meta-scriptFor The Record: Revisiting The Historic 'Waiting To Exhale' Soundtrack | GRAMMY.com
Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

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For The Record: Revisiting The Historic 'Waiting To Exhale' Soundtrack

At the 1997 GRAMMYs, the soundtrack received 11 GRAMMY nominations—including Album Of The Year—and won Best R&B Song for the Whitney Houston-sung lead single, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)"

GRAMMYs/Nov 12, 2020 - 07:42 am

For the latest episode of For The Record (watch below), GRAMMY.com explores the first all-female soundtrack for the 1995 Black-female-led film Waiting to Exhale. The Babyface-produced album featured original music from one of the movie's stars, Whitney Houston, along with fellow R&B/pop greats Aretha Franklin, Brandy, Toni Braxton, TLC and more.

Related: How 1995 Became A Blockbuster Year For Movie Soundtracks

At the 1997 GRAMMYs, the soundtrack received 11 GRAMMY nominations—including Album Of The Year—and won Best R&B Song for the Houston-sung lead single, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)."

Houston and superproducer Babyface made the intentional decision to create the first all-female soundtrack to match the all-female lead cast. Now that's star power!

GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Whitney Houston Sing "Greatest Love of All" At The 1987 GRAMMYs

Enrique Iglesias stands with his arms out on stage during the opening night of the Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin Live in Concert tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Enrique Iglesias performs in Las Vegas

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Enrique Iglesias Forever: 10 Songs That Prove He's A Latin Pop Hero

Ahead of what might be his final album — 'Final (Vol. 2),' out March 29 — celebrate Enrique Iglesias' legacy of groundbreaking Latin pop with 10 tracks of heartbreak, sensuality and dancefloor bangers.

GRAMMYs/Mar 29, 2024 - 01:27 pm

Latin music has gone global and Enrique Iglesias is one of the superstars who laid the foundation for that crossover. The Spanish pop icon's music career spans four decades of hits both in his native tongue and in English. Following his reign as Billboard’s Greatest Latin Artist of All-Time, Iglesias marks the end of an era with the last album of his career, Final Vol. 2.

Iglesias followed in the footsteps of his father, singer/songwriter Julio Iglesias, and made his own debut in the 1990s with Spanish-language love songs. He began singing in English at the end of the decade, and subsequently led an explosion of interest in Latin pop alongside acts like Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and later Shakira

As of writing, Iglesias has a record-breaking 27 No. 1 singles on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart, and solidified himself as a global heartthrob with an allure that defies language barriers. For his efforts, Iglesias has won one GRAMMY and five Latin GRAMMY Awards.

Enrique Iglesias will release what will likely be his final album on March 29, aptly titled Final (Vol. 2). Ahead of his final bow, here are 10 tracks that celebrate Iglesias' legacy in Latin music. 

"Experiencia Religiosa" (1995)

Iglesias made his debut in 1995 with a self-titled first album. Among the ballads on the10-track LP, the otherworldly "Experiencia Religiosa" best demonstrates the power of his charm.  

Backed by the piano with elements of gospel music, Iglesias belts his heart out about a night of passion that felt like spiritual awakening. To capture the energy of the sparks flying, an electric guitar solo rounded out his soulful yet sexy sermon. Iglesias demonstrated his knack for seamlessly blending together romance and sex appeal, which would go on to define his artistry and style.

Enrique Iglesias earned the singer his first golden gramophone at the 39th GRAMMY Awards for Best Latin Pop Performance.

"Nunca Te Olvidaré" (1997)

Iglesias proved that he was here to stay with his third album, 1997's Cosas Del Amor. The LP includes one of his signature love songs, "Nunca Te Olvidaré." 

Iglesias' voice reached angelic highs in the Spanish-language power ballad, which details  romance that left a lasting impression. No matter what happened, the love Iglesias shared with that person couldn't be forgotten — much like his impact on the Latin pop explosion that was brewing.

