Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus
From Dolly To H.E.R.: 10 Unforgettable 2019 GRAMMYs Moments
The 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards had it all—a Dolly Parton tribute, a major win for Kacey Musgraves, a Prince-like performance from Janelle Monáe and so much more
With the broadcast eclipsing the three-and-a-half hour mark, the 61st GRAMMY Awards offered a plethora of impressive performances and memorable moments—so many, in fact, that you'd be forgiven if a few slipped past your radar. Fortunately, we're here to recap all the evening's highlights and round up 10 of the show's top moments.
1. Michelle Obama helps open the show
The GRAMMYs are always full of surprises, but the crowd at the Staples Center was particularly taken aback when none other than Michelle Obama took the stage last night. The former First Lady joined Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and host Alicia Keys to discuss the power of music. "From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the 'Who Run the World' songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story," Obama said after a long ovation. "Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in."
2. Kacey Musgraves cleans up
It was a huge night for Kacey Musgraves, as she took home four GRAMMYs—Best Country Solo Performance for "Butterflies," Best Country Song for "Space Cowboy," Best Country Album for Golden Hour and the night's biggest honor, Album of the Year—and sang with Dolly Parton, but one of her best moments came early in the show as she performed "Rainbow." On a night that's typically dominated by intricate choreography and elaborate set pieces, it was striking to see Musgraves opt for the understated, reassuring ballad, which she performed accompanied only by a piano.
3. Janelle Monáe makes us feel
Every Janelle Monáe performance is memorable, and her Grammy appearance this year was no different, stealing the show and making for some great Lady Gaga reaction shots. Monáe tore through Dirty Computer highlight "Make Me Feel" with all the flair we've come to expect from her before transitioning into snippets of "Django Jane" ("Black girl magic, y'all can't stand it, y'all can't ban it, made out like a bandit...let the vagina have a monologue.") and "PYNK," bringing out dancers clad in the vagina pants from the latter's video, which earned her a Best Music Video nomination this year. "I love you, Dirty Computers," she declared, before very deservedly dropping the mic.
4. That dazzling Dolly Parton tribute
The GRAMMY tribute to MusiCares Person of the Year and all-around legend Dolly Parton was a star-studded affair, featuring performances from the likes of Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Little Big Town and more, but the real star of the segment was the Backwoods Barbie herself. Parton stunned with some excellent vocals, kicking things off with Musgraves and Perry on "Here You Come Again" before duetting with her goddaughter Cyrus on "Jolene." Cyrus and Parton were joined by Maren Morris for some gorgeous three-part harmony on "After the Gold Rush," which she recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris on their classic Trio II album. Little Big Town appeared for new track "Red Shoes" from the Dumplin' soundtrack before Parton brought it home with a "9 to 5" finale.
5. H.E.R. arrives
Best New Artist nominee H.E.R. stunned with a performance of "Hard Place," from her 2018 EP I Used to Know Her: Part 2. It was a big night for H.E.R. (real name Gabi Wilson), as she took home two GRAMMYs, Best R&B Album for H.E.R. and Best R&B Performance for "Best Part." "I'm speechless right now," she told the crowd during her acceptance speech. "I'm holding back tears."
6. Diana Ross celebrates her best years
Diana Ross' 75th birthday isn't until March 26, but that didn't stop her from celebrating at the GRAMMYs last night. After an Alicia Keys-narrated video package highlighting her achievements and an adorable introduction from her grandson, the Motown legend came out to perform "Best Years of My Life" and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)." "All is possible with music and with you. You can lead the way," she reminded the audience, before gleefully wrapping up with "Happy birthday to me!"
7. Lady Gaga shines
Bradley Cooper may not have been in the building to share the "Shallow" spotlight with her (he was busy representing 'A Star is Born' at the BAFTAs), but Lady Gaga was more than fine handling it on her own, belting out both parts to the movie's big duet, which was nominated for four GRAMMYs. "Shallow" took home two wins, Best Pop/Duo Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media, and Gaga also went home with the Best Pop Solo Performance Grammy for "Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin'?)."
8. Brandi Carlile jumps for joy
By the time she hit the stage last night, Brandi Carlile had already taken home three GRAMMYs (Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for "The Joke" and Best Americana Album for By the Way, I Forgive You), so her incredible performance of "The Joke" was the icing on the cake. Her soaring vocals earned her a standing ovation, which she reacted to by joyfully jumping up and down and pumping her fist. Joke's on you if you snoozed on this stunning talent.
9. St. Vincent and Dua Lipa team up
St. Vincent and Dua Lipa both had big nights, with the former winning Best Rock Song for "Masseduction" and the latter taking home Best New Artist, and their GRAMMY performance served as the perfect victory lap. The pair performed a mashup of "Masseduction" and "One Kiss," with the refrain of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and a healthy amount of St. Vincent guitar riffs, played on her signature Ernie Ball, mixed in.
10. Respect for Aretha Franklin
Speaking of Aretha, she's getting her own tribute special on March 10, but it wouldn't be right to go without paying respect to the Queen of Soul on the GRAMMY broadcast as well. After the show's In Memoriam segment, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day teamed up for a rendition of "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," with each woman taking a verse before ending in striking three-part harmony.
Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY
Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business
The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.
In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip.
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.
Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs
Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage
What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.
Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.
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.