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Patti LaBelle, John Legend, SZA, Alicia Keys, Common & More Celebrate Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Photo: ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

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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"

GRAMMYs/Mar 5, 2019 - 11:41 pm

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.

You can also sign up for our newly relaunched weekly newsletter and subscribe to our YouTube channel for keep up with all of our fresh GRAMMY video content and news.

Aretha Franklin's GRAMMY History: Remembering The Queen Of Soul

Read The 2023 GRAMMYs Program Book In Its Entirety: Berry & Smokey, Every General Field Nominee & So Much More

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy

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Read The 2023 GRAMMYs Program Book In Its Entirety: Berry & Smokey, Every General Field Nominee & So Much More

Below, enjoy a digital version of the 2023 GRAMMYs Program Book, which will be distributed at Music's Biggest Night — and don't forget to watch it on CBS and live.grammy.com on Feb. 5 at 4pm PT/7pm ET!

GRAMMYs/Jan 30, 2023 - 10:22 pm

In so many ways, the 2023 GRAMMYs will represent music's past, present, and future.

Not only will the MusiCares Persons Of The Year event honor two giants of Motown — Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson — but the Premiere Ceremony and show proper will be a clear reflection of who's shifting music right now.

(And as far as emerging acts who are nominated for golden gramophones? That's the future right there.)

All three have been captured in the 2023 GRAMMYs Program Book, a lavish text distributed to attendees at the ceremony in just under a week.

Read a digital version at this link.

But don't forget, the book just contains the lead-up to the ceremony — nobody knows what will happen! To be the first to know, watch the 2023 GRAMMYs on CBS and live.grammy.com on Feb. 5 at 4pm PT/7pm ET.

Enjoy the 2023 GRAMMYs Program Book, and we'll see you at Music's Biggest Night!

2023 GRAMMY NominThe Official 2023 GRAMMYs Playlist Is Here: Listen To 115 Songs By Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Kendrick Lamar & Moreations: See The Complete Nominees List

The Rise Of Brandi Carlile: How Her Emotive Songwriting & Delivery Made Her One Of Americana's Most Versatile Stars
(L-R) Brandi Carlile in 2019, 2022, 2007 and 2014

Photos: (L-R) Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Lyle A. Waisman/FilmMagic, Mat Hayward/Getty Images

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The Rise Of Brandi Carlile: How Her Emotive Songwriting & Delivery Made Her One Of Americana's Most Versatile Stars

Brandi Carlile's seven nominations at the 2023 GRAMMYs epitomize the superstardom she has achieved in recent years — the kind of success she's been destined for since her 2005 debut.

GRAMMYs/Jan 27, 2023 - 03:21 pm

Brandi Carlile's soaring performance of her song "The Joke" at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards didn't necessarily make her a superstar, but it showed the world that she is one. And judging by her own reaction, she knew it, too: Carlile ended the performance with a flourish, throwing her head back to drive the final notes even higher, grinning and jumping up and down as she finished.

Already, she had six albums and plenty of critical acclaim to her name, but that night Carlile won her first GRAMMYs — three, to be exact — including two for "The Joke." Since then, she's added three more golden gramophones to her collection, and now boasts a total of 24 nominations — including seven at the 2023 GRAMMYs

Her 2021 album, In These Silent Days, is nominated for Album Of The Year and Best Americana Album; "You and Me on the Rock" is up for Record Of The Year, Best Americana Performance and Best American Roots Song; and "Broken Horses" earned nods for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance — Carlile's first in the Rock Field. (The album's lead single, "Right on Time," also earned her three GRAMMY nominations in 2022: Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, the latter of which was another first for Carlile.)

Over her nearly 20-year career, Carlile has built a diverse fan base. Although she considers Americana to be her "home base," Carlile's music often doesn't fit neatly into any one genre, which is abundantly clear in her wide array of nominations for In These Silent Days. In fact, since her first GRAMMY nomination in 2016, Carlile has been nominated across six different Fields: American Roots Music, Country, General Field, Rock, Pop, and Music for Visual Media. 

While Carlile's genre-bending prowess is essential to her musical vision, it's her powerful voice and range that captivates listeners. Beyond those, Carlile's canny ability to convey universally-relatable sentiments through songs, often based on her own experiences, solidified her standing as one of the most beloved stars in Americana and beyond. 

From the get-go, Carlile established her broad appeal with her debut self-titled album in 2005, laying the foundation for her breakout album, The Story, released in 2007. The title track, a lilting love song — which spoke to millions with honest, relatable lyrics about how our personal histories make us who we are today — remains her biggest hit to date. (Though she didn't write it herself, the track was penned by Phil Hanseroth, one half of the Hanseroth twins, with whom Carlile has performed and written for most of her career.)

