meta-scriptFiona Apple Pledges Two Years Of "Criminal" Royalties To Immigrant Resource Fund | GRAMMY.com
Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple

Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

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Fiona Apple Pledges Two Years Of "Criminal" Royalties To Immigrant Resource Fund

"After months and months of reading the news about how my country is treating refugees, I've become gutted with frustration trying to figure out the best way to help…These people are being prosecuted as criminals just for asking for asylum," she wrote

GRAMMYs/Jul 3, 2019 - 04:19 am

This past Sunday, Fiona Apple shared her commitment to donate the next two years of TV and film placement earnings from "Criminal" to the While They Wait fund, a new immigrant rights initiative.

In a letter shared via her Tumblr fan page, the activist/singer-songwriter explained that the GRAMMY-winning 1996 hit song is her "most requested" for TV/film, and she generally shares its earnings with friends and family. After witnessing the continued news of the inhumane treatment of migrants at U.S. borders, she wanted this income to support refugees.

<iframe width="620" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FFOzayDpWoI" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

"After months and months of reading the news about how my country is treating refugees, I've become gutted with frustration trying to figure out the best way to help," Apple wrote.

She continued: "[While They Wait] seems to me that the best way I can help detainees is to contribute to payment of their legal fees. What they need is representation and guidance because these people are being prosecuted as criminals just for asking for asylum."

In the post, she encouraged other songwriters to also donate earnings from a song to the org, and for everyone interested to check out their work:

"I want to ask other songwriters to donate just ONE TIME, the money they get for the usage of one of their songs to this organization or one of their choosing. I could write a song about this and maybe I will but for now, I will use "CRIMINAL" to help the WRONGLY criminalized get justice. I encourage anyone who wants to join with me to get involved—watch the short film on their site."

<iframe width="620" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kxupN5eLS8g" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

While They Wait was launched in January in response by three social justice non-profits; ACLU SoCal, RAICES Texas and Brooklyn Defender Services. According to their website, with data from USCIS, there are currently 311,000 immigrants living seeking asylum. The video Apple references, shared above, tells the heartbreaking story of Honduran asylum-seeker Nilda, one of BDS's clients, and features a song by benny blanco, Calvin Harris and Miguel.

For more information on how to get involved, visit the fund's website.

Elton John Is Celebrated With France's Highest Civilian Honor

 

Sam Beam
Sam Beam of Iron & Wine performing in 2022

Photo: Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

interview

Iron & Wine Offers 'Light Verse': Sam Beam On His New Album, 2000s-Era Pigeonholing & Turning Up The Whimsy

If your memories of Iron & Wine are of melancholic folk songs for drizzly days, wipe your glasses dry: singer Sam Beam is a richly multidimensional artist. As displayed on his sophisticated, fancy-free new album with killer collaborators, 'Light Verse.'

GRAMMYs/Apr 29, 2024 - 02:15 pm

Upon first impression, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine’s got a wildly endearing trait: he laughs even when something’s not explicitly funny. Even through Zoom, the man most of us know for aching, desolate folk songs will give you a tremendous lift.

"I like to joke around and stuff with my friends," the beardy and serene Beam tells GRAMMY.com — those friends including fellow mellow 2000s favorites, like Andrew Bird and Calexico. "Honestly, it's harder to be serious than it is to joke around most of my friends."

That’s partly what spurred the four-time GRAMMY nominee to make the shimmering, whimsical Light Verse. While it follows 2023’s soundtrack to the documentary Who Can See Forever, and 2019’s Calexico collaboration Years to Born, in relatively short order, it’s still the first proper Iron & Wine album since 2017’s Beast Epic.

Getting to the space to write waggish songs like "Anyone’s Game" ("First they kiss their lucky dice and then they dig themselves a grave/ They do this until it’s killing them to try") wasn’t easy. In conversation, Beam mentions "the pandemic that put me on my ear." In press materials, he expanded on exactly how it did.

"While so many artists, fortunately, found inspiration in the chaos, I was the opposite and withered with the constant background noise of uncertainty and fear," Beam wrote. "The last thing I wanted to write about was COVID."

"And yet, every moment I sat with my pen," he continued, "it lingered around the edges and wouldn’t leave. I struggled to focus until I gave up, and this lasted for over two years."

