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Patti LaBelle, John Legend, SZA, Alicia Keys, Common & More Celebrate Aretha Franklin
Artists across generations and genres convened to celebrate the beloved singer's life with moving performances and tributes at "Aretha! A GRAMMY Celebration For The Queen Of Soul"
On Jan. 13, 2019, the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles was filled with cheers, laughter and some tears as dozens of stars took to the stage to pay tribute to the late GRAMMY-winning icon Aretha Franklin with a special concert called Aretha! A GRAMMY Celebration For The Queen Of Soul.
Hosted by actor and comedian Tyler Perry, the talent-filled show featured performances from artists spanning generations, including Patti LaBelle, Alicia Keys, SZA, Janelle Monáe, John Legend, Yolanda Adams, Common, Alessia Cara, Brandi Carlile, Chloe x Halle, Celine Dion, Fantasia, H.E.R. and more.
Moving Musical Tributes
Every tribute had the packed auditorium either dancing or swaying in their seats; at times the crowd was even moved to standing ovations. As recent first-time GRAMMY winning R&B artist H.E.R. said during her backstage interview, "I don't know one singer that doesn't listen to Aretha Franklin."
H.E.R. brought out her guitar and silky vocals as she sang "I Say A Little Prayer For You." Meanwhile, Fantasia hit all the high notes with grace as fellow GRAMMY winner Rob Thomas joined her for a lively duet of "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," Aretha's 1986 song with GRAMMY winner George Michael.
GRAMMY winner Yolanda Adams also gave two stunning performances, one a rousing nod to Aretha's gospel choir beginnings with a moving medley with fellow GRAMMY-winning gospel singers Shirley Caesar and Bebe Winans.
Earlier in the evening, GRAMMY-winning rapper and social justice advocate Common joined her for a powerful performance of "Young, Gifted And Black," which brought the whole crowd into a booming standing ovation. The song was originally written and recorded by Nina Simone and covered a few years later by Aretha as the GRAMMY-winning title track for her 18th studio album.
Performers also included GRAMMY-nominated R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle, who sang "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" in coordinating sparkly fringe dresses. GRAMMY-winning Godmother Of Soul Patti LaBelle took it home as she wowed with "Call Me" in a shimmery black pantsuit number. She closing the song singing "We love you Aretha, we'll never forget you," to another standing ovation.
Alicia Keys and John Legend bookended the evening with their powerful voices and mesmerizing piano skills, Keys offering a medley with GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer SZA while Legend took on "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
More Aretha Accolades
In addition to performances from Aretha's admirers and peers, the show featured moving speeches and archival footage, which offered background to the songs and recounted milestones from Aretha's career, including videos of her singing at both Bill Clinton's and Barack Obama's Presidential inaugurations.
Fellow GRAMMY-winning, Detroit-raised music icon Smokey Robinson even took it way back as he shared the heartfelt story of meeting a six-year-old Aretha, whom he said would go on to become his "life-long friend" and the "Princess Of Soul." Another longtime friend and music industry icon, GRAMMY-winning producer and all around legend Clive Davis, also gave a powerful speech, asserting "there will never ever be another Aretha."
Stay tuned to GRAMMY.com to watch several full performances from the evening, to be released soon.
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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.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
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.