"Bailamos" (1999)

Proving he was so much bigger than the Iglesias last name, he crossed over into the English-language market with his 1999 album Enrique. Iglesias became a global Latin pop heartthrob with the sultry club banger "Bailamos." The song was featured on the Wild Wild West soundtrack, after Will Smith personally invited Iglesias to contribute music to the project.

Backed by the strum of the Spanish guitar with alluring synths, he invited the world to dance with him in English and Spanish. In a major moment for Latin acts at the time, the song topped the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. The massive success of the song led Iglesias to sign with Interscope Records, where he released his breakthrough album. 

"Could I Have This Kiss Forever" (1999)

One of the underrated gems on Iglesias' Enrique album is his collaboration with six-time GRAMMY-winner Whitney Houston

The late pop legend joined forces with him for the sensual "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," making worlds collide with an irresistible mix of Latin percussion, Spanish guitar, and R&B. Houston also sang a bit in Spanish with Iglesias. His dreamy duet with Houston (who also sings in Spanish) broke down barriers for collaborations between Latin and English-language pop acts. In the years that followed, he collaborated with superstars like Kelis, Ciara, and Usher.  

"Hero" (2001)

Iglesias' love songs in English touched the hearts of millions around the world. One of his enduring classics is the empowering "Hero" from his 2001 album Escape

The beautiful ballad was released in both English and Spanish. In one of most tender vocal performances, Iglesias serenades his lover with sweet lyrics about always being by her side. After the song impressively peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, Iglesias proved that his star power was here to stay. 

The song also became an anthem of hope for the U.S. following the Sept. 11 attacks, and Iglesias was invited to perform "Hero" for the broadcast special "America: A Tribute to Heroes." 

"Bailando" (2014)

After laying the foundation for the globalization of Latin music, Iglesias enjoyed one of his greatest career triumphs in 2014 — in both Spanish and English. 

The feel-good smash "Bailando" blended Caribbean rhythms with flamenco influences, bringing together Sean Paul and Cuba's Descemer Bueno and Gente De Zona. The Spanglish banger peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. At the 2014 Latin GRAMMYs, Iglesias and his collaborators took home golden gramophones for Song Of The Year, Best Urban Performance, and Best Urban Song. 

The success of the song also helped usher in the reggaeton music revival of the last decade. Pop and reggaeton collaborations became more commonplace with songs like "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee and J Balvin’s "Mi Gente" remix with Beyoncé later following suit.  

"Beautiful" (2014)

Iglesias joined forces with GRAMMY-winning dance-pop icon Kylie Minogue for "Beautiful," a  haunting love song about a formidable romance that could withstand the apocalypse. 

The electronic ballad was co-produced by Mark Taylor, who was also at the helm of Iglesias' collaboration with Houston. Iglesias and Minogue's voices melted together in a hypnotic harmony that made this song live up to its name. The song was included on Minogue’s Kiss Me Once album and deluxe edition of Iglesias’ Sex and Love LP.  

"El Baño" (2018)

Before he became a GRAMMY-winning global star, Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny teamed up with Iglesias for a freaky reggaeton romp, "El Baño." 

Iglesias first turned up the heat by singing about getting intimate with his lover in the restroom. Bad Bunny dropped in that halfway point as his wingman with a fiery guest verse. The hypnotic collaboration was included on Iglesias' penultimate album Final (Vol. 1)

Iglesias later added a woman’s perspective to the song, bringing on Dominican reggaeton star Natti Natasha joining them on the remix. As one of Latin pop’s most daring artists, he was never afraid to push boundaries with his risque tracks. 

"Space In My Heart" (2024)

After the release of his reggaeton-heavy Final (Vol. 1), Iglesias was ready to be more adventurous with the music that followed. In 2022, Iglesias ventured into country music for the first time with "Espacio En Tu Corazón." 