Thankfully, a Memphis session with singer/songwriter Lori McKenna relaxed his "creative muscles" and a series of tours and collaborations loosened him up even more. Beam assembled a dream team of musicians in Laurel Canyon, and the rest is history — Light Verse is a sumptuous delight.

Read on for how it came to be — and much more.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Light Verse is the first non-collaborative Iron & Wine album since 2017. I imagine there’s sometimes pressure to just put music out for the sake of having it out. Whatever the case, I appreciate that you put time and thought into it.

Yeah, I mean, honestly, I just like making records with other people. You can only smell your own breath so long. I enjoy putting out records, but I feel like I grow more as a musician and person by working with other people. So, I’ll probably be doing more and more of that.

I don’t feel a whole lot of pressure, one way or the other. Maybe I’m just deaf and those things are screaming at me. But I just don’t listen.

What pressures have you faced in the music industry?

Oh, there are certainly lots of pressures. One is, I should probably be on top of my social media game, but I just can't seem to engage with it. I don’t know. That's how people make their entire careers these days, but I can't find a way to sustain it.

I can't think of a way that I could, because I definitely go through days without picking up my phone at all, so I just can't. I think if I could figure out a way to make it fun, I would do it.

What do you do with the time most people spend on their screens?

Playing guitar, or I do a lot of painting. I’m not saying I never pick up my phone, but I don't think about what could I share about my breakfast to the world, I just don't think about it. I'm private.

What was the germ of the concept behind Light Verse?

I don't really usually go in with a specific idea in mind. I just like to stack the deck with people that I like to play with, or that I like what they do. And so just see what happens, throwing a bunch of ingredients that you like individually, and just seeing if it makes a soup that you like.

My idea was to go in with these folks from L.A. that I had met along the way. David Garza, I'd been wanting to play with for a long time. I'd met Tyler Chester, who plays keys, when he was playing with Andrew Bird. Griffin Goldsmith plays with Dawes.

The songs were all developed. They were a bit lighter than some of the fare that I've put out before, far as just silly rhymes. They're a little more off the cuff.

I'm kinda mining the territory of the early '70s, where the folk writers were playing with jazz musicians. It just becomes a little more orchestra, or however you want to describe it. Not quite so straightforward.

But I had these off-kilter tunes and I got an off-kilter, talented band from LA, and I was just going to see what happened. And this is what happened.

Naturally, my mind goes to Joni Mitchell playing with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. What are your touchstones?

Well, those Van records — Astral Weeks and stuff. All the stuff in that time when people started playing cluster-y chords. I love that music. It’s so expressive. Ron Carter playing with Roberta Flack, even. They’re gospel-blues sorts of tunes, but they’re also folky [in their] structures and melodies.

Are you a super technically proficient guitarist? Can you play those crazy chords?

[Grins] I wouldn’t be able to tell you what chord it was, but I might be able to get my hand in the shape. I don’t read music. I just learned to play by ear, but I like to play guitar a lot, so I end up stumbling on most stuff.

I also fool around with a lot of open tunings, so you end up with some cluster-y, bizarre stuff with that, for sure.

Even just paying attention to Brian Wilson — he’s not a guitarist, but I feel like his work can teach guitarists a lot about voice leading and stuff.

Definitely. A lot of those jazz voices have been absorbed by pop music. You can hear Bill Evans all over pop music, especially in the ‘90s.

**Can you take readers through the orchestration on Light Verse? It’s so shimmery and rich and unconventional.**

Thanks. Yeah, we were borrowing from some of those jazz ensembles we’re talking about, and also Brazilian music.

Honestly, that Gal Costa tune, "Baby" — it’s the most famous one — it’s my spirit animal for this record. Just between the strings and the way the guitars and rhythm section work — the sparse way it comes and goes.

We approached it fairly intuitively. But I do feel like Paul Cartwright, who did a lot of those strings and charts and stuff, played a huge role as far as the identity of this record. Outside of the lyrics and the forms and stuff, just the way that he interpreted in this really expressive way. His charts and stuff were really great — and a lot of it's him playing, stacking stuff on his own. He's really, really talented.

He also grew up in Bakersfield, and since the violin is strung the way a mandolin is, he rocks a mean mandolin. He had all these different bass mandocellos and all this stuff. He was just, "What are we working on now? Hand me that thing," and just did all kinds of coloring. It's great.

Can you talk about approaching your work with more whimsy and color?

