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Frank Gehry Creates 54th GRAMMY Awards Artwork

Artwork marries world-renowned architect's unique style with traditional GRAMMY iconography

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

The Recording Academy has announced its selection of world-famous architect and multitalented artist Frank Gehry to create the official artwork for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The work integrates traditional GRAMMY iconography with Gehry's unique architectural style in a piece that mirrors The Recording Academy's commitment to celebrating excellence and diversity in art and culture year-round. It will be used as the official artwork for the world's premier music event and will grace the cover of the GRAMMY Awards program book, telecast tickets and promotional poster.

"We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry on our official artwork for the GRAMMY Awards and the opportunity to further The Academy's dedication to celebrating the arts in every discipline," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Frank's exemplary creative accomplishments through a variety of artistic platforms have been inspirational. We are honored to work with such a well-respected talent who has served as an influential figure within the arts on a global scale."

"I have been fortunate to have worked with and become friends with some of the top musicians in classical music," said Gehry. "They are my inspiration and my heroes. I am pleased to work with the GRAMMYs to help celebrate all of these talented people."

Hallmarks of Gehry's work include a particular concern that people exist comfortably within the spaces that he creates and an insistence that his buildings address the context and culture of their sites. His work has earned him numerous significant awards. His buildings have received more than 100 national and regional American Institute of Architects awards. In 1989 he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a premiere accolade in the field of architecture. In 1994 he became the first recipient of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for lifetime contribution to the arts. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts.

Some of Gehry's notable projects include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain; the Nationale-Nederlanden Building in Prague; the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Bridge in Millennium Park in Chicago; and the residential tower at 8 Spruce Street in New York . Current projects include the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Outside the field of architecture, Gehry's projects have ranged from creating exclusive designs for a jewelry line, painting, sculpture, and other works with mixed media, which are currently on display in museums worldwide.

Gehry has held teaching positions at some of the world's most prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, the University of Southern California and Yale University, where he still teaches today.

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Feb. 12, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Dance/Electronica Nominees Are In

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

It is difficult to describe the combined feelings of the thousands of people who occupied the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 30 for "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" as each person waited with baited breath for the nominees to be announced. Celebrities and fans alike shared the same undeniable rush of anticipation, surprise and excitement as each artist's name was revealed one by one, and the combined energy was palpable not just inside the theater, but to the more than 5 million viewers tuning in as well. And with each revelation, there were widened eyes, turned heads, and smiles and frowns, and of course the fear of being caught like a sulking deer in the headlights lest the news not be quite so friendly! Admittedly, I may have even gasped aloud at one point.

For those who know me, it's an easy (and correct) assumption that I believe the award most deserving of our tipped hat is that of Best New Artist. And the gasp and excitement noted about were definitely not lacking when the category came around, and the nominees in the category are sure to make for a memorable race as dubstep dominator Skrillex received a nod along with the Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, and Nicki Minaj. Even the independent voice of a generation, KCRW, took to Twitter to note this "historic event for electronic music." As I referenced in my last blog, more people are starting to listen and find themselves entranced by the wobble-style, bass drop these crazy electronic kids have been going on about for years. Skrillex's nomination is proof positive.

Best New Artist was just the beginning of the excitement. The Dance/Electronica Field features a wide-ranging group of nominees for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album, where Skrillex also appears twice. From Sweden's superstar fembot Robyn to Deadmau5, it's a battle of the Nordic queen and the big-eared dance-floor muse. (Two large mouse ears, to be exact.) But these two artists are not alone, being joined by Duck Sauce, Swedish House Mafia, Cut/Copy, and favorite pop star collaboration David Guetta. Guetta is another example of dance/electronica's mainstream appeal: Earlier this month he became the first DJ and music artist in history to have his handprints cemented in the Grauman's Chinese Theater forecourt. I think everyone would agree that a genre that's often generally instrumental has a lot to say this week. For more on each of these nominees, head on over to www.kickkicksnare.com for an in-depth review of their works, to be posted in the coming weeks.
 

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MusiCares MAP Fund Charity Auction Launched

GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions offers exclusive memorabilia from seventh annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

Following the seventh annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit honoring Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan and Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman on May 6, GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions has launched the MusiCares MAP Fund Charity Auction. Presented in partnership with Kompolt, the auction is open through May 19 and features a variety of autographed music memorabilia, including items signed backstage at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, Gahan and Paramore.

Additional auction items include a framed issue of Rolling Stone signed by the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger; vintage memorabilia signed by Tony Bennett, Jackson Browne, Annie Lennox, Rod Stewart, and Barbra Streisand; guitars autographed by Kings Of Leon, Korn, Tom Petty, Kenny Rogers, and Keith Urban; unique memorabilia signed by Jeff Beck, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Muse, Katy Perry, and Rihanna; and a 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards VIP Experience for two including rehearsal passes and hotel accommodations.

