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The Recording Academy Remembers The Music People We've Lost | GRAMMY In Memoriam (2021 – 2022)
Stephen Sondheim

Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images

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The Recording Academy Remembers The Music People We've Lost | GRAMMY In Memoriam (2021 – 2022)

Take a moment to reflect and salute the members of the music community who we lost

GRAMMYs/Apr 4, 2022 - 03:07 am

The following is a list of artists and industry professionals the music community lost from January 2021 – March 15 2022.

The 2022 GRAMMYs telecast on CBS featured an In Memoriam segment highlighting some of these individuals via a video tribute, and all of these individuals who died prior to its print date are included in the official 2022 GRAMMYs program book.

The Recording Academy salutes each individual for their respective talents and contributions to our culture and community.

"General" Jeff Page

"John Miles" Errington

"Mark Keds" Myers

"Meor" Yusof Aziddin Meor Hassan

"Nobuo Hara" Tsukahara

"Raffaella Carrà" Pelloni

Abdel Karim al Kabli

Abhijit Bandyopadhyay

Adalberto Álvarez

Adolph "Young Dolph" Robert Thorton Jr.

Agustin Gurza

Aki Rahimovski

Al Schlesinger

Al Schmitt

Alain Bancquart

Alan Hawkshaw

Alan Jesperson

Alan Lancaster

Alberto Ciurana

Aleksandr Khrabunov

Alemayehu Eshete

Alex DePue

Alexander Gradsky

Alexander Hamilton

Alexi Laiho

Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis

Alfredo Diez Nieto

Alicia "Lisa" Lee

Alix Dobkin

Allan Slaight

Allan Stephenson

Alleppey Ranganath

Allin Grigoryevich Vlasenko

Alto Reed

Álvaro Manzano

Alvin "Seeco" Patterson

Alvin Lucier

Alvin Speights

Amanda Holden

Amarendra Mohanty

Ana Bejerano

Andre Petersen

Andrea Martin

Andrea Meyer

Andrew "Drew" Alexander

Andrew Barker

Andy Ross

Andy Warpigs

Andy Williams

Angela Kukawski

Anita Lane

Anthony "Muffman" Williams

Antonietta Stella

Anzor Erkomaishvili

Apostolos "Tolis" Voskopoulos

Aria Baron

Armando Gama

Arnold "Arnie" Pustilnik

Art Stewart

Arthur E. "Juini" Booth

Arthur Grigoryan

Arthur Pomposello

Arvil Freeman

Astroworld 2021

Aurelio De La Vega

B.B. Dickerson

B.J. Thomas

Badal Roy

Bappi Lahiri

Barbara Ess

Baron Browne

Barry Harris

Barry Ryan

Beatrice Bowles

Beldina "Heir of the Cursed" Odenyo Onassis

Belinda Sykes

Benjamin Vallé

Bennie Pete

Bernard Haitink

Betty Davis

Betty White

Beverly Noga

Beverly Ross

Bezbaruah

Bhaskar Menon

Bichu Thirumala

Big John Harte

Bill Harkin

Bill Holden

Bill Mollman

Bill Owens

Bill Runkle

Bill Staines

Billa O'Connell

Billie Hayes

Billy Conway

Billy Hinsche

Bjorn Thorsrud

Blake Mevis

Bob Moore

Bob Saget

Bobbe "Beegie" Long Adair

Brian Dunning

Brian Rohan

Brian Travers

Bruce Conte

Bruce Gaston

Bruce Greig

Bruce Hawes

Bryan St. Pere

Buddy Deppenschmidt

Burke Shelley

Burton Greene

Busker Meor

Byron Berline

Calvin Simon

Carl "Chucky" Thompson Jr.

