meta-scriptLupita Infante On Honoring Pedro Infante's Legacy & Moving Mariachi Forward With 'Amor Como En Las Películas De Antes' | GRAMMY.com
Lupita Infante Press Photo 2022
Lupita Infante

Photo: Yulissa Mendoza

interview

Lupita Infante On Honoring Pedro Infante's Legacy & Moving Mariachi Forward With 'Amor Como En Las Películas De Antes'

On her second album, Lupita Infante continues putting her own twist on the mariachi music she grew up with while also speaking her truth: "You're going to hear really personal stories."

GRAMMYs/May 18, 2023 - 02:48 pm

Since Lupita Infante started making music in 2018, she has dedicated her career to carrying her family's storied legacy. The granddaughter of Mexican icon Pedro Infante, the singer has put her own spin on traditional mariachi music while evoking the nostalgia of her grandfather's legendary music and movie career — and that's especially true on her second album, Amor Como En Las Películas De Antes.

Infante's latest LP is steeped in rich mariachi music. The Mexican vihuela, guitarrón, and cinematic strings conjure the music in grandfather's movies, but she makes the sound her own with bold confidence and powerful vocals. All of the songs are like vignettes in her soundtrack to love in all its forms: the dreamy "Besarte Así" describes a beautiful romance that feels lifted out of a script; on the flipside, Infante takes the power back in the heart-wrenching "Ya No Vuelvas," which sees a woman freeing herself from a toxic relationship.

Though Lupita has the Infante last name, following in her family's legacy was a journey she had to figure out on her own. Pedro Infante died in a tragic plane crash in 1957; her father, Pedro Infante, Jr. (who also was a famous actor), passed away in 2009. As she tells GRAMMY.com, Infante has been a student of her grandfather's: "From his work ethic, all the films that he left, and all the music, for me, that's been my school — listening to all of his recordings and interviews."

After years of gigging with various bands and honing her own style of mariachi music, she appeared on La Voz, a Latin spin-off of The Voice, in 2017. Two years later, she released her debut album, La Serenata, which earned Infante her first GRAMMY nomination for Best Regional Mexican Album in 2021. She's proven to continue making her mark, too, as she signed with Sony Music Latin last year.

"It's been a long road," Infante recalls. "I've had to find my own path. Even when I had started in my journey, my dad had already passed away, so I've been having all kinds of experiences from the beginning — good ones, bad ones — but luckily, I found a team of people who are incredible to work with, who have taught me so much, and have gotten me to this point today."

Infante is creating her own legacy in mariachi music and manifesting that through her songs. Before releasing Amor Como En Las Películas De Antes, she talked with GRAMMY.com about the stories behind some of the new songs, how she is paying homage to her family's history, and her future ahead.

How have your grandfather and father inspired your music?

Having a last name like Infante, I think it's opened a lot of doors for me to get in front of the right people or to get certain opportunities. At the same time, it's something that I can't take myself away from. Just growing in the career, I've always had in my mind and my heart that part of who I am, even with my performances and my recordings, it's always going to be some kind of tribute to my family. I'm just really proud and even blessed that I can do that, pay tribute to them in a way that also shares a little bit of my story too — but always, of course, giving the credit to how it all started for my grandfather and for my father too.

How are you putting your own stamp on the traditional mariachi music sound?

I feel like the sound of mariachi, it hasn't really changed a whole lot as far as arrangements and instrumentation goes. It's a very classic sound. On my new album, we did try to add certain instruments from music that's more commercial — adding the accordion or the sierreño guitar or requinto guitar.

There's even a song, "Quién No Ha Llorado Por Amor," where we added tuba instead of the guitarrón, just to change it up a little bit and give it different flavors of Mexican music. That song — which was produced by Luciano Luna and written by Omar Tarazón and myself in Mazatlán — I feel like that song has a very Sinaloa inspiration to it.

What was the inspiration for your new album Amor Como En Las Películas De Antes?

The title translates to "Love Like In the Old Time Movies." It's definitely inspired by this imagery of the collection of films that my grandfather has left us all. A friend of mine, Pedro Dabdoub, wrote this song called "Besarte Así." There's a line in there that says in Spanish: "In the old time movies, I saw this kind of love before."

