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EXCLUSIVE: Listen To A Preview Of Jenni Rivera's Never-Before-Heard Song "Quisieran Tener Mi Lugar"

Jenni Rivera 

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EXCLUSIVE: Listen To A Preview Of Jenni Rivera's Never-Before-Heard Song "Quisieran Tener Mi Lugar"

GRAMMY.com has an exclusive preview of the Mexican Regional music icon’s latest unreleased single

GRAMMYs/Jun 29, 2020 - 08:55 pm

It’s been eight years since Mexican regional music lost their great lady, their "Gran Señora."

But Jenni Rivera’s one of a kind voice and rebellious, trailblazing spirt lives on in her latest never-before released track "Quisieran Tener Mi Lugar."

The unforgettable Mexican-American singer, who died in a tragic plane crash in 2012, paved the way for women in Mexican regional music with her command over several genre styles (banda, corrido and mariachi, to name a few) and a powerful, soulful voice that belted out lyrics about heartbreak, love, sex and mafia life. A female artist in a male-dominated genre, Jenni Rivera made room for herself and claimed her throne as banda’s diva, as she was lovingly known, with a spirit that was not afraid to break gender norms.

"Quisieran Tener Mi Lugar" exudes the confidence, determination, drive and outspokenness the world loved about her.

"They keep going with the same old story/ They judge and criticize my life/ I’m the diva and it hurts them/ I say what I want, I don’t care," she sings in Spanish over the brass heavy style of banda music. "They just want to talk to talk/ Because they don’t have any shame/Maybe they want to have my place and live the good life."

GRAMMY.com has an exclusive preview of the song, which will be fully released on what would be Rivera’s 51st birthday, July 2.

The unreleased song was discovered by Rivera’s brother Juan, who was unsure if the songs he had come across were new when he found them, after her death.

"When I found out they were unreleased records I wasn’t sure if it was sheer happiness or sadness," he told GRAMMY.com via email. "Happiness because it was something FRESH, TOTALLY NEW and UNHEARD for her fans. Sad because I’m afraid to find them all and reach that potential end."

"Quisieran Tener Mi Lugar" is the third single off a posthumous forthcoming album called Hablando Claro. No release date has been set. Juan and Rivera’s youngest son, Johnny, are aomg some that have worked on the album which will feature previously released singles "Aparentemente Bien," co-written by Erika Ender and Alejandro Lerner and "Enganemoslo" with Mariachi Los Reyes and written by Espinoza Paz.

Juan says working on the album has brought a new way for him to contribute to his sister’s legacy.

RELATED: The Spirit Of Jenni Rivera Is Forever Unbreakable

"It’s been the greatest honor and BLESSING. At times, difficult because as a brother i would have never imagined that I would have to work on her music in this manner," he said. "I had the honor of working with her on live performances and to see that PURE LOVE for her from her fans. Now, I can say I’m a part of her musical history via these new songs."

The family has been holding news of the album since 2017, waiting for the right moment to release it.

Rivera’s son, Johnny, has been looking forward to the album since then. For him, it’s been an honor to work on his mother’s music. He thoughtfully came up with the album’s title so that it could align with other albums in her catalog.

"I wanted to make sure it’d fit with the rest of my mom’s studio albums and so I chose Hablando Claro because she recorded that song on the album for my grandmother. She has the theme across many of her albums of honoring my grandmother with tracks like 'La Gran Señora,' 'Resulta,' 'Homenaje A Mi Madre' and 'Déjame Vivir.'" He said. "I feel this is her speaking her truth through her music."

Johnny reveals fans can expect his mother’s "most bold, broken-down and personal tracks" on the new album.

"She left behind some great music and I think she always had the thought in her that she wanted to leave music behind for when she was no longer here physically," he shares. She was always thinking about the future."

He adds that he hopes her fans, new and old, become touched by her emotion and resonate with every single one she leaves on the album—whether they laugh, cry, or celebrate with her.

