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Inside Goo Goo Dolls' Biggest Hits: John Rzeznik Details How "Iris," "Slide" & More Came To Be
Goo Goo Dolls (L-R: Robby Takac, John Rzeznik)

Photo: Claire Marie Vogel

interview

Inside Goo Goo Dolls' Biggest Hits: John Rzeznik Details How "Iris," "Slide" & More Came To Be

As Goo Goo Dolls prepare for their 13th studio album, 'Chaos In Bloom,' frontman John Rzeznik shares the stories behind the band's most beloved songs.

GRAMMYs/Aug 11, 2022 - 05:59 pm

Since debuting 36 years ago, Goo Goo Dolls have built a steadfast legacy through adaptability and an unwillingness to compromise. That strategy led to many memorable moments as well as chart-topping hits such as "Iris," "Name" and "Better Days."

After humble beginnings as a cover band, the group transitioned to a punk-driven sound on their late '80s and early '90s albums. By the middle of the '90s, they shifted to a more adult-oriented, alternative rock sound, starting with their hit album A Boy Named Goo.

While that change may have alienated some early fans, it helped them gain even more fans with their new level of fame. Their journey hasn't always been smooth sailing, though, with member changes and legal issues surrounding royalties.

However, lead singer John Rzeznik and his fellow co-founder, bassist Robby Takac, have kept the band going strong thanks to their openness to grow their sound and keep true to their vision. In Rzeznik's eyes, Takar is the reason they're still around. "There was a lot of adversity personally and professionally, but I credit Robby with keeping this band together more than I have," the frontman tells GRAMMY.com.

Even so, Rzeznik has helped write the band's many hits, and found freedom in staying true to himself as a lyricist and writing relatable songs about vulnerable topics such as drug addiction.

That continues on the band's 13th studio album, Chaos in Bloom (out August 12), where Rzeznik says he and the band try to "make sense of a very confusing world." And even nearly four decades in, they're still pushing creative boundaries, as it's the first Goo Goo Dolls album that Rzeznik has fully produced.

"I still feel like I have something to say. At this point in time, the most important thing is just being a little more fearless," Rzeznik says. "We've been doing this so long, it's sort of like, 'Hey man. We're allowed to drop some of our apprehensions and not worry about the outcome so much.' Which is a great thing. Kind of freeing."

Ahead of Goo Goo Dolls' latest release, Rzeznik reflected on the band's legacy with GRAMMY.com, sharing the backstories and favorite memories behind their biggest hits.

"Name" — A Boy Named Goo, 1995

It was the first song that got played on the radio. Kevin Weatherly started playing that song all the time on KROQ. That was back in the days when KROQ was the tastemaker for the rest of the country.

We were shooting a video for another song called "Flat Top," and someone from the record company came onto the set of the video we're shooting and were like, "they added 'Name' to KROQ and they're playing it all the time." And now we have to stop doing this video, and we have to make a video for that song. Which, I guess, goes to show you how much influence KROQ had on music at that point in time.

We stopped production on this one video and made the other video and then boom, that became our first hit. That song actually went to No. 1 [on two Billboard charts, Alternative Airplay and Mainstream Rock Airplay], which was pretty awesome.

"Long Way Down" — A Boy Named Goo, 1995

It was a very tough song, a banger. But that was one of the songs where I felt like Robby and I were really learning how to play our instruments and learning how to make records. We took a step up from our first few albums when we got into making that one. Going out and playing hundreds and hundreds of shows, every night, we just got better at our craft.

"Iris" — Dizzy Up the Girl, 1998

I was staying in a hotel in Los Angeles and my manager called me and said, "Hey, Danny Bramson, who's a music supervisor at Warner Brothers, wants you to come and take a look at this movie. Maybe you could write a song to put in the film." It was a movie called City of Angels. I saw it, and I was like, "Oh, I know exactly what I'm going to say."

It was pretty interesting, because that was the first time I had ever written a song for a film specifically. I had a guitar [that] had four strings on it because I broke two. I just wandered into this weird tuning, and I went back to my hotel room, and thought about it.

I was able to write the song from the perspective of the character in the film, which was really a lot of fun, and it was great. I played it for [Danny] on a four-string guitar, and then went in the studio with Rob Cavallo.Then it went boom.

