meta-scriptSounds Of Change: Andra Day Pays Tribute To Billie Holiday With Cover Of "Strange Fruit"  | GRAMMY.com
Andra Day Sounds Of Change

Andra Day 

Photo: CBS via Getty Images

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Sounds Of Change: Andra Day Pays Tribute To Billie Holiday With Cover Of "Strange Fruit" 

The Billie Holiday protest song brings attention to the lynching of Black Americans

GRAMMYs/Apr 1, 2021 - 09:01 pm

Andra Day performed Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" at the "A GRAMMY Salute To The Sounds Of Change" musical special.  

Featuring stars from LaBelle to Day to Gladys Knight, "A GRAMMY Salute To The Sounds Of Change" was a decades-spanning celebration of the iconic songs that inspired social change and left an everlasting imprint on music and history. Holiday's protest song brings attention to the lynching of Black Americans.

Watch Day's performance above and read a full recap of the event here.

"A GRAMMY Salute To The Sounds Of Change" is available on-demand on Paramount+.

Sounds Of Change: Billy Porter Performs Patti LaBelle's "You Are My Friend"

Michael Sticka, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Museum, Lauryn Hill, and Jimmy Jam
(L-R): Michael Sticka, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Museum, Lauryn Hill, and Jimmy Jam

Photo: Sarah Morris/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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6 Key Highlights From The Inaugural GRAMMY Hall of Fame Gala Honoring Lauryn Hill, Donna Summer, Atlantic Records & Many More

The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum celebrated music's legacy with tributes to Charley Pride, Wanda Jackson, Buena Vista Social Club, and more, featuring performances by Andra Day, The War and Treaty, and other musical greats.

GRAMMYs/May 23, 2024 - 12:34 am

Many years ago, veteran CBS journalist Anthony Mason lost his entire record collection when it disappeared in transit as he moved from one place to another. Mason was inconsolable, and you could still hear a tinge of sadness in his voice when he recounted this painful story at the inaugural GRAMMY Hall of Fame Gala, held on May 21 at the Novo Theater in Los Angeles. The evening’s eloquent and entertaining host, Mason was making a point with his personal anecdote of lost records: music is priceless, one of our most treasured possessions — both as individuals and as a community. Preserving its legacy is essential.

It’s been over 50 years since the GRAMMY Hall of Fame was established by the Recording Academy's National Trustees to honor records of deep historical significance that are at least 25 years old. This year, the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Museum paid tribute to 10 newly inducted recordings (four albums and six singles) by artists including De La Soul, Lauryn Hill, Buena Vista Social Club, Donna Summer, Guns 'N Roses, Charley Pride, Kid Ory’s Creole Orchestra, the Doobie Brothers, William Bell, Wanda Jackson, and Atlantic Records, the annual Gala's inaugural label honoree. 

The first Hall of Fame Gala was a dazzling event presented by City National Bank, complete with guest speakers and performances by Andra Day, The War and Treaty, William Bell, Elle King, and HANSON covering some of the inducted works. The event underscored the sumptuous variety that continues to define popular music, spanning the sounds of hip-hop, rock, country, R&B, disco, and even the venerable Cuban dance music of decades past.

Here are six takeaway points from an evening marked by celebration and transcendent musical memories.

Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” Has Lost None Of Its Edge

Studious music fans are well aware that “I Feel Love” — written by Donna Summer with visionary Italian producer Giorgio Moroder and British songwriter Pete Bellotte — is a shimmering disco gem, a futuristic precursor to the entire EDM genre. What was stunning about the Gala performance of the track by singer and actress Andra Day is how edgy and fresh the 1977 track still sounds today. Day’s ethereal reading was appropriately hypnotic, with live drums, nebulous synth textures and glorious, three-part vocal harmonies.

The Future Of American Music Is In Good Hands With The War and Treaty

Formed by husband and wife Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter, The War and Treaty were rightfully nominated for Best New Artist at the 2024 GRAMMYs earlier this year. The duo’s electrifying combination of Americana, gospel, and rock is especially effective on a live stage, and the pair delivered a memorable rendition of Charley Pride's inducted Hall Of Fame country hit, “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’,” recorded in 1971. The War and Treaty also received a standing ovation later in the evening for their performance of Ray Charles' classic, "What'd I Say," released in 1959.

