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The Monster aka T-Pain
The GRAMMY Artists Behind The Masked Singer: T-Pain, Gladys Knight & More
The show's winner, rapper T-Pain, earned his first GRAMMY in 2007 for his feature on Kanye West's "Good Life"
Last night "The Masked Singer," the newest TV singing competition which has contestants dressed up in costumes to hide their identities, crowned its winner: GRAMMY-winning rapper T-Pain aka "The Monster."
Throughout the season, fans were left guessing which artists were behind the elaborate animal costumes only being given clues to their identities, like the number of GRAMMYs a singer had. Identities were revealed after each elimination, but three unmasked singers remained in the finale. Now that the show has come to an end and all 12 contestants have been unmasked, let's meet the five GRAMMY-winning/-nominated artists.
T-Pain Aka Monster
The winner of the show is Florida-born rapper T-Pain, who now has another golden trophy to add to his collection of accolades including two GRAMMYs. He proudly keeps his golden gramophones on display in his studio in Atlanta, home to the label he founded, Nappy Boy Entertainment. Is this where he'll keep his new trophy too? We can only wonder.
T-Pain entered the scene in 2005 with his debut album Rappa Ternt Sanga, featuring the popular single "I'm Sprung," where he sings and raps. His rap verses are stylized with a healthy dose of auto-tune, which he is often credited with popularizing.
At the 50th GRAMMY Awards he earned five nominations, including for his hit single "Bartender," from his 2007 sophomore album, and for his feature on Kanye West's "Good Life," which won the pair Best Rap Song. T-Pain took home his second win two years later at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards for "Blame It," his collab with actor/singer Jaime Foxx.
In 2014 he reminded the world of his powerful singing voice, placing it front and center, sans effects, during his soulful Tiny Desk Concert. As he told series producer NPR, "People felt like I was using it to sound good. But I was just using it to sound different." Now, with the anonymity of the furry Monster costume, T-Pain sang his heart out to the world. During his final performance from behind the mask, he shared how the experience had been a powerful one for him:
"It feels so good to do what I love and be able to do it freely. I've always wanted to be able to perform without the fear of being judged," T-Pain said.
Gladys Knight Aka Bee
The Bee, whose clues included that she had been entertaining people for decades, was none other than seven-time GRAMMY-winning soul legend, Gladys Knight. The Atlanta-born songstress gained popularity in the mid-'60s when her group, Gladys Knight & The Pips, signed with Motown and began releasing chart-topping hits, including their version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" in 1967. Knight would earn her first of many career GRAMMY nominations at the 10th GRAMMY Awards for her solo recording of the single.
She continued to release countless hits over the years as a solo artist and with The Pips. As a group, The Pips earned their first two GRAMMY wins at the 16th GRAMMY Awards, including for their classic "Midnight Train To Georgia." They released their final album as a group in 1987, All Our Love, featuring the upbeat single "Love Overboard," which earned them Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal at the 31st GRAMMY Awards.
Knight is truly a living legend and has proven her ability to use her powerful voice to transform her sound and captivate audiences across the decades. Her most recent GRAMMY, for One Voice, earned her a win for Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album. As she said from behind the Bee costume, "I came on this show determined to connect with a new generation." Indeed, viewers know now another legendary Queen Bee.
Tommy Chong Aka Pineapple
Behind the Pineapple was another living legend, Canadian-born comedian, actor and guitarist Tommy Chong, of the ground-breaking comedic duo Cheech & Chong. Chong, along with his long-time collaborator, Cheech Marin, has earned six GRAMMY nominations for Best Comedy Recording, taking home a win in the category for Los Cochinos at the 16th GRAMMY Awards. The pair have used comedy to speak up for immigrant rights and the legalization of marijuana for years.
While still behind the Pineapple mask, Chong shared that he's beaten a life-threatening disease (he's battled with cancer) so it was time to live life to the fullest and check things off the bucket list. "Life is short man, you gotta seize the day before your dreams go up in smoke," he said on the show, a nod to the duo's cult-classic film, Up In Smoke.
Margaret Cho Aka Poodle
Behind the pink and white Poodle was another comedian, GRAMMY nominee Margaret Cho. The San Francisco-born actress/comedian/fashion icon has earned five career GRAMMY nominations, also for her spoken-word comedy albums. She has been acting and doing stand-up since the mid-'90s, making waves while covering important, pressing topics of our time, especially around race, sexuality and queerness.
Joey Fatone Aka Rabbit
Last but not least, behind the Rabbit was GRAMMY-nominated singer Joey Fatone, from one of the most unforgettable boybands of all time: 'NSYNC. The group took over the airwaves in the 2000s with catchy songs like "Tearin' Up My Heart," from their self-titled debut, and "Bye Bye Bye" from 2000's No Strings Attached. At the 43rd GRAMMY Awards the album, which marked a split from their prior manager and label, earned them a second round of nominations, including for Best Pop Album and Record Of The Year for "Bye Bye Bye."
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.