After The Story's resounding success, the singer continued honing her voice and performance on her 2009 and 2012 LPs, Give Up The Ghost and Bear Creek. Then in 2015, Carlile foreshadowed the precision and strength of 2018's By The Way, I Forgive You, with The Firewatchers's Daughter — which earned her her first GRAMMY nomination, for Best Americana Album. The album shifts from the powerful and personal "Wherever is Your Heart," to the rowdy, cathartic jam "Mainstream Kid" and the haunting "The Stranger at My Door," whose central character lends the album its name.

With By the Way I Forgive You, Carlile sharpened her songwriting chops, zeroing in on the same blend of candor and levity that makes her live performances so riveting. "The Joke," a profound love letter to kids who don't fit in, is arguably one of the strongest displays of Carlile's ability to distill emotion into lyrics. But "The Mother" is the album's lyrical standout, wherein Carlile neatly packages her profound and funny experience of becoming a mother.

As her own star continued to rise, Carlile made a point of speaking up for other artists, and even produced and co-wrote Tanya Tucker's powerful comeback album, While I'm Livin', in 2019. The album, the country icon's first in 10 years, earned Tucker her first two GRAMMYs, which she shared with Carlile (Best Country Album and Best Country Song for "Bring My Flowers Now").

Largely written by Carlile and the Hanseroth twins, While I'm Livin' showcases some of Carlile's best writing to date. Demonstrating her deep knowledge of the country music history, she penned tracks that fall within the country music canon but adeptly reject the roles the genre often outlines for women. 

Keeping her outlaw evolution going, just two weeks after While I'm Livin', Carlile released the eponymous debut album with her country supergroup, The Highwomen, comprised of Carlile, Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires. Together, they turned the male-dominated outlaw country genre on its head with a series of smart, hard-driving tracks, including "Redesigning Women," "My Name Can't be Mama," and "Crowded Table," the latter of which won Best Country Song at the 2021 GRAMMYs.

Carlile's most recent release,  In These Silent Days, opens with "Right On Time," which, according to Carlile herself, picked up where "The Joke" left off. By mining her own past and experience for inspiration, Carlile produced her most poignant album yet. Written in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, its 10 tracks delve into how isolation liberates and confines us, love's many forms, and the pain and catharsis of exploring the past. A clarity of emotion permeates the album, making each track feel like a window into Carlile's life.

She follows up "Right On Time" with the sweet and catchy "You and Me on the Rock," a love song that delights in the small pleasures in the life she's built with her wife, Catherine. With backing vocals by Lucius, it shows off Carlile's dynamic ability to layer meaning into a seemingly simple song.

The slow burn of Carlile's career served her well, allowing her to perfect her writing and performance without the pressures of instant success. Reaching superstar status in her late 30s enabled her to realize its full potential, Carlile, who's now 41, says.

"You only have so many shots anymore," she told NPR last year. "And if you're not ready for that — like, musically ready, emotionally ready, physically ready and just mentally ready to, like, seize that moment, really take the bull by the horns, and go, 'This is my shot, I'm going to do this' — I don't think you can do that in your 20s on purpose."

In addition to scoring her most GRAMMY nominations in one year, Carlile had several other superstar moments in 2022. She was the cover star of Billboard's Pride Month issue in June; in July, she surprised the world by bringing Joni Mitchell on stage with her at the Newport Folk Festival (Mitchell's first full performance in 20 years), and became the first woman to headline Tennessee's Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival in September.

Carlile closed out the year with a return to "Saturday Night Live," her second appearance on the late-night sketch show in the last 14 months. Neatly linking her early breakout with her current hit, she performed "The Story" and "You and Me on the Rock" back to back. 

As her most recent "SNL" performance hinted, Carlile delicately balances her roots with her present success. Wherever Carlile's star power takes her next, she's poised and ready for a bright and captivating future.

Meet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: How Carly Pearce's Darkest Personal Moments Helped Her Reach Milestones 

A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys Tribute Concert To Feature Performances By John Legend, Brandi Carlile, St. Vincent, Beck, Fall Out Boy, Mumford & Sons, Weezer & More; Tickets On Sale Now
A GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys

Graphic: The Recording Academy

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A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys Tribute Concert To Feature Performances By John Legend, Brandi Carlile, St. Vincent, Beck, Fall Out Boy, Mumford & Sons, Weezer & More; Tickets On Sale Now

Taking place Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, the live concert special will feature a star-studded lineup that also includes Charlie Puth, LeAnn Rimes, My Morning Jacket, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, Lady A, and many others.

