Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
Black Sounds Beautiful: How Lil Nas X Turned The Industry On Its Head With "Old Town Road" And Beyond
In this episode of Black Sounds Beautiful, relive Lil Nas X's massive debut, "Old Town Road," and learn how he's since been an advocate for Black and LGBTQIA+ communities through his music and his platform.
Lil Nas X became a global sensation practically overnight, but it wasn't an accident.
The American singer and rapper — born Montero Lamar Hill — became fluent in music and pop culture at an early age, becoming a meme aficionado. His love for internet culture cultivated the perfect recipe for his debut single, "Old Town Road," to become one of the most viral hits in music history; the song also prompted a necessary conversation about the bounds of genre.
"Old Town Road" rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and still holds the record for most time spent at No. 1 at 19 weeks. The single later helped Lil Nas X snag two GRAMMY Awards for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance and Best Music Video. (To date, he's won 2 GRAMMYs and has received 11 nominations overall.)
Aside from his immense musical talent, Lil Nas X — who came out as gay on social media during his Hot 100 reign — has been a fierce champion for LGBTQIA+ and Black communities.
At just 24 years old, Lil Nas X has plenty more history-making and game-changing moves in store. As he revealed during his March 2023 campaign with Coach, "My next big chapter is coming."
Photo: Courtesy of Claud
Press Play: Claud Gets Vulnerable In This Confessional Performance Of Their New Single, "Wet"
Emerging pop singer Claud narrates the story of a guilty pleasure toxic relationship on "Wet," the lead single from their upcoming album, 'Supermodels.'
On their new single "Wet," bedroom pop newcomer Claud places themselves in the heat of a toxic relationship. Even amid empty apologies and tearful early morning phone calls, Claud can't get enough.
"That's not an apology/ But I'll take what I can get/ Dip your feet but not too wet," Claud sings in the chorus. "I swear this isn't like me/ But you're standing on the edge/ Say you'll never jump, but I know you want it."
In this episode of Press Play, Claud delivers an intimate performance of "Wet" live from their bedroom floor. The intimate, simple setting only intensifies the diaristic nature of the track.
"Wet" is the lead single from Claud's upcoming album, Supermodels, out July 14 via Saddest Factory Records. "'Wet' was written in one fast sitting. The writing process as kinetic as the outcome. Writing these songs felt like dropping a boulder into a pond, really shaking up the way I look at myself as an artist," they explained in a press statement.
On July 21, Claud will begin their headlining international tour in Bristol, United Kingdom, wrapping on Oct. 12 in San Francisco, California.
Watch the video above to see Claud's acoustic performance of "Wet," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
Photo: Diego Compomar
Global Spin: Cub Sport Offer An Ethereal Performance Of "Keep Me Safe"
The Australian pop group chronicles the simultaneous joy and shame of a secret relationship in "Keep Me Safe," the lead single from their latest album, 'Jesus at the Gay Bar.'
With "Keep Me Safe," Cub Sport narrates the bliss of being with who they truly love in secret, while confessing the shame of putting on a different persona in public. Being in a heterosexual relationship might have kept the peace between their loved ones, but it created a painful sense of unhappiness and emptiness inside.
"Went and got a girlfriend/ Just to throw them off track/ Double lines, yeah/ It's driving me mad/ Losing everybody/ But I don't really feel that sad," Cub Sport reveals in the track's first verse. "I just want to die in our heaven/ If it'll keep me safe."
In this episode of Global Spin, the Australian pop group delivers an ethereal performance of "Keep Me Safe." Soft lights illuminate the band, while neon blue strobes accompany the song's climax.
"Keep Me Safe" is the lead single from Cub Sport's newest album, Jesus at the Gay Bar, inspired by the relationship between bandmates Tim Nelson and Sam Netterfield.
"I wrote 'Keep Me Safe' about a euphoric but complicated time," Nelson detailed in a press statement. "Shedding some light on it now feels like I'm validating my younger self and celebrating the magic in something I was ashamed of at the time."
Press play on the video above to watch Cub Sport's vulnerable performance of "Keep Me Safe," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Global Spin.
Positive Vibes Only: Fena Gitu Shows Her Appreciation For What "Love Is" In This Intimate Performance
Kenyan Afropop singer Fena Gitu is grateful for everything — from God to her jewelry — in her latest single, "Love Is."
Kenyan singer Fena Gitu is grateful for the little things — down to her fake jewelry. And through an odyssey of gratitude, she's learned to love everyone, to create a more peaceful world.
In this episode of Positive Vibes Only, Gitu delivers a stripped-down performance of her new single, "Love Is," a musical expression of her appreciation for everything around her. For Gitu, loving is minimalistic — and that message is only made more clear from the simplistic setting of this keyboard-driven performance.
"For my God, I stand, give him all my praises/ That I get to live to see another day, yes/ For my fake gold diamond pieces/ I just really want to thank you, Jesus," Gitu declares. "God is love, and love is true/ Love is You."
"Love Is" is the lead single from Gitu's latest album, Love Art Lust, which arrived on June 2. "It's a journey in love. Love for yourself, love for others, and love for God," she explained in a press statement. On June 29, she will return to her hometown of Nairobi, Kenya for a special performance celebrating the album's release.
Press play on the video above to watch Fena Gitu's sentimental performance of "Love Is," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Positive Vibes Only.
Photo: Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images
GRAMMY Rewind: Whitney Houston Admires Dolly Parton After "I Will Always Love You" Wins In 1994
Whitney Houston had the chance to thank Dolly Parton — who wrote "I Will Always Love You" — for "writing beautiful songs" during her acceptance speech for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance.
Nearly 50 years after its initial release, Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" has been covered by thousands of musicians. But no other rendition compares to Whitney Houston's iconic 1992 cover for the Bodyguard soundtrack — and in 1994, the two shared a full-circle celebration of the song's massive success.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, relive Houston's Best Female Pop Vocal Performance win for her version of "I Will Always Love You" at the 1994 GRAMMY Awards.
"Dolly, of course, coming from you, this is truly an honor. You wrote a beautiful song. Thank you so much for writing such beautiful songs," Houston said to Parton, who presented the award and originally released the recording (which she wrote herself) in 1974.
Houston praised Rickey Minor, her band, and David Foster, who helped Houston arrange the ballad. "All the songwriters and producers on The Bodyguard, BeBe [Winans], I love you," she added before performing an impromptu song to thank her team members at Arista Records.
"I love you, Mommy and Daddy — I wouldn't be here without you. And always first in my life, I thank my Father, Jesus Christ. Without them, I am nothing," Houston said. Before leaving the stage, Houston took a second to uplift her supporters. "To all the fans, I love you! Thank you, and God bless you!"
"I Will Always Love You" also took home Record Of The Year that night, and The Bodyguard won Album Of The Year — one of only four soundtracks to date to win the coveted award.
Press play on the video above to watch Whitney Houston accept her award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 36th Annual GRAMMY Awards, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.