Photo: Joan Marcus
"Hamilton" To Bring Broadway Back To Music's Biggest Night
The cast of the GRAMMY-nominated musical "Hamilton" to perform live via satellite on the 58th GRAMMY Awards
GRAMMY winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of "Hamilton" will perform a number from the GRAMMY-nominated musical on the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards, directly from the legendary Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. The performance will usher Broadway back to the GRAMMY stage and mark only the fourth time the GRAMMY telecast has featured a performance live via satellite.
The "Hamilton" performance will be the eighth time in history musical theater has been featured on the GRAMMY Awards. Previous Broadway productions featured on the telecast are "Godspell" (1972); "The Magic Show" (1975); "Sophisticated Ladies" (1982); "La Cage Aux Folles" (1984); "Will Rogers Follies" (1992); "Riverdance" and "Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk" (1997); and "American Idiot" (2010).
"Melding contemporary hip-hop into a musical set in the year 1776, 'Hamilton' reimagines the traditional musical in a unique and extraordinary way that has brought Broadway — and our nation's history — to new audiences," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "With the GRAMMY Awards on a Monday this year, we have a wonderful opportunity to highlight this important musical art form on an even bigger stage for our millions of viewers worldwide to experience."
"The 'Hamilton' cast and crew are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this year's GRAMMY Awards," said Miranda, "Hamilton" creator, writer and lead performer. "The music community's response to our cast album has been overwhelming, and we're honored to be a part of such a special night. To perform from our home at the Richard Rodgers Theatre is a dream come true."
Current nominees for Best Musical Theater Album from the Original Broadway Cast recording of "Hamilton" include: principal soloists Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Leslie Odom Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Phillipa Soo; producers Alex Lacamoire, Miranda, Bill Sherman, Ahmir Thompson, and Tarik Trotter; and Miranda as a principal soloist, composer and lyricist.
The 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, and David Wild and Ehrlich are the writers. Two-time GRAMMY winner LL Cool J will host Music's Biggest Night for the fifth consecutive year.
Taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS on Monday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Photo: Kelly Samson, Gallery Photography
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
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.
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."
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.
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."
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.
Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
'Encanto' Sweeps The 2023 GRAMMYs: Disney's Animated Smash Wins 3 Categories
"We Don't Talk About Bruno" and the film soundtrack took home three golden gramophones at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
It seems people do talk about Bruno.
The viral hit song from Encanto won the golden gramophone for Best Song Written For Visual Media at the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially making the animated Disney film sweep the three visual media categories. Encanto also took home awards for Best Compilation Soundtrack and Best Score Soundtrack.
Released in November 2021, Encanto — a colorful, earnest and humorous exploration of family and self-acceptance, set in the hills of Colombia — is now the first film to sweep the visual media categories since the creation of the compilation soundtrack category in 1999.
Penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the ensemble song "We Don't Talk About Bruno" beat out works from Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Angélique Kidjo, and Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell. In 2022, the relatable tale of family drama rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100 to become the No. 1 song in the U.S. (the second time a Disney track has done so; Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” hit the top of the charts in 1993).
But "Bruno" is far from the only hit from the magical world of Encanto — the soundtrack produced seven Hot 100 singles, including the Top 10 hit about anxiety, "Surface Pressure." Academy voters recognized the album as whole with the Best Compilation Soundtrack award, which was accepted by Producer Mike Elizondo and Disney's Vice President of Music Tom MacDougall. Fellow contenders in the category were Top Gun: Maverick, "Stranger Things" West Side Story and Elvis.
Encanto's first win of the night, for Best Score Soundtrack, may have been the most moving and apropos of the film's groundbreaking nature. With her gramophone in hand, Mexican-American composer Germaine Franco said she believed herself to be the first woman of color to win the GRAMMY Award. Franco also thanked "all the musicians who spent all their time making that beautiful music for the world to be a better place," noting that many of the musicians playing on the Premiere Ceremony stage also performed on the soundtrack.
Encanto's success at the 2023 GRAMMYs exemplifies how soundtracks and their singles are, once again, becoming a key tool in the success of films. And, finally, Bruno can be spoken of openly.
Head to live.GRAMMY.com all year long to watch all the GRAMMY performances, acceptance speeches, the GRAMMY Live From The Red Carpet livestream special, the full Premiere Ceremony livestream, and even more exclusive, never-before-seen content from the 2023 GRAMMYs.
Photo: Rachel Kupfer
A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.
It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.
Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.
Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.
In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.
Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.
There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.
Say She She
Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.
While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."
Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.
Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.
Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.
Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.
L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.
During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.
Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.
Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.