GRAMMY Rewind: 45th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Norah Jones sweeps the "big four" categories for an impressive GRAMMY debut

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

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.

45th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Feb. 23, 2003

Album Of The Year
Winner: Norah Jones, Come Away With Me
Dixie Chicks, Home
Eminem, The Eminem Show
Nelly, Nellyville
Bruce Springsteen, The Rising

There wasn't much point in going up against Jones, as the talented singer/songwriter prevailed in each of the "big four" award categories. Jones also won recognition as the third female in GRAMMY history to take home five awards in a single night, a trail previously blazed by Lauryn Hill in 1998 and Alicia Keys in 2001. (Alison Krauss has since repeated the feat, winning five GRAMMYs in 2008, and Beyoncé won six in 2009. Adele is up for six awards this year.) Even so, the other nominees all managed to come away with substantial "consolation" prizes. Eminem won Best Rap Album, as he did with his two previous albums, The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP. But when it came to generating controversy, Eminem couldn't hold a candle to the Dixie Chicks, who that same year would lose some fan and radio support after politically charged comments made by singer Natalie Maines. Still, the Chicks' Home was a critic's favorite and went on to win the Best Country Album GRAMMY. Meanwhile, Springsteen and his E Street Band reunited for The Rising, their first studio album in 18 years, which picked up the year's Best Rock Album award. And while Nelly's Nellyvilledidn't win any album awards, the St. Louis-born rapper's "Hot In Herre" took Best Male Rap Solo Performance, while "Dilemma," his duet with Kelly Rowland, won the year's Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Record Of The Year
Winner: Norah Jones, "Don't Know Why"
Vanessa Carlton, "A Thousand Miles"
Eminem, "Without Me"
Nelly Featuring Kelly Rowland, "Dilemma"
Nickelback, "How You Remind Me"

"Don't Know Why" was Jones' breakthrough single, an exquisitely memorable jazz ballad that peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went on to become her signature song. By comparison, Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" was clearly more pop than jazz, although her piano playing showed the kind of proficiency you might expect from GRAMMY-winning jazz guitarist Larry Carlton's niece. Eminem's "Without Me" sampled Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" ("Two trailer park girls go 'round the outside ..."), while  Nelly's "Dilemma" (featuring Destiny's Child co-founder Rowland) considered the ramifications of always thinking about that other special someone, even when you're with your "boo." Rounding out the nominations were Canadian rockers Nickelback with "How You Remind Me," their lone Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit to date.

Song Of The Year
Winner: Norah Jones, "Don't Know Why"
Vanessa Carlton, "A Thousand Miles"
Alan Jackson, "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"
Avril Lavigne, "Complicated"
Bruce Springsteen, "The Rising"

"Don't Know Why" has now been covered by Pat Metheny, Smokey Robinson, and just about every jazz singer who's ever set foot in a nightclub lounge. The song was written by Jesse Harris, who recorded it for his 1999 album Jesse Harris & The Ferdinandos. A few years later, the ballad's plaintive yet understated sentiments would prove to be the perfect complement to Jones' vocals, ultimately assuring its place as a contemporary jazz standard. All of the other nominees in this category were written by the recording artists, ranging from Springsteen's Sept. 11 imagery ("There's spirits above and behind me/Faces gone black, eyes burnin' bright") and Jackson's tribute to the aftermath  of Sept. 11 ("Did you weep for the children/Who lost their dear loved ones"), to Lavigne's plea for a world less complicated ("Chill out, what you yelling' for?/Lay back, it's all been done before"). Lavigne co-penned "Complicated" with Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards and Scott Spock (aka the Matrix). "A Thousand Miles" took Carlton to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, her highest-charting single to date. Jackson's "Where Were You …" reached No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Springsteen took Best Rock Song honors for "The Rising."

Best New Artist
Winner: Norah Jones
Michelle Branch
Avril Lavigne
John Mayer

Did we mention this was a good year for Jones? It was also another good year for female solo artists, whose unprecedented reign over the Best New Artist category reached its seventh consecutive year thanks to Jones' victory. But all things must pass: The streak would be broken a year later by Evanescence who, apart from frontwoman Amy Lee, had far too much testosterone to continue the tradition. The other Best New Artist nominees proved to have successful GRAMMY debuts this year. Ashanti took Best Contemporary R&B Album honors for her self-titled release; Branch won Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for her teaming with Carlos Santana for "The Game Of Love"; Mayer picked up Best Male Pop Vocal Performance honors for "Your Body Is A Wonderland"; and Lavigne earned an impressive five nominations her first year out.


Come back to on Feb. 6 as we revisit the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Follow for our inside look at GRAMMY news, blogs, photos, videos, and of course nominees. Stay up to the minute with GRAMMY Live. Check out the GRAMMY legacy with GRAMMY Rewind. Explore this year's GRAMMY Fields. Or check out the collaborations at Re:Generation, presented by Hyundai Veloster. And join the conversation at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


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


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

 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

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

Photo: The Recording Academy


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

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


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