To bring some more authenticity to the English-language version of the song, "Space In My Heart," Iglesias teamed up with GRAMMY-winning country star Miranda Lambert. The breathtaking country-pop ballad features Iglesias and Lambert singing passionately about winning over the hearts of their crushes. 

The song is a highlight on the last album of his career, Final (Vol. 2). And while it seems like this may be the singer's final hurrah, Iglesias told PEOPLE in 2021: "No, I'm never gonna retire! I'm gonna keep on writing songs but that doesn't mean I need to be putting out albums every so often."

"Fría" (2024)

Iglesias is going out in style with "Fría." For the most vibrant song on Final Vol. 2,  Iglesias collaborates with Cuban singer/songwriter Yotuel on a frisky and refreshing banger, which blends reggaeton beats with elements of tropical music.

Iglesias sounds like he's having a blast with Yotuel as they try to convince their partners there was no infidelity at last night's wild party. "I just went out for a cold one," Iglesias winkingly sings in Spanish. Cheers to the legacy of one of Latin pop's greater stars.  

10 Women Artists Leading A Latin Pop Revolution: Kenia Os, Belinda & More

TLC in 1999
TLC in 1999.

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10 Ways TLC Shaped The Future Of R&B

As the trailblazing trio's blockbuster albums 'CrazySexyCool' and 'FanMail' celebrate milestone anniversaries, dig into how TLC's fearlessness changed R&B — and music as a whole.

GRAMMYs/Feb 22, 2024 - 03:12 pm

From the moment TLC burst onto the scene in 1991, they've tested the limits of what R&B is and can be. Formed as a tomboyish alternative to Bell Biv DeVoe, the Atlanta trio soon ended up eclipsing the New Jack Swing pioneers — and pretty much every other R&B act of the 1990s — with a sound and style that perfectly straddled the gritty and the smooth, the playful and the poetic, and the old and the new.  

Furthermore, each member of TLC brought something distinctive to the table. Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins had the kind of huskiness that could make the phone book appear seductive; Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas offered a poppier register tailor-made for radio; and the late Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes possessed a lyrical flow that flitted between the mischievous and socially conscious. They simply sounded like no other girl group who had come before. 

Of course, the four-time GRAMMY winners subsequently spawned their fair share of emulators — most notably Left Eye protégés Blaque — and inspired a younger generation to channel their winning brand of crazy, sexy, and cool: BLACKPINK, Little Mix, and Fifth Harmony are just a few of the more contemporary girl groups who have publicly acknowledged their influence.

In the same year TLC celebrate both the 30th anniversary of their diamond-selling blockbuster, CrazySexyCool, and the 25th anniversary of its chart-topping follow-up FanMail, here's a welcome reminder of why the three-piece were such a game-changer.

They Empowered Their Audience

Like their arguably most obvious predecessors Salt-N-Pepa, TLC weren't afraid to talk about sex. "Red Light Special" and "Let's Take Our Time," in particular, were steamy enough to leave your speakers dripping; the X-rated "I'm Good at Being Bad" almost makes Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B's "WAP" sound chaste. This was an admirably bold move in an era where male R&B performers were celebrated for being insatiable horndogs, and women were castigated for showing the merest sign of lust.

It wasn't just in the bedroom where TLC rallied against such double standards, though. Inspired by a blatant display of toxic masculinity on an episode of"Ricki Lake," "Unpretty" fought back against the ridiculous expectations imposed on women, ultimately setting a benchmark for every female self-empowerment anthem that followed.

They Delivered A Bold Message

The trio also opened up conversations on sex outside the pleasure principle. The video for debut single "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" saw all three members attach condoms to their bright, baggy outfits, with Left Eye famously sporting one on the body part that inspired her nickname to further promote the issue of safe sex. 

Their second No. 1, "Waterfalls," highlighted the need for such protection with a subtle reference to HIV ("Three letters took him to his final resting place," T-Boz warns in the second verse). And the remix of their first chart-topper, "Creep," saw Left Eye spell out more explicitly the dangers of messing around on the downlow. For those who grew up in the early '90s, TLC were arguably more effective than any sexual health initiative.  

