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5 Takeaways From RM's New Solo Album 'Indigo'
RM performing at the 2022 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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5 Takeaways From RM's New Solo Album 'Indigo'

BTS leader RM makes his official solo debut with his first studio album, 'Indigo,' which showcases a new level of artistry from the rapper.

/Dec 6, 2022 - 03:10 pm

Like many of his BTS cohorts, RM has shown off his solo musical talents long before this year. His first mixtape RM came out in 2015, capturing the rapper's raw hip-hop roots. His second mixtape Mono was released to critical acclaim in 2018, when BTS were just scratching the surface of their worldwide domination. But this year took RM's solo efforts to the next level with his first-ever studio album, Indigo. 

Across 10 tracks, RM's official solo debut documents the multilingual rapper, producer and singer/songwriter's journey through his twenties. Meshing Korean and English, his reflections about life under the public eye weave through genres and moods organically. And with diverse collaborations — from R&B legend Erykah Badu to fellow South Korean star parkjiyoon — to boot, RM uses Indigo to bring fans deeper into his expansive musical universe.

Now that the highly anticipated project has finally arrived, take a look at five key takeaways from RM's debut studio album, Indigo.

It's Connected To The Art He Loves

RM is known for being a lover of nature and fine art, and that is reflected within Indigo. Promotional photos for the album featured Yun Hyong-Keun's painting "Blue"; RM is known to be a supporter of the late South Korean artist, so the rapper's inclusion of the work shows the intentionality behind his debut — musically and beyond. 

He isn't afraid to mesh artistic mediums, and the sonic and stylistic choices made reflect this. From then sampling Korean Hyong-Keun's reflection on Plato's humanity in the opening track "Yun" to even titling a song "Still Life," the inspiration is present. RM may have refined taste, but he makes it easily digestible through his music.

It's A Reflection Of His Life Up To Now

According to RM himself, Indigo serves as a diary of the last three years of his life. Even so, the album's messages can be a blueprint for anyone going through a transitional period in life, thanks to RM's honest, open-minded and unfiltered lyrics. 

On "Lonely," he candidly exudes his frustrations over a tropical beat. "I'm f—king lonely/ I'm alone on this island," he raps. He later sings, "So many memories are on the floor/ And now I hate the cities I don't belong/ Just wanna go back home." 

The contrast between the song's upbeat melody and longing lyrics provide a dichotomy that perfectly captures the highs and lows of fame. That's a theme that carries throughout the album, further showcasing why RM has become so admired by his fans and peers alike.

The Features Tell A Lot About His Artistry

Eight of the 10 tracks on Indigo are collaborations, all of which display RM's love of diverse genres and musical eras. They also reflect the caliber of artistry RM has reached — he got Erykah Badu! — as well as his ability to bridge the gap across borders. Along with Badu, he teamed up with two other R&B stars, Anderson .Paak and Mahalia, along with several Korean artists: Paul Blanco, Tablo, Kim Sawol, Colde, youjeen, and parkjiyoon. 

There's A Song For Everyone

Many praise RM for his ability to touch people with his leadership qualities and words, and this album may just be the strongest example of that. The project is noticeably more upbeat than Mono, but RM still takes time to break his emotions down lyrically. 

His first verse on the opening track "Yun" declares "F-k the trendsetter, I'ma turn back the time," setting the tone for how RM feels artistically. Then, the high-energy track "Still Life" with Anderson .Paak expresses joy and resilience, proving that one can still stand tall despite difficulty. As he says to .Paak on the track, "S— happens in life, but what happens is what happens."  

Overall, Indigo shows off RM's versatility in a much more impactful way than his previous mixtapes. This album is about the art of music, not breaking records or following trends. It feels like an exploratory culmination of various emotions, moods, and experiences, which helps each track feel relatable in a different way. 

There's A Lot To Look Forward To

RM displayed an immense maturity in his artistic expression through Indigo. He explores emotions both good and bad, but what remains throughout the entire project is a lingering feeling of hope for a better future. 

RM has always been a symbol of hope and grace as he has served as the spokesperson for his fellow members, both musically and in the public eye. But now, RM is getting to express himself for himself — and if Indigo is any indication, this is just the beginning of his journey inspiring the masses as a soloist.

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The Official 2023 GRAMMYs Playlist Is Here: Listen To 115 Songs By Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Kendrick Lamar & More
(L-R, clockwise) Steve Lacy, Harry Styles, Lizzo, Anitta, BTS

Photos (L-R): Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Harry Styles, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, LUFRÉ, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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

Get to know this year's nominees with the official 2023 GRAMMYs playlist, presented in partnership with Amazon Music, which features 115 GRAMMY-nominated songs across pop, rap, country, and beyond from today's stars.