Going through every song, going through every lyric, and trying to piece it together, that was a line that really spoke to me. You get all kinds of imagery from that line. I was really inspired by that and we kind of just ran with that.

Every song on the album is a love song. Some are about heartbreak. One is a love song about a car ["Mi Carrito"]. Some are talking about the perfect love. I wrote a lot of these songs before I was signed with Sony Music. I was just writing really because I wanted to talk about my feelings, and just share what I had inside. You're going to hear really personal stories.

In Regional Mexican music, historically women were presented before as damsels in distress. In your album and songs like "Ya No Vuelvas," you're showing all facets to a woman's perspective in the genre.

[We were] looking for some clips from movies from the '40s and '50s that we [could] tie in [with the music video]. Even looking at the way women are portrayed, it's very dramatic. It's like a damsel in distress, or she's mad, or she's in love. She's so emotional and kind of crazy.

It's fun to play around with those sentiments, but at the same time, it's really important to have that agency and control over what you want to express as a woman. [Like] with "Ya No Vuelvas," she's fed up with the guy's crap and she's going to let him know, and kick him out of here.

"Ya No Vuelvas" is one of your most raw vocal performances on the album. What you're feeling in that song comes through in your powerful vocals.

That's one of the songs, and "Quien No Ha Llorado Por Amor." They're songs that you go to this certain place in your heart and your soul and your Mexicanness, and you just pour it out and bring it out. It was probably one of the easiest songs to record with the least amount of takes. It was like, "Let me just get this feeling out," and that's how it came out.

"Mi Carrito" has a bit of a country music influence with it. Was that your way of bringing together the sounds of your Mexican and American backgrounds?

I definitely am. We wrote it in the pandemic, and we went to this cabin in the mountains. I think it just kind of sounded like the way it would sound if you're up there in the mountains and driving your car, because that was the only thing you could do.

Being in L.A., it's such a big car culture city. I think there's this big affinity that we have towards our cars, especially during that time — it was my only escape. ["Mi Carrito"] definitely has that country feel with the slide guitar and the fiddle, so it gives that mood.

"Pa Dentro" is a song that you wrote with another woman, Erika Vidrio. What does it mean to you to bring more women into the Regional Mexican music space?

I think it's important for women, in a sense, to form alliances and really support each other, and lift each other up. Even over the summer, Erika Vidrio, BMI and Amazon did a whole songwriter camp called Las Compositoras, and it was all women. It was just so much fun working with all different types of women — everyone coming from a different background and point-of-view. Maybe some women will be more rough and want to talk about real-life experiences and what they've been through. There's other girls who are more soft and gentle, and they want to talk more about love or hurt.

Even learning from every single person and their personalities and their writing styles, that's a lot of fun. Being part of events like that, and for us to create events like that, it's really important, especially for the future songwriters that are coming through as well. I think it's going to keep happening more and more. It's working, and it's good for us.

Throughout your career, you've shown support for the LGBTQIA+ community, who have historically been excluded from the Regional Mexican music scene. Why is it important for you to support that community?

At UCLA, I took a class about music in the LGBTQIA+ community. You had to pick an event to go to and write about it. Always appreciating mariachi, I was like, "I'm going to watch Mariachi Arcoiris at Tempo and I'm going to interview Natalia [Melendez], and see her experience and see what that's all about."

I [took] my mom with me to club Tempo. I didn't know what to expect. They would do this karaoke night back then, and people would come up and they're singing these songs that I've heard for years, but they're taking the meaning and making it mean something very specific to them, that speaks to them.

Honestly, it really transformed the way I see music and the way I saw the LGBTQIA+ community. Like the song "Vámonos" [by José Alfredo Jiménez], when I heard it being sung in that space, it had such a strong meaning for the person singing it. At the end of the day, we're all just people, and we all have feelings, and we just want to love and be loved, and I really got to see that and it was beautiful. I hope that if there is a song of mine that speaks to the LGBTQIA+ community that they would make it their own.

What can we expect from you this year?

We have a couple of live events going on throughout the year. I'm already starting on the next album. A lot of these songs [on Amor Como En Las Películas De Antes] were written quite a while ago, 2020 and 2021, so I'm looking to the future.

