Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
Michael Jackson Tribute Announced
Tribute to feature Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood, Usher, and the voice of Michael Jackson
(For a complete list of 52nd GRAMMY Award winners, please click here.)
GRAMMY winners Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood, and Usher will join together, along with the voice of Michael Jackson, in a moving tribute to Jackson at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Jan. 31. This very special GRAMMY Moment will feature the never-before-seen 3-D mini-movie for "Earth Song" that was created by Jackson as the centerpiece of his much-anticipated This Is It tour, but was never seen by the public prior to this GRAMMY performance.
The 3-D film was created to support the performance of "Earth Song," an original composition and a No. 1 hit for Jackson. The song has a strong theme about the future of the planet, and Jackson saw it as a unique opportunity to deliver a message to millions of people who would have seen him on tour.
"It was one of the most important portions of the concert tour to Michael and when Michael saw the film for the first time at his last rehearsal, there were tears in his eyes," according to Ken Ehrlich, GRAMMY co-Executive Producer and longtime Jackson associate, who was also at the rehearsal that night.
"This very special GRAMMY Moment will feature some of our most respected GRAMMY recipients, all of whom have a great love for Michael," added Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This segment promises to be an emotional highlight of this year's show, and is sure to join the unique list of amazing performances for which the GRAMMY Awards have become renowned."
This special segment also represents another GRAMMY technical breakthrough in that it will be the first time a major awards show broadcasts in 3-D. The GRAMMY Awards also were the first awards show to broadcast in high definition and 5.1 surround sound (2003).
So that viewers can enjoy this unique 3-D TV experience at home, CBS and Target have partnered to provide millions of free 3-D GRAMMY Glasses. From Sunday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 31, Target stores nationwide will exclusively offer these 3-D GRAMMY Glasses so that fans have the opportunity to see the film that was very personal to Jackson. Additionally, the audience at Staples Center will share the 3-D experience, wearing the same glasses as those being worn by viewers at home.
This GRAMMY tribute to Michael Jackson joins previously announced performances by nominees Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Maxwell, Pink, Taylor Swift, and the Zac Brown Band.
All five Album Of The Year nominees are set to perform on Music's Biggest Night: Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, the Dave Matthews Band, and Taylor Swift.
Current nominee Carrie Underwood is up for two awards this year: Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Just A Dream," and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for "I Told You So" (with Randy Travis).
As part of Bon Jovi's performance on the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, fans will have an opportunity to decide which Bon Jovi hit the band will perform. For this "You Pick It, They Play It!" special segment, viewers can log on to www.cbs.com/grammys and vote in two phases for one out of six of their favorite hit Bon Jovi songs: "Always," "Bed Of Roses," "Have A Nice Day," "It's My Life," "Livin' On A Prayer," and "Wanted Dead Or Alive." There is no registration to vote, and fans may vote as often as they wish. Additionally, a 30-second clip of each song may be viewed. The deadline to vote on the first phase is Jan. 24, 11:59 p.m. ET. The second phase starts on Jan. 25, when the list will be narrowed down to the top three songs and fans may again vote for which hit song the band should perform as part of their segment. Voting will continue until Bon Jovi's performance on the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Presenters include actress Kristen Bell, pop/R&B singer Justin Bieber, actor Jeff Bridges, pop singer and actress Miley Cyrus, actor Josh Duhamel, pop sensation the Jonas Brothers, nine-time GRAMMY winner Norah Jones, pop singer/songwriter Ke$ha, two-time GRAMMY winner LL Cool J, GRAMMY winner and three-time Latin GRAMMY winner Ricky Martin, 10-time GRAMMY and three-time Latin GRAMMY winner Carlos Santana, and nine-time GRAMMY winner Ringo Starr.
The 52nd GRAMMY Awards will take place live on Sunday, Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 Surround Sound on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The show also will be supported on radio via Westwood One worldwide, and covered online at GRAMMY.com and CBS.com, and on YouTube. Additional performers, presenters and special segments will be announced soon. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions and AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich and John Cossette are executive producers, Louis J. Horvitz is director.