I feel like for some reason, for the longest time when I sat down to write a song, it was a time to say what I mean. And so when it came time to write a song, it ended up being really somber. Some of it is acidic, but somber for the most part.

Whereas for this one, I was just looking for more balance. Maybe I'm just too old to be impressed by that stuff, so I like balance — something that can resonate on something that people recognize but also is fun at the same time. 

You can embrace both things at one time, that life is hard and also silly. And so that was the MO going into this one, and a lot of the songs that I chose to record were because they had both of those things going on at one time.

You’re a three-dimensional artist, but marketing can flatten musicians. Growing up with Iron & Wine, it tended to be packaged as "chill music for rainy days" or some such. Primary colors.

We all do that. We always try to define something. You know what I mean? You want to understand it, and by understanding, control it and define it.

All artists deal with that, for sure. It's frustrating when you want to be recognized. You want them to pay attention to other things, but it's also that we just want to be appreciated. Artists want to be appreciated for every little gesture we make, and it's not realistic. We do our best.

I feel like if you work hard, hopefully the stars will align and people will appreciate what you do.

What do you remember about the atmosphere of the music industry, back when big songs I don’t need to name came out?

You mean the vampire song and stuff?

Yeah.

It's definitely a lot different. The internet upended everything. I squeezed and slipped in the door just as the door was closing on the closed circuit of records and stuff.

It was more of a monoculture, where everyone was having the same conversation about the same groups of musicians. Now, [you can have] the entire history of recorded music at any moment of the day. It's hard to have the same conversation about things. That's been a big difference.

When you hang out and collaborate with friends like Andrew Bird, is there ever a sense of "We survived, we’re the class of 2000-whatever"?

Well, for one thing, it's hard to realize that you've been making music that long. Most bands don't even last that long. It's insane.

But it's also, I just feel really blessed. Maybe it's because I never studied music — my career feels like a fluke. I still feel blessed that people are still interested, blessed that I'm able to do this. I never thought it was in the cards, and so I just feel really lucky.

Sam Beam

Sam Beam of Iron & Wine. Photo: Kim Black

I feel like one route to longevity is self-containment. Namely, self-production, which you’ve done forever. Where are you at with that journey?

I like autonomy. I see the musicians who are also producers in their own right, so usually I have a room full of producers and I don't end up using them. We all think everyone should get a producer credit, but I take it because I'm selfish.

But I like having the autonomy. That's why I still release on an independent record label. I like steering the boat. We're all steering around the same fog, but I don't like to have someone else to bitch about. I just bitch about myself.

It releases you from those moments where it’s like, "Sam, sales are down. We’ve got to get you in with Danger Mouse," or something.

Well, hell, man, I’d do that. But I know what you mean. The idea committees I imagine for most artists are really brutal.

Trend-wise, there’s pressure to chase trains that can lead to all music sounding the same.

The things that you're offered, really teach you a lot about what you're in it for. Or it's also after a while, your reasons for doing it change. I don't fault people for reaching for the ring, but I also feel like I was lucky in the sense that I was just doing it for fun.

And all the songs that have been popular were a surprise to me. The songs of mine that were embraced in a way were a surprise. I felt like there were others that might've been more popular or something, or I would've chosen to promote.

So, the lesson I learned is you have no idea. Just put your best into each one and see what happens because you really can't predict what's going to happen. In that sense, if you're trying to be popular or record something that sticks, you're trying to emulate something that's proven to be popular. And for me, that seemed like a recipe for disaster from the beginning.

I feel like if you wrote a really great song in the ‘90s or 2000s, it’d get heard. Not so much in 2024. You need to take it to market and bother everybody about it.

Yeah, it's a tricky thing. The internet has been wonderful as far as we have access to all kinds of stuff that we didn't have access to before, but it just also disperses all the attention. It's hard. There's a lot of great music happening right now — but like you say, you might never know.

What are you checking out lately that you’re really connecting with? Past or present.

I heard a great tune the other day by this woman named Barbara Keith, "Detroit or Buffalo," from 1972. Obviously not contemporary, but it was incredible. I'd never heard it before. I'm checking out stuff, trying to keep up. It's hard.

What do you like that would make people say, "Sam Beam likes that?"