Carl Bean

Carleton Carpenter

Carlisle Floyd

Carlos do Carmo

Carlos Marin

Carmel Quinn

Carmela Corren

Carmen Balthrop

Carol Easton

Carol Fran

Cathy Favaro-Maimone

Charles "Chuck E." Weiss

Charles "is-City" Gatt

Charles Criss

Charlie Black

Charlie Davis

Charlie McCardell

Charlie Watts

Chi Modu

Chris "The Bear" Hutka

Chris "X'Ho" Ho

Chris Scicluna

Christa Ludwig

Christine Nofchissey McHorse

Claire dela Fuente

Clarence "Mac" McDonald

Claude Bolling

Cleve Hall

Clifford Grant

Clive "Zanda" Alexander

Concha Márquez Piquer

Connie Bradley

Conrad Janis

Constance Demby

Corey "Chucky Trill" Detiege

Courtney Granger

Curtis Fuller

C.W. McCall

Dale Clevenger

Dale Knippers

Dallas Frazier

Dallas Good

Damodar Hota

Dan Einstein

Daniel "Dan" Sartain

Darrell "Drakeo the Ruler" Caldwell

Dashawn "Lil Loaded" Robertson

David "Dave" Frishberg

David "Jay Black" Blatt

David Cutler Lewis

David Darling

David Edwards

David Lasley

David Longdon

David Romano

David Surette

Dearon "Deezer D" Thompson

Debby King

Dee Pop

Dell Furano

Denis O'Brien

Dennis "Denny" Nowak

Dennis Payne

Dennis Thomas

Denroy Morgan

Dev Tharikewala

Dewayne Blackwell

Diane Martin

Dick Halligan

Dick Odette

Diego Verdaguer

Dimitri "Dee Pop" Papadopoulos

Djivan Gasparyan

Dmitri Bashkirov

Don Dilling

Don Everly

Don Heffington

Don Maddox

Don Wilson

Donald "Don" Marquis

Donald Dowdy

Donny Gerrard

Doris "Rose Lee" Maphis

Dorothy "Dottie" Dodgion

Doug Eyink

Douglas "Doug" Parkinson

Douglas Grigsby

Dr. Lonnie Smith

Drew Alexander

Earl "DMX" Simmons

Earl "JT" Gray

Earl Swavey

Ed Asner

Ed Bruce

Eddie "Ed" Asner

Eddie Basinski

Edita Gruberová

Edmund "Ed" Ward

Eleonore "Lorli" von Trapp Campbell

Ellen McIlwaine

Elliot Lawrence Broza

Elza Soares

Emani "Emani 22" Johnson

Emil Ramsauer

Emmaretta Marks

Emmett Chapman

Enrique "Pil Trafa" Chalar

Enriqueta "La Prieta Linda" Jiménez

Eric Wagner

Ernie Andrews

Esther Béjarano

Ethel Gabriel

Eugene "Gene" Smith

Eugene Wright

Eulalio "Sax" Cervantes Galarza

Eulis Cathey

Everett Lee

Everett Morton

Fanny Waterman

Farhad Humayun

Farid Ahmed Hazra

Flavio Etcheto

Francis Jackson

Francis Stueber

Francisco Kröpfl

Franco "Süphan Barzani" Battiato

Franco Cerri

Franz Streitwieser

Fred Geiger

Fred Johnson

Fred Parris

Freddie Combs

Freddie Redd

Frederic Rzewski

Fredrik Johansson

Gared O'Donnell

Gary "Chicken" Hirsh

Gary Brooker

Gary Corbett

Gary Edwards

Gary Leib

Gary Scruggs

Gene Rumsey

General Defao

General Jeff Page

Genival "Cassiano" dos Santos  

Geoffrey Stephens

Georg Alexander Albrecht

George "Commander Cody" Frayne

George "Gay" McIntyre

George Crumb

George Frayne

George Horn

George Mraz

George Wein

George Winn

Georgie Dann

Gerald "Jerry" Granelli

Gerry Marsden

Gianluca Floris

Gil Wechsler

Gilberto Grácio

Glen Peart

Glenn Douglas Tubb

Glenn Wheatley

Gloria Montes

Graeme Edge

Graham Vick

Greg Gilbert

Greg Tate

Greg Webster

Gregory "Greg" Tate

Gregory "Shock G" Jacobs

Griselda Jiménez

Guilia Lorimer

Gurmeet Bawa

Habeeb "Obama DMW" Uthman

Haja El Hamdaouia

Hans Neuenfels

Hans-Erik "Hank von Hell" Husby

Hargus Robbins

Harpdog Brown

Harry Colomby

Harry Coombs

Harvey Louis Krantz

Hayk "Hayko" Hakobyan

Heber Bartolome

Héctor "Perro" Emaides

Henry Goldrich

Henry Stephen

Heo Cham

Hillel Resner

Howard "KingFish" Franklin Jr.

Howard Alexander Dumble

Howard Grimes

Howard Johnson

Howard Wales

Howard Weitzman

Hugh X. Lewis

Ian "Napolian" Evans

Ian Alexander jr.

Ian McDonald

Ian Worang

Ibrahim Ashk

Igor Oistrakh

Ike Stubblefield

Inge Ginsberg

Ivan Tasovac

Ivor "Nick" Kamen

Iwan Edwards

J.D. Crowe

Jaakko Kuusisto

Jack Bradley

Jacob "Jake" Abrams Jr.