They Gave R&B The Blockbuster Treatment

Ah, the '90s, a time when music executives thought nothing of giving artists music video budgets akin to a small country's GDP. Luckily for Arista Records, TLC always delivered plenty of bang for their million-plus bucks.

Interspersing gritty depictions of both the drug and AIDS epidemics with groundbreaking performance footage of the trio in liquified form, "Waterfalls" picked up four wins at the annual VMAs, including Video of the Year. The GRAMMY-nominated visual for "Unpretty" tackled the issue of body image, racism, and gang violence in another highly dramatic mini masterpiece, while "No Scrubs" saw Hype Williams work his usual cyber-futuristic magic on the world's coolest space station. As a result, TLC became the defining R&B act of MTV's second generation.

They Merged The Worlds Of R&B And Hip-Hop 

While Mary J. Blige is often dubbed the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, it could be argued that the title should be shared amongst TLC. The trio were plausibly the first major outfit to blend the beats and rhymes of rap music with the melodic sensibilities of R&B without any outside assistance. They scored almost as many No. 1s on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as they did on the Hot 100 as proof.

Left Eye, a firecracker of an MC whose lyrical flow was every bit as flamboyant as her fashion sense, was undoubtedly the group's secret weapon, allowing them to bounce between slow jams and party anthems with ease. An inspired choice of producers — ranging from established hitmaker Babyface to fellow Atlantans Organized Noize — also helped them to reflect both the sounds of commercial radio and the sounds of the streets.

They're The Queens Of Survival 

While there have been plenty of resilient pop stars, TLC repeatedly proved that they were experts in bouncing back. After all, the trio were forced to deal with near-insurmountable hardships in between nearly every album campaign. Following 1991's Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip, T-Boz became severely ill with sickle cell anemia, a condition she'd previously kept under wraps. On the other hand, Left Eye gave the tabloids a field day thanks to a turbulent relationship with Andre Rison, which involved numerous physical altercations and, most famously, the rapper burning the NFL star's house down.

Despite selling 23 million copies of 1994's CrazySexyCool, the group found themselves filing for bankruptcy after discovering they'd been the victim of an exploitative record contract. And then most tragically of all, 2002's 3D had to be completed as a duo when Left Eye lost her life in a car crash. After years of studio inactivity, T-Boz and Chilli once again proved their indomitable spirit with 2017's eponymous LP, particularly on opener "No Introduction" and the Boney M-sampling "It's Sunny" ("Don't be trippin' all over your fears/'Cause the good comes after bad/First you cry and then you laugh/As we head into another year").

They Pushed R&B Into The 21st Century 

After incorporating everything from classic Philly soul to '80s Prince on the retro-leaning CrazySexyCool, TLC decided to push things forward on follow-up FanMail, a thrillingly futuristic record which essentially reshaped the R&B scene for the 21st century. Skillfully interweaving all kinds of Y2K sounds (most notably, the dial-up modem), the opening title track and "Silly Ho" perfectly reflect the album's cyber artwork. Way ahead of their time, meanwhile, several spoken word interludes are attributed to a talking android named Vic-E.

If all this sounds a little gimmicky, then FanMail also had substance to its technological style, with the disconnect between the online and real worlds a recurring theme. "No Scrubs," meanwhile, essentially set a new feminist agenda, spearheading a wave of useless man-dragging anthems from the likes of Destiny's Child ("Bills, Bills, Bills"),Pink ("There You Go"), andToni Braxton ("He Wasn't Man Enough").

They Were Great At Harnessing New Talent 

One thing TLC don't get enough credit for is how they recognized and utilized talent that had only just started their path to world dominance. Take André 3000, for example. Having just released their fabulously titled debut Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Outkast were still largely unknowns when the flautist unleashed his laid-back drawl on CrazySexyCool closer "Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes." Within a year, the duo were runners-up on the Billboard 200.

