Photo: Courtesy of Kidd Kenn
ReImagined At Home: Kidd Kenn's "Old Town Road" Cover Tips Its Cowboy Hat To Lil Nas X's Country Trap Classic
Kidd Kenn gives Lil Nas X's breakout hit "Old Town Road" a glam update by adding some of his own signature flair.
Before Lil Nas X ruffled feathers by (literally) dancing with the devil in 2021, he first caused controversy with "Old Town Road." Labeled "country trap," the song sparked a fierce debate on the definition of the country genre. Yet, its instantly memorable hook — and cinematic music video — helped launch Lil Nas X into pop superstardom.
In this episode of ReImagined at Home, the song gets a fresh look from Kidd Kenn, an enigmatic, 18-year-old rapper from Chicago who shares Lil Nas X's penchant for eye-catching, forward-thinking imagery. Kenn delivers his version of "Old Town Road" while lounging in a wicker chair, seated in a light-filled room with walls decorated with book pages and a lush backdrop of vines and flowers.
The performance lends a glamorous, feminine touch to the song, like when Kenn sings into a vanity mirror. But sonically, his interpretation is fairly faithful to the original "Old Town Road," layering smooth-as-honey vocals against rap lyrics and a sizzling trap beat.
Both Lil Nas X and Kidd Kenn broke into the scene as teens. Though the former artist is only 23 today, he's an inspiration to many in his genre, Kenn included: Nas X came out as gay early on — a fairly rare occurrence in the rap genre — and Kenn has been out since fans first got to know him.
"People in my community [are] building stuff in this game and it shows from what everybody is doing that [success] is going to happen. We're making room. We're here," Kenn commented to Red Bull, acknowledging Lil Nas X as well as Tyler, the Creator for helping destigmatize queer stories in hip hop.
Press play on the video above to watch Kenn's interpretation of this modern-day classic, and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more episodes of ReImagined at Home.
Photo: Courtesy of Maeta
ReImagined: Watch Maeta Perform A Ravishing Rendition Of Vanessa Williams' "Save The Best For Last"
Rising R&B talent Maeta totally inhabits Vanessa Williams' lyrical universe in this performance of "Save the Best for Last."
Back in 1992, Vanessa Williams dominated the Billboard Hot 100 with "Save The Best For Last," a work of emotive beauty and elegant simplicity from the previous year's album The Comfort Zone.
Therein, Williams deals in cosmological reversals: "Sometimes the snow comes down in June/ Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon." Then, she connects this imagery to capricious love: "I see the passion in your eyes/ Sometimes it's all a big surprise."
More than three decades later, rising R&B star Maeta brings Williams' words and melody into the now with a heart-tugging performance of "Save the Best for Last" in this edition of ReImagined.
Back in its day, "Save the Best for Last" was nominated for two GRAMMYs — for Record Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal, Performance — and The Comfort Zone's title track and "Runnin' Back to You" netted nominations as well.
Now, Maeta has carved out her own notch in this GRAMMY-centric legacy with this ravishing rendition. Check out the performance above, and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more inspiring episodes of ReImagined.
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Photo: Courtesy of Phony Ppl
ReImagined: Phony Ppl Give Norah Jones' Debut Hit "Don't Know Why" An R&B Twist
Brooklyn-based band Phony Ppl flip Norah Jones' acoustic classic "Don't Know Why" into a soulful R&B track in this live performance.
In 2002, Norah Jones altered folk singer Jesse Harris' "Don't Know Why" into a sweet, jazz-pop tune on her debut album, Come Away With Me, earning Jones her first GRAMMY Awards for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Fast forward to 2023, musical group Phony Ppl offers a modern twist on Jones' iconic cover in this episode of ReImagined, transforming the hit into a progressive R&B track. Lead singer Elbee Thrie stands centered at the microphone while the four other members — Bari Bass, Matt Byas, Aja Grant, and Elijah Rawk — accompany him in a recording studio.
