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From Beyoncé To Harry Styles, 10 Superstars Who Emerged From Bands
Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé

Photo: L. Busacca/WireImage

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From Beyoncé To Harry Styles, 10 Superstars Who Emerged From Bands

Big-name acts like Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé have proven to be hitmakers in their own right — whether their group has been defunct for decades or are still going strong.

GRAMMYs/May 20, 2022 - 06:26 pm

The history of pop music is replete with band members who broke out as solo artists. Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Nicks and Sting are just some of the best-known names who outgrew the shared limelight and made a successful bid for standalone success. 

While many solo stars born from bands have since hung up the microphone, others in this illustrious club remain active in 2022. The most recent player in the bandmate-turned-solo-star game is former One Direction singer Harry Styles, who released his third album, Harry's House, on May 20.

Along with Styles, these 10 superstars got their start in great company — and are still thriving on their own today.

Harry Styles

To track how far Harry Styles has come from his One Direction days, go back a decade to the group's 2012 music video for "One Thing," which features a big-haired and wholesome Harry riding buses and busking through London. Fast forward to 2022, and he's sharing intense scenes with Florence Pugh in the trailer for Olivia Wilde's upcoming psychological thriller, Don't Worry Darling, fresh from headlining Coachella with a strutting, sequined hit-filled set. 

Since making his solo debut with the soaring ballad "Sign of the Times" in 2017, Styles has earned several labels: chart topper, style icon, boundary pusher and even GRAMMY winner. (His subtly provocative smash "Watermelon Sugar" earned the Best Pop Solo Performance GRAMMY in 2021.) 

Styles' latest single, "As It Was," helped add record breaker to that list. The song broke the record for most single-day streams on a song by a male artist in global Spotify chart history, setting the stage for the highly anticipated May 20 release of his third solo album, Harry's House

His upcoming touring schedule shows his star power, too. The singer recently announced mini residencies in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and Toronto, including 10 nights each at famed venues Madison Square Garden and The Forum. Although he's the only One Direction member to play venues of that size on his own, Styles makes sure to still honor his boy band start, keeping 1D's breakout single, "What Makes You Beautiful," in his set list — most recently inviting his buddy Lizzo to perform it with him at Coachella.

Beyoncé

"Sorry I'm not Beyoncé," Billie Eilish joked from the main stage at Coachella in her first year as the festival's headliner this April. The quip was an acknowledgement of the former Destiny's Child member's titanic solo career to date — and, of course, her showstopping headline performance at Coachella in 2018 that was later immortalized in Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé (and dubbed Beychella by fans). 

In the nearly 20 years since her solo debut, 2003's Dangerously In Love, Beyoncé has released six albums — all of which have reached No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart — and has scored six No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo or featured artist. 

Among countless other accolades, the "Halo" star has become a GRAMMY legend: Beyoncé has won 28 GRAMMYs (and has received 79 nominations), making her the winning-most female artist in GRAMMY history.

This year, after receiving her first Oscar nomination for "Be Alive" from the King Richard soundtrack, Beyoncé opened the 2022 Academy Awards with a stunning, all-lime-green performance from a tennis court in Compton, Calif., the hometown of Venus and Serena Williams. Whatever her next move, it's sure to be received rapturously.

Ricky Martin

Latin pop sensation Ricky Martin got his start in the early 1980s in the long-running Puerto Rican boy band Menudo, joining the group as a young teen. His big break as a solo star came with his fourth studio album Vuelve (1998), and its English-language follow-up, Ricky Martin (1999), which featured the breakout hit single, "Livin' la Vida Loca." 

Martin made his GRAMMY stage debut performing "La Copa De Vida" at the 41st GRAMMY Awards in 1999. That year, he took home Best Latin Pop Performance for "Vuelve"; Martin scored his second GRAMMY nearly 20 years later, winning Best Latin Pop Album for A Quien Quiera Escuchar in 2016. (He has also won four Latin GRAMMYs, in addition to being honored as Person Of The Year in 2006.)

After building a legacy as one of Latin pop's best-selling artists of the '90s, Martin continues to leave an impact. His 2020 EP, Pausa, landed in the top 10 of the Latin Pop Albums chart and earned him his eighth GRAMMY nomination in 2021. And although he's still releasing music today, Martin loves calling back to the good old days: he released two singles with 2000s Latin stars Reik, and teamed up with Enrique Iglesias for a co-headlining tour in 2021.