Oh, in my case, it’s all over the place. I’m not real proprietorial with music. It’s something to experience. I’m not so much into dance music, but I like a lot of really intense electronic music. That might be surprising. Who knows?

Everything’s out there for the taking. It’s the universal buffet.

I think everyone can recognize a musical omnivore, and then not be surprised.

Anything else about Light Verse you’re raring to talk about?

We did get to sing with Fiona Apple, which was really a treat. That was unexpected, but a very welcome experience. And she turned a regular song into an incredible duet, which was really a surprise and a blessing.

What was it like working with Fiona?

I never actually met her. Because of the way technology works these days, she was in a whole other state and sent us the track. But a lot of the people that were playing and a lot of people in the room; we share band members like Sebastian Steinberg, and David Garza plays with her a lot too.

One of the reasons that I recorded there in LA with Dave Way is because they had made their last few records with Dave, and Sebastian had been in my ear about, "You got to go record Dave." And it turns out he was right. It was great. She had a lot of friends in the room, so it wasn't too hard to convince her.

Beirut's Zach Condon Lost His Sense Of Self — Then Found It Within A Church Organ

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue attends the 66th GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images

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2024 GRAMMYs: Kylie Minogue Wins First-Ever GRAMMY For Best Pop Dance Recording For "Padam Padam"

Kylie Minogue beat out David Guetta, Anne-Marie, and Coi Leray; Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding; Bebe Rexha and David Guetta, and Troye Sivan. This is the first-ever win in this brand-new category.

GRAMMYs/Feb 4, 2024 - 09:02 pm

Kylie Minogue has taken home the golden gramophone for Best Pop Dance Recording — an all-new category — at the 2024 GRAMMYs, for "Padam Padam."

Minogue came ahead of of David Guetta, Anne-Marie and Coi Leray ("Baby Don’t Hurt Me"); Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding ("Miracle"); Bebe Rexha and David Guetta ("One in a Million"); and Troye Sivan ("Rush").

The win marks Minogue’s second GRAMMY win after six career nominations. She had previously won Best Dance Recording for "Come Into My World."

The Australian pop star — along with producer Peter "Lostboy" Rycroft and mixing engineer Guy Massey — are the first-ever winners of the Best Pop/Dance Performance category. It was one of three new categories introduced at the 66th GRAMMYs; the other two are Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical and Best African Music Performance. 

Lostboy took the stage to accept the award on behalf of himself, Minogue, and Massey. 

"Padam Padam" charted at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic chart; it was a much bigger hit in the UK, where it was a No. 1 hit. The song was embraced by the LGBTQ+ community on both sides of the Atlantic. 

"It's hugely important to me and so touching," said Minogue of her popularity with LGBTQ+ fans in an interview with GRAMMY.com earlier this year. "I hope that for that community and beyond, I just want to say I am open-minded and I want people to be happy in themselves. That community needed support and still needs support. I'm here. And they padamed for me."

Keep checking this space for more updates from Music’s Biggest Night!

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Winners & Nominees List

Dom Dolla, David Guetta, Charli XCX, Charlotte de Witte, Eliza Rose in collage
(From left) Dom Dolla, David Guetta, Charli XCX, Charlotte de Witte, Eliza Rose

Photos: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage, Karwai Tang/WireImage, Matthew Baker/Getty Images, Pablo Gallardo/Redferns, Kate Green/Getty Images

list

2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Dance Music

From nostalgia-tinged bangers and genre-blurring releases made by women, to massive tours and high-tech performances, dance music was expansive as ever in 2023.

GRAMMYs/Dec 29, 2023 - 05:03 pm

As any fan can attest, dance music is a broad church spanning myriad micro-genres, fan communities and city-specific scenes. The genre’s reach was as wide as ever in 2023, stretching from the biggest festival stages to the most intimate clubs, with variations in moods and beats-per-minute to suit all tastes. 

Nostalgia for rave’s ‘90s heyday was everywhere, fueling big-name releases and underground club sets alike. [Surprise supergroups](https://www.grammy.com/news/coachella-2023-weekend-2-recap-skrillex-four-tet-fred-again-gorillaz-bad-bunny-eric-pyrdz-performances-surprises-video) and [long-time collaborators](https://www.grammy.com/news/skrillex-fred-again-friendship-timeline-collaborations-videos) hit big in 2023, while albums from [James Blake](https://www.grammy.com/artists/james-blake/17760), [the Chemical Brothers](https://www.grammy.com/artists/chemical-brothers/7746), Disclosure and Everything But The Girl showed there’s still power in the electronic LP format. 