I never expected that song to do so well. I just wanted to be on a soundtrack U2, Peter Gabriel and Alanis Morissette were on. I thought, "Wow, that'd be really cool. It would be something cool to show people 20 years from now."

"Slide" — Dizzy Up the Girl, 1998

We were doing the video for the song "Slide," and I was supposed to be in this shop with this girl. I'm kind of whispering in her ear, talking to her, and then they cut the shot and the girl slapped me across the face. I don't know why. I didn't say anything offensive, but she just gave me a smack. I was like, "Okay, I guess I was over-acting for something."

I just remember that. And it was kind of fun. It was an interesting kind of song. Subject matter is very serious lyrically, but the music is so light, lighthearted in a weird way, that it kind of fools you. I like songs that do that.

"Broadway" — Dizzy Up the Girl, 1998

It was a song that I had written and put it in a drawer and just left it there for a couple of years. I [later] revisited it, and reworked it, and it was the right time for that song to come out.

I wrote that song about the neighborhood I grew up in, which was a pretty hard neighborhood. Full of tough guys on the east side of Buffalo, [New York]. Once I was able to get away from that pretty oppressive environment, I felt like I had enough distance, and then I could speak my mind about it and sort of purge it out of me.

"Black Balloon" — Dizzy Up the Girl, 1998

It's a song about someone who's struggling with drug addiction, and what it's like to care about someone and love someone who has an addiction problem. I'm sure it's been used for stuff, but I thought the song kind of hit a pretty hard emotional chord.

"Sympathy" — Gutterflower, 2003

Once again, that song directly addresses addiction problems. That problem of trying to get sober and stay sober. Kind of interesting that you line all these songs up and put them in a row like this. I've touched on that subject a few times. I thought that that song just sort of encapsulated a dialogue I was having with myself in my head.

"Better Days" — Let Love In, 2006

It was originally supposed to be a song for a Christmas compilation that we were asked to contribute a song to. I wrote that and then took it into the studio. Glen Ballard [Michael Jackson, Alanis Morrissette] was the producer and co-writer on that. He turned it into something that became so much more than a Christmas song. CNN used the song as the music bed for their campaign to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief, which I thought was really amazing and brilliant.

"Give A Little Bit" — Let Love In, 2006

It's a funny song, because we basically just took the parts that everybody knew and put them together. If you listen to our version and the original version [by Supertramp] back-to-back, they're so different. We just thought, "Well, let's take the parts that everyone knows and put them together in a song." We did this very condensed-down, concentrated version.

I thought that was kind of funny because I was like, "You're listening to the song and you're like, 'Wow, well, this song is seven minutes long. We've got to cut some stuff out of it." That's what we wound up with. And it worked, which was a surprise.

I think we got a note, or someone got a phone call from [Supertramp co-frontman] Roger Hodgson, and it was good. It was nice to be acknowledged by him for that.

Celebrating Olivia Newton-John, "A Beloved Artist And An Inspiration To Many"

Goo Goo Dolls' John Rzeznik remembers 1999 GRAMMY T-shirt
John Rzeznik

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

interview

Goo Goo Dolls' John Rzeznik remembers 1999 GRAMMY T-shirt

Goo Goo Dolls frontman on challenging himself on the band's latest album, 'Magnetic,' writer's block, the custom T-shirt he wore to the GRAMMYs in 1999, and building furniture

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

More than two decades into a career that has evolved from a punk-inspired garage band to Adult Top 40 bastions, the Buffalo, N.Y.-bred Goo Goo Dolls have returned with their latest release, 2013's Magnetic, which is set to debut at No. 8 on the Billboard 200. The preceding single "Rebel Beat" has populated the airwaves and reached No. 27 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. Comprising original members John Rzeznik (vocalist/guitarist) and Robby Takac (bass), and drummer Mike Melanin, the Goo Goo Dolls will launch a lengthy tour on June 25 in support of Magnetic with co-headliners Matchbox Twenty.

In an exclusive interview with GRAMMY.com, Rzeznik discussed the band's new album, his future vocational endeavors and the custom T-shirt he wore the night of the 41st GRAMMY Awards in 1999 when the band's hit "Iris" was nominated for three awards, including Song and Record Of The Year.