Jacob Desvarieux

Jagjit Kaur

Jamal Edwards

Jameon "Ketchy the Great" Davis

James "Jamie" O'Hara

James "Jim" Maher

James "Jim" Pembroke

James "Jim" Steinman

James "Jimmy" Cox

James "Koz" Kozlowski

James Dee "J.D." Crowe

James Easter

James Leary

James Levine

James Maraniss

James Mtume

Jamie O'Hara

Jamillah "JAM" Muhammad

Jan Welmers

Jane "Nightbirde" Marczewski

Janet Mead

Janice Wendell

János "Mecky" Kóbor

Jason "Rowdy" Cope

Jason Moore

Javunte "Squeak" Wheeler

Jay Jacobs

Jay Jay Phillips

Jay Weaver

Jayananda Lama

Jean-Paul Jeannotte

Jeff "Hitmaka Jeff" Thornton

Jeff Chambers

Jeff Wald

Jeffrey "Deon" Estus

Jeffrey "Jeff" LaBar

Jem Targal

Jemal Chkuaseli

Jeremy Lubbock

Jerold "Jerry" Blair

Jerome "J.D." Hill

Jerome Hyde

Jerry Crutchfield

Jerry Ray Johnston

Jervis "Pete" Corum

Jesse Aratow

Jessie D Lee Daniels

Jim Bessman

Jim Duty

Jim Horn

Jim Knapp

Jim Maher

Jimbeau Hinson

Jimmy Cox

Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Kennedy

Joanne Shenandoah

Joe "Dusty" Hill

Joe Simon

Joel Chadabe

John "J.D." Hutchinson

John "Johnny" Crawford

John "Johnny" Solinger

John "Tim" Bogert

John Ashton Thomas

John C. Koss

John Davis

John Fagot

John Kinsella

John Lawton

John Miles Errington

John Nolan

John Rice Irwin

John Viers

Johnny Brown

Johnny Solinger

Jon "Doug" Nichols

Jon "Woodenman" Lukas

Jon Appleton

Jon Hassell

Jon Lind

Jon Mark

Jon Mark 

Jon Zazula

Jonas Gwangwa

Jonathon "Baby CEO" Brown

Joni James

Jordi Sabatés

Jorge Cumbo

José "Flow La Movie" Ángel Hernández

José Ángel "Flow La Movie" Hernández

José Enrique "Chelique" Sarabia

José María Cámara

Joseph "Jo Jo" Bennett

Joseph "Joe" Palmaccio

Joseph Horovitz

Josephine Veasey

Joyce Reeves Milsap

Juan "Johnny Ventura" Soriano

Juan Nelson

Judith Davidoff

Julia Nixon

Julie "Tawny" Kitaen

Juraj Filas

Jürg Wyttenbach

Justin Alexander "J $tash" Joseph

Kaithapram Viswanathan Namboothiri

Kalaimamani M. J. C. Comagan

Karan Armstrong

Karim Ouellet

Karla Burns

Keith Allison

Kelli "K-HAND" Hand

Ken Seaman

Kenneth "Ken" Kragen

Kenneth Cooper

Kenneth Wannberg

Kenny Malone

Kenny Sidle

Kenwrick "Kenny J" Joseph

Kerry Chater

Kerry Hay

Kevin Clark

Khan Jamal

Kim Tribble

King Louie Bankston

Kirti Shiledar

Koady Chaisson

Kyle Wood

Lalith Anand

Larry Willoughby

Lars-Göran "LG" Petrov

Lata Mangeshkar

Laurence "Enzo" Gusman

Lawrence "Larry Harlow" Kahn

Lawrence "Larry" Sheridan

Lawrence “Maniac” West

Lawrence Matshiza

Lee "Scratch" Perry

Lee Williams

Leonard 'Hub' Hubbard

Leonard "Doc" Gibbs

Leonard "Hub" Hubbard

Leslie "Les" Harris

Leslie "Les" McKeown

Leslie Bricusse

Leslie Parnas

Leslie West

Letieres Leite

Levon Chaushian

Lieb Bester

Lil Bo Weep

Linda Mensch

Lindsay Tebbutt

Lisa Roy

Lizzie Bravo

Lloyd "Gitsy" Willis

Lloyd Price

Locksley "Slide" Hampton

Lodewijk "Lou" Ottens

Lois Kirschenbaum

Lou Dennis

Louis "Lou" Robin

Louis Andriessen

Louise Tomberlain

Lucy Rowan Mann

Ludmila Ferber

Luis de Pablo Costales

Lulendo "General Defao" Matumona

Mac Martin

Malcolm Cecil

Malcolm Dome

Man Arai

Manikka Vinayagam

Marc Lee Dé Hugar

Marc Tanner

Marcel "Biz Markie" Hall

Margaret Everly

Margo Guryan

Maria "Milva" Biolcati

Maria Ewing

María Mérida

Marília Mendonça

Marilyn Bergman

Mario Lavista

Mario Pavone

Mark Keds Myers

Mark Lanegan

Mark Lubotsky

Mark Varner

Marsha Zazula

Martin "Marty" Roberts

Martín Carrizo

Martin Kahan

Martin Wright

Mārtiņš Brauns

Mary Edna Thompson

Matt "Money" Miller

Matthew Strachan

Maureen Cleave

Mauri Louisa Skinfill

Meat Loaf

Melvin Parker

Melvin Van Peebles

Michael "Mick Rock" Smith

Michael "Mike" Finnigan

Michael "Mike" O'Reilly

Michael Bishop

Michael Chapman

Michael Fonfara

Michael Lang

Michael Morgan

Michael Nesmith

Michael Stanley

Michail "Mikis" Theodorakis

Michel Baumann

Michel Corboz

Mick Brigden

Mick Griffiths

Mickey Eichner

Miguel "Meñique" Ángel Barcasnegras

Mike Dekle

Mike Finnigan

Mike Howe

Mike Mitchell

Mike O'Reilly

Mike Renzi

Mike Tarsia

Mikey "Mao" Chung

Mikey Chung

Mimi Stern-Wolfe

Misty Morgan

Mita Haque

Morton "Mort" Sahl

Morty Craft

Muvaffak "Maffy" Falay

Mzilikazi Khumalo

Nana Ampadu

Nanci Griffith

Nathan "Joey" Jonas Jordison

Neela Wickramasinghe

Neil Flanz

Neil Nongkynrih

Nelson Freire

Nick Colionne

Nick Weaver

Nicky Tesco

Nicole Hurst

Nigel Butterley

Nikolai Golyshev

Nikolai Slichenko

Nils "Einár" Grönberg

Nobesuthu Mbadu

Nobuo Hara Tsukahara

Norma Morris

Norma Waterson

Norman "Paul Cotton"

Norman "Rusty" Young

Norman Simmons

Obie "Travis Stewart"

Olanrewaju "Sound Sultan" Fasasi

Olanrewaju "Sound Sultan" Fasasi 

Oscar Guitián

Oscar López Ruiz

Osvaldo Peredo

Owen Moran

Paddy Moloney

Pat Fish

Pat Martino

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison

Patricio Manns

Patricio Renán

Patrick "Pat Fish" Huntrods

Patrick Sky

Patsy Bruce

Pau Riba i Romeva

Paul Cotton

Paul Jackson

Paul Johnson

Paul Laubin

Paul Mitchell

Pauline Tinsley

Pearl Kaufman

Peer Mohammed

Pervis Staples

Peter "Jack Terricloth" Ventantonio

Peter "Pita" Rehberg

Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Ind

Peter Klatzow

Peter Scolari

Peter Zinovieff

Phi Nhung

Phil Leadbetter

Phil Zimmerman

Philip "Phil" Schaap

Philip "Phil" Zimmerman

Philip Margo

Philip Paul

Phillip "Phil Naro" Sampognaro

Phillip "Phil" Chen

Phillip Wells

Phyllis McGuire

Pierce Fulton

Pietro Gilfucci

Piraisoodan

Prabhakar Jog

Prateek Chaudhuri

Prem Dhoj Pradhan

Rachel Nagy

Raffaella Carrà Pelloni

Ralph Emery

Ralph Irizarry

Ralph Schuckett

Ralph Tavares

Ramasaamy "Pulavar Pulamaipithan"