"She knew her purpose in life was to help others through her music.,” he said. “That intention is still the main goal even almost eight years after she’s been physically gone."

The album’s release will be a bittersweet feeling for Johnny too.

"It makes it more real that she’s no longer physically here. This is her final album of original Spanish material," he said. "In a lot of ways you wanna hold onto it forever but I know this is going to hold such an important place in her legacy."

Hear a snippet of the song above.

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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Jenni Rivera Essentials: 10 Songs That Embody The Late Banda Music Icon's Rebellious Spirit
Jenni Rivera performs at the 2010 Latin GRAMMY Awards.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for LARAS

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Jenni Rivera Essentials: 10 Songs That Embody The Late Banda Music Icon's Rebellious Spirit

Ten years after her untimely passing, Jenni Rivera's legacy endures through her boundary-pushing music. The late singer's daughter, Chiquis, revisited her mom's most iconic songs with GRAMMY.com.

GRAMMYs/Dec 9, 2022 - 04:31 pm

During her lifetime, Jenni Rivera wasn’t just a force in Regional Mexican music — she was one of the genre’s contemporary boundary breakers. From her debut in 1999 to her final bilingual albums in 2011, the Mexican-American icon pushed the male-dominated genre to new places as a female voice, even becoming the best-selling banda singer of all time.

Rivera’s remarkable career was tragically cut short on Dec. 9, 2012,when she died in a plane crash. But even a decade later, her legacy endures, and can also be felt with the women who are emerging in the genre — like her daughter Chiquis, who has followed in her footsteps.

"There's no way that you can sing this type of music, be a woman, and not think of Jenni Rivera," Chiquis tells GRAMMY.com. "The impact that she has makes me proud as another woman in the industry in this genre. And also as her daughter — how I feel proud to say that she was my mom. She broke so many barriers for all women to come. There's never going to be another Jenni, but there are always going to be women who are going to be inspired by her."

Rivera started making waves in the Regional Mexican music genre with her third album, 2000's Que Me Entierren Con La Banda ("Bury Me With the Band"). She solidified her place as banda music's leading lady with the aptly-titled 2005 LP Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida (Parrandera, Rebel and Daring), which reflected her rebellious, boundary-pushing spirit. Rivera proudly sang about relationships, sex, and even out-drinking the men at the bar; instead of heartbreak, her songs on breaking up were about resilience and self-love.

"Her music was just raw and very real," Chiquis says. "Everything that she sang, she connected with in some way in her life. What comes from the heart reaches the heart. Even to the end of her career, they criticized her a lot for being a woman in the genre. She never cared. She stood up and said, 'This is who I am and I love myself.' Women feel empowered when they sing to her music, even men [do too]."

Throughout her career, Rivera received four Latin GRAMMY Award nominations. Twelve of her studio albums and posthumous compilations have charted on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart — a rarity for Regional Mexican music artists. She also notched 25 entries on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart, with 10 landing in the top 20, including “Inolvidable” and “Ahora Que Estuviste Lejos.”

Ten years after her passing, GRAMMY.com remembers Jenni Rivera with10 essential songs that capture the spirit of her legacy.

"Las Malandrinas," Que Me Entierren Con la Banda (2000)

Rivera first made noise in the banda genre with her girl power anthem "Las Malandrinas." In the rambunctious track, she sang about women drinking, partying and having a good time — even if some viewed it as wicked behavior.

"It's a song that I wrote in honor of my female fans, women who like to party like myself," Rivera once said about the song. "It's the first song that perhaps many of you heard and got to know the voice of Jenni Rivera."

"De Contrabando," Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida (2005)

"De Contrabando" is one of the raciest songs in banda music. In the sensual ballad, Rivera sings about sleeping with a man that's already spoken for. It's also one of the songs that showed off Rivera’s vocal range as it fluttered with romantic sensations.

