Photo: Tim Roney/Getty Images
Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation 1814': For The Record
Head back to 1989 and take a look at how the GRAMMY winner's masterful album made music history
The year is 1989. The artist is Janet Jackson. The album is Rhythm Nation 1814. But given the album's themes of social conscience — racism, poverty, substance abuse — the GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter/producer's iconic album and accompanying music video are just as relevant today as ever.
Released Sept. 19, 1989, Rhythm Nation 1814 gifted us with some of Jackson's biggest career hits, including "Rhythm Nation," "State Of The World," "Miss You Much," "Alright," and "Black Cat." With the help of producers/songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jackson dedicated the album to what she saw in the news on CNN, particularly the Stockton playground murders in California in early 1989.
"You couldn't help but somehow be impacted by the things that were going on," Jam told Billboard in 2014. "It was a crazy time. The Reagan years were ending. There were school shootings. There were all these unbelievable things starting to happen. We're all sitting around watching this going, 'Man, that's messed up. Somebody needs to do something about this.'"
Despite its political leanings, Rhythm Nation 1814 also provides a healthy dose of romance and dancing, which spawned a record-breaking seven Top 5 hits while the album itself landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Jackson also conceptualized a long-form music video to promote the LP under the direction of Dominic Sena.
The 30-minute "telemusical" incorporated three tracks from the album: "Miss You Much," "The Knowledge" and "Rhythm Nation." It follows two young men who want to pursue music only to be hindered by drug use and trafficking. The visuals feature Jackson and her dancers in unisex military attire dancing in a post-apocalyptic warehouse. It was filmed in black-and-white to portray racial unity in the newly designed "Rhythm Nation."
Rhythm Nation 1814 marks a peak in Jackson's career, and accordingly she earned her first career GRAMMY win at the 32nd GRAMMY Awards for Best Music Video — Longform for the short film accompanying the album. In total, she earned seven GRAMMY nominations for Rhythm Nation 1814 between the 32nd and 33rd GRAMMYs, including a nod for Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical), making her the first woman to earn the distinction.
Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY
Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business
The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.
In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip.
Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs
Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage
What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.
Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."
Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs
The Hawaiian native takes home Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like" at the 60th GRAMMY Awards
Feeling the 24K Magic, Bruno Mars' successful progress through the categories he's been nominated in at the 60th GRAMMY Awards picked up another one at Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like."
Christopher Brody Brown and Philip Lawrence co-write with Mars under the name Shampoo Press & Curl. The other winning songwriters for Mars' hit tonight in this category are James Fauntleroy and production team "The Sterotypes" — Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip.
The Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award wrapped up the night and wrapped up Bruno Mars' complete rampage through his six nominated categories — now six wins.