Ramdas Kamat

Randall Massengill

Randy "Baja" Fletcher

Randy Jackson

Rasie "Razzy" Bailey

Ravindranath "Lakshman Wijesekara"

Ray Reyes Léon

Raymond Gniewek

Reggie Warren

Renee Grant-Williams

Renée Martel

Renée Pietrafesa

Richard Cole

Richard H. Kirk

Richard Pratt

Rick Jarrard

Rick Laird

Rick Raybon

Rickie Lee Reynolds

Ricky Powell

Riky Rick

Rob Vitale

Robby Steinhardt

Robert 'Bob' Rudolph

Robert "Black Rob" Ross

Robert "Bob" James

Robert "Bob" Koester

Robert "Bob" Porter

Robert "Bob" Rudolph

Robert "Bobby" Few

Robert "Les" Emmerson

Robert "Robb" Earls

Robert "Robbie" Shakespeare

Robert "Robby" Steinhardt

Robert "Rockin' Rob" Aldridge

Robert Richards

Roberta Morales

Roberto "Elio Roca" Macceialli

Roberto "Palo" Pandolfo

Roberto Roena

Robin Le Mesurier

Robin McNamara

Robin Morton

Roger Englander

Roger Hawkins

Roger Newell

Roland Anthony Chirico

Ron "Snake" Reynolds

Ron Bushy

Ron Miles

Ronald "Ron" Anderson

Ronald "Ron" Cornelius

Ronald "Ron" Cuccia

Ronald "Ron" Tutt

Ronald "Ronnie" Falgout

Ronald "Ronny" Drayton

Ronnie Kidd

Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Wilson

Rosa Lee Hawkins

Rosalía Garrido 

Rosalie Trombley

Rose Beauchamp

Ruben Rodriguez

Rudy Salas

Ruth Olay

Sabah Fakhri

Sally Grossman

Salvador Lizárraga

Sam Lay

Sam Riddle

Sammy Clark

Samuel "Sam" Salter

Samuel "Wes" Phillips

Sandhya Mukherjee

Sandra Jaffe

Sandy Nelson

Sanford Clark

Sarah Dash

Sarah Harding

Scott Whitehead

Scotty Wray

Sebastião Tapajós 

Sérgio Brandão

Sergio Esquivel

Shaun "Kangol Kid" Shiller Fequiere

Shawn Cripps

Shorty Byrd

Shravan Rathod

Sidney Miller

Sidney Poitier

Simon Illa

Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry

Sister Janet Mead

Skibadee

Skilyr Hicks

Snootie Wild

Sonny Osborne

Sonny Simmons

Sonny Turner

Søren Holm

Spencer Nitchie

Stan Moress

Stanley Crouch

Stéphane Blet

Stephen J. Lawrence

Stephen Sondheim

Steve "Baba Zumbi" Gaines

Steve Bronski Forrest

Steve Salas

Steven "Steve Bronski" Forrest

Stonewall Jackson

Sudie Callaway

Sue Thompson

Sultan "Traxamillion" Banks

Sunil Pererea

Susan Anway

Susan Palo Cherwien

Suzanne "Jane Powell" Burce

Syl Johnson

Sylvano Bussotti

Sylvia Medford

Tam Harvey

Tatiana Chudova

Taylor Hawkins

TDott Woo

Tebogo "Steve" Kekena

Ted Gardner

Terence "Astro" Wilson

Teresa Żylis-Gara

Terry Shue

Terry Teachout

Terry Tolkin

Teruhiko Saigo

Theuns Jordaan

Thione Seck

Thom Moore

Thomas "Mensi" Mensforth

Thomas "Tom" Gray

Thomas "Tommy West" Picardo Jr.

Thomas "Tommy" Edwards

Thoppil Anto

Tim Akers

Timothy J. "The Gift of Gab" Parker

Tito Matos

Tohru "Monamour" Hiroshima

Tom Parker

Tom Starr

Tom T. Hall

Tommy "TT" Truesdale

Tommy DeBarge

Tommy Edwards

Tommy Neal

Tõnu Aare

Tony "Muffman" Williams

Tony MacMahon

Trevor Birdsong

Tsai "Fan Fan" Yi-fan

Tsepo Tshola

Udo Zimmerman

Uno Loop

Urban Haglund

Vanraj Bhatia

Veronica "Ronnie" Dunne

Veronica Dunne

Vicente Feliú

Vicente Fernández

Vicente Zarzo Pitarch

Victor Wood

Vince "CPO Boss Hogg" Edwards

Vincent "Slim 400" Cochran

Violeta Dávalos Lara

Virgil Abloh

Virginia "Ginny" Mancini

W. Royal Stokes

Walter "Herbie" Herbert II

Walter Barylli

Walter C. Blount

Walter Yetnikoff

Wanda Young

Warner Mack

Warner Williams

Warren Storm

Wayne Miller

Weerasak Sunthornsri

William "Ed" Bruce

William B. Shelby

William Kraft

WIlliam Shelby

William Vernon Pippin

Willie Garnett

Willie Leacox

Willie Winfield

Winfield Parker

Winona K Blackburn

Wyttenbach

Yoram Taharlev

Yoshimasa "Yoshi" Wada

Young Dolph

Yves "Lionel Leroy" Martin

Yves Aerts

Yvonne Sterling

Zhou Guangren

Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist

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Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist

The GRAMMY U Mixtape is a monthly, genre-spanning playlist to quench your thirst for new tunes, all from student members. GRAMMY U celebrates new beginnings with fresh pop tunes that will kickstart 2023.