Is there an overall thematic concept to Magnetic?
I think the thematic concept of it kind of unwound itself after it was done already. It seems that when I listened back to the album it was saying, "Get up, get out, and live your life," you know?

But you've said that on previous albums.
Yeah, it sort of got back to the theme that our band has always been about — that life may be completely screwed up, but we've got to make the best of it. I kind of strayed away from that on the last record. We put out a somber kind of album [with 2010's Something For The Rest Of Us].

What's the most satisfying aspect of Magnetic for you?
I think the biggest thing was that I absolutely had to keep my mind open and challenged all the time. I had people challenging me, great [song]writers, who said, "No, that's not good enough. Try something else." And then having to swallow my ego and say, "Alright, let's find something better" — that's what I'm most proud of. The day [Magnetic] came out, I went and bought it — just sort of a superstitious thing. [I] went back to my hotel room to one of those Bose Wave radios with a CD player in it and I listened to it top to bottom. And then I asked myself, "Are you proud of this? Did you do your best?" And I was like, "Yes!" As long as I suit up and show up and do my job, I can't really concern myself with the stuff that is out of my hands. The collection of songs that we have on there seemed to fit together really well in one package.

You're about to embark on a 50-date tour with Matchbox Twenty. When you perform new songs from Magnetic, how does that cure the writing process for you?
It completes it when you're singing a new song that everybody's seen on YouTube already, and they're singing it back to you. That's where it's like, "Alright, great! I did a good job!" Does the audience like it? That's what it's about, you know?

How have the Goo Goo Dolls evolved since their beginning as a garage punk band?
I think the music has to evolve with you as a person. I was 19 when I started this band, and I was heavily influenced by slick, goofy-aed hardcore music. We just wanted to play as hard and fast as we could. The prime directive of the band was, "Drink beer. Get girls." And when you're a 19-year-old guy, that's sort of what you do. But somewhere around [1993's] Superstar Car Wash, that was really when we started to learn how to play our instruments. And I was actually stringing thoughts together that made sense. That was really the turning point for me, where I thought, "Wow, I can actually write songs. I can actually play my guitar."

My understanding is that you were experiencing writer's block when you wrote "Iris." How did you overcome it?
Honestly, I was sitting there, and I had had some success with a song called "Name," and I just got completely full of fear. I mean, writer's block is just fear, and I think it's specifically fear about two things: You're afraid that you're not going to get what you want, and you're afraid that what you have is going to be taken away from you. At that point, I had written so many songs, and then finally one of them became a hit, and I felt that was nothing but luck. I said to myself, "OK, God  — or whatever is out there in the universe — if I'm supposed to do this, give me a sign." That song came out and it was really a gift. I saw the film [City Of Angels] and it completely made sense to me: Now I could play a supporting role in somebody else's creative vision. My subject matter was laid out in front of me, and then I went at it from the perspective of, "OK, what would I say if I was this guy?" Then it all came out.

"Iris" was a massive hit, hitting the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Did you know you'd hit a home run with that song after your finished it?
No, I didn't; and then it was everywhere. I remember strangers walking up to me and saying, "You know, man, I really love that song, but I just wish they would stop playing it." And I replied, "Yep, yep — that's my song!" [laughs]

What do you remember about attending the 41st GRAMMY Awards in 1999?
We got nominated for three [GRAMMYs] that night, and I didn't think we were going to win, which we didn't. I had a T-shirt made up that I wore underneath my suit, and it said, "I was nominated for three GRAMMYs and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." [laughs] So, I unbuttoned my shirt and people were asking me how it [felt to lose] three times. And I said, "It was pretty damn amazing that we were nominated at all!"

I understand that you're the type of artist who likes to have a life outside of music.
This tour is going to probably be pretty long. And I'm getting married [to Melina Gallo] and I owe [her] a honeymoon. We're going to travel a little bit and then we're going to regroup and figure out what the next step [in] our lives is. This is going to sound crazy, but I went to a vocational training school for high school, and I've always been interested in building furniture. That's something that I'm going to start messing around with. To build something tangible, like a chair, and sit in it … it's an empirical piece of evidence of your effort. Whereas, I've been building songs that sort of float around in the air, and it's all very subjective. But I think creating something solid that serves a purpose might be good for my brain.