Nowadays music is just so instant. I think there's a certain magic about writing a song and producing it right away. I'm kind of channeling that energy for the next album. I'm just excited to keep making music.

What do you want to accomplish next with your music?

Part of it is just expression of self and culture. Another part of it, just keep making good quality music that stands the test of time. For it to become part of that mariachi repertoire.

That's always been my goal — I want to write music and create music that stays in the mariachi repertoire. When you have the mariachi come over and you say "play this song," hopefully it's one of mine.

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Female musicia mexicana nominee 2024 GRAMMYs
(From left) Flor De Toloache, Lupita Infante, Ana Bárbara, Lila Downs

Photos: Courtesy of the artist, HECTOR MOLINA; courtesy of Sony Music

interview

The Women of Música Mexicana: GRAMMY Nominees Talk Inspiration, Genre Representation & Making History

Women lead the nominations for Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano) Category. GRAMMY.com spoke with Lupita Infante, Lila Downs, Ana Bárbara and Flor de Toloache about their nominations, women that inspired them, and representation in the genre.

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2024 - 02:15 pm

For decades, women have been the muse behind some of the most iconic songs in música Mexicana. The genre's greatest singers have sung about them, and women have often been the protagonists of stories that go from heartbreak to revenge. 

Despite being an inspiration, the música Mexicana genre has historically benefited male singers and bands, awarding them with media attention, placing them at the top of the charts, and centering them in headlining slots at festivals and concerts.

Even though representation is yet to be equal, female artists have fought hard to conquer these same spaces, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations. Singers such as Selena Quintanilla, Jenni Rivera, Rocío Dúrcal, Paquita la del Barrio, Chavela Vargas, and Graciela Beltrán are mavericks and trailblazers in música Mexicana.

Mexican music underwent a renaissance in 2023, leading the charts and expanding its sound to a global stage. And even though female artists are still absent from the top lists, a new generation of singers is leading the way in the música Mexicana genre, and their achievements are inspiring. 

Angela Aguilar is one of the seven women to lead Billboard's Regional Mexican Airplay Chart; Yahritza Martínez, the frontwoman of Yahritza y Su Esencia, received the first Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year at the 2023 SESAC Latina Music Awards. The Sierreño girl band Conexión Divina received its first Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best New Artist in 2023.

Women have had a healthy representation in Mexican music categories at the GRAMMYs over the years, with Sheena Easton, Vikki Carr, Linda Ronstadt, and Selena taking home golden gramophones in various Mexican music category variations. In 2024, four out of five works nominated in the Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano) are from female artists. Peso Pluma is the only male act who received a nod for his album GÉNESIS.

GRAMMY.com spoke with Lupita Infante, Lila Downs, Ana Bárbara, and Flor de Toloache about their nominations, the women in música Mexicana that have inspired them, and the representation in the música Mexicana industry. 

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Which woman in the música Mexicana has inspired you in your career?

Lupita Infante: [During] my formative years, I listened a lot to Lola Beltrán, Linda Ronstadt, all the classic women of the time, and Amalia Mendoza, who are more traditional. Selena, too, was like the ultimate. I think we have all had Selena's karaoke albums; we learned a lot and practiced a lot. Also, Jenni Rivera, I remember going to her concert, and maybe I didn't realize that she was breaking barriers as a woman. And I remember that concert opened by Sheila Dúrcal, a woman I admire greatly.

Ana Barbara: María de Lourdes, Lucha Villa, Lola Beltrán, and Amalia Mendoza "La Tariácuri" are some of the singers that I have listened to since I was a child, and in some way, they opened up this panorama of Mexican music — ranchera music performed by women — to me. I loved them, and I still like them. Later on, a singer of Mexican music and Juan Gabriel's music was Rocío Dúrcal, who also greatly impacted me with her way of interpreting Mexican music.

Lila Downs: Lucha Reyes was definitely the first. 

Mireya Ramos (Flor de Toloache): Aida Cuevas, Lila Downs, and Toña La Negra are some of the women who have inspired and influenced me in my musical career.