With festivals and DJ touring schedules back to a pre-COVID pace, dance music also enjoyed a busy year on the road. Across North America, [ILLENIUM](https://www.grammy.com/artists/Illenium/38165), G Jones, ZHU and ODESZA (not to mention Beyoncé’s house music-indebted Renaissance tour) sold out venues across the country. In a genre that can feel impossible to get your arms around, these five trends were undeniable in 2023. 

Everything Old Was New Again

Wherever you looked this year, DJ-producers were reaching back to the racing sounds of trance, rave and Eurodance that dominated dancefloors in the ‘90s and early 2000s. David Guetta and Calvin Harris spent 2023 memorably mining this past — the latter’s "Desire," featuring Sam Smith, could be ripped straight from a decades-old pop-trance compilation. 

Meanwhile, South Korean DJ-producer Peggy Gou released "(It Goes Like) Nanana," a dance-pop earworm with shades of ATB’s late ‘90s hit, "9PM (Till I Come)." Already a hugely popular draw as a DJ, Gou’s time-warping groover became her first Billboard chart entry and ignited buzz for her debut artist album, expected in 2024. 

On the less commercial spectrum, European producers like DJ Heartstring, Narciss and Marlon Hoffstadt continued to contextualize vintage sounds for a new audience. Meanwhile, a cluster of Dutch DJs, most notably Job Jobse, Young Marco and KI/KI, played throwback anthem-fuelled sets on festival stages usually reserved for steely techno, including at Dekmantel and Time Warp. 

For some DJs, looking back to the past meant embracing the fast and furious tempos of hardstyle and hard dance, two subgenres with passionate niche followings but little mainstream crossover. Continuing a trend from 2022, speedier BPMs were very much in vogue, as DJs kept pace with fans demanding a harder, faster workout. 

Women Danced To The Front 

Many of the year’s most invigorating and genre-blurring releases were made by women. Having built a steady career as a producer and singer, Kenya Grace broke out in 2023 with "Strangers," which caught fire on TikTok and converted new fans via a sleek mix of pop, drum & bass and Grace’s hushed vocals. Peggy Gou’s aforementioned "(It Goes Like) Nanana," also captured the TikTok zeitgeist with a widely-viewed video of Gou teasing the single for a dancefloor in Morocco. 

Electronic chameleon [Charli XCX](https://www.grammy.com/artists/charli-xcx/18360) stayed squarely in the limelight, following 2022’s stellar *Crash* with the one-two punch of "In The City" featuring Sam Smith and "Speed Drive"(from *Barbie the Album*, which is nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media alongside *AURORA*, *Weird: The Al Yankovic Story*, *Black Panther: Wakanda Forever- Music From And Inspired By*, and *Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3: Awesome Mix*). Meanwhile, two of the year’s standout albums came from women coloring outside the lines of their best-known projects: the xx vocalist Romy’s *Mid Air* embraced her queerness through euphoric dance-pop, while Aluna (of electronic duo AlunaGeorge) blossomed as a solo artist and activist on her second album, *MYCELiUM*

While dance music’s ranks remained largely white and male in 2023, undeniable albums from the likes of Jayda G, PinkPanthress and Róisín Murphy were a welcome counterbalance. 

UK Bass Got Bombastic

Following the runaway success of Eliza Rose and Interplanetary Criminal’s 2022 UK garage-tinged house anthem "B.O.T.A. (Baddest of Them All)" the previous year, British bass music continued to shine in 2023. 

While still relatively niche in the U.S., the UK garage (UKG) and bassline subgenres that thrived in the Y2K era found a new generation of British converts, thanks to releases like Interplanetary Criminal’s *All Thru The Night* and Conducta’s *In Transit* EP. Elsewhere, acclaimed British singer/songwriter Jorja Smith tapped her UKG roots on the irresistible single "Little Things." 

Welsh duo Overmono weaved garage textures into their accomplished debut album, *Good Lies*, and rounded out the year with a powerful Boiler Room live set from Manchester’s Warehouse Project. The set and album cemented their bona fides as the UK’s next dance festival headliner. 