Phony Ppl have covered countless classics in their 13 years together, including their recent R&B interpretation of Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" for YouTube's 12 Days of Music holiday series. But the quintet has built a cult following online for their genre-bending original music as well, releasing their latest album, Euphonyus, in November.
Coming up, Phony Ppl will make appearances at Memphis' Beale Street Music Festival in May and New York's Governor's Ball in June.
Press play on the video above to listen to Phony Ppl's complete performance of "Don't Know Why," and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of ReImagined.
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Photo: Courtesy of Eric Bellinger
ReImagined: Eric Bellinger Defies "Gravity" With A Silky Rendition Of John Mayer's Hit Single
R&B singer Eric Bellinger reconstructs John Mayer's hit single "Gravity" into a soothing R&B track — and delivers a mind-bending performance that brings the song's title to life.
It's no secret that the blues have heavily influenced John Mayer's discography. The guitarist's venture into the genre traces back to his GRAMMY-winning 2006 studio album, Continuum, especially on the track "Gravity" — and now, Eric Bellinger is giving the bluesy single an R&B twist.
In this episode of ReImagined, the singer/songwriter transforms the Continuum single into a warm, velvety R&B track. Bellinger constructs the arrangement on his own, pairing his sultry vocals with a cajón drum box, keyboard and bass guitar.
Adding an eye-catching appeal to the performance, Bellinger adds a literal interpretation of the track's lyrics — "Gravity is working against me" — as he paces around the ceiling of an upside-down house.
Outside of his original music, Bellinger has had a prolific career posting covers on YouTube, including his popular re-envisionings of Drake's "Fake Love" and Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles." The R&B singer also has an impressive list of songwriting credits, including his work on Chris Brown's F.A.M.E., which earned Bellinger his first GRAMMY Award for Best R&B Album in 2012.
Press play on the video above to watch Eric Bellinger's rendition of "Gravity," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of ReImagined.
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Photo: Courtesy of Judy Whitmore
ReImagined: Judy Whitmore Dazzles With A Classic Interpretation Of Frank Sinatra And Count Basie's "The Best Is Yet To Come"
Judy Whitmore introduces fans to the music she grew up with in this jazzy full-orchestra performance of "The Best is Yet to Come" — a song that was made famous by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, and won a GRAMMY thanks to Ella Fitzgerald.
An American standard originally composed in 1959, "The Best is Yet to Come" has been recorded by an array of vocal greats, including Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Bob Dylan, and Ella Fitzgerald — the latter of whom won a GRAMMY for her rendition in 1984. But it's most closely associated with Frank Sinatra, who recorded it with jazz pianist Count Basie for their 1964 album, It Might As Well Be Swing. In fact, the song was so important to Sinatra that its titular lyric is carved into his tombstone.
In this episode of ReImagined, vocalist and cabaret-style performer Judy Whitmore delivers a faithful, buoyant rendition of "The Best is Yet to Come." A full orchestra performs behind her, including horns, jazzy drums, a sweeping string section, and a grand piano — creating a swinging performance that does Sinatra proud.
Whitmore's cover choice is no coincidence, as the singer has been inspired by American classics literally since birth — her namesake is legendary actor and musical performer Judy Garland. Like Garland before her, Whitmore has taken on a diverse and multifaceted career. She's a bonafide Renaissance woman, whose resume includes accomplishments as a theater producer, best-selling author and pilot, who also happens to have a Master's degree in clinical psychology.
Singing has been a lifelong passion for Whitmore, and she has several albums to show for it, including 2020's Can't We Be Friends. That project, which includes her spin on standards like "'s Wonderful," "It Had to Be You" and "Love is Here to Stay," is Whitmore's "love letter to The Great American Songbook," her website explains.
"This is the music I grew up with, and I don't want people to forget it," she details. "I think it's one of the most extraordinary bodies of work ever created."
Press play on the video above to watch Whitmore bring her love of American classics to her version of "The Best is Yet to Come," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of ReImagined.
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