Shae Fiol (Flor de Toloache): Mireya Ramos. Although she wasn't widely known when we started the band, she was already a professional singer with roots in mariachi. She was making a living singing the songs she grew up listening to her father sing in his mariachi and at their family's restaurant. It's easy to focus on legends, but the people around us often impact us and our careers and influence us the most. 

After Mireya is Linda Ronstadt, whose album Canciones de mi Padre I remembered consuming as a young child without realizing the genre she was singing was mariachi, but I remembered the album cover. Lola Beltrán, in particular, her rendition of "La Chancla," I clung to that song for its empowering sentiment and her incredible vocal expression. 

What is a go-to album or song by a female artist in your favorite genre that brings inspiration or comfort?

Infante: It's been a lot of Lila Downs lately. I also like the song "Todo Todo" by Camila Fernández. There are many songs and songwriters I have seen who are recording them and coming out with beautiful songs as well.

Bárbara: There are several albums. There is one by Lola Beltrán (Joyas) where she sings "El Crucifijo de Piedra." I really liked that Linda Ronstadt recorded an incredible mariachi album [Canciones de mi Padre]. I also loved the Lucha Villa album that Juan Gabriel made.

Downs: I always have to listen to Mercedes Sosa again in her first recordings. 

Ramos: It really depends on the mood and the moment, but it can be from Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Jill Scott to Natalia La Fourcade, Mon Laferte, and Rosa Passos. They are women who master their instruments, whether with the voice or another instrument; the compositions and performances are memorable.

Fiol: If I want comfort, artists I may listen to are Erykah Badu, Sade, Amel Larrieux, Feist, Janelle Monáe, Sheryl Crow, Patsy Cline. For inspiration, I'll listen to any of those artists, plus Jazmine Sullivan, Brandy, Concha Buika, Little Simz, and Cleo Sol.

Women dominate the Best Música Mexicana Album nominations at the 2024 GRAMMYs. How do you feel about the increasing representation of women in the Mexican music industry?

Infante: The Recording Academy is reflecting the part that women are excelling [in the genre]. At the same time, I feel that each one has something very different to offer. I still see men dominating the Billboard Charts and the concerts, but I like that even here in [Recording Academy voting] membership, the members say this woman deserves this recognition.

Bárbara: I feel great, total, and absolute pride to see so many women in this category. It has taken us a lot of work to be there, but it is worth the effort. 

Downs: It gives me great pleasure to see that women have developed in an area that has been difficult for us historically because there has been a lot of prejudice about our ability to produce and compose and, of course, to lead in music.

Ramos: It fills us with pride and excitement to know that this is the direction we are going, that our work has contributed to this and that the next generation has the space to create freely without so many challenges. I am grateful to all the women who came before us who hand-carved their path, opening the doors for the next generations to celebrate this change, recognition, and celebration. What an honor to be able to be in this category representing.

What have you learned from the artists nominated with you in this category?

Infante: Each one has a very different essence. Ana Bárbara has a super long career; she is a power of femininity. I love her outfits, how she presents herself, how she sings. Her album has a song that fascinates me a lot [like the one] she did with Vicente Fernández [La Jugada]; I feel that it is the duet of the year. Lila Downs, I loved the album La Sánchez; it has inspired me a lot in my future productions because she takes its essence, takes Mexican music, and puts her twist and flavor on it. Flor de Toloache's Motherflower,  I love that album because I feel they are pushing the boundaries. They have incredible voices; some rancheras just blew me away. 

Peso Pluma has taken everything and has revolutionized the entire industry at a global level. We also owe him a particular way: a thank you for breaking those barriers and letting the others who come after him help us all.

Bárbara: From my colleagues, I have learned or admired that they are firm in their concept, and that is very important; no matter how the trends, it is the music of Mexico, the music of mariachi, it is our music. I love to see them firm with that conviction that we have to continue in what we love, in what we like, and for me, that is admirable.

Downs: Ana Bárbara is doing some exciting and good duets. [From] Lupita Infante I have loved her way of singing; it is very soft, and she also has that legendary timbre of her grandfather, Don Pedro Infante. The Flor de Toloache has always had my great admiration because they have been independent women and applied themselves to the mariachi tradition, the traditional music of Mexico, and, of course, Peso Pluma, which has been an influence and a reference for everyone, which comes from this musical movement of Sonora. It is a joy that it inspires Mexican music for the youth.