Chiquis remembers that her mother experienced some pushback about recording the song. "My mom was always a very daring woman," she says. "That's the Rebelde y Atrevida type of Jenni. She said, 'I don't care what anyone thinks. This is what I want to sing.'"

"Inolvidable," Mi Vida Loca (2007)

"Inolvidable" is a song that's become Rivera's signature anthem. In the bustling banda track, she sang about her ex-lovers, saying that she was an unforgettable woman in their lives.

Rivera basked in the satisfaction of leaving that impression. The singer dedicated the song to her daughters, saying they had the "Jenni Effect." Chiquis described the "Jenni Effect" as: "It doesn't matter who comes into your life because they're always going to remember you. My mom had that. She touched people and she left an imprint in their lives and their hearts forever, and that's what that song is. She's always going to be here."

"Ahora Que Estuviste Lejos," Jenni (2008)

In "Ahora Que Estuviste Lejos," Rivera counted the ways her life was so much better with her ex-lover out of the picture. Backed by triumphant banda brass, she celebrated being single while lyrically cutting the guy down to size. Chiquis revealed it was inspired by one of Rivera's real-life breakups.

"She was like, 'Know what, now that I know what it is to be single after being with him for so long, I like it,'" Chiquis recalls. "It reminds me of that moment in her life when she found this different side of herself: liberty."

"Chuper Amigos," Jenni (2008)

In true Jenni Rivera fashion, she was ready to party in her boozy banda anthem "Chuper Amigos." She sang about closing down the bar with tequila and her closest friends.

Rivera embraced the looseness of the song with one of the most playful vocal performances in her catalog. The high-energy track was also a popular song during her live shows. "It's a fun song that you hear and no matter what you want to dance," Chiquis says. "The people would go crazy at her concerts. It just puts you into a good mood."

"Ovarios," Jenni: Super Deluxe (2009)

With "Ovarios," Rivera sang about being a woman in charge of her own career. The title in English translates to "ovaries," which she used as a symbol of female strength, in contrast to men who brag about the male anatomy in songs.

Chiquis revealed Rivera also received pushback from recording the swaggering corrido. "[My mom] said, 'I'm going to do whatever I want to do. This is the type of music I listen to. This is the type of music that inspires me and I want other women to feel empowered,’” she recalls. “I think any woman can relate to it and say, 'Hell yeah! I can do it too.'"

"No Llega El Olvido," La Gran Señora (2009)

Rivera embraced mariachi music with "No Llega El Olvido." This time around, she wanted to drink the heartbreak away with an emotional ballad. Rivera dug deep to wring out every lyric that described the post-breakup pain. The track was originally penned by Mexican singer/songwriter Espinoza Paz.

"It's a song my mom interpreted so well," Chiquis says. "It's an anthem. You want to drink and everyone can relate to that song in one way or another. It's crazy to know that it’s one of my mom's most popular songs with it ever being a single."

"Amaneciste Conmigo (Aka Sentirte En Mi Frio)," La Gran Señora (2009)

Rivera embraced ranchera music in "Amaneciste Conmigo (Aka Sentirte En Mi Frio)." In the soaring ballad, she sang about getting caught up in a forbidden romance. The singer powerfully embodied the emotions behind a romance that was withstanding outside criticism.

The song also doubles as an anthem for her fans in LGBTQIA+ community. "She definitely has a huge LGBTQIA+ following and she was very close to them," Chiquis says. "She would enjoy seeing drag queens perform her songs. She would laugh and say, 'Oh my god! The drag queens study me so well.'

Chiquis adds, “I know she would be happy right now to see how many drag queens there are now working and making money off singing her songs and imitating her. I know those are the types of things that made her very proud."

"Basta Ya," Joyas Prestadas (2011)

"Basta Ya" is a classic in Latin music that was penned by Mexican icon Marco Antonio Solís. The song received a pop version and a banda version as part of Rivera’s dual language double album, Joyas Prestadas. Her voice soared as she embodied the message of finding self-love amidst the heartache of a breakup.