The many mutations of UK bass music shone bright all year in DJ sets from the likes of Anz, Nia Archives, Jyoty and Joy Anonymous. (The latter’s near-three-hour set with Austrian producer salute and New Jersey-born garage godfather Todd Edwards at Amsterdam Dance Event captured the jubilant mix of house and UKG that was dominant this year.) 

Bringing it full circle, Eliza Rose parlayed the success of "B.O.T.A." into a collaboration with Calvin Harris on this year’s housey "Body Moving," which started with the pair exchanging Instagram DMs. 

Technology Upped The Ante

In a year where artificial intelligence and rapid technological advancement were burning topics, a wave of dance music artists found new ways to embrace the future. 

The possibilities of technology to enhance live performance were on full display in two raved-about Coachella sets. Swedish veteran [Eric Prydz](https://www.grammy.com/artists/eric-prydz/5679) brought his HOLO show to the California festival, deploying cutting-edge tech to create giant holographic images that extend over the crowd. Meanwhile, inside the festival's Sahara Tent, melodic techno duo Tale Of Us completed their transition to EDM crowd-pleasers with a full-scale audiovisual spectacle that explored themes of robot-human connection. (One half of the duo, Matteo Milleri, is also all-in on NFTs.) 

Meanwhile, techno favorite Nicole Moudaber debuted an AV show in which her own movements control a towering digital avatar. The year also saw big-name DJs embracing the metaverse — from Carl Cox playing a set in the Sensorium Galaxy to Swedish House Mafia joining the Roblox platform — in a trend that’s sure to carry into 2024. 

Techno & Techno-House Go Center Stage

Continuing a trend from 2022, big room techno and tech-house muscled onto U.S. festival stages usually reserved for EDM anthems. In particular, tech-house — which in 2023 sounds a world away from the raw UK club records that birthed the subgenre — cemented its place in the mainstream with Fisher and Chris Lake’s back-to-back set at Coachella’s Outdoor Theatre. (Later in the year, the pair shut down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles for an epic street party.) 

Both coming off a star-making 2022, tech-house mischief-makers John Summit and Dom Dolla leveled up with bigger shows and feverish fan followings. Meanwhile, Belgian sensation Charlotte de Witte became the techno artist booked on the Ultra Miami main stage, scheduled incongruously alongside the likes of Zedd and Afrojack, while in Europe, techno specialists Amelie Lens and Nina Kraviz were given the same honor (and challenge) for a sprawling crowd at Tomorrowland. 

Whether mining the past or accelerating into the future, the dance/electronic genre never stood still this year, setting the stage for a thrilling 2024.  

[2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Pop Music](https://www.grammy.com/news/pop-music-trends-2023-year-in-review-taylor-swift-sza)

{From Left To Right] Bebe Rexha, Calvin Harris, Kylie Minogue, David Guetta, and Troye Sivan

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Here Are The Nominees For Best Pop Dance Recording At The 2024 GRAMMYs

Take a look at the inaugural list of nominees for Best Pop Dance Recording — one of three new categories at the 2024 GRAMMYs — which features hits from dance legends and pop superstars.

GRAMMYs/Nov 12, 2023 - 05:31 pm

One of three new categories debuting at the 2024 GRAMMYs, Best Pop Dance Recording will be hotly contested in its first year.

The inaugural round of Best Pop Dance Recording nominees features not one, but two [David Guetta](https://www.grammy.com/artists/david-guetta/12848) collaborations ("Baby Don’t Hurt Me" with Anne-Marie and Coi Leray, and "One In A Million" with Bebe Rexha), and the long-awaited reunion of [Calvin Harris](https://www.grammy.com/artists/calvin-harris/3679) and [Ellie Goulding](https://www.grammy.com/artists/ellie-goulding/19043) on "Miracle." The new category also features two earworms from Australian pop dance exports: [Kylie Minogue](https://www.grammy.com/artists/kylie-minogue/14940)’s "Padam Padam" and [Troye Sivan](https://www.grammy.com/news/troye-sivan-something-to-give-each-other-new-album-rush-road-to)’s "Rush." 

Ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs on Feb. 4, 2024, get to know the five nominees in this newly minted category.

David Guetta, Anne-Marie & Coi Leray -"Baby Don't Hurt Me"

In a year defined by dance producers putting a modern spin on dance music’s past, David Guetta reached back to 1993 to interpolate Haddaway’s dance-pop hit, "What Is Love," for "Baby Don’t Hurt Me." The song is a fitting follow-up to Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s 2022 hit, "I’m Good (Blue)", which winkingly rekindled Eiffel 65’s Eurodance anthem, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)".