GRAMMYs/Jan 6, 2023 - 12:17 am

Did you know that among all of the students in GRAMMY U, songwriting and performance is one of the most sought after fields of study? We want to create a space to hear what these students are creating today!

The GRAMMY U Mixtape, now available for your listening pleasure, highlights the creations and fresh ideas that students are bringing to this industry directly on the Recording Academy's Spotify and Apple Music pages. Our goal is to celebrate GRAMMY U members, as well as the time and effort they put into making original music — from the songwriting process to the final production of the track.

Each month, we accept submissions and feature 20 to 25 songs that match that month’s theme. This month we're ringing in 2023 with our New Year, It's Poppin'! playlist, which features fresh pop songs that bring new year, new you vibes. Showcasing talented members from our various chapters, we felt these songs represented the positivity and hopefulness that GRAMMY U members embody as they tackle this upcoming year of exciting possibilities.

So, what’s stopping you? Press play on GRAMMY U’s Mixtape and listen now on Spotify below and Apple Music.

Want to be featured on the next playlist? Submit your songs today! We are currently accepting submissions for songs of all genres for consideration for our February playlist. Whether you write pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, or classical, we want to hear from you. Music must be written and/or produced by the student member (an original song) and you must be able to submit a Spotify and/or Apple Music link to the song. Students must be a GRAMMY U member to submit.

About GRAMMY U:

GRAMMY U is a program that connects college students with the industry's brightest and most talented minds and provides those aspiring professionals with the tools and opportunities necessary to start a career in music.     

Throughout each semester, events and special programs touch on all facets of the industry, including the business, technology, and the creative process.

As part of the Recording Academy's mission to ensure the recorded arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, GRAMMY U establishes the necessary foundation for music’s next generation to flourish.

Not a member, but want to submit to our playlist? Apply for GRAMMY U Membership here.

A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 

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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.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

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

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

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

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

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.

The Rise Of Underground House: How Artists Like Fisher & Acraze Have Taken Tech House, Other Electronic Genres From Indie To EDC

Living Legends: Billy Idol On Survival, Revival & Breaking Out Of The Cage
Billy Idol

Photo: Steven Sebring

interview

Living Legends: Billy Idol On Survival, Revival & Breaking Out Of The Cage

"One foot in the past and one foot into the future," Billy Idol says, describing his decade-spanning career in rock. "We’ve got the best of all possible worlds because that has been the modus operandi of Billy Idol."

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:19 pm

Living Legends is a series that spotlights icons in music still going strong today. This week, GRAMMY.com spoke with Billy Idol about his latest EP,  Cage, and continuing to rock through decades of changing tastes.

Billy Idol is a true rock 'n' roll survivor who has persevered through cultural shifts and personal struggles. While some may think of Idol solely for "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding," the singer's musical influences span genres and many of his tunes are less turbo-charged than his '80s hits would belie.  

Idol first made a splash in the latter half of the '70s with the British punk band Generation X. In the '80s, he went on to a solo career combining rock, pop, and punk into a distinct sound that transformed him and his musical partner, guitarist Steve Stevens, into icons. They have racked up multiple GRAMMY nominations, in addition to one gold, one double platinum, and four platinum albums thanks to hits like "Cradle Of Love," "Flesh For Fantasy," and "Eyes Without A Face." 

But, unlike many legacy artists, Idol is anything but a relic. Billy continues to produce vital Idol music by collaborating with producers and songwriters — including Miley Cyrus — who share his forward-thinking vision. He will play a five-show Vegas residency in November, and filmmaker Jonas Akerlund is working on a documentary about Idol’s life. 

His latest release is Cage, the second in a trilogy of annual four-song EPs. The title track is a classic Billy Idol banger expressing the desire to free himself from personal constraints and live a better life. Other tracks on Cage incorporate metallic riffing and funky R&B grooves. 

Idol continues to reckon with his demons — they both grappled with addiction during the '80s — and the singer is open about those struggles on the record and the page. (Idol's 2014 memoir Dancing With Myself, details a 1990 motorcycle accident that nearly claimed a leg, and how becoming a father steered him to reject hard drugs. "Bitter Taste," from his last EP, The Roadside, reflects on surviving the accident.)

Although Idol and Stevens split in the late '80s — the skilled guitarist fronted Steve Stevens & The Atomic Playboys, and collaborated with Michael Jackson, Rick Ocasek, Vince Neil, and Harold Faltermeyer (on the GRAMMY-winning "Top Gun Anthem") —  their common history and shared musical bond has been undeniable. The duo reunited in 2001 for an episode of "VH1 Storytellers" and have been back in the saddle for two decades. Their union remains one of the strongest collaborations in rock 'n roll history.

While there is recognizable personnel and a distinguishable sound throughout a lot of his work, Billy Idol has always pushed himself to try different things. Idol discusses his musical journey, his desire to constantly move forward, and the strong connection that he shares with Stevens. 

Steve has said that you like to mix up a variety of styles, yet everyone assumes you're the "Rebel Yell"/"White Wedding" guy. But if they really listen to your catalog, it's vastly different.

Yeah, that's right. With someone like Steve Stevens, and then back in the day Keith Forsey producing... [Before that] Generation X actually did move around inside punk rock. We didn't stay doing just the Ramones two-minute music. We actually did a seven-minute song. [Laughs]. We did always mix things up. 

Then when I got into my solo career, that was the fun of it. With someone like Steve, I knew what he could do. I could see whatever we needed to do, we could nail it. The world was my oyster musically. 