Ramos: I remember buying Lila Downs' album La Sandunga. These are the fusions that I love, and I remember dreaming of one day being able to create my arrangements with that intention. I still can't believe that I have had the pleasure of playing and singing with her. What a gift. 

Fiol: Lila Downs is a great inspiration for us, having witnessed her career over decades; she created her lane so vibrantly and was a great example for Flor de Toloache as we started out, inspiring us to do the same in creating our unique style. 

Why is it significant that your album has received a GRAMMY nomination?

Infante: I worked with several producers on the album that deserve this recognition. One is Carlos Álvarez, my mentor and a great teacher. Also, maestro José Hernández, the founder and director of Mariachi Sol de México, is one of the best mariachis in the world. Having three songs produced by him is very important to me. And there is also Carlos Junior Cabral, who also made Ana Bárbara's album. Luciano Luna was also a big part of this album; I feel he is also a phenomenon in Mexican music. I tried to grab that talent from everywhere for this album. 

I co-authored several of the songs. I worked with great songwriters, and they deserve that recognition. I learned a lot through this album, both in the songwriting, the productions, and the recordings. We made a whole visual art concept; I wanted to be inspired by my grandfather, Pedro Infante's era. I wanted [to have] something that moved us that recognized him. 

Bárbara: [Bordado a Mano] is an album in which all the songs are part of me, my life, my experiences, my shortcomings, and everything I have felt. It channels my emotions. It makes me very happy to have thought about the production of this album, to carry it out, to look for each of my arrangers, of my colleagues who did me the favor of capturing his talent in songs, and because it was born from the bottom of my heart. Seeing that it has come so far, having planned so many duets that it is not easy, each duet made was very complicated. So, seeing it nominated for a GRAMMY is an indescribable satisfaction, and I am very grateful.

Downs: La Sánchez is an album we made with the band that has been with me for a long time, my colleagues, and my musician brothers. We did a workshop here in Oaxaca, so it was conceived in the south [of Mexico]. This path began together with my husband, whom we lost last year. Being nominated for a GRAMMY after so much heartache and having cried a lot this year is a great honor. I am deeply grateful to my fellow musicians and professionals of the Recording Academy and this path of music.

Ramos: [Motherflower] is the most progressive and mariachi fusion album we have made, and all the songs are based on actual experiences. As an independent band and among many incredible artists who have chosen this album, it fills our hearts with pride. The nomination was a pleasant surprise, even more so that we are with so many beautiful queens and the great Peso Pluma, breaking it in his genre. 

We proudly use mariachi instruments in ways no other mariachi has dared to experiment with for fear of breaking from tradition. To have the creativity and vision of Flor de Toloache recognized is a beautiful accomplishment. It fills us with hope that space is opening up for expression, especially for women within the mariachi genre. We had to create something for ourselves since that platform or the support of the mariachi community did not exist. 

Additionally, this album's songs are written from a woman's perspective for women, something not very common in mariachi. Celebrating our "quinceañera" with this nomination is the best gift we could have received.

Fiol: Motherflower is the first album we have released in our 15 years as a band of all original music, composed primarily between Mireya and myself with beautiful contributions from Manu Jalil Soto, Victor Bodilla, Claudia Brandt, Julie Acosta, and Andres Ramos. Our vision was to share our stories with our fans and the world at large, painting a picture of us coming up as an all-women, mariachi-inspired indie band in New York City. These four elements are pillars of our creative expression, and for this album to be recognized by our peers in the academy is a huge honor because it is the most vulnerable we have been in our careers. It's a fusion of genres with mariachi at its core.

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Nominees List

Photo of (L-R) El Fantasma, Lupita Infante, and Los Dos Carnales
(L-R) El Fantasma, Lupita Infante, and Los Dos Carnales

Photo Courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy

video

Watch: El Fantasma, Los Dos Carnales & Lupita Infante Perform Live From Mexico City As Part Of The 2022 Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions

Recorded at the Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral in Mexico City, the digital concert, presented by the Latin Recording Academy in partnership with Meta, includes never-before-heard collaborations and intimate conversations between all three artists.