"Baby Don’t Hurt Me" brings Haddaway’s irresistible hook into 2023 with distinctive verses from British vocalist Anne-Marie (who memorably joined Marshmello on 2018’s smash  "Friends") and fast-rising Boston rapper Coi Leray. 

Paired with a video that references ‘90s clubbing and cult movie A Night at the Roxbury, "Baby Don’t Hurt Me" is a familiar sugar rush that plays to the individual strengths of its perhaps unlikely trio. 

**Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding - "Miracle"**

Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding are a dance music dream team, having previously released "I Need Your Love" (2012) and "Outside" (2014). After waiting almost a full decade to reunite, the pair returned in 2023 with their third collaboration, "Miracle."

An out-and-out trance-meets-Eurodance throwback (think inspirations like Robert Miles' "Children"), "Miracle" aims straight for the nostalgic pleasure centers. Harris told Apple Music that he needed Goulding's "angelic" vocal talents, and the British singer skillfully plays off the song's maximal production. Working alongside his longtime studio partner Burns, Harris packs the rave euphoria into a crisp three minutes, right through to the unexpected breakbeat outro. 

The non-album single signaled a new phase for Harris, and follows 2022's Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 as well as his ravier experiments as Love Regenerator. In July, Harris returned to the trance sounds of his teen years with "Desire" featuring Sam Smith, proving these faster tempos are not just a passing phase. 

**Kylie Minogue - "Padam Padam"** 

Now 16 albums into a glittering career, Kylie Minogue is a true icon of international pop. However, not even the most ardent Kylie fans could've predicted her 2023 glow-up, courtesy of viral sensation "Padam Padam." 

The song first came to Minogue in a demo version by Norwegian singer/songwriter Ina Wroldsen and UK producer Lostboy, which immediately caught her ear. "Straightaway, I was in," she recalled to GRAMMY.com, noting that she knew it was "perfect for me."

The first single from the Australian singer's latest album, Tension, the instantly danceable beat and one-word hook of "Padam Padam" inspired countless TikTok videos and memes. "I finally get TikTok. Yes, I've been slow but I finally am there," Minogue admitted upon Tension's release.

Minogue also celebrated the queer community and Gen Z's embrace of her runaway hit. "I hope to continue having fun with that," she added. "It was really organic. I don't think you can force that. It happened and I loved every second of it."

**Bebe Rexha & David Guetta - "One In A Million"**

Ever since co-writing Eminem and Rihanna's "The Monster" in 2013, Brooklyn-born Bebe Rexha has mastered the art of collaboration. Over a prolific decade, including three albums of her own, the pop singer/songwriter has teamed up with a diverse range of artists, including Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat, Florida Georgia Line and Dolly Parton, to feature on her songs.

In the pop dance world, French hitmaker David Guetta is Rexha's most reliable collaborator. After striking gold on 2022's "I'm Good (Blue)" — which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the top of 2023 — the pair returned with a new standalone single, "One In A Million."

With a piano line that evokes Guetta's own "When Love Takes Over," "One In A Million" channels the giddy feeling of new love over a racing beat. The song arrived in a typically whirlwind year of collaborations for Guetta, who also mined the past alongside Jason Derulo, Oliver Tree and Zara Larsson. 

**Troye Sivan - "Rush"**

After a long wait between solo releases, Australian pop chameleon Troye Sivan boldly announced a new era with "Rush." Released at the height of summer as the lead single from Sivan's third album, Something To Give Each Other, "Rush" instantly hit its mark as a celebration of queer pleasure-seeking. In a statement, Sivan described the single as an accumulation of "all of my experiences from a chapter where I feel confident, free and liberated."

The song's lusty bassline, exultant piano-house keys and chanted chorus perfectly play off Sivan's falsetto, creating a heady mood of dance floor abandon. (Fittingly, the Berlin-shot music video is a parade of sweaty bodies in motion.) A ready-made anthem, "Rush" set the stage perfectly for the assured and life-affirming *Something To Give Each Other*, leaving no doubt that Sivan is thriving in 2023. 

The 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards, returns to Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.

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2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Winners & Nominees List