TLC were also the first major label outfit to draw upon the production skills of Jermaine Dupri ("Bad By Myself"), the So So Def founder responsible for 10 Hot 100 chart-toppers, and Kevin 'She'kspere' Briggs ("No Scrubs"), the hitmaker whose partnership with former Xscape vocalist Kandi Burruss set the blueprint for turn-of-the-century R&B.

They Broke Down Barriers 

There are plenty of stats to back up TLC's game-changing status, too. In 1995, they achieved a feat that had remarkably eluded Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Prince: the first act of color ever to win Video of the Year at the MTV VMAs.

In 2000, they became the first female act to win GRAMMYs for Best R&B Song, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Best R&B Album in the same year. And having shifted an astonishing 65 million records worldwide, they're second only to the legendarySupremes when it comes to America's best-selling girl group. If that wasn't enough, CrazySexyCool's 10 million domestic album sales means they joinDixie Chicks as one of only two all-women outfits to receive an RIAA Diamond award.

They Were Able To Evolve Their Style 

TLC could never be accused of playing it safe. After gatecrashing the New Jack Swing scene with their playful 1991 debut, the trio transformed into soulful seductresses on the timeless CrazySexyCool before capturing the sound of the millennium on the innovative FanMail.

And while their 21st century releases haven't been quite as game-changing, 2002's 3D and their 2017 self-titled LP still highlighted TLC's ability to move with the times (see the Pharrell and Timbaland productions on 3D and social media clapback "Haters" on TLC).

They've been equally adaptable when it comes to their sense of style, from the Day-Glo overalls of their early years, to the slinky pajamas and sleek crop tops of their mid-'90s phase, to the striking space-age fashions of Y2K. And their sartorial vision has continued to make waves, with Vogue magazine declaring in 2017 that labels including Gypsy Sport, Valentino, and Balenciaga had all borrowed from the group's 'glam-leisure' look in recent years.

They've Continued To Pervade Pop Culture 

Although their recording output has been relatively slim over the last 20 years, TLC have still remained a part of the pop culture landscape. One of the 21st century's most streamed hits, Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You," was deemed so similar to "No Scrubs" that the Brit was forced to acknowledge its influence in the songwriting credits.

Drake, Zendaya, and Kaytranada are just a few of the contemporary names who've either sampled or covered the trio, while rapper J. Cole managed to persuade T-Boz and Chilli themselves to join him in the studio on 2013's "Crooked Smile." A 2023 Lifetime documentary special and appearances on various nostalgia tours have further kept the TLC name in the spotlight.

And could we soon be seeing their eventful story played out on Broadway? At the 2023 '90s Con, the duo revealed they'd been working on a new stage musical with the team behind award-winning phenomenon Hamilton.

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Usher and Alicia Keys at Super Bowl 2024
(L-R) Usher and Alicia Keys during the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show.

Photo: L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

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17 Love Songs That Have Won GRAMMYs: "I Will Always Love You," "Drunk In Love" & More

Over the GRAMMYs' 66-year history, artists from Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran have taken home golden gramophones for their heartfelt tunes. Take a look at some of the love songs that have won GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Feb 14, 2024 - 09:42 pm

Editor's Note: This is an update to a story from 2017.

Without heart-bursting, world-shifting love songs, music wouldn't be the same. There are countless classic and chart-topping hits dedicated to love, and several of them have won GRAMMYs.

We're not looking at tunes that merely deal with shades of love or dwell in heartbreak. We're talking out-and-out, no-holds-barred musical expressions of affection — the kind of love that leaves you wobbly at the knees.

No matter how you're celebrating Valentine's Day (or not), take a look at 18 odes to that feel-good, mushy-gushy love that have taken home golden gramophones over the years.

