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GRAMMY Rewind: 30th Annual GRAMMY Awards
U2's The Joshua Tree

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GRAMMY Rewind: 30th Annual GRAMMY Awards

U2 wins Album Of The Year and Jody Watley wins Best New Artist against these nominees

GRAMMYs/Oct 23, 2021 - 12:09 am

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

Music's Biggest Night, the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, will air live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

In the weeks leading up to the telecast, we will take a stroll down music memory lane with GRAMMY Rewind, highlighting the "big four" categories — Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist — from past awards shows. In the process, we'll examine the winners and the nominees who just missed taking home a GRAMMY, while also shining a light on the artists' careers and the eras in which the recordings were born.

Join us as we take an abbreviated journey through the trajectory of pop music from the 1st Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1959 to last year's 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards.

30th Annual GRAMMY Awards
March 2, 1988

Album Of The Year
Winner: U2, The Joshua Tree
Whitney Houston, Whitney
Michael Jackson, Bad
Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris And Linda Ronstadt, Trio
Prince, Sign 'O' The Times

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Arguably, the decade's biggest artists were nominated for Album Of The Year in 1987. U2 won for their huge breakthrough, The Joshua Tree. It contained the band's first No. 1 single (the GRAMMY-nominated "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") and established them as, in the words of frontman Bono on the 43rd GRAMMY telecast, the best band in the world. It took an album that monumental to knock off some towering competition. Houston didn't fall prey to a sophomore slump with her second album, Whitney, which spawned four No. 1 hits and, perhaps also in the words of Bono, made her the biggest R&B singer in the world. But the world's biggest R&B/rock/iconoclast may have been Prince, whose Sign 'O' The Times found the purple one at the pinnacle of his genre-stretching talents. The double album touched on an almost endless array of styles with the confidence of an auteur. Still another major hurdle for U2 to surmount was the King of Pop himself. Jackson's Bad was his follow-up to 1982's Thriller, and its five No. 1 singles showed Jackson was still in the most fertile period of his career. The final entry, the all-star teaming of Parton, Harris and Ronstadt, put three top contemporary country-leaning singers in the studio with a first-rate backing band that included Ry Cooder, Russ Kunkel, Albert Lee, and David Lindley, producing a harmony-rich, traditional country album.

Record Of The Year
Winner: Paul Simon, "Graceland"
Los Lobos, "La Bamba"
U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Suzanne Vega, "Luka"
Steve Winwood, "Back In The High Life Again"

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In a relatively rare occurrence, only one of the Album Of The Year nominees made an appearance in the Record Of The Year race — U2 with their anthemic "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The song's theme of searching for meaning in life became one of the deeper hit songs in recent memory, but other records here explored complicated themes. Simon's "Graceland" took the prize with an equally rich search for redemption. It was a winning reprise for Simon, who with partner Art Garfunkel scored his first GRAMMY for Record Of The Year in 1968 for "Mrs. Robinson." Singer/songwriter Vega had a neo-folk hit with "Luka," a somber tale of child abuse with a nonetheless catchy hook. East Los Angeles-based band Los Lobos, with a unique sound combining many elements of Anglo rock and Latin music, scored their biggest hit to date with a cover of Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba," a cut for the 1987 film of the same name. Finally, Winwood was cresting the wave of a comeback that started in 1980 with Arc Of A Diver. The former Traffic vocalist went Top 15 with "Back In The High Life Again," and soared to No. 1 with "Higher Love," which won Record Of The Year the year prior.

Song Of The Year
Winner: Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram, "Somewhere Out There"
Whitney Houston, "Didn't We Almost Have It All"
Los Lobos, "La Bamba (Adapted By Richie Valens)"
U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Suzanne Vega, "Luka"

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Ronstadt and Ingram's duet "Somewhere Out There" was written by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and was featured in the 1986 animated film An American Tail. Horner would win a trio of statues a decade later for "My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)." Houston's "Didn't We Almost Have It All," written by Will Jennings and Michael Masser, made the cut. Five years later, Houston would win three GRAMMYs via the soundtrack to The Bodyguard. Los Lobos' take on "La Bamba" was also recognized. The soundtrack album featured other Valens classics such as "Come On Let's Go" and "Donna." U2 was cited again for "I Still Haven't Found …" To go with their Album Of The Year trophy, Bono and friends also won the GRAMMY for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. Vega's "Luka," despite its dark subject matter, was her highest-charting single, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Vega won her lone GRAMMY in 1990 for Best Album Package.

Best New Artist
Winner: Jody Watley
Breakfast Club
Cutting Crew
Swing Out Sister
Terence Trent D'Arby

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The Chicago-born Watley, who was first nominated for a GRAMMY as a member of Shalamar in 1983, picked up Best New Artist honors. The pop/R&B songstress' 1987 self-titled debut album featured the GRAMMY-nominated hit "Looking For A New Love." New York-based pop group Breakfast Club — consisting of Stephen Bray, Gary Burke, Dan Gilroy, and Eddie Gilroy — scored a nod. An earlier incarnation included Madonna, and Bray went on to co-write several songs with the Material Girl herself, including "True Blue" and "Express Yourself." Also recognized were two UK pop bands: Cutting Crew, best known for their No. 1 smash "(I Just) Died In Your Arms," and Swing Out Sister, whose Jimmy Webb-inspired hooks were manifested in Top 40 hits such as "Breakout" and "Twilight World." With his wishing well in tow, D'Arby rounded out the nominees. His debut album, Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'Arby, won a GRAMMY for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, the following year. (More than a decade later, D'Arby renamed himself Sananda Maitreya, and proclaimed that "Terence Trent D'Arby was dead. ...")


Come back to GRAMMY.com Jan. 26 as we revisit the 40th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Meanwhile, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook and Twitter for updates and breaking GRAMMY news.

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GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.

In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.

 

Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

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Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

 GRAMMY.com

 Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. 

The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 and will be broadcast live on the Univision Television Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. 

"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list. 

At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself  but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the album release of that concert, Juan Gabriel En Vivo Desde El Palacio De Bellas Artes, broke sales records and established his iconic status. 

After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.   

In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.   

Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized. 

For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or ticketing@grammy.com.

Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Grizzled Mighty perform at Bumbershoot on Sept. 1

Photo: The Recording Academy

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Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013

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 Alexa Zaske
Seattle

This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.

The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.

Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."

Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.

Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed. 

Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.

My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.

For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.

(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)

Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

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Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Feb 11, 2019 - 10:58 am

As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.

Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.

"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."

Full Winners List: 61st GRAMMY Awards