GRAMMYs/Jul 22, 2022 - 06:30 pm

The Latin Recording Academy is bringing the good vibes and good music straight to your screen with an exclusive performance from Latin GRAMMY nominee El Fantasma featuring by Latin GRAMMY winners Los Dos Carnales and Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY nominee Lupita Infante.

The digital concert premiered today via the Latin Recording Academy's Facebook page, where it'll be available to view for 48 hours; afterward, the performances will also be available exclusively on the artists' Facebook pages for 90 days. The performance marks the launch of the Latin Recording Academy's 2022 Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions, presented in partnership with Meta.

Watch the acoustic performance in full below.

Filmed at the renowned Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral in Mexico City, one of the city's most architecturally significant venues, the digital concert mixes exclusive performances with unique storytelling. The 44-minute concert features renditions of songs chosen by the artists, never-before-heard collaborations and duets, and intimate conversations between all three artists, all set against a dramatic backdrop.

This performance puts the spotlight directly on the exploding Mexican Regional genre, which continues to grow online and around the world. El Fantasma, the vision of Mexican regional singer/songwriter Alexander Garcia, was noted as "part of the new wave of Mexillennials that you should really keep on your radar," Billboard reported in 2018. That same year, he and his group, y Su Equipo Armado, received their first-ever Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best Banda Album for En El Camino.

Los Dos Carnales is the Mexican norteño duo comprising brothers Imanol and Poncho Quezada. After exploding on the scene via their 2018 debut album Te Lo Dije, the group won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Norteño Music Album for Al Estilo Rancherón at the 2021 Latin GRAMMYs. Their most recent single "No Estaré Aquí" debuted earlier this year.

Mexican American singer/songwriter, Latin GRAMMY nominee, and GRAMMY nominee Lupita Infante is deeply versed in the traditional mariachi, ranchera and norteño traditions, which she has successfully adapted for the millennial and Gen Z generations. The granddaughter of iconic Mexican singer and actor Pedro Infante, she propels her family's musical legacy forward with her own esteemed career. In 2020, her single "Dejaré" was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY, and a year later, she received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Regional Mexican Album for La Serenata.

The Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions began six years ago as a series of in-person events for small audiences offering intimate musical experiences combined with storytelling. In addition to showcasing established performers, the series aims to promote the new generation of up-and-coming talent focusing on diversity and equity within each genre. Two years ago, the Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions added a global digital franchise, providing access to Latin musical excellence for all.

The next installment of the 2022 Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions, a digital concert shot in São Paulo, Brazil, will premiere later this year. Additional details, including the full lineup, will be announced soon.  

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Press Photo of Jhené Aiko

Jhené Aiko

Photo: Justin Jackson /J3 Collection

news

Participating Talent For 63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony Announced: Jhené Aiko, Burna Boy, Lido Pimienta, Poppy And More Confirmed

Streaming live internationally Sunday, March 14, via GRAMMY.com, the 63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees like Rufus Wainwright, Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science and many others

GRAMMYs/Mar 2, 2021 - 08:00 pm

The Recording Academy has announced details for the Premiere Ceremony ahead of the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast this month. 

Preceding the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show, the 63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will take place Sunday, March 14, at noon PT, and will be streamed live internationally via GRAMMY.com.

Hosted by current three-time GRAMMY nominee Jhené Aiko, the Premiere Ceremony will feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees, including: Nigerian singer, songwriter and rapper Burna Boy, jazz band Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science, blues musician Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, classical pianist Igor Levit, Latin electropop musician Lido Pimienta, singer, songwriter and performance artist Poppy, and singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright

Kicking off the event will be a tribute performance celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic Marvin Gaye track "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)". The special all-nominee ensemble performance will feature Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Thana Alexa, John Beasley, Camilo, Regina Carter, Alexandre Desplat, Bebel Gilberto, Lupita Infante, Sarah Jarosz, Mykal Kilgore, Ledisi, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, PJ Morton, Gregory Porter, Grace Potter, säje, Gustavo Santaolalla (Bajofondo), Anoushka Shankar, and Kamasi Washington.