(Nick Krewen is a Toronto-based journalist and co-author of Music From Far And Wide: Celebrating 40 Years Of The Juno Awards, as well as a contributor to The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook. He has written for The Toronto Star, TV Guide, Billboard, Country Music and was a consultant for the National Film Board's music industry documentary Dream Machine.)

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Matchbox Twenty And Goo Goo Dolls At Molson Amphitheatre

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Nick Krewen
Toronto

Talk about your Adult Top 40 dream team.

For nearly two decades, the Buffalo, N.Y.-bred Goo Goo Dolls and Orlando, Fla., natives Matchbox Twenty have dominated mainstream adult radio formats. On June 27 that dominance was showcased in the form of as a co-headlining performance at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre.  

Multiple GRAMMY nominees the Goo Goo Dolls got the party rolling with a rather raucous launch into "Last Hot Night," from their new album Magnetic. Expanded into a five-piece from the normal trio of vocalist/guitarist John Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin, the Goo Goo Dolls assembled a great flow of songs that constantly built momentum throughout their 75-minute set, mixing new songs ("Rebel Beat," "Come To Me") and the old ("Slide," "Naked") with a wall of sound provided by an extra guitar.

Dressed in a gray shirt and camouflage pants, Rzeznik was relaxed and charming, joking with the crowd and churning out vocals. As he muffed the intro to "Eyes Wide Open," he laughed and proclaimed, "I never said I was a great guitar player. You want to see someone get all the notes right, go see John Mayer."

"Name" and the GRAMMY-nominated "Iris" got the biggest responses, the latter bringing the crowd to their feet as the Goo Goo Dolls sufficiently got the audience's adrenaline rising.

Although Matchbox Twenty, featuring three-time GRAMMY winner Rob Thomas on vocals, offered more visual technology than the Goo Goo Dolls, (the latter had a multitiered stage and three angled cubes dangling from the ceiling; the former a bunch of video screens placed just behind them onstage) they shared a similar key strategy — it was all about the music.

Opening with "Parade" from 2012's North, the six-piece band didn't really mess with the formula that has seen them sell millions of records, running through rote arrangements of "Disease," "Real World" and "Unwell," lifted by the crowd's penchant to sing and dance along.

While Thomas largely concentrated on his singing, much of the band's animation was provided by the six-string spark plugs of Kyle Cook and Paul Doucette, who added enough punch to the proceedings that they impressed the audience with their instrumentalist chops.

Disciplined musicianship and plenty of celebratory songs about love — for what more could Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls fans ask?

To catch the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty in a city near you, click here for tour dates.

Goo Goo Dolls Set List:

"Last Hot Night"
"Slide"
"Naked"
"Here Is Gone"
"Rebel Beat"
"Black Balloon"
"Now I Hear"
"Another Second Time Around"
"Eyes Wide Open"
"Let Love In"
"Come To Me"
"Name"
"Better Days"
"Bringing On The Light"
"Stay With You"
"Iris"
"Broadway"

Matchbox Twenty Set List:

"Parade"
"Bent"
"Disease"
"She's So Mean"
"How Far We've Come"
"3 A.M."
"Real World"
"If You're Gone"
"Overjoyed"
"Long Day"
"I Will"
"Unwell"
"Radio"
"English Town"
"Bright Lights"
"Back 2 Good"
"Our Song"
"Push"

(Nick Krewen is a Toronto-based journalist and co-author of Music From Far And Wide: Celebrating 40 Years Of The Juno Awards, as well as a contributor to The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook. He has written for The Toronto StarTV GuideBillboardCountry Music and was a consultant for the National Film Board's music industry documentary Dream Machine.)

My Favorite Elvis Song: Donny Osmond, Darlene Love, Kenny Loggins & More Stars Reveal Their Most Cherished Tracks By The King
Elvis Presley performing "If I Can Dream" during the ''68 Comeback Special' in 1968.

Photo: Gary Null & Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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My Favorite Elvis Song: Donny Osmond, Darlene Love, Kenny Loggins & More Stars Reveal Their Most Cherished Tracks By The King

As fans head to theaters to catch the new 'Elvis' film, artists who performed with and were inspired by The King choose their favorite Elvis songs.