"Cage" is a classic-sounding Billy Idol rocker, then "Running From The Ghost" is almost metal, like what the Devil's Playground album was like back in the mid-2000s. "Miss Nobody" comes out of nowhere with this pop/R&B flavor. What inspired that?

We really hadn't done anything like that since something like "Flesh For Fantasy" [which] had a bit of an R&B thing about it. Back in the early days of Billy Idol, "Hot In The City" and "Mony Mony" had girls [singing] on the backgrounds. 

We always had a bit of R&B really, so it was actually fun to revisit that. We just hadn't done anything really quite like that for a long time. That was one of the reasons to work with someone like Sam Hollander [for the song "Rita Hayworth"] on The Roadside. We knew we could go [with him] into an R&B world, and he's a great songwriter and producer. That's the fun of music really, trying out these things and seeing if you can make them stick. 

I listen to new music by veteran artists and debate that with some people. I'm sure you have those fans that want their nostalgia, and then there are some people who will embrace the newer stuff. Do you find it’s a challenge to reach people with new songs?

Obviously, what we're looking for is, how do we somehow have one foot in the past and one foot into the future? We’ve got the best of all possible worlds because that has been the modus operandi of Billy Idol. 

You want to do things that are true to you, and you don't just want to try and do things that you're seeing there in the charts today. I think that we're achieving it with things like "Running From The Ghost" and "Cage" on this new EP. I think we’re managing to do both in a way. 

Obviously, "Running From The Ghost" is about addiction, all the stuff that you went through, and in "Cage" you’re talking about  freeing yourself from a lot of personal shackles. Was there any one moment in your life that made you really thought I have to not let this weigh me down anymore?

I mean, things like the motorcycle accident I had, that was a bit of a wake up call way back. It was 32 years ago. But there were things like that, years ago, that gradually made me think about what I was doing with my life. I didn't want to ruin it, really. I didn't want to throw it away, and it made [me] be less cavalier. 

I had to say to myself, about the drugs and stuff, that I've been there and I've done it. There’s no point in carrying on doing it. You couldn't get any higher. You didn't want to throw your life away casually, and I was close to doing that. It took me a bit of time, but then gradually I was able to get control of myself to a certain extent [with] drugs and everything. And I think Steve's done the same thing. We're on a similar path really, which has been great because we're in the same boat in terms of lyrics and stuff. 

So a lot of things like that were wake up calls. Even having grandchildren and just watching my daughter enlarging her family and everything; it just makes you really positive about things and want to show a positive side to how you're feeling, about where you're going. We've lived with the demons so long, we've found a way to live with them. We found a way to be at peace with our demons, in a way. Maybe not completely, but certainly to where we’re enjoying what we do and excited about it.

[When writing] "Running From The Ghost" it was easy to go, what was the ghost for us? At one point, we were very drug addicted in the '80s. And Steve in particular is super sober [now]. I mean, I still vape pot and stuff. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but it’s incredible. All I want to be able to do is have a couple of glasses of wine at a restaurant or something. I can do that now.

I think working with people that are super talented, you just feel confident. That is a big reason why you open up and express yourself more because you feel comfortable with what's around you.

Did you watch Danny Boyle's recent Sex Pistols mini-series?

I did, yes.

You had a couple of cameos; well, an actor who portrayed you did. How did you react to it? How accurate do you think it was in portraying that particular time period?

I love Jonesy’s book, I thought his book was incredible. It's probably one of the best bio books really. It was incredible and so open. I was looking forward to that a lot.

It was as if [the show] kind of stayed with Steve [Jones’ memoir] about halfway through, and then departed from it. [John] Lydon, for instance, was never someone I ever saw acting out; he's more like that today. I never saw him do something like jump up in the room and run around going crazy. The only time I saw him ever do that was when they signed the recording deal with Virgin in front of Buckingham Palace. Whereas Sid Vicious was always acting out; he was always doing something in a horrible way or shouting at someone. I don't remember John being like that. I remember him being much more introverted.

But then I watched interviews with some of the actors about coming to grips with the parts they were playing. And they were saying, we knew punk rock happened but just didn't know any of the details. So I thought well, there you go. If ["Pistol" is]  informing a lot of people who wouldn't know anything about punk rock, maybe that's what's good about it.

Maybe down the road John Lydon will get the chance to do John's version of the Pistols story. Maybe someone will go a lot deeper into it and it won't be so surface. But maybe you needed this just to get people back in the flow.

We had punk and metal over here in the States, but it feels like England it was legitimately more dangerous. British society was much more rigid.

It never went [as] mega in America. It went big in England. It exploded when the Pistols did that interview with [TV host Bill] Grundy, that lorry truck driver put his boot through his own TV, and all the national papers had "the filth and the fury" [headlines].

We went from being unknown to being known overnight. We waited a year, Generation X. We even told them [record labels] no for nine months to a year. Every record company wanted their own punk rock group. So it went really mega in England, and it affected the whole country – the style, the fashions, everything. I mean, the Ramones were massive in England. Devo had a No. 1 song [in England] with "Satisfaction" in '77. Actually, Devo was as big as or bigger than the Pistols.

You were ahead of the pop-punk thing that happened in the late '90s, and a lot of it became tongue-in-cheek by then. It didn't have the same sense of rebelliousness as the original movement. It was more pop.

It had become a style. There was a famous book in England called Revolt Into Style — and that's what had happened, a revolt that turned into style which then they were able to duplicate in their own way. Even recently, Billie Joe [Armstrong] did his own version of "Gimme Some Truth," the Lennon song we covered way back in 1977.