Chiquis was the one who told her mom to record the song. "There was a guy that I really liked and he didn't pay attention to me," she says. "I would always ask her to sing it for me because it helped me get through a lot, so that's a very special song for me."

"Misión Cumplida," Misión Cumplida (2022)

This year, Rivera's voice returned with her new single "Misión Cumplida." In the heartfelt banda ballad, Rivera sang about feeling fulfilled by her fans. The song is a part of a posthumous album Misión Cumplida that was released today by her estate.

"With each new release we’re recognizing how much of an icon Jenni Rivera was and continues to be in the eyes and the hearts of her fans," her daughter Jacqie, said in a statement. "What better way to thank them than to give them music to remember her by and continue to help them carry on her legacy."

A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 

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A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."

Moniquea

Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.

L'Impératrice

L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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Living Legends: Billy Idol On Survival, Revival & Breaking Out Of The Cage
Billy Idol

Photo: Steven Sebring

interview

Living Legends: Billy Idol On Survival, Revival & Breaking Out Of The Cage

"One foot in the past and one foot into the future," Billy Idol says, describing his decade-spanning career in rock. "We’ve got the best of all possible worlds because that has been the modus operandi of Billy Idol."

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:19 pm

Living Legends is a series that spotlights icons in music still going strong today. This week, GRAMMY.com spoke with Billy Idol about his latest EP,  Cage, and continuing to rock through decades of changing tastes.

Billy Idol is a true rock 'n' roll survivor who has persevered through cultural shifts and personal struggles. While some may think of Idol solely for "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding," the singer's musical influences span genres and many of his tunes are less turbo-charged than his '80s hits would belie.  

Idol first made a splash in the latter half of the '70s with the British punk band Generation X. In the '80s, he went on to a solo career combining rock, pop, and punk into a distinct sound that transformed him and his musical partner, guitarist Steve Stevens, into icons. They have racked up multiple GRAMMY nominations, in addition to one gold, one double platinum, and four platinum albums thanks to hits like "Cradle Of Love," "Flesh For Fantasy," and "Eyes Without A Face." 

But, unlike many legacy artists, Idol is anything but a relic. Billy continues to produce vital Idol music by collaborating with producers and songwriters — including Miley Cyrus — who share his forward-thinking vision. He will play a five-show Vegas residency in November, and filmmaker Jonas Akerlund is working on a documentary about Idol’s life. 

His latest release is Cage, the second in a trilogy of annual four-song EPs. The title track is a classic Billy Idol banger expressing the desire to free himself from personal constraints and live a better life. Other tracks on Cage incorporate metallic riffing and funky R&B grooves. 

Idol continues to reckon with his demons — they both grappled with addiction during the '80s — and the singer is open about those struggles on the record and the page. (Idol's 2014 memoir Dancing With Myself, details a 1990 motorcycle accident that nearly claimed a leg, and how becoming a father steered him to reject hard drugs. "Bitter Taste," from his last EP, The Roadside, reflects on surviving the accident.)

Although Idol and Stevens split in the late '80s — the skilled guitarist fronted Steve Stevens & The Atomic Playboys, and collaborated with Michael Jackson, Rick Ocasek, Vince Neil, and Harold Faltermeyer (on the GRAMMY-winning "Top Gun Anthem") —  their common history and shared musical bond has been undeniable. The duo reunited in 2001 for an episode of "VH1 Storytellers" and have been back in the saddle for two decades. Their union remains one of the strongest collaborations in rock 'n roll history.

While there is recognizable personnel and a distinguishable sound throughout a lot of his work, Billy Idol has always pushed himself to try different things. Idol discusses his musical journey, his desire to constantly move forward, and the strong connection that he shares with Stevens. 

Steve has said that you like to mix up a variety of styles, yet everyone assumes you're the "Rebel Yell"/"White Wedding" guy. But if they really listen to your catalog, it's vastly different.