Frank Sinatra, "Strangers In The Night"

Record Of The Year / Best Vocal Performance, Male, 1967

Ol' Blue Eyes offers but a glimmer of hope for the single crowd on Valentine's Day, gently ruminating about exchanging glances with a stranger and sharing love before the night is through.

Willie Nelson, "Always On My Mind"

Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, 1983

In this cover, Nelson sings to the woman in his life, lamenting over those small things he should have said and done, but never took the time. Don't find yourself in the same position this Valentine's Day.

Lionel Richie, "Truly"

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1983

"Truly" embodies true dedication to a loved one, and it's delivered with sincerity from the king of '80s romantic pop — who gave life to the timeless love-song classics "Endless Love," "Still" and "Three Times A Lady."

Roy Orbison, "Oh, Pretty Woman"

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1991

Orbison captures the essence of encountering a lovely woman for the first time, and offers helpful one-liners such as "No one could look as good as you" and "I couldn't help but see … you look as lovely as can be." Single men, take notes.

Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You"

Record Of The Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, 1994

Houston passionately delivers a message of love, remembrance and forgiveness on her version of this song, which was written by country sweetheart Dolly Parton and first nominated for a GRAMMY in 1982.

Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)"  

Record Of The Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, 1999

This omnipresent theme song from the 1997 film Titanic was propelled to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 as the story of Jack and Rose (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and GRAMMY winner Kate Winslet) swept the country.

Shania Twain, "You're Still The One"

Best Female Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Song, 1999

Co-written with producer and then-husband Mutt Lange, Twain speaks of beating the odds with love and perseverance in lyrics such as, "I'm so glad we made it/Look how far we've come my baby," offering a fresh coat of optimism for couples of all ages.

Usher & Alicia Keys, "My Boo"

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals, 2005

"There's always that one person that will always have your heart," sings Usher in this duet with Keys, taking the listener back to that special first love. The chemistry between the longtime friends makes this ode to “My Boo” even more heartfelt, and the love was still palpable even 20 years later when they performed it on the Super Bowl halftime show stage.

Bruno Mars, "Just The Way You Are"

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, 2011

Dating advice from Bruno Mars: If you think someone is beautiful, you should tell them every day. Whether or not it got Mars a date for Valentine's Day, it did get him a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona, "Fool For You" 

Best Traditional R&B Performance, 2012

It's a far cry from his previous GRAMMY-winning song, "F*** You," but "Fool For You" had us yearning for "that deep, that burning/ That amazing unconditional, inseparable love."

Justin Timberlake, "Pusher Love Girl" 

Best R&B Song, 2014

Timberlake is so high on the love drug he's "on the ceiling, baby." Timberlake co-wrote the track with James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon and Timbaland, and it's featured on his 2013 album The 20/20 Experience, which flew high to No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Beyoncé & Jay-Z, "Drunk In Love"

Best R&B Performance / Best R&B Song, 2015

While "Drunk In Love" wasn't the first love song that won Beyoncé and Jay-Z a GRAMMY — they won two GRAMMYs for "Crazy In Love" in 2004 — it is certainly the sexiest. This quintessential 2010s bop from one of music's most formidable couples captures why their alliance set the world's hearts aflame (and so did their steamy GRAMMYs performance of it).

Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"

Song Of The Year / Best Pop Solo Performance, 2016

Along with his abundant talent, Sheeran's boy-next-door charm is what rocketed him to the top of the pop ranks. And with swooning lyrics and a waltzing melody, "Thinking Out Loud" is proof that he's a modern-day monarch of the love song.

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, "Shallow"

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance / Best Song Written For Visual Media, 2019

A Star is Born's cachet has gone up and down with its various remakes, but the 2018 iteration was a smash hit. Not only is that thanks to moving performances from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, but particularly thanks to their impassioned, belt-along duet "Shallow."

H.E.R. & Daniel Caesar, "Best Part"

Best R&B Performance, 2019

"If life is a movie/ Know you're the best part." Who among us besotted hasn't felt their emotions so widescreen, so thunderous? Clearly, H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar have — and they poured that feeling into the GRAMMY-winning ballad "Best Part."