When we initially were making [punk] music, it hadn't become accepted yet. It was still dangerous and turned into a style that people were used to. We were still breaking barriers.

You have a band called Generation Sex with Steve Jones and Paul Cook. I assume you all have an easier time playing Pistols and Gen X songs together now and not worrying about getting spit on like back in the '70s?

Yeah, definitely. When I got to America I told the group I was putting it together, "No one spits at the audience."

We had five years of being spat on [in the UK], and it was revolting. And they spat at you if they liked you. If they didn't like it they smashed your gear up. One night, I remember I saw blood on my T-shirt, and I think Joe Strummer got meningitis when spit went in his mouth.

You had to go through a lot to become successful, it wasn't like you just kind of got up there and did a couple of gigs. I don't think some young rock bands really get that today.

With punk going so mega in England, we definitely got a leg up. We still had a lot of work to get where we got to, and rightly so because you find out that you need to do that. A lot of groups in the old days would be together three to five years before they ever made a record, and that time is really important. In a way, what was great about punk rock for me was it was very much a learning period. I really learned a lot [about] recording music and being in a group and even writing songs.

Then when I came to America, it was a flow, really. I also really started to know what I wanted Billy Idol to be. It took me a little bit, but I kind of knew what I wanted Billy Idol to be. And even that took a while to let it marinate.

You and Miley Cyrus have developed a good working relationship in the last several years. How do you think her fans have responded to you, and your fans have responded to her?

I think they're into it. It's more the record company that she had didn't really get "Night Crawling"— it was one of the best songs on Plastic Hearts, and I don't think they understood that. They wanted to go with Dua Lipa, they wanted to go with the modern, young acts, and I don't think they realized that that song was resonating with her fans. Which is a shame really because, with Andrew Watt producing, it's a hit song.

But at the same time, I enjoyed doing it. It came out really good and it's very Billy Idol. In fact, I think it’s more Billy Idol than Miley Cyrus. I think it shows you where Andrew Watt was. He was excited about doing a Billy Idol track. She's fun to work with. She’s a really great person and she works at her singing — I watched her rehearsing for the Super Bowl performance she gave. She rehearsed all Saturday morning, all Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning and it was that afternoon. I have to admire her fortitude. She really cares.

I remember when you went on "Viva La Bamback in 2005 and decided to give Bam Margera’s Lamborghini a new sunroof by taking a power saw to it. Did he own that car? Was that a rental?

I think it was his car.

Did he get over it later on?

He loved it. [Laughs] He’s got a wacky sense of humor. He’s fantastic, actually. I’m really sorry to see what he's been going through just lately. He's going through a lot, and I wish him the best. He's a fantastic person, and it's a shame that he's struggling so much with his addictions. I know what it's like. It's not easy.

Musically, what is the synergy like with you guys during the past 10 years, doing Kings and Queens of the Underground and this new stuff? What is your working relationship like now in this more sober, older, mature version of you two as opposed to what it was like back in the '80s?

In lots of ways it’s not so different because we always wrote the songs together, we always talked about what we're going to do together. It was just that we were getting high at the same time.We're just not getting [that way now] but we're doing all the same things.

We're still talking about things, still [planning] things:What are we going to do next? How are we going to find new people to work with? We want to find new producers. Let's be a little bit more timely about putting stuff out.That part of our relationship is the same, you know what I mean? That never got affected. We just happened to be overloading in the '80s.

The relationship’s… matured and it's carrying on being fruitful, and I think that's pretty amazing. Really, most people don't get to this place. Usually, they hate each other by now. [Laughs] We also give each other space. We're not stopping each other doing things outside of what we’re working on together. All of that enables us to carry on working together. I love and admire him. I respect him. He's been fantastic. I mean, just standing there on stage with him is always a treat. And he’s got an immensely great sense of humor. I think that's another reason why we can hang together after all this time because we've got the sense of humor to enable us to go forward.

There's a lot of fan reaction videos online, and I noticed a lot of younger women like "Rebel Yell" because, unlike a lot of other '80s alpha male rock tunes, you're talking about satisfying your lover.

It was about my girlfriend at the time, Perri Lister. It was about how great I thought she was, how much I was in love with her, and how great women are, how powerful they are.

It was a bit of a feminist anthem in a weird way. It was all about how relationships can free you and add a lot to your life. It was a cry of love, nothing to do with the Civil War or anything like that. Perri was a big part of my life, a big part of being Billy Idol. I wanted to write about it. I'm glad that's the effect.

Is there something you hope people get out of the songs you've been doing over the last 10 years? Do you find yourself putting out a message that keeps repeating?

Well, I suppose, if anything, is that you can come to terms with your life, you can keep a hold of it. You can work your dreams into reality in a way and, look, a million years later, still be enjoying it.

The only reason I'm singing about getting out of the cage is because I kicked out of the cage years ago. I joined Generation X when I said to my parents, "I'm leaving university, and I'm joining a punk rock group." And they didn't even know what a punk rock group was. Years ago, I’d write things for myself that put me on this path, so that maybe in 2022 I could sing something like "Cage" and be owning this territory and really having a good time. This is the life I wanted.

The original UK punk movement challenged societal norms. Despite all the craziness going on throughout the world, it seems like a lot of modern rock bands are afraid to do what you guys were doing. Do you think we'll see a shift in that?

Yeah.  Art usually reacts to things, so I would think eventually there will be a massive reaction to the pop music that’s taken over — the middle of the road music, and then this kind of right wing politics. There will be a massive reaction if there's not already one. I don’t know where it will come from exactly. You never know who's gonna do [it].

