handful of artists presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award during this year's show. George Clinton & the Parliament-Funkadelic, Donny Hathaway, Billy Eckstine, Donny Hathaway, Julio Iglesias, Sam & Dave and Dionne Warwick are the other 2019 recipients.
The other honors bestowed to life-long music industry influencers included the Trustees Awards, given to Lou Adler, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, and Johnny Mandel this year, celebrated exemplary contributors to music, outside of performance. Additionally, the Technical GRAMMY Award was presented (posthumously) to API Audio Co-Founder Saul Walker and Florida high school choir director Jeffery Redding was celebrated with the Music Educator Award.
Watch GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends on Fri. Oct. 18 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check your local listings).
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
The Making Of Black Sabbath's "God Is Dead?"
Bassist Geezer Butler reveals the genesis behind the band's GRAMMY-winning song
(The Making Of GRAMMY-Winning Recordings … series presents firsthand accounts of the creative process behind some of music's biggest recordings. The series' current installments present in-depth insight and details about recordings that won 56th GRAMMY Awards.)
(As told to Bryan Reesman)
It's really weird with this band. Time just seems to fly and you don't really notice the parts in between. We're always keeping in touch with each other, so when we got together to [record 13] it felt like a natural thing to do. We tried to do it in 2001, but it felt forced and we abandoned it back then. This time it was a now or never kind of thing, and we just got on with it.
Tony [Iommi] came up with most of the music, and then we all worked together to arrange it. Ozzy [Osbourne] always jams along to us, and he came up with the title "God Is Dead?" He remembered the  Time magazine [cover story titled] "Is God Dead?" — but he remembered it as "God Is Dead." I had a mini-argument with him about it. I looked it up online and showed him that it was "Is God Dead?" Then I read the Nietzsche philosophy about it. [Editor's note: "God is dead" is a widely quoted statement by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.]
I wrote it about a person who thought it was completely revolting to think that somebody would say that, and it sticks in his head and he keeps hearing it in his mind. So he turns violent in the end and sets out to murder everybody. It was also inspired by the shootings that were going on at the time in the States. People were saying that "God told them to do it," and stuff like that.
That was one of the first songs we started writing together, so that probably took the longest to [finish]. There was a lot of work before we got to the studio, and we knew that was a good song. The lyrics were written the night before recording them. The only lyrics that I had written [prior to recording] were "Dear Father" like a year before we went into the studio, and that was because of all the priests being exposed, no pun intended, on the news.
The trouble with me is if you give me a year to do something, I'll do it on the 364th day. That's the way I work. The more pressure, the more I come out with. If you give me loads of time to do something, I can't do it. If it wasn't for [producer] Rick Rubin insisting that I do the lyrics, I probably wouldn't have done them anyway.
Rick Rubin brought [Rage Against The Machine/The Last Internationale drummer] Brad Wilk in to do the album. I thought he was great. He auditioned for like a week, and at first we thought he wasn't going to work. We did a couple of old [Black] Sabbath [songs] like "War Pigs" and "Iron Man," and he just gradually fell into it. He was really nervous at first, and we really didn't communicate that much with him. We said, "Rick, you picked him so you bloody get him up to speed." So he did. He went in and guided him on what direction to do the drumming.
It was really unexpected [to win a GRAMMY] because when you're doing an album you don't think about awards, especially our band. It was a good surprise.
(At the 56th GRAMMY Awards, Black Sabbath won Best Metal Performance for "God Is Dead?" — marking the second win for the band in that category. Co-written by Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne, the song also earned a nomination for Best Rock Song. It's featured on the band's 2013 album 13, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and earned a nomination for Best Rock Album.)
(Lifelong metal fan Bryan Reesman wrote the liner notes for the 2008 reissue of Black Sabbath's 1981 album Mob Rules. He contributes to GRAMMY.com, Playboy, Inked, American Way, and The Costco Connection, among other outlets.)
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
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
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
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.
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.