GRAMMYs/Jun 30, 2022 - 02:48 pm

The King of Rock and Roll has taken center stage in theaters across the country thanks to Baz Lurhmann's critically acclaimed Elvis. The rousing biopic stars Austin Butler as the titular icon, and tracks Elvis Presley's tumultuous life and indelible impact on American culture — including his remarkably timeless discography.

Elvis classics like "Hound Dog" and "Can't Help Falling In Love" are sprinkled throughout the film, along with several other hits and deep cuts that display the late legend's genre-spanning abilities. He explored rock, blues, country, R&B and even gospel during his two-decade career, in turn having a lasting impact on artists of all types. .

In honor of both the new film and Elvis' legacy, GRAMMY.com asked a disparate range of artists — from those who performed with Elvis like Darlene Love, to rock idols like Kenny Loggins, to the latest generation of stars like Em Beihold — to pick their favorite tracks by the King. Elvis movie personalities Yola (who portrays Sister Rosetta Tharpe) and executive music producer Elliott Wheeler also weighed in on the Elvis songs they believe reign supreme.

Darlene Love

I was fortunate to sing with Elvis. We both shared the same passion for gospel music. "Amazing Grace" or "River of Jordan" or "Heaven Is a Wonderful Place" or "Sweet Hour of Prayer." We called them hymns of the church. There was another one called "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior." 

[My group] The Blossoms were known for their harmony and we'd harmonize with him. That's something we had with Elvis that others didn't have. It was fun to be praised by someone like Elvis Presley.

Yola (country/soul singer/songwriter)

My favorite Elvis song is probably "Hound Dog." His performance is iconic, but more importantly, has eventually helped illuminate rock-and-roll originator and the first artist to record the song, the remarkable Big Mama Thornton.

I've come late to Elvis, mainly by way of Baz Luhrmann's Elvis movie, in which I portray the creator of rock and roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Elvis was deeply immersed in the Black music scene of Beale Street in Memphis — from his relationship with B.B. King, to Sister Rosetta Tharpe's direct musical influence, alongside the showmanship of Little Richard, and of course Big Mama Thornton.

His sound was directly influenced and caused by Black music. The movie does a great job of demonstrating this fact, and reminds us that it is important to remember that when we pay homage to a great song performed by Elvis, we too must pay homage to its originator.

Johnny Rzeznik (the Goo Goo Dolls singer)

"Jailhouse Rock." Looking at the song in the context of the time it was written and performed, I can see how radical and dangerous he was to adults and how raw and sexual his appeal was to younger audiences. Dangerous stuff in 1957.

Dan Smith (Bastille singer)

We were recently on tour in Memphis and lucky enough to go on a private tour of Graceland. I’d always thought Elvis' performance of "Unchained Melody" had some real emotional resonance, but being shown the piano that he sang it on to a small collection of his friends on the night that he passed away was really powerful.

Apparently he’d finished an evening of racquetball and drinks with some of his close companions in Graceland, and his friends asked him to sit and play them some songs before he headed off to bed. He sang another song and "Unchained Melody," and then headed back into the house and upstairs for the final time. The piano itself is a modest German upright, but getting to see the thing in the place where he played it that time painted such a vivid picture of those moments.

Michael Feinstein (jazz singer/pianist)

My favorite song sung by Elvis is "If I Can Dream," which was written by Earl Brown for his 'comeback' TV special, This Is Elvis. The song helped to renew his career and expresses a timeless philosophy, which is even more resonant today. I sang that song at Carnegie Hall last month for the Ukraine Relief concert, and that message of peace and brotherhood embodies what I feel Elvis brought to so many.

Stephen Sanchez (pop singer/songwriter)

"It's Now or Never" is one of my favorite songs from Elvis. It's a song of deep longing and confession between himself and the lover. I relate to that within my own personal life and my own songs. He also has the most insane register in that song!

Em Beihold (pop singer/songwriter)

While maybe cliche, my favorite Elvis song has to be "Jailhouse Rock." I have a fond memory of dancing around to the track when I was maybe 7 or 8 — and making sure I put it on the CD of my Top 10 Favorite Songs that I would give as parting gifts at my birthday parties to prove to all the kids that I had good music taste. Elvis' energy and aura is unparalleled, the song is an immediate mood booster, and the track has undoubtedly stood the test of time.