Living Legends: Nancy Sinatra Reflects On Creating "Power And Magic" In Studio, Developing A Legacy Beyond "Boots" & The Pop Stars She Wants To Work With

Hear All Of The Best Country Solo Performance Nominees For The 2023 GRAMMY Awards
2023 GRAMMYs

Graphic: The Recording Academy

list

Hear All Of The Best Country Solo Performance Nominees For The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

The 2023 GRAMMY Award nominees for Best Country Solo Performance highlight country music's newcomers and veterans, featuring hits from Kelsea Ballerini, Zach Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Willie Nelson.

GRAMMYs/Nov 23, 2022 - 03:01 pm

Country music's evolution is well represented in the 2023 GRAMMY nominees for Best Country Solo Performance. From crossover pop hooks to red-dirt outlaw roots, the genre's most celebrated elements are on full display — thanks to rising stars, leading ladies and country icons.

Longtime hitmaker Miranda Lambert delivered a soulful performance on the rootsy ballad "In His Arms," an arrangement as sparing as the windswept west Texas highlands where she co-wrote the song. Viral newcomer Zach Bryan dug into similar organic territory on the Oklahoma side of the Red River for "Something in the Orange," his voice accompanied with little more than an acoustic guitar.

Two of country's 2010s breakout stars are clearly still shining, too, as Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini both received Best Country Solo Performance GRAMMY nods. Morris channeled the determination that drove her leap-of-faith move from Texas to Nashville for the playful clap-along "Circles Around This Town," while Ballerini brought poppy hooks with a country edge on the infectiously upbeat "HEARTFIRST."

Rounding out the category is the one and only Willie Nelson, who paid tribute to his late friend Billy Joe Shaver with a cover of "Live Forever" — a fitting sentiment for the 89-year-old legend, who is approaching his eighth decade in the business. 

As the excitement builds for the 2023 GRAMMYs on Feb. 5, 2023, let's take a closer look at this year's nominees for Best Country Solo Performance.

Kelsea Ballerini — "HEARTFIRST"

In the tradition of Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini represents Nashville's sunnier side — and her single "HEARTFIRST" is a slice of bright, uptempo, confectionary country-pop for the ages.

Ballerini sings about leaning into a carefree crush with her heart on her sleeve, pushing aside her reservations and taking a risk on love at first sight. The scene plays out in a bar room and a back seat, as she sweeps nimbly through the verses and into a shimmering chorus, when the narrator decides she's ready to "wake up in your T-shirt." 

There are enough steel guitar licks to let you know you're listening to a country song, but the story and melody are universal. "HEARTFIRST" is Ballerini's third GRAMMY nod, but first in the Best Country Solo Performance category.

Zach Bryan — "Something In The Orange"

Zach Bryan blew into Music City seemingly from nowhere in 2017, when his original song "Heading South" — recorded on an iPhone — went viral. Then an active officer in the U.S. Navy, the Oklahoma native chased his muse through music during his downtime, striking a chord with country music fans on stark songs led by his acoustic guitar and affecting vocals.

After his honorable discharge in 2021, Bryan began his music career in earnest, and in 2022 released "Something in the Orange," a haunting ballad that stakes a convincing claim to the territory between Tyler Childers and Jason Isbell in both sonics and songwriting. Slashing slide guitar drives home the song's heartbreak, as Bryan pines for a lover whose tail lights have long since vanished over the horizon. 

"Something In The Orange" marks Bryan's first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

Miranda Lambert — "In His Arms"

Miranda Lambert is the rare, chart-topping contemporary country artist who does more than pay lip service to the genre's rural American roots. "In His Arms" originally surfaced on 2021's The Marfa Tapes, a casual recording Lambert made with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall in Marfa, Texas — a tiny arts enclave in the middle of the west Texas high desert.

In this proper studio version — recorded for her 2022 album, Palomino — Lambert retains the structure and organic feel of the mostly acoustic song; light percussion and soothing atmospherics keep her emotive vocals front and center. A native Texan herself, Lambert sounds fully at home on "In His Arms."

Lambert is the only Best Country Solo Performance nominee who is nominated in all four Country Field categories in 2023. To date, Miranda Lambert has won 3 GRAMMYs and received 27 nominations overall. 

Maren Morris — "Circles Around This Town"

When Maren Morris found herself uninspired and dealing with writer's block, she went back to what inspired her to move to Nashville nearly a decade ago — and out came "Circles Around This Town," the lead single from her 2022 album Humble Quest.

Written in one of her first in-person songwriting sessions since the pandemic, Morris has called "Circles Around This Town" her "most autobiographical song" to date; she even recreated her own teenage bedroom for the song's video. As she looks back to her Texas beginnings and the life she left for Nashville, Morris' voice soars over anthemic, yet easygoing production. 

Morris last won a GRAMMY for Best Country Solo Performance in 2017, when her song "My Church" earned the singer her first GRAMMY. To date, Maren Morris has won one GRAMMY and received 17 nominations overall.

Willie Nelson — "Live Forever"

Country music icon Willie Nelson is no stranger to the GRAMMYs, and this year he aims to add to his collection of 10 gramophones. He earned another three nominations for 2023 — bringing his career total to 56 — including a Best Country Solo Performance nod for "Live Forever."

Nelson's performance of "Live Forever," the lead track of the 2022 tribute album Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver, is a faithful rendition of Shaver's signature song. Still, Nelson puts his own twist on the tune, recruiting Lucinda Williams for backing vocals and echoing the melody with the inimitable tone of his nylon-string Martin guitar. 

Shaver, an outlaw country pioneer who passed in 2020 at 81 years old, never had any hits of his own during his lifetime. But plenty of his songs were still heard, thanks to stars like Elvis Presley, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. Nelson was a longtime friend and frequent collaborator of Shaver's — and now has a GRAMMY nom to show for it.

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List