Current nominees Bill Burr, Chika, Infante and former Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam will present the first GRAMMY Awards of the day. Branden Chapman and Bill Freimuth are the producers on behalf of the Recording Academy, Greg Fera is executive producer and Cheche Alara will serve as music producer and musical director.

Music fans will be given unprecedented digital access to GRAMMY Awards content with GRAMMY Live, which will stream internationally on GRAMMY.com and via Facebook Live, the exclusive streaming partner of GRAMMY Live. GRAMMY Live takes viewers behind the scenes with backstage experiences, pre-show interviews and post-show highlights from Music's Biggest Night. GRAMMY Live will stream all day on Sunday, March 14, including during and after the GRAMMY Awards evening telecast. IBM, the Official AI & Cloud Partner of the Recording Academy, will host GRAMMY Live for the first time entirely on the IBM Cloud.

The 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live following the Premiere Ceremony on CBS and Paramount+ from 8 p.m.–11:30 p.m. ET/5 p.m.–8:30 p.m. PT. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

All of the Premiere Ceremony performers and the host are nominated this year, as are most of the presenters. Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra for Best Latin Jazz Album (Tradiciones); Aiko for Album Of The Year (Chilombo), Best R&B Performance ("Lightning & Thunder" featuring John Legend) and Best Progressive R&B Album (Chilombo); Alexa for Best Jazz Vocal Album (Ona); Beasley with Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band for Best Jazz Vocal Album (Holy Room: Live At Alte Oper), Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album (MONK'estra Plays John Beasley), Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella ("Donna Lee") and Best Arrangement, Instrumentals and Vocals ("Asas Fechadas" with Maria Mendes); Burna Boy for Best Global Music Album (Twice As Tall); Burr for Best Comedy Album (Paper Tiger); Camilo for Best Latin Pop or Urban Album (Por Primera Vez); Carrington + Social Science for Best Jazz Instrumental Album (Waiting Game); Carter for Best Improvised Jazz Solo ("Pachamama"); Chika for Best New Artist; Desplat for Best Instrumental Composition ("Plumfield"); Gilberto for Best Global Music Album (Agora); Holmes for Best Traditional Blues Album (Cypress Grove); Infante for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (La Serenata); Jarosz for Best American Roots Song ("Hometown"), Best Americana Album (World On The Ground); Kilgore for Best Traditional R&B Performance ("Let Me Go"); Ledisi for Best Traditional R&B Performance ("Anything For You"); Levit for Best Classical Instrumental Solo (Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas); Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (Bailando Sones Y Huapangos Con Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez); Morton for Best Gospel Album (Gospel According To PJ); Pimienta for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album (Miss Colombia); Poppy for Best Metal Performance ("BLOODMONEY"); Porter for Best R&B Album (All Rise); Potter for Best Rock Performance ("Daylight"), Best Rock Album (Daylight); säje for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals ("Desert Song"); Santaolalla with Bajofondo for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album (Aura); Shankar for Best Global Music Album (Love Letters); Wainwright for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Unfollow The Rules); and Washington for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media (Becoming).

Click the below to view the program book for the 63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony.

2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominees List

Tom Petty
Tom Petty performing with the Heartbreakers in 2008

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

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How 'Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration' Makes Tom Petty A Posthumous Crossover Sensation

On 'Petty Country,' Nashville luminaries from Willie Nelson to Dolly Parton and Luke Combs make Tom Petty’s simple, profound, and earthy songs their own — to tremendous results.

GRAMMYs/Jun 24, 2024 - 06:49 pm

If Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers landed in 2024, how would we define them? For fans of the beloved heartland rockers and their very missed leader, it's a compelling question.

"It's not active rock. It's not mainstream rock. It's not country. It would really fall in that Americana vein," says Scott Borchetta, the founder of Big Machine Label Group. "When you think about what his lyrics were and are about, it's really about the American condition."

To Borchetta, these extended to everything in Petty's universe — his principled public statements, his man-of-the-people crusades against the music industry. "He was an American rebel with a cause," Borchetta says. And when you fuse that attitude with big melodies, bigger choruses, and a grounded, earthy perspective — well, there's a lot for country fans to love.