GRAMMYs/Jan 19, 2023 - 04:24 pm

With the 2023 GRAMMYs less than a month away, excitement is bubbling over in the music community.

Whether you're rooting for innovative newcomers like Wet Leg and Omar Apollo or beloved legends like Beyoncé and ABBA, there is an abundance of spectacular talent to be celebrated this year. And the 2023 GRAMMY nominees are not only leading music, but they’re creatively transforming genres, from rap to alternative to reggae — and beyond.

To let the music speak for itself, stream the official 2023 GRAMMYs playlist, presented in partnership with Amazon Music, which features 115 GRAMMY-nominated songs across pop, rap, country, and beyond from today's stars, including BTS, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo, and many, many more.

Get to know this year's nominees by listening to their biggest hits and GRAMMY-nominated works on this immersive Amazon Music playlist — and tune in to CBS and Paramount+ on Sunday, Feb. 5 to experience Music's Biggest Night live.

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

Get To Know The 2022 Nominees For Best Pop Duo/Group Performance At The 2023 GRAMMYs

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Get To Know The 2022 Nominees For Best Pop Duo/Group Performance At The 2023 GRAMMYs

Revisit the songs by ABBA, Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and BTS, Post Malone and Doja Cat, and Sam Smith and Kim Petras that will compete for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMYs/Nov 17, 2022 - 04:26 pm

From a group with decades of shared history to a pair of pop hitmakers, the 2022 Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category will see some tough competition at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

This year, the always-stacked category features two group performances (ABBA's "Don't Shut Me Down" and Coldplay & BTS' "My Universe") and three duets (Post Malone & Doja Cat's "I Like You (A Happier Song)," Sam Smith & Kim Petras' "Unholy" and Camila Cabello's "Bam Bam" featuring Ed Sheeran). 

As fans eagerly await the reveal of the winner at the 65th GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 5, 2023, let's take a closer look at the pop duos and groups nominated in one of the night's many star-studded categories. 

ABBA — "Don't Shut Me Down"

Few people could've predicted that 2021 would herald the return of ABBA. Though the beloved Swedish group's late '70s legacy has lived on through the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits compilation and the Mamma Mia! stage musical and film series, ABBA decided there was a little more work to be done.

After nearly 40 years out of the limelight, the original quartet — Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson — returned last September with the dual single, "I Still Have Faith In You" and "Don't Shut Me Down." The latter is a joyous throwback to the glory days of ABBA, opening with Fältskog's unmistakable vocals over a gentle string section, then kicking into a disco strut, a la "Dancing Queen."  

ABBA followed "Don't Shut Me Down" with a new album, Voyage, and an ambitious live show performed by the quartet's de-aged "digital avatars." The group has clearly stated no more new ABBA music is coming, which makes the joy of "Don't Shut Me Down" even more precious.

Camila Cabello featuring Ed Sheeran — "Bam Bam"

"Así es la vida, sí/ Yeah, that's just life, baby," Camila Cabello sings with breezy resolve on "Bam Bam," offering up an instant mantra for anyone bouncing back from a breakup.

As the untroubled chorus line suggests, Cabello used "Bam Bam" to reflect the cycles of falling in and out love in your 20s, likely drawing on her much-publicized 2021 split from fellow pop star Shawn Mendes as fuel. She recruited Ed Sheeran to give the song's narrative a male voice — a smart collaborator play, considering the two paired well on Sheeran's 2019 hit "South Of The Border" (which also features Cardi B).

The single, released ahead of Cabello's third album, Familia, sees the two vocalists trading verses over strumming guitar and salsa flourishes, finding a perfect balance between Sheeran's acoustic pop and Cabello's Latin flair. "I am really living the lesson in 'Bam Bam,'" Cabello told ET Online. "Which is keep dancing, 'cause I dance a lot." 

Coldplay & BTS — "My Universe"

When Coldplay frontman Chris Martin first learned that South Korean superstars BTS were eager to collaborate on a song, he was both excited by the prospect and unsure if it would work. "The idea started to seem really attractive in its weirdness," he shared on The Ellen Show. "And then one day the right song just arrived."

That right song turned out to be "My Universe," the second single from Coldplay's ninth album, the Album Of The Year-nominated Music of the Spheres. Co-written by the two groups — with gleaming production from Swedish maestro Max Martin — the song successfully melds Coldplay's heartfelt synth-rock with BTS' dance-pop sensibilities. 

Featuring a unique combination of English and Korean lyrics, the unlikely team-up debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — definitive proof that the weirdness worked. 

Post Malone & Doja Cat — "I Like You (A Happier Song)"

When Post Malone causally revealed on Instagram Live that he had a collaboration coming with Doja Cat, fans of both artists knew the vibes would be right. The third single from Posty's fourth album, Twelve Carat Toothache, "I Like You (A Happier Song)" undoubtedly met expectations, coasting along like a warm summer breeze.

Over crisp, light-footed production (from pop impresario Louis Bell and ascendant beatmaker Jasper Harris), the two singers sound relaxed and, well, happy to be rapping and singing about carefree romance. As the title hints, "I Like You (A Happier Song)" is a bright spot on an album with some darker themes, capturing Doja on a hot streak following her own celebrated album, Planet Her

"Post Malone is extremely sweet and rad," Doja tweeted when the music video dropped. The feeling is clearly mutual. 

Sam Smith & Kim Petras — "Unholy"

Released as a preview of their upcoming 2023 album, Gloria, "Unholy" represents a bold new era for Sam Smith. The singer, best known for soaring ballads like "Stay With Me" and "Lay Me Down," takes a lusty, after-hours turn on "Unholy," backed by German-born singer/songwriter Kim Petras.

"Mummy don't know daddy's getting hot/ At the body shop, doing something unholy," Smith lasciviously croons in the song's chorus. "Unholy" channels the same dance-pop energy Smith brought to 2019's "How Do You Sleep?" — but this time, with an X-rated edge fans have never seen from the singer.

In an interview with Zane Lowe on Radio 1, Smith revealed their team was initially confused by the raunchy sound of "Unholy," but soon came around. 'I can sing anything I want to," Smith told Lowe. "And I want to lean into that with my genres." 

Their instinct was right: "Unholy" topped the Billboard Hot 100 in October, making Smith and Petras the first openly non-binary solo artist and first openly transgender solo artist, respectively, to reach No. 1. Now adding a GRAMMY nod, something unholy turned out to be quite the success.  

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List

Watch The Nominees For Best Music Video At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

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Watch The Nominees For Best Music Video At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

In a year full of dynamic and zeitgeist-defining visuals, Adele, BTS, Doja Cat, Kendrick Lamar, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift will compete for the golden gramophone at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMYs/Nov 16, 2022 - 05:18 pm

Now more than ever, a song's visual component is as much an artistic statement as the music itself. These artists nominated for Best Music Video at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards are true believers in the art of music videos — but only one of them will have their passion rewarded with a GRAMMY.

This year's lineup of nominees spans pop, hip-hop, Afrobeats, R&B and synth-pop, all with their own opportunities for visual ingenuity: Adele's "Easy On Me," BTS' "Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)," Doja Cat's "Woman," Kendrick Lamar's "The Heart Part 5," Harry Styles' "As It Was," and Taylor Swift's "All Too Well: The Short Film." 

As we wait for the 65th GRAMMY Awards — airing on Feb. 5, 2023 — to find out who will take home Best Music Video (which is awarded to the artist, video director, and video producer), get better acquainted with this year's nominees below.

View the complete list of 2023 GRAMMY Award nominees across all 91 categories.

Adele — "Easy On Me"

As the lead single from Adele's eagerly awaited 2021 album, 30, "Easy On Me" demanded an elegant visual that amplified its themes of heartbreak and healing. To bring her vision to life, the 15-time GRAMMY winner turned to wunderkind Canadian director Xavier Dolan, who at the age of 33 has directed eight feature films, most recently 2019's Matthias & Maxime.

Notably, Dolan also directed the 2015 music video for Adele's runaway hit, "Hello", which is closely linked to the "Easy On Me" visual. Here, Dolan opens on his star in rich, romantic black-and-white as she packs up to leave her just-sold house (shot on a stunning vineyard estate in Sutton, Quebec) in a pickup truck. As the song nears its emotional climax, the video transitions to brilliant color — a perfect visual representation of the catharsis that runs through 30

BTS — "Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)"

Released as the lead single from BTS' 2022 compilation album, Proof, "Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)" was rapturously embraced by the BTS ARMY. For the music video, the group ventured from Las Vegas into the Mojave Desert with director Yong Seok Choi — the visionary behind South Korean video production company Lumpens, who has directed many of BTS' previous outings.

For "Yet To Come," the director made the most of the vast desert vistas, fluidly maneuvering his camera to capture the seven BTS members against the sand and sky. The visual includes numerous Easter eggs referencing previous BTS videos, including the yellow school bus from their breakout "No More Dream" and nods to "Spring Day" and "Blood, Sweat, & Tears." The many callbacks are a fitting capstone on the BTS journey so far, building to a tender final moment on the school bus. Trust that the best is yet to come. 

Doja Cat — "Woman"

On her GRAMMY-nominated third album, Planet Her, Doja Cat invited us to luxuriate in her fictional world — complete with eye-popping music videos. In December, Doja dropped the visual for Planet Her single "Woman," directed by her frequent collaborator child., who went on to lens Doja's Elvis soundtrack cut "Vegas" and her Post Malone collab "I Like You (A  Happier Song)" this year.

For "Woman," child. applied her sumptuous, high-definition style to the realm of Planet Her. In the video, Teyana Taylor (who else?) plays the Queen of Planet Her, whose power is threatened by nefarious men. Her solution: summon Doja Cat to undo them. Inspired by Michael Jackson's "Remember The Time," the "Woman" visual combines elaborate costuming and set design with Doja's agile choreography. Doja even released a codable interactive version of the video, revealing yet more layers to Planet Her. 

Kendrick Lamar — "The Heart Part 5"

The music video for Kendrick Lamar's "The Heart Part 5" opens with the Compton rapper in a white t-shirt and a black bandana around his neck, set against a deep red backdrop. As Lamar launches into his first bars over a beat that samples Marvin Gaye's "I Want You," the visual appears to be intentionally bare bones, so as not to pull focus from the words.

Before long, however, we see Lamar's face morph into different Black celebrities, each rapping a verse. After shapeshifting into the likes of O.J. Simpson, Ye and Kobe Bryant, the video ends powerfully with Lamar channeling the late Nipsey Hussle

Lamar co-directed the arresting video with frequent collaborator Dave Free, utilizing 'deepfake' technology developed by "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Deep Voodoo production company. With Lamar in full command, the visual deepens an already rich artistic statement. 

Harry Styles — "As It Was"

Immediately upon its release, "As It Was" announced a new era of Harry Styles, hitting No. 1 across the world and launching him into an even bigger superstar stratosphere. Released simultaneously, the music video matched the song's racing synth-pop melody with an all-out visual feast.

Following her 2021 GRAMMY nomination for co-directing Lil Nas X's "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" video, Ukrainian filmmaker Tanu Muino seized the opportunity to shoot Styles, who she calls her "favorite performer." While not quite as wild and maximal as her work for Lil Nas X, Muino's vision for "As It Was" still bursts with color and kinetic movement, capturing Styles in a heightened London alongside dancer Mathilde Lin.  

Muino described the bittersweet emotions of shooting "As It Was," just as Russia invaded her home country. Despite the painful incursions of real life, the video remains a balm, spiriting viewers to another world in under three minutes. 

Taylor Swift — "All Too Well: The Short Film" 

With 11 GRAMMY wins and numerous Top 10 hits, Taylor Swift can now add filmmaker to her résumé. After hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 with her 10-minute version of "All Too Well" from Red (Taylor's Version), Swift unveiled All Too Well: The Short Film, starring Sadie Sink ("Stranger Things") and Dylan O'Brien (Teen Wolf) as a couple navigating their age gap while falling in and out of love.

In its naturalistic tone, the short film is a departure from previous Swift-directed visuals, such as the satirical "The Man" and the fantastical doll house-set "Lover." The film's 15-minute runtime allows Swift to intercut vignettes of the couple's relationship that mirror the song's themes and build in intensity, reflecting the influence of contemporary filmmakers Noah Baumbach and Joanna Hog on her directorial style. 

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List

BTS & Bad Bunny Make History, Harry Styles Earns Big Nods And More Firsts From The 2023 GRAMMY Nominations
2023 GRAMMYs

Graphic: The Recording Academy

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BTS & Bad Bunny Make History, Harry Styles Earns Big Nods And More Firsts From The 2023 GRAMMY Nominations

Upon the announcement of the 2023 GRAMMY nominees, take a look at some of the unique firsts that artists like Beyoncé, Adele and BTS are celebrating.

GRAMMYs/Nov 15, 2022 - 09:39 pm

The nominations for the 2023 GRAMMYs are officially here, and those who received nods are rejoicing. Of course, there are several artists who are celebrating GRAMMY nominations for the first time — as GRAMMY.com will highlight in January — but there are also several previous GRAMMY nominees with notable firsts this year.

