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LA Pride 2019
LA Pride 2019: The Veronicas, Sir Babygirl & More Celebrate The LGBTQ+ Community
"Pride means actual queer people getting to be centered amidst the celebration. It means getting to identify however it feels good for you to identify that day," DIY pop artist Sir Babygirl told the Recording Academy
On Sunday, June 9, 2019, on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood was packed with smiling faces of all ages, many decked out in their finest rainbow and/or sparkly outfits at the 49th annual LA Pride Parade. While the day-long spectacle had people dancing in the streets for several hours, the adjacent LA Pride Festival kept the celebrating going into the night, as LGBTQ+ artists and allies brought the energy.
The Recording Academy went On The Road to visit our neighbors in West Hollywood and captured the magic at LA Pride 2019 with our host Alina Vission. We caught up with some of the artists who performed at the event, including The Veronicas, Greyson Chance and Sir Babygirl to learn what Pride means to them, what musicians made them feel they had a place in music, and more.
Pride Is About Celebrating Your Authentic Self
One of the most beautiful things to witness at LA Pride is so many different people coming together and celebrating each other, celebrating love of all kinds, including self-love. The event showcased a colorful sea of self-expression, both on and off stage, with so many attendees and performers offering empowering and supportive messages to each other.
Emerging pop artist Laith Ashley, who was one of the first transgender male models to appear in a national fashion campaign, stressed the importance of finding the support system that sees you for you.
"I think we live in a society where a lot of times we want to hide who we are, because of fear, because we feel that other people aren't going to understand. I always think that the people that love and care about you are always going to get it," Ashley told us.
DIY pop singer/songwriter/producer Sir Babygirl also spoke to the importance of LGBTQ+ people being front and center of Pride celebrations, and to be able to truly be themselves.
"Pride means actual queer people getting to be centered amidst the celebration. It means getting to identify however it feels good for you to identify that day. And for me, I'm bisexual, I'm non-binary, and that means I get to wear my freak flag every day," she said.
LGBTQ+ Artists Are Shifting Narratives Around Identity
"Pride means fighting for your community. Pride means being who you are and standing proud in that," Queenie of the Brooklyn-based nu-disco duo Sateen said. "Just owning who you are, really embracing it and loving yourself," Ruby, Queenie's partner and the other half of Sateen, added.
When Recording Academy host Vission asked the power couple how LA Pride's 2019 theme, "Just Unite," resonated with them, Ruby explained how powerful it felt to be a part of trans women representation on stage at the celebration.
"I think, especially now, for me, seeing so much representation in the trans community…[because] when I was growing up we didn't really have that so much. Finally seeing that all culminate has been so important to me, it's amazing to be here and to be representing that myself."
Creating Safe Spaces To Share Your Story & Feel Heard Is Vital
During Pride, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic sponsored Jewel's Catch One Lounge inside of the Pride fest grounds, where the Recording Academy programmed the space with resources and support for emerging artists. The space was brought to life by the amazingly energetic host, and emerging artist herself, Neverending Nina. Local powerhouse DJs GVRL, DJ Young 1 and DJ Key Key—who spun at the original Catch One club back in the day—kept the shaded dance floor popping all weekend. Several powerful conversations focused on LGBTQ+ identity in the music industry, from the perspective of up-and-coming artists, added a deeply inspirational energy to the space.
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Happy Pride Everyone!!!! I mean the REAL PRIDE, where we actually protect the most marginalized amongst us! . #blacktranslivesmatter • Special thanks to the @recordingacademy for including me in this amazing panel!!! @eric.lyn @cameronwrightofficial @wejustwill @jerwin1 #ChristianNoIG @neverendingninanotes @anasunbun were vibrant, and living in FULL COLOR!!! • And did i mention, we pushed up the fader on my single ??!! Stick with me y’all, I’ve got HUGE NEWS, and NEW MUSIC on the way!!! If u haven’t downloaded my New Music #HELP #DontNeedIt prod by @qbsmith_ and @beatzart the link is in my Bio #BlackLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter For Booking Inquiries Email: JailaWithAnI@Gmail.com follow my journey: #TransRockstar #Singer #Songwriter #Producer #Actress #Arranger #lgbtq #TransPride #GirlsLikeUs #RnB #HipHop #UrbanAlternative #Pop #Dance #blackgirlmagic #transisbeautiful #picoftheday #housemusic #dancemusic #edm #disco #model
Meanwhile, on Saturday, R&B singer/songwriter and meditation teacher Justin Michael Williams, soulful singer and former "The Voice" contestant Eric Lyn Copeland and trans singer/songwriter and vocal powerhouse Jaila Simms shared their stories during the first panel conversation moderated by Recording Academy Staff Writer Ana Yglesias, with Williams closing things out with a grounding two-minute meditation. Electronic-infused soul artist Cameron Wright and songwriter/pop singer Josh Wood also dove deep in the second talk, with Wright breaking down intersectionality and identity for the audience. L.A.-based Latino rapper Heartthrob Robb took center stage on Sunday during a one-one-conversation with fellow Recording Academy Staff Writer Jennifer Velez.
Williams spoke to the experience in a post on Instagram:
"Speaking on a #PRIDE panel for the GRAMMYs. 14 year old me would've never believed this was possible. The biggest lesson of my life: AS WE STEP FULLY INTO OUR AUTHENTICITY, MIRACLES HAPPEN. May we be Seen. Heard. Honored. Felt. Affirmed. Loved. And written into history as the generation that said WE ARE HERE."
Music Brings Us Together
At the end of the day, the dance floor is always a great place to come together and unite people of all identities and backgrounds. Specific dance clubs and other nightlife venues have historically acted as safe spaces for oppressed minorities. And for the people that are making the music and expressing themselves and their story through their art, it allows them to connect with people far and wide. It can help others better understand experiences different from their own, or for fans who may be struggling to feel truly heard or seen in their own relationships, give them someone to relate to in a powerful way so that they no longer feel alone. And of course, there are those songs that somehow feel almost universally relatable, with a beat that gets everyone dancing.
LA Pride was filled with great music from artists of all identities and dancing crowds getting down in their fiercest looks, which was a safe to say a great time for all involved.
Be sure to stay tuned to GRAMMY.com and our social outlets for more exclusive interviews and other Pride and music festival content.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
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."
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.