26 Years Later, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Is Still Ahead Of Its Time

Released in August 1998, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, and became the first hip-hop artist to win Album Of The Year at the 1999 GRAMMYs. At the Gala, Andra Day delighted the audience — including Lauryn Hill and her family — with a soulful version of hidden track “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” originally a Frankie Valli hit from 1967. Day's performance was marked by brassy accents and funky bass lines, creating an unapologetically lush rendition that mirrored the sonic richness of Hill's original take.

Read more: Revisiting 'The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill': Why The Multiple GRAMMY-Winning Record Is Still Everything 25 Years Later

Atlantic Records Transformed The Face Of Global Culture

Celebrating 75 years of inaugural label honoree Atlantic Records in the span of a few minutes loomed like an impossible task, but the Gala producers paid tribute to the legacy label well. Beginning with a short video, the event segment highlighted the miraculous roster assembled by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson that included Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, ABBA, Phil Collins, and Bruno Mars — to name just a few. But it was the actual performances that highlighted the label’s hold on pop culture: Ravyn Lenae’s breathy take on Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” made a case for considering the 1973 hit as one of the most vulnerable recordings of all time. On the other side of the dynamic spectrum, the epic rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” by alt-rock quartet Shinedown was appropriately intense.

The Wondrous Legacy Of Stax Records Should Not Be Underestimated

The home of such legendary artists as Otis Redding, The Staple Singers and Carla Thomas, Memphis-based Stax Records developed a rich, ragged sound with gospel, blues, R&B and luminous pop as its foundational pillars. Currently the subject of an HBO documentary series, "Stax: Soulsville USA," the record label defined American music during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Memphis singer/songwriter William Bell was one of its most prolific artists, and he regaled guests with a performance of his Hall of Fame inducted debut 1961 single, “You Don’t Miss Your Water.” At 84 years of age — and the winner of a Best Americana Album at the 2017 GRAMMYs — Bell was in rare form, and the band backed him up seamlessly, reproducing the sinuous organ lines of the original.

Read more: 1968: A Year Of Change For The World, Memphis & Stax Records

Future Editions Of The Gala Will Continue To Surprise And Delight

The inaugural GRAMMY Hall of Fame Gala set a high standard for future celebrations of iconic recordings. The event proved to be fertile ground for the creation of indelible music moments, showcasing the beauty and authority of music across genres and generations. Other honored Hall of Fame inducted recordings including De La Soul’s 3 Feet High And Rising, Guns’N’Roses Appetite For Destruction, the Buena Vista Social Club’s debut, Wanda Jackson’s “Let’s Have A Party,” Kid Ory’s Creole Orchestra’s “Ory’s Creole Trombone” and The Doobie Brothers’ “What A Fool Believes.”  

As we look ahead, the excitement for future Galas grows, with each event promising to honor more historic recordings, and uphold the tradition of celebrating excellence in music's rich legacy.

Explore The 2024 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inducted Recordings: Lauryn Hill, Guns N' Roses, De La Soul, Donna Summer & Many More

Explore The 2024 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inductees

Inaugural GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala

Image courtesy of the Recording Academy

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GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala 2024 Performers Announced: Andra Day, The War And Treaty, Ravyn Lenae, Shinedown And More Confirmed

The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum's inaugural GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala will take place Tuesday, May 21, at the Novo Theater in Los Angeles. Atlantic Records will be the first label honoree. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 27 at noon PT/3 p.m. ET.

GRAMMYs/Apr 25, 2024 - 02:00 pm

The inaugural GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala is just ahead — and now, we know which musicians will grace the stage. Andra Day, Ravyn Lenae, Shinedown, and the War and Treaty will perform at the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum's gala, with more performers to be announced at a later date.