Yeah, that's right. With someone like Steve Stevens, and then back in the day Keith Forsey producing... [Before that] Generation X actually did move around inside punk rock. We didn't stay doing just the Ramones two-minute music. We actually did a seven-minute song. [Laughs]. We did always mix things up. 

Then when I got into my solo career, that was the fun of it. With someone like Steve, I knew what he could do. I could see whatever we needed to do, we could nail it. The world was my oyster musically. 

"Cage" is a classic-sounding Billy Idol rocker, then "Running From The Ghost" is almost metal, like what the Devil's Playground album was like back in the mid-2000s. "Miss Nobody" comes out of nowhere with this pop/R&B flavor. What inspired that?

We really hadn't done anything like that since something like "Flesh For Fantasy" [which] had a bit of an R&B thing about it. Back in the early days of Billy Idol, "Hot In The City" and "Mony Mony" had girls [singing] on the backgrounds. 

We always had a bit of R&B really, so it was actually fun to revisit that. We just hadn't done anything really quite like that for a long time. That was one of the reasons to work with someone like Sam Hollander [for the song "Rita Hayworth"] on The Roadside. We knew we could go [with him] into an R&B world, and he's a great songwriter and producer. That's the fun of music really, trying out these things and seeing if you can make them stick. 

I listen to new music by veteran artists and debate that with some people. I'm sure you have those fans that want their nostalgia, and then there are some people who will embrace the newer stuff. Do you find it’s a challenge to reach people with new songs?

Obviously, what we're looking for is, how do we somehow have one foot in the past and one foot into the future? We’ve got the best of all possible worlds because that has been the modus operandi of Billy Idol. 

You want to do things that are true to you, and you don't just want to try and do things that you're seeing there in the charts today. I think that we're achieving it with things like "Running From The Ghost" and "Cage" on this new EP. I think we’re managing to do both in a way. 

Obviously, "Running From The Ghost" is about addiction, all the stuff that you went through, and in "Cage" you’re talking about  freeing yourself from a lot of personal shackles. Was there any one moment in your life that made you really thought I have to not let this weigh me down anymore?

I mean, things like the motorcycle accident I had, that was a bit of a wake up call way back. It was 32 years ago. But there were things like that, years ago, that gradually made me think about what I was doing with my life. I didn't want to ruin it, really. I didn't want to throw it away, and it made [me] be less cavalier. 

I had to say to myself, about the drugs and stuff, that I've been there and I've done it. There’s no point in carrying on doing it. You couldn't get any higher. You didn't want to throw your life away casually, and I was close to doing that. It took me a bit of time, but then gradually I was able to get control of myself to a certain extent [with] drugs and everything. And I think Steve's done the same thing. We're on a similar path really, which has been great because we're in the same boat in terms of lyrics and stuff. 

So a lot of things like that were wake up calls. Even having grandchildren and just watching my daughter enlarging her family and everything; it just makes you really positive about things and want to show a positive side to how you're feeling, about where you're going. We've lived with the demons so long, we've found a way to live with them. We found a way to be at peace with our demons, in a way. Maybe not completely, but certainly to where we’re enjoying what we do and excited about it.

[When writing] "Running From The Ghost" it was easy to go, what was the ghost for us? At one point, we were very drug addicted in the '80s. And Steve in particular is super sober [now]. I mean, I still vape pot and stuff. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but it’s incredible. All I want to be able to do is have a couple of glasses of wine at a restaurant or something. I can do that now.

I think working with people that are super talented, you just feel confident. That is a big reason why you open up and express yourself more because you feel comfortable with what's around you.

Did you watch Danny Boyle's recent Sex Pistols mini-series?

I did, yes.

You had a couple of cameos; well, an actor who portrayed you did. How did you react to it? How accurate do you think it was in portraying that particular time period?