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."
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
FYI/TMI: Are Taylor Swift And Ed Sheeran Getting Together?
Rumors surface that the two are in a red-hot relationship; Sony/ATV Music Publishing named top publisher of fourth quarter in 2012
(In an effort to keep you fully informed, and fully entertained, below we present today's FYI and TMI — news you need and news that's, well, sometimes needless….)
Sony/ATV Claims Top Publisher In Q4 2012
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which in June 2012 acquired administration of EMI Music Publishing, was the top publisher in the fourth quarter of 2012 based on its 25.8 percent share of the top 100 songs during the period, according to figures released by Nielsen BDS. No. 2 was Kobalt Music Group (16.5 percent share), followed by Universal Music Publishing Group (15.9 percent share), Warner/Chappell Music (14.2 percent share), and BMG Chrysalis (5.3 percent share).
Swift Getting Together With Sheeran?
Taylor Swift may never be getting back together with a few people — like, ever — but that isn't stopping her from joining "The A Team." According to a report, Swift and GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran were reportedly seen together at a hotel in late February. Adding more red-hot fuel to the fire, Sheeran collaborated with Swift on her latest album, Red, the name of which is also a tattoo on Sheeran's left arm. Since Swift and Sheeran supposedly dated briefly last spring, maybe they are, like, getting back together.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inspirations: Jennifer Hudson
From timeless classics to infectious pop gems, GRAMMY winner Jennifer Hudson goes deep on six influential GRAMMY Hall Of Fame recordings
(To commemorate the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame's 40th Anniversary in 2013, GRAMMY.com has launched GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inspirations. The ongoing series will feature conversations with various individuals who will identify GRAMMY Hall Of Fame recordings that have influenced them and helped shape their careers.)
Vocal powerhouse Jennifer Hudson grew up in Chicago in the '80s and '90s, but it was a piece of classic '70s disco that first made her want to put her talents to use as a professional performer.
"When I heard 'Got To Be Real' [by Cheryl Lynn] it just grabbed me," says Hudson. "That was the song that made me think, 'Oh God — that's what I want to do.' I'd mark off a little stage on the floor and hold my hairbrush microphone and jump up and down. I'd lose it."
A solid disco beat can still move her, but Hudson also cites gospel music as a major influence, having sung often in the church in her childhood with an extended family of talented vocalists.
Hudson got the chance to make her own music career real in 2004 when she delivered several knockout performances as a contestant on "American Idol." Her breakout role in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls followed in 2006, and two years later she took home Best R&B Album honors for her self-titled debut at the 51st GRAMMY Awards [link to show page].
With plans underway for her third studio album, Hudson reigns as one of the most gifted and affecting performers of her generation. Here are six recordings from the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame that continue to make her want to reach for the microphone — hairbrush or otherwise.
"I have a hard time remembering what I was doing the first time I heard a lot of the Whitney songs because I went crazy for everything she did. That first album really had an effect on me. 'Saving All My Love For You,' 'How Will I Know,' 'Greatest Love Of All' — just saying the names of the songs makes me want to cry all over again. I do remember that 'Greatest Love Of All' was a total game changer for me. It was a song that had a very different kind of power. It didn't make you want to dance like my other favorites had done — this one captivated you. It put you into a trance. You started listening to that song and the world around you went silent.
"Whitney had that effect right from the start. There's a time to dance, and there's a time to listen, and Whitney had a voice that you had to listen to. The thing that has always amazed me is that her music is so powerful, and yet it's so soothing. In some ways it's perfect ear candy, but it can also move you to tears."
"When it is time to dance, this is the [song]. I think everybody has the experience with music that certain songs are powerful enough to take you right back to a certain time and place. There are songs you appreciate for the music, but there are songs you just feel are like old friends — you've got some history with them. For me, hearing Patti LaBelle and the group singing 'Lady Marmalade' takes me right back to the times when I was first getting so excited about music. This is the kind of song that just made me jump up and want to be a part of what was going on.