Kacey Musgraves, "Butterflies"

Best Country Solo Performance, 2019

As Musgraves' Album Of The Year-winning LP Golden Hour shows, the country-pop star can zoom in or out at will, capturing numberless truths about the human experience. With its starry-eyed lyrics and swirling production, "Butterflies" perfectly encapsulates the flutter in your stomach that love can often spark.

Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber, "10,000 Hours"

Best Country Duo/Group Performance, 2021

When country hook-meisters Dan + Shay teamed up with pop phenom Justin Bieber, their love song powers were unstoppable. With more than 1 billion Spotify streams alone, "10,000 Hours" has become far more than an ode to just their respective wives; it's an anthem for any lover.

Lovesick Or Sick Of Love: Listen To GRAMMY.com's Valentine's Day Playlist Featuring Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Playboi Carti, Olivia Rodrigo, FKA Twigs & More

BMC's Recording Academy Honors 2024 Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey accepts the Global Impact Award during the Recording Academy Honors presented by the Black Music Collective

Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

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Here's What Happened At The Black Music Collective’s Recording Academy Honors 2024 GRAMMY Event Celebrating Mariah Carey & Lenny Kravitz

The power of staying true to yourself was at the center of the 2024 GRAMMY Week event. Honorees Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz were lauded by colleagues and performers, including Stevie Wonder, Quavo, Babyface and Andra Day.

GRAMMYs/Feb 3, 2024 - 08:34 pm

On a wet but buzzing Thursday evening ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs, leading lights in the music industry gathered for the third annual Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective. Along the event's black carpet, stars and industry insiders were showing out — taking photos, reconnecting with friends and collaborators, and chatting with the press. 

The official 2024 GRAMMY Week event was held Feb. 1 — the first day of Black History Month — at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles and was sponsored by Amazon Music and City National Bank. Each year, BMC presents its Global Impact Award to legendary musicians advancing the culture, and 2024’s honorees Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey, loomed over the entire evening before they'd even arrived.

Flava Flav, sporting his patented clock necklace, was also hyped about the evening. "It means everything to be at the GRAMMYs tonight. This is big," Flav told GRAMMY.com. The rapper then spoke about the two transcendent stars being honored. "I feel real big about the honorees. Mariah Carey, always been proud of her and I love her songs…Lenny Kravitz is my dude. That’s my man. So congratulations Lenny!" 

The significance of the event was felt from the first foot set on the black carpet. Afrobeats star Fireboy DML weighed in on the importance of the night. "I’m honored. It feels good. It’s always important to be in spaces like this," Fireboy told GRAMMY.com, adding that he's excited about his upcoming fourth album. "It’s important for the culture." 

As attendees inside the jam-packed ballroom room eagerly awaited the main guests of the night, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. spoke about the momentum being built through Black Music Collective. 

"[Last year] I spoke how great it was to be holding the second annual BMC event. To me it meant we established a new tradition. And now the tradition proudly continues," Mason Jr. told the audience, emphasizing how the influence of Black culture can be found in all corners of the world and across musical genres. 

A performance by Nigerian superstar Davido, a first-time GRAMMY nominee, spoke to the power of musical diversity in the Academy and BMC. Although the crowd had sat down with their appetizers, many stood up to vibe out as Davido performed his nominated song, "Unavailable."

By the time Andra Day, adorned in a bright red leather coat, got to the end of her rendition of "Strange Fruit" with support from trumpeter Keyon Harrold, everyone in the ballroom was on their feet. It was a great moment for Day, whose cover of Billie Holiday’s 1939 cry for justice hammered home the connection between Black artists across different genres and across time.