I love Jonesy’s book, I thought his book was incredible. It's probably one of the best bio books really. It was incredible and so open. I was looking forward to that a lot.

It was as if [the show] kind of stayed with Steve [Jones’ memoir] about halfway through, and then departed from it. [John] Lydon, for instance, was never someone I ever saw acting out; he's more like that today. I never saw him do something like jump up in the room and run around going crazy. The only time I saw him ever do that was when they signed the recording deal with Virgin in front of Buckingham Palace. Whereas Sid Vicious was always acting out; he was always doing something in a horrible way or shouting at someone. I don't remember John being like that. I remember him being much more introverted.

But then I watched interviews with some of the actors about coming to grips with the parts they were playing. And they were saying, we knew punk rock happened but just didn't know any of the details. So I thought well, there you go. If ["Pistol" is]  informing a lot of people who wouldn't know anything about punk rock, maybe that's what's good about it.

Maybe down the road John Lydon will get the chance to do John's version of the Pistols story. Maybe someone will go a lot deeper into it and it won't be so surface. But maybe you needed this just to get people back in the flow.

We had punk and metal over here in the States, but it feels like England it was legitimately more dangerous. British society was much more rigid.

It never went [as] mega in America. It went big in England. It exploded when the Pistols did that interview with [TV host Bill] Grundy, that lorry truck driver put his boot through his own TV, and all the national papers had "the filth and the fury" [headlines].

We went from being unknown to being known overnight. We waited a year, Generation X. We even told them [record labels] no for nine months to a year. Every record company wanted their own punk rock group. So it went really mega in England, and it affected the whole country – the style, the fashions, everything. I mean, the Ramones were massive in England. Devo had a No. 1 song [in England] with "Satisfaction" in '77. Actually, Devo was as big as or bigger than the Pistols.

You were ahead of the pop-punk thing that happened in the late '90s, and a lot of it became tongue-in-cheek by then. It didn't have the same sense of rebelliousness as the original movement. It was more pop.

It had become a style. There was a famous book in England called Revolt Into Style — and that's what had happened, a revolt that turned into style which then they were able to duplicate in their own way. Even recently, Billie Joe [Armstrong] did his own version of "Gimme Some Truth," the Lennon song we covered way back in 1977.

When we initially were making [punk] music, it hadn't become accepted yet. It was still dangerous and turned into a style that people were used to. We were still breaking barriers.

You have a band called Generation Sex with Steve Jones and Paul Cook. I assume you all have an easier time playing Pistols and Gen X songs together now and not worrying about getting spit on like back in the '70s?

Yeah, definitely. When I got to America I told the group I was putting it together, "No one spits at the audience."

We had five years of being spat on [in the UK], and it was revolting. And they spat at you if they liked you. If they didn't like it they smashed your gear up. One night, I remember I saw blood on my T-shirt, and I think Joe Strummer got meningitis when spit went in his mouth.

You had to go through a lot to become successful, it wasn't like you just kind of got up there and did a couple of gigs. I don't think some young rock bands really get that today.

With punk going so mega in England, we definitely got a leg up. We still had a lot of work to get where we got to, and rightly so because you find out that you need to do that. A lot of groups in the old days would be together three to five years before they ever made a record, and that time is really important. In a way, what was great about punk rock for me was it was very much a learning period. I really learned a lot [about] recording music and being in a group and even writing songs.

Then when I came to America, it was a flow, really. I also really started to know what I wanted Billy Idol to be. It took me a little bit, but I kind of knew what I wanted Billy Idol to be. And even that took a while to let it marinate.

You and Miley Cyrus have developed a good working relationship in the last several years. How do you think her fans have responded to you, and your fans have responded to her?

I think they're into it. It's more the record company that she had didn't really get "Night Crawling"— it was one of the best songs on Plastic Hearts, and I don't think they understood that. They wanted to go with Dua Lipa, they wanted to go with the modern, young acts, and I don't think they realized that that song was resonating with her fans. Which is a shame really because, with Andrew Watt producing, it's a hit song.