"I also remember being impressed by the look and the image of LaBelle too, which I didn't really know about until I'd already been familiar with the song. [They were] so much fun, and so expressive. I wish things were a little more like that now. Sometimes it feels like everything's been done. You think somebody has a new look and it turns out LaBelle [were] already there.
"Oh Happy Day"
Edwin Hawkins Singers
"I started out singing in church choruses, and even before I was singing I was sitting [on] my grandmother's lap while she was singing the chorus on Sunday or at choir rehearsal. My whole family sang — my grandmother was the youngest of 11 siblings and they all sang together as a group. I remember they'd do these warm-ups where they'd go around and everybody in the family had to sing their name: 'My name is Jennifer Hudson, how do you do?'
"I always loved that feeling of being surrounded by music and family, and that's a feeling I get from 'Oh Happy Day,' which is kind of funny because for all the singing we did in church, I don't think we sang that song. Once I heard it though, I couldn't get enough of it. It's one of those great pieces of music that's a real church song, but it gets you there just like any great up-tempo pop song. It gives you that great feeling of energy and makes you smile. It does what the title tells you it does — makes your day a happier one."
"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Simon & Garfunkel
"I just absolutely love this song, and have from the first time I heard it. But for a long time what I was familiar with was the Aretha Franklin version. A friend finally introduced me to the Simon & Garfunkel original. Their recording is so perfect and so heavenly — every time I hear it I either want to sing along with the whole thing, or just say, 'Hallelujah.' The sound is so pure and the arrangement is so beautiful, it just sends you away. Then, when you really listen to the words, it's beautiful on a whole different level. What does everyone want in life but a bridge over troubled water?
"This is the kind of song that makes me wonder: When it was being written and recorded, did they have a sense of how amazing and timeless this was? Did they know from the start it was a masterpiece? I think we musicians know when we've done the best we can do, and that's a great feeling. But I wonder if there's an extra awareness when you create something that's just going to last forever. This song is definitely in that category."
"The Way We Were"
"I don't remember my first time hearing Barbra Streisand. I just think I was always aware that she was the top — that she's as good as you can get as a singer and a performer.
"The first time I really became aware of just how special a talent she had was when I actually had to get it together to sing a couple of her songs at one of Clive Davis' Pre-GRAMMY [Galas]. It was a tribute for her, and two days before the show Clive asked me to sing 'People' and 'The Way We Were.' I had to take on these two gigantic signature songs — songs that aren't easy to deliver — and sing them with her sitting right in front of me. Are you kidding me? I almost lost my mind.
"She makes the first few lines of 'People' sound so easy, but melodically it's very difficult to get it just right. To this day I want to sing that over again and get it right — a little more right. I think I must have spoken to her after I sang, but I was so terrified I don't remember a thing. I think she was smiling, but I don't know. I love her. I'd sing for her again if I could — but maybe not one of her songs."
(Jennifer Hudson won her first career GRAMMY in 2008 for Best R&B Album for Jennifer Hudson. As an actress, her role in the 2006 film Dreamgirls earned her numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. A day after the death of Whitney Houston on Feb. 11, 2012, Hudson performed "I Will Always Love You" as a special tribute on the 54th GRAMMY Awards telecast.)
(Chuck Crisafulli is an L.A.-based journalist and author whose most recent works include Go To Hell: A Heated History Of The Underworld, Me And A Guy Named Elvis and Elvis: My Best Man.)
Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage.com
Meet Justin Bieber With GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions
Bid on an exclusive VIP concert experience to meet Justin Bieber
GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions has launched a new auction offering bidders the opportunity to bid on an exclusive VIP concert experience with Justin Bieber. Open now through Oct. 25, the auction package features two tickets and meet-and-greet passes to an upcoming Bieber concert.
To place your bid on this exclusive experience, visit www.charitybuzz.com. All proceeds will benefit the GRAMMY Foundation.