Kenny Loggins

When "Hound Dog" came out in 1956 I was 8 years old. I would come home from school and would sneak into my brother's room to play his 45 over and over again. It's one of the greatest songs of all time.

Elliott Wheeler (Elvis Composer & Executive Music Producer)

It's an impossible task, but my favorite Elvis track is "Never Been to Spain." It's not the song that moves me the most, nor even the best vocal performance. But there's an incredible joy in the performance — an artist at the height of his powers, performing with a band he clearly loves making music with, who are playing with everything they've got. It's awesome.

VINCINT (pop singer/songwriter)

"Can't Help Falling In Love" has to be one of my top Elvis Presley songs. It's the perfect over-the-top love story with all the bells and whistles, but it's also quiet and gentle in the most heartbreaking way. I love it because it's a rare moment of him just holding his heart in his hands and telling someone, "This is how much I love you."

Dave Cobb (country/Americana producer and songwriter)

Elvis' "An American Trilogy" is by far my favorite Elvis song because it has every emotion. And how many times can you get away with using flute in a pop song?

Allison Ponthier (indie-folk singer/songwriter)

I grew up hearing Elvis around me my entire life. As a child, Elvis as a character was larger than life, an icon of show biz, and representative of something that felt so untouchable to my average life in the suburbs. Maybe that's part of the reason why "If I Can Dream," the emotional live TV performance from his '68 comeback special, affected me the way it did.

My own EP is named Shaking Hands With Elvis after a euphemism for death. It's named after a song I wrote about the loss of someone I was once close to. No matter who you are or what level you're at as a songwriter or artist, vulnerability is the only way forward — and it's wild how timeless that feeling is.

M. Ward (Americana singer/songwriter, She & Him guitarist)

My favorite Elvis song right now is "Baby What You Want Me To Do (Live in Las Vegas)" because I love his vocals and his interplay with his guitarist Gary Burton. And, it makes me want to go to Las Vegas. 

Donny Osmond

I was only about 13 when I watched him sing my favorite Elvis song during one of his live performances in Las Vegas. "Polk Salad Annie" is a little hidden gem of R&B and swamp rock that seems to be overlooked by most casual observers of his music. To this date, it influenced my own live performances.

Elvis and I had the same costume designer back in the early '70s. I always wore that iconic high-collar jumpsuit on stage, but I will admit that he was much sexier in his jumpsuit. 

Thanks to a rare recording, we get an appreciation for the soul that he mastered. Listen to how he takes control of the band, particularly Ronnie Tutt on drums. This performance will convince you that he most definitely deserved the title of "The King." 

11 Amazing Elvis Covers, From Frank Sinatra To Kacey Musgraves

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GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert Performers Announced

Skylar Grey, Kris Kristofferson and the Civil Wars' Joy Williams among artists to perform at A Song Is Born on Jan 23, 2014

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

The GRAMMY Foundation will host A Song Is Born, the 16th Annual GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert (formerly the Music Preservation Project), during GRAMMY Week on Jan. 23, 2014, at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. Performers include GRAMMY winners Kris Kristofferson, the Civil Wars' Joy Willams, Paul Williams, and Dan Wilson, and GRAMMY-nominated songwriters Skylar Grey, John Rzeznik, Allen Shamblin, and J.D. Souther, as well as other artists to be announced shortly.

In conjunction with the GRAMMY Foundation's mission of recognizing and preserving our musical past, A Song Is Born will explore the history and evolution of songwriting and celebrate the various and invaluable contributions of key players behind the music and their impact on the American cultural landscape.

The evening's musical director will be Darrell Brown, songwriter/producer and GRAMMY Foundation Board member. Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, will be in attendance, along with other prominent music industry leaders and members of The Recording Academy.

Tickets are $45 per person. For ticket information, visit http://wl.flavorus.com/gf/asongisborn, or contact 855.235.2867.

A Song is Born is sponsored in part by CenterStaging, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Jackson Limousine, TNT Agency, and Trattore Estate Wines.

The GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert is part of the GRAMMY Week series of events, culminating with Music's Biggest Night, the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which will take place on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.