The Gala will take place on May 21, 2024, at the Novo Theater in Downtown Los Angeles and will be hosted by veteran CBS broadcast journalist Anthony Mason. The annual Gala will also honor a label, with the first being Atlantic Records.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 12 p.m. PT at this link. More information about the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala is available here.

The inaugural Hall Of Fame Gala will honor the 2024 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame inducted recordings on its 50th Anniversary, including De La Soul's 3 Feet High And Rising, Guns N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction, Buena Vista Social Club's Buena Vista Social Club, and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, as well as recordings by Donna Summer, Charley Pride, Wanda Jackson, Kid Ory's Creole Orchestra, the Doobie Brothers, and William Bell.

The Gala will also pay tribute to iconic record label Atlantic Records, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and has over 38 recordings already inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. 

"We're honored that the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum have chosen Atlantic to be the first label celebrated at what promises to be an exciting annual event," said Atlantic Music Group Chairman & CEO Julie Greenwald and Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. "The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame includes many of the most groundbreaking recordings in our company's 75-year history, and it will be great to hear some of our outstanding current artists bring their unique voices to these timeless songs."

"We are thrilled to be able to recognize Atlantic Records' incomparable contribution to recorded music, including numerous Hall Of Fame inducted recordings, as our first Hall Of Fame Gala label honoree. We're looking forward to celebrating them along with this year's inducted recordings during an unforgettable evening of performances by some of today's most talented artists," says Michael Sticka, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Museum.

The evening will include a red carpet and VIP reception on the Ray Charles Terrace at the GRAMMY Museum followed by a one-of-a-kind concert at the Novo Theater. This year's show will be produced by longtime Executive Producer of the GRAMMY Awards, Ken Ehrlich, along with Chantel Sausedo and Ron Basile. Musical Direction by globally renowned producer and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes. The Gala is presented by City National Bank.

The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame was established by the Recording Academy's National Trustees in 1973. The inducted recordings are selected annually by a special member committee of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts with final 

ratification by the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees.

With 10 new titles, the Hall currently totals 1,152 inducted recordings in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. Recipients will receive an official certificate from the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum.

The full list of past inducted recordings can be viewed here. For sponsorship opportunities, reach out to halloffame@grammymuseum.org. And keep checking GRAMMY.com for more info about the GRAMMY Hall of Fame gala, and beyond!

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Andra Day performs “Lift Every Voice and Sing” prior to Super Bowl LVIII.

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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Andra Day Sings “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Ahead of Super Bowl LVIII

Andra Day performed the "The Black National Anthem" ahead of the Super Bowl LVIII kickoff, a new tradition of the Super Bowl pre-show since 2021.

GRAMMYs/Feb 12, 2024 - 01:48 am

Andra Day performed an emotional rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to kick off the Super Bowl LVIII festivities.

Dressed in a chic, oversized gray pantsuit and giant gold earrings, the singer belted out, “Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us / Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us / Facing the rising sun of our new day begun / Let us march on till victory is won.”

Known as "The Black National Anthem," “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has been included in the Super Bowl pre-show since 2021, when it was performed for the first time by Alicia Keys. In 2022, Mary Mary had the honor of singing the song and last year, Sheryl Lee Ralph performed the 1900 gospel anthem. The song was written by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson to reflect the struggles of African Americans in the face of Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws. It became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and '60s.

Given that the song is a relatively new addition to the Super Bowl, Day opened up about the opportunity to introduce “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to an audience of millions who maybe aren’t familiar with its history and importance within Black culture.

“It’s a hymn of triumph, you know?” she said during Apple Music’s pre-game press conference. “That’s what I want people to encounter when I sing the song. I want them to know that we have victory and we have peace already…You know, it’s funny: there’s a burden but it’s not so much a burden. I keep telling people, I just really want to diminish myself as much as possible and for me, spiritually, just make space for a move of God, and that’s what I’m hoping happens.”

Reba McEntire Performs Patriotic Rendition of the National Anthem at Super Bowl LVIII

Kendrick Lamar GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

Looking for more GRAMMYs news? The 2024 GRAMMY nominations are here!

He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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