GRAMMYs/Jan 26, 2023 - 05:44 pm

A few days after the 2023 GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy, along with Tenth Planet Productions and CBS, will present A GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys, a special tribute concert honoring the legendary, GRAMMY-nominated music icons, the Beach Boys. Taking place Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, the live concert special will feature a star-studded performer lineup that includes GRAMMY-winning artists and past and current GRAMMY nominees including Beck, Brandi Carlile, Fall Out Boy, Hanson, Norah Jones, Lady A, John Legend, Little Big Town, Michael McDonald, Mumford & Sons, My Morning Jacket, Pentatonix, Charlie Puth, LeAnn Rimes, St. Vincent, Take 6, and Weezer, who will all celebrate and honor the Beach Boys’ everlasting music and impactful career.

Tickets for A GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys are available now.

A GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys will air on the CBS Television Network and will be available live and on demand on Paramount+ at a later date. More info on the event is below.

WHEN:

Concert:
Wednesday, Feb. 8
Doors: 5:30 p.m. PT
Concert: 6:30 p.m. PT

WHERE: 
Dolby Theatre
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Take A Look Back At The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds | For The Record

2023 GRAMMYs Performers Announced: Bad Bunny, Lizzo, Sam Smith, Steve Lacy, Mary J. Blige & More Confirmed
(Clockwise, L-R): Bad Bunny, Kim Petras, Sam Smith, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Brandi Carlile, Lizzo, Mary J. Blige

Photos Courtesy of the Artists

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2023 GRAMMYs Performers Announced: Bad Bunny, Lizzo, Sam Smith, Steve Lacy, Mary J. Blige & More Confirmed

The first wave of 2023 GRAMMYs performers has been announced: Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Kim Petras, and Sam Smith. Catch them all on Sunday, Feb. 5, on CBS, Paramount+, and live.GRAMMY.com!

GRAMMYs/Jan 25, 2023 - 03:00 pm

We all knew Music's Biggest Night would be explosive this year. Now, GRAMMY night just got bigger! The first round of performers for the 2023 GRAMMYs has been announced. Taking the GRAMMY stage will be current nominees Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Kim Petras, and Sam Smith.

Live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and hosted by Trevor Noah, the 2023 GRAMMYs will be broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

Prior to the Telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on live.GRAMMY.com. Additional performers will be announced in the coming days.

On GRAMMY Sunday, fans can access exclusive, behind-the-scenes GRAMMYs content, including performances, acceptance speeches, interviews from the GRAMMY Live red-carpet special, and more via the Recording Academy's digital experience on live.GRAMMY.com.

Read More: Where, What Channel & How To Watch The Full 2023 GRAMMYs

Learn more about the 2023 GRAMMYs performers and host here and below:

Two-time GRAMMY winner Bad Bunny is up for three GRAMMY nominations: Album Of The Year (Un Verano Sin Ti), Best Pop Solo Performance ("Moscow Mule") and Best Música Urbana Album (Un Verano Sin Ti).

Nine-time GRAMMY winner Mary J. Blige is nominated for six GRAMMY Awards: Record Of The Year ("Good Morning Gorgeous"), Album Of The Year (Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe)), Best R&B Performance ("Here With Me"), Best Traditional R&B Performance ("Good Morning Gorgeous"), Best R&B Song ("Good Morning Gorgeous"), and Best R&B Album (Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe)).  

Six-time GRAMMY winner Brandi Carlile is nominated for seven GRAMMY Awards this year: Record Of The Year ("You And Me On The Rock"), Album Of The Year (In These Silent Days), Best Rock Performance ("Broken Horses"), Best Rock Song ("Broken Horses"), Best Americana Performance ("You And Me On The Rock"), Best American Roots Song ("You And Me On The Rock"), and Best Americana Album (In These Silent Days). 

Listen Now: The Official 2023 GRAMMYs Playlist Is Here: Listen To 115 Songs By Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Kendrick Lamar & More

Luke Combs is up for three GRAMMY nominations: Best Country Duo/Group Performance ("Outrunnin' Your Memory"), Best Country Song ("Doin' This") and Best Country Album (Growin' Up). 

Steve Lacy is up for four GRAMMY nominations: Record Of The Year ("Bad Habit"), Song Of The Year ("Bad Habit"), Best Pop Solo Performance ("Bad Habit"), and Best Progressive R&B Album (Gemini Rights). 

Read More: A Look At The Nominees For Album Of The Year At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

Three-time GRAMMY winner Lizzo is nominated for five GRAMMY Awards: Record Of The Year ("About Damn Time"), Album Of The Year (Special), Song Of The Year ("About Damn Time"), Best Pop Solo Performance ("About Damn Time"), and Best Pop Vocal Album (Special).

First-time nominee Kim Petras is up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ("Unholy").

Four-time GRAMMY winner Sam Smith is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ("Unholy").

Keep checking back here on GRAMMY.com for more details on the 2023 GRAMMYs — and tune in on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT to watch who takes home GRAMMY gold. And head to live.GRAMMY.com for a dynamic and expansive online experience where you can explore Music's Biggest Night in full.

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List