To place your bid on items featured in the auction, visit www.ebay.com/grammy. All proceeds will benefit MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation.

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The Country Nominee Roundup

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

I sure hope y'all tuned in to "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" I am still on a high from such a great night of music! The Band Perry turned in a flawless performance, highlighting country music on such a big stage. Jason Aldean also got some time, performing his mega-hit "Dirt Road Anthem" with GRAMMY-winning rapper Ludacris. Did you hear the reaction from the crowd? They got a huge ovation, which left me feeling validated in my appreciation for Aldean. I know he's great, the rest of country music knows he's great, and it is high time the rest of the music world know that he's great too! The last country performance of the night came from Sugarland, who closed the show singing a duet with Lady Gaga. As always, Jennifer Nettles' vocals were breathtaking and I was beyond proud for the rest of the world to see Sugarland owning the stage alongside one of the world's biggest stars. What an amazing night for country music — those three performances showed the rest of the music community how mushc talent we truly have in Music City!

The most exciting moment of the night happened once the live TV special wrapped and the full list of 54th GRAMMY nominees was released. In my first blog I predicted Aldean, Eric Church and Blake Shelton would all come into the GRAMMY spotlight soon and I'm happy to say that I was right! Out of these three, I was most surprised by Church's nomination for Best Country Album for Chief. Although I know he's a deserving nominee, I wasn't sure if he was on the radar of Recording Academy voters. I'm ridiculously happy for Aldean and his team at Broken Bow Records. They say that "slow and steady wins the race" and his path to success definitely follows that mantra. All of the hard work by Aldean's team is coming full circle and I'm so happy to see them in the spotlight.

My biggest satisfaction came in seeing Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter (along with writers Matraca Berg and Deana Carter) nominated for their duet "You And Tequila." The song scored nods for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Perfomance. Before its release as a single, Chesney fans instantly fell in love with this song upon the release of his 2010 album Hemingway's Whiskey album. Amazingly, I heard 60,000 people sing this song back to Chesney at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

A trio of GRAMMY "veterans" picked up nominations, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Newcomers the Civil Wars also scored a nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the title track off their debut album, Barton Hollow.

I wish I had room in this post to go on and on about all of the nominees as I have kind words and thoughts about each one of them. They're all so deserving and I admire them even more in seeing their names recognized among the most talented artists in the world. The GRAMMYs are as big as it gets for music and to see Nashville talent in the spotlight fills me with pride!

Let the countdown to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards begin!

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Meet The GRAMMY.com Community Blogger: Rap

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

 (Find out who will be nominated for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards live on "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" on Nov. 30 from 10–11 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.)

It was a sweltering summer day in 1985. One of the older neighborhood kids stopped me as I was chasing down the ice-cream truck, offering to sell me a mixtape for $1. I had four quarters burning a hole in my pocket when he put the cassette in my walkman and pressed play. I heard Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Like That," followed by "Fly Girl" by the Boogie Boys. I never made it to the ice-cream truck, but my seamless bond with rap music and culture was sealed that day.

As a kid growing up in Gary, Ind., the soundtrack to my youth was comprised of the sounds of Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, MC Lyte, Ice Cube, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, and A Tribe Called Quest, among other influential rap artists. The genre of rap transcended music and continues to inspire a culture of self-expression — birthed in the urban landscapes of American and permeated throughout ghettos and subdivisions across the globe.

Looking back over the last 10 years, we've watched Jay-Z go from creating his first The Blueprint album to becoming a major player in the business of hip-hop, fashion and sports. It was Jay-Z's album that helped launch the career of an unknown producer named Kanye West, who went from making beats in his apartment to becoming one of the largest names in the game.

Who would have thought that an Atlanta DJ named Ludacris would go from selling CDs out of his trunk to starring in blockbuster films? Common dropped the "Sense" from his moniker and has parlayed his conscious flow and charisma into unforgettable film characters. Let's not forget Queen Latifah's progression from rapper to TV/movie star, cosmetic spokeswoman and jazz standards vocalist. During the past decade, we've witnessed the rap genre churn out some of the most innovative artists who never stop striving for excellence in any path they choose.

When I think of memorable rap moments at the GRAMMYs, my mind goes back to the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2009 when Jay-Z, West, T.I., Lil Wayne, and a nine-month pregnant M.I.A. performed "Swagga Like Us" in tuxedos reminiscent of the "Rat pack" days. This was a classic moment showcasing artists from different corners of the United States and a UK-born singer on one of the hottest rap songs of the year. This is what rap is all about — coming together to generate an amazing voice that resonates in the collective hearts of people.

Moving forward, I expect current artists such as Drake, Wale, Phonte, 9th Wonder, and Rick Ross to influence the genre further and usher in another generation of rappers who will elevate the game, and perhaps influence another kid to spend his last dollar on a download of their masterpiece.