Gabby Samone garnered the second standing ovation of the night for her take on Nina Simone’s "Four Women." Simone has had a number of major cosigns as her star has grown brighter, and her fans include Jennifer Hudson and none other than Mariah Carey. Samone's performance was followed by a powerful song from Erica Campbell, whose I Love You is nominated for Best Gospel Album this year.

A set from DJ Mannie Fresh, Kravitz took the stage to receive the first BMC Global Impact Award of the night. Introduced by mentee H.E.R, she talked about "American Woman’s" genre-bending influence on her own career and Kravitz's own influence from childhood. "The fashion, the confidence, the badass walk, and the killer vocals made me at six years old say to my dad ‘I wanna play guitar.’ ‘I wanna be a rockstar.’ ‘I wanna be like Lenny Kravitz,’" H.E.R. said. 

She then listed off some of Kravitz’s other accomplishments including working on "Rustin," the new Netflix film about critical civil rights architect Bayard Rustin, as well as Kravitz’s work in philanthropy through his Let Love Rule Foundation. 

Once the din died down, Kravitz took a trip back to childhood, too. He shared how, when he went to go see the Jackson 5 with his family, and was so hooked that he dreamed of becoming part of the storied troupe. "I fantasized that I was their long lost brother and turned the Jackson 5 into the Jackson 6," he said.

Kravitz also spoke the various genres of music that helped mold him, drawn from many different corners. From his "grandfather’s block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn," where he "witnessed the birth of hip-hop," to being shaped by legends like Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone. He also shouted out his godmother, the late great actress Cicely Tyson. 

In a particularly cool mashup of genre and generation, Quavo provided vocals to "Fly Away," flanked by P-funk all star George Clinton, Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. At the end of the performance, Kravitz went over to each performer and hugged them.

After a brief intermission, record producer and BMC Chair Rico Love shouted out leadership, including the Recording Academy board of trustees and Ryan Butler, Vice President of DEI. Love spoke about Black Music Collective as a space where everyone can feel at home. "The life of a creator is so hard. And lonely. That’s why it’s valuable to build community," he emphasized. 

Black Music Collective’s scholarship program, in collaboration with Amazon Music, Love said, will once again support HBCU students who aspire to be in the next generation of music industry power players. In 2023, scholarships were awarded to students at Florida A&M University, Texas Southern University, Norfolk State University, among others. Love recalls the mentors he had when he was coming up and is glad BMC is also paying it forward. 

Last night’s program found one of the few people on the planet that even Mariah Carey might be star struck by. Before the pop legend received her Global Impact Award, Stevie Wonder appeared and sat down over a keyboard. 

"Very excited to be here to celebrate someone that has been a friend and I’ve been a fan of since the very beginning of hearing her voice," he said, before serenading Carey with "I Just Called to Say I Love You," ending the rendition with "I love you, I love you, you are my hero."

Mariah Carey was seemingly surprised and star-struck herself. Once she overcame the awe, Carey detailed the pressure she faced early in her career to avoid leaning into Black music. "When I first started in the music business, I was often told to ‘conform’ to certain expectations. I was not encouraged to focus on my love for Black music," she told the crowd.

Later, some of Carey’s other friends and collaborators performed, including Babyface, who once sang backing vocals on Carey’s "Melt Away." (Carey then returned the favor by singing on "Every Time I Close My Eyes.") Another Carey collaborator, Busta Rhymes, performed crowd favorite "I Know What You Want" and offered sincere thanks to Carey for her boldness and desire to "run with the wolves." Tori Kelly also sang "Vision of Love" during this segment and earlier in the night, gospel legend Yolanda Adams performed "Make It Happen." The third annual Recording Academy Honors/BMC event certainly did make it happen, as attendees flooded out of the ballroom and into the streets pumped with pride.

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Head to live.GRAMMY.com all year long to watch all the GRAMMY performances, acceptance speeches, the GRAMMY Live From The Red Carpet livestream special, the full Premiere Ceremony livestream, and even more exclusive, never-before-seen content from the 2024 GRAMMYs.