But at the same time, I enjoyed doing it. It came out really good and it's very Billy Idol. In fact, I think it’s more Billy Idol than Miley Cyrus. I think it shows you where Andrew Watt was. He was excited about doing a Billy Idol track. She's fun to work with. She’s a really great person and she works at her singing — I watched her rehearsing for the Super Bowl performance she gave. She rehearsed all Saturday morning, all Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning and it was that afternoon. I have to admire her fortitude. She really cares.

I remember when you went on "Viva La Bamback in 2005 and decided to give Bam Margera’s Lamborghini a new sunroof by taking a power saw to it. Did he own that car? Was that a rental?

I think it was his car.

Did he get over it later on?

He loved it. [Laughs] He’s got a wacky sense of humor. He’s fantastic, actually. I’m really sorry to see what he's been going through just lately. He's going through a lot, and I wish him the best. He's a fantastic person, and it's a shame that he's struggling so much with his addictions. I know what it's like. It's not easy.

Musically, what is the synergy like with you guys during the past 10 years, doing Kings and Queens of the Underground and this new stuff? What is your working relationship like now in this more sober, older, mature version of you two as opposed to what it was like back in the '80s?

In lots of ways it’s not so different because we always wrote the songs together, we always talked about what we're going to do together. It was just that we were getting high at the same time.We're just not getting [that way now] but we're doing all the same things.

We're still talking about things, still [planning] things:What are we going to do next? How are we going to find new people to work with? We want to find new producers. Let's be a little bit more timely about putting stuff out.That part of our relationship is the same, you know what I mean? That never got affected. We just happened to be overloading in the '80s.

The relationship’s… matured and it's carrying on being fruitful, and I think that's pretty amazing. Really, most people don't get to this place. Usually, they hate each other by now. [Laughs] We also give each other space. We're not stopping each other doing things outside of what we’re working on together. All of that enables us to carry on working together. I love and admire him. I respect him. He's been fantastic. I mean, just standing there on stage with him is always a treat. And he’s got an immensely great sense of humor. I think that's another reason why we can hang together after all this time because we've got the sense of humor to enable us to go forward.

There's a lot of fan reaction videos online, and I noticed a lot of younger women like "Rebel Yell" because, unlike a lot of other '80s alpha male rock tunes, you're talking about satisfying your lover.

It was about my girlfriend at the time, Perri Lister. It was about how great I thought she was, how much I was in love with her, and how great women are, how powerful they are.

It was a bit of a feminist anthem in a weird way. It was all about how relationships can free you and add a lot to your life. It was a cry of love, nothing to do with the Civil War or anything like that. Perri was a big part of my life, a big part of being Billy Idol. I wanted to write about it. I'm glad that's the effect.

Is there something you hope people get out of the songs you've been doing over the last 10 years? Do you find yourself putting out a message that keeps repeating?

Well, I suppose, if anything, is that you can come to terms with your life, you can keep a hold of it. You can work your dreams into reality in a way and, look, a million years later, still be enjoying it.

The only reason I'm singing about getting out of the cage is because I kicked out of the cage years ago. I joined Generation X when I said to my parents, "I'm leaving university, and I'm joining a punk rock group." And they didn't even know what a punk rock group was. Years ago, I’d write things for myself that put me on this path, so that maybe in 2022 I could sing something like "Cage" and be owning this territory and really having a good time. This is the life I wanted.

The original UK punk movement challenged societal norms. Despite all the craziness going on throughout the world, it seems like a lot of modern rock bands are afraid to do what you guys were doing. Do you think we'll see a shift in that?

Yeah.  Art usually reacts to things, so I would think eventually there will be a massive reaction to the pop music that’s taken over — the middle of the road music, and then this kind of right wing politics. There will be a massive reaction if there's not already one. I don’t know where it will come from exactly. You never know who's gonna do [it].

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