That's what Coran Capshaw of Red Light Management bet on when he posited the idea of Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty, a tribute album released June 21. Featuring leading lights like Dolly Parton ("Southern Accents"), Willie and Lukas Nelson ("Angel Dream (No. 2)," Luke Combs ("Runnin' Down a Dream"), Dierks Bentley ("American Girl,") Wynonna and Lainey Wilson ("Refugee"), and other country luminaries covering Tom Petty classics, Petty Country is a seamless union of musical worlds.

Which makes perfect sense: on a core level, Petty, and his band of brothers, were absolutely steeped in country — after all, they grew up in the South — Gainesville, Florida.

"Tom loved all country music. He went pretty deep into the Carter Family, and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" and the folk, Americana heart of it," says Petty's daughter, Adria, who helps run his estate. "Hank Williams, and even Ernest Tubb and Patsy Cline… as a songwriter, I think a lot of that real original music influenced him enormously." (The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Byrds' Gram Parsons-hijacked country phase, were also foundational.)

A key architect of Petty Country was the man's longtime producer, George Drakoulias. "He's worked with Dad for a hundred years since [1994's] Wildflowers, and he has super exquisite taste," Adria says.

In reaching out to prospective contributors, he and fellow music supervisor Randall Poster started at the top: none other than Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. "Having Willie and Dolly made people stand up and pay attention," Dreakoulias told Rolling Stone, and the Nashville floodgates were opened: Thomas Rhett ("Wildflowers"), Brothers Osborne ("I Won't Back Down"), Lady A ("Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"), and so many others.

Each artist gave Petty's work a distinctive, personal spin. Luke Combs jets down the highway of "Runnin' Down the Dream" like he was born to ride. Along with Yo-Yo Ma and founding Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Rhiannon Giddens scoops out the electronics and plumbs the droning, haunting essence of "Don't Come Around Here No More."


And where a lesser tribute album would have lacquered over the songs with homogenous Nashville production,
Petty Country is the opposite.

"I'm not a fan of having a singular producer on records like this. I want each one of them to be their own little crown jewel," Borchetta says. "That's going to give us a better opportunity for them to make the record in their own image."

This could mean a take that hews to the original, or casts an entirely new light on it. "Dierks called up and said, 'Hey, do you think we would be all right doing a little bit more of a bluegrass feel to it?' I was like, 'Absolutely. If you hear it, go get it.'"

"It had the diversity that the Petty women like on the records," Adria says, elaborating that they wanted women and people of color on the roster. "We like to see those tributes to Tom reflect his values; he was always very pro-woman, which is why he has such outspoken women [laughs] in his wake."

Two of Petty Country's unquestionable highlights are by women. Margo Price chose "Ways to Be Wicked," a cut so deep that even the hardcore Petty faithful might not know it; the Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) outtake was buried on disc six of the 1995 boxed set Playback.

"Man, it's just one of those songs that gets in your veins," Price says. "He really knew how to twist the knife — that chorus, 'There's so many ways to be wicked, but you don't know one little thing about love.'" Founding Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell features on the dark, driving banger.

And all interviewed for this article are agog over Dolly Parton's commanding take on "Southern Accents" — the title track of the band's lumpy, complicated, vulnerable 1985 album of the same name. "It's just revelatory… it brings me to my knees," Adria says. "It's just a phenomenal version I know my dad would've absolutely loved."

"It's one of Dolly's best vocals ever, and it's hair-raising," Borchetta says. "You could tell she really felt that track, and what the song was about."

At press time, the Petty camp is forging ahead with plans for a boxed set expansion of 1982's undersung Long After Dark. 

Adria is filled with profuse gratitude for the artists preserving and carrying her dad's legacy. 

"I'm really touched that these musicians showed up for my dad," she says. "A lot of people don't want to show up for anything that's not making money for them, or in service to their career, and we really appreciate it… I owe great debt to all of these artists and their managers for making the time to think about our old man like that."

Indeed, in Nashville and beyond, we've all been thinking about her old man, especially since his untimely passing in 2017. We'll never forget him — and will strum and sing these simple, heartfelt, and profound songs for years to come.

Let Your Heart Be Your Guide: Adria Petty, Mike Campbell & More On The Enduring Significance Of Tom Petty's Wildflowers