For one, Beyoncé adds two new categories to her impressive GRAMMY resumé, earning two nods in the Dance/Electronic Music Field. (She earned a total of nine nominations, bringing her total to 88, which ties her and Jay-Z as the most nominated artists in GRAMMY history.) Bad Bunny and BTS also made history with their nominations, taking their global superstar statuses to an even higher level.

Those are just a few examples of firsts that came out of the 2023 GRAMMY nominations. Be sure to tune into the show on Feb. 5, 2023 — and in the meantime, check out some of the ways history could be made yet again on the GRAMMYs stage.

The 2023 GRAMMY nominations are officially here. See the complete list of nominees across all 91 GRAMMY categories.

Historic Nominations

After Bad Bunny smashed records with his fourth album, Un Verano Sin Ti, he's making history again at the GRAMMYs. Un Verano Sin Ti is the first album from the Latin Field to be nominated for Album Of The Year.

BTS received a nomination for Best Music Video for "Yet To Come," not only marking their first in the category — they're the first K-pop group to be nominated for Best Music Video.

First-Time Nominees (Sort Of)

As Beyoncé tied the all-time record for most nominations in GRAMMY history, she also earned her first nominations in the Best Dance/Electronic Recording and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album categories (for "BREAK MY SOUL" and RENAISSANCE, respectively).

Along with Beyonce, two other R&B artists celebrate their first nominations in the Dance Field: H.E.R. and Miguel. Both are nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Recording — H.E.R. with KAYTRANADA for "Intimidated," and Miguel with Diplo for "Don't Forget My Love." 

They're far from alone in celebrating nominations in new categories, too. Adele earned her first nomination in the Best Music Film Category (for Adele One Night Only); Future received his first nominations in the Rap Field categories, Best Melodic Rap Song (for "BEAUTIFUL" with DJ Khaled & SZA and "WAIT FOR U" with Drake & Tems) and Best Rap Album (for I Never Liked You); and Brandi Carlile landed her first nominations in two Rock Field categories, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song (both for "Broken Horses").

There are also several General Field nominees who are celebrating new noms. Harry Styles scored his first nominations for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year (for "As It Was" and Harry's House, respectively); DJ Khaled has his first Song Of The Year nomination with "GOD DID"; ABBA earned their first nomination in the Album Of The Year category with Voyage.

What's more, ABBA are also first-time nominees in the Pop Field, as they are nominated for both Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

As announced in June, there will be five new categories awarded for the first time at the 2023 GRAMMYs: Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical; Best Alternative Music Performance; Best Americana Performance; Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media; and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. There will also be a Special Merit Award given for Best Song For Social Change.

Read More: 2023 GRAMMYs Explained: 6 Reasons To Be Excited About The New Categories & Changes

Triumphant Returns

A couple of '80s and '90s stars make their GRAMMYs return this year, as Bryan Adams earned his first nomination since 1998 and Sheryl Crow earned her first since 2009. Adams is nominated in the Best Rock Performance category for "So Happy It Hurts," and Crow is nominated in the Best American Roots Song category for "Forever."

Bonnie Raitt — who also had her heyday in the '90s but continues to tour and create, like Adams and Crow — earned her first GRAMMY nominations in 10 years, and in major fashion: She scored four nods, including the coveted Song Of The Year for "Just Like That."

Cool GRAMMY Feats

Mastering engineer Randy Merrill — who has won six GRAMMYs in the past six years thanks to his contributions to albums by Taylor Swift and Beck, among others — adds a first to his GRAMMY repertoire. He is nominated three times in the Album Of The Year category for his work on Adele's 30, Coldplay's Music Of The Spheres and Harry Styles' Harry's House — Merrill's first time being nominated for AOTY three times in the same year.

Jamie Foxx now has his first non-music nomination, as he's up for Best Spoken Word Album this year. To date, Jamie Foxx has won one GRAMMY and received nine nominations overall, with all of his prior nominations landing in the R&B and Rap Fields.

Another 2023 Best Spoken Word Album nominee is Viola Davis. Not only is the nod special because it's her first GRAMMY nomination, but if she wins, she'll officially be an EGOT winner.

Lots of potential history-making moments could happen at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Be sure to tune in when the 65th GRAMMY Awards air live on CBS on Feb. 5, 2023!

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List

 The 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, returns to Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.

The eligibility period for the 65th GRAMMY Awards is Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 – Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. All eligible awards entries must be released within this timeframe.

The Recording Academy and GRAMMY.com do not endorse any particular artist, submission or nominee over another. The results of the GRAMMY Awards, including winners and nominees, are solely dependent on the Recording Academy’s Voting Membership.