Paul McCartney

Just one month before the Beatles delivered what would be their final album, 1970's Let It Be, Paul McCartney unveiled McCartney, hinting that a solo career was on the horizon. Though McCartney II wouldn't come until a decade later (mostly because he spent the '70s fronting Wings), the road to 2020's McCartney III solidified the former fresh-faced Beatle as one of music's all-time greats.

While McCartney's solo career hasn't spawned quite as many iconic hits as the Beatles' catalog, his stacked list of accolades includes a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (both as a member of the Beatles and on his own), Kennedy Center Honors and a knighting by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to music. Along with his 18 GRAMMY wins, he was also honored with the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. (And with 81 career nominations, McCartney is the second-most nominated artist of all time.)

He also remains a touring titan, currently selling out arenas and stadiums across the U.S. on his Got Back Tour. As he's done for years, McCartney ensures his set lists include numerous callbacks to his legendary band, such as "Can't Buy Me Love," "Got to Get You Into My Life," "Hey Jude" and "Helter Skelter." This time around, he even features a "virtual duet" with John Lennon on "I've Got A Feeling," thanks to restored never-before-seen footage of the band's legendary 1969 rooftop concert from director Peter Jackson's 2021 documentary, The Beatles: Get Back.

Justin Timberlake

After a stint on "The Mickey Mouse Club," Justin Timberlake emerged as a fresh-faced heartthrob in *NSYNC. Following a whirlwind five-year span of global success with the group, Timberlake put his frosted tips behind him and became a pop phenomenon of his own. 

Launching into the limelight in 2002 with his debut solo album, Justified, Timberlake has landed 36 songs in the Billboard Top 100 to date, including five No. 1 hits. While Justified reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, Timberlake has since celebrated four No. 1 albums, including 2018's Man Of The Woods. Along the way, the singer scooped up 10 GRAMMYs and 31 nominations (he has 39 noms in total, thanks to the impressive eight he earned with *NSYNC).

In addition to collaborations with everyone from Madonna and Beyoncé to Jay Z and Chris Stapleton, Timberlake is also an accomplished actor, winning acclaim for his roles in The Social Network, Inside Llewyn Davis and last year's Palmer. While relatively low-key of late, Timberlake lent his unmistakable croon to "Parent Trap" for Jack Harlow's new album, Come Home the Kids Miss You. Any Timberlake fan knows that the multi-hyphenate is not one to stay under the radar for long.

Camila Cabello

Following what she has called a "super awkward" split from girl group Fifth Harmony, Camila Cabello has confidently scaled new heights as a solo artist. The true making of Camila Cabello as a solo star came in 2017 with "Havana," the Young Thug-featuring Latin pop sensation that topped the Billboard Hot 100 and has since climbed to over one billion views on YouTube. The song earned Cabello a nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance in 2019, with her debut solo album, Camila, also earning a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album that year.

Cabello went to No. 1 again in 2019 with "Señorita," a steamy collaboration with Shawn Mendes that earned her a GRAMMY nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. (The sultry track doubled the streaming success of "Havana" on Spotify, surpassing 2 billion streams in November 2021.) 

In April, Cabello released her third solo studio album, Familia, which explores her musical heritage through the lens of Latin pop. As she continues to honor her Latin roots, Cabello seemingly has her eye on the movie and film world as well, making her acting debut in the 2021 Amazon Prime remake of Cinderella.

Pharrell Williams

Before Pharrell Williams was the smooth superproducer we know today, he was the livewire frontman of funk-rock-rap group N.E.R.D. But it didn't take long for Williams to prove himself as a star on his own: As N.E.R.D. continued to release music, Williams teased a solo career with features on tracks with Jay-Z, Britney Spears and Snoop Dogg before emerging with his debut solo single — the top-five hit "Frontin'" (another Jay-Z team-up) — in 2003.

Ten years later, Williams had arguably the biggest year of his career in 2013 thanks to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and his own smash, "Happy." All three earned Williams GRAMMY nominations, winning Record of the Year and Won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Get Lucky" and Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video for "Happy." (To date, Pharrell has won 13 GRAMMYs and earned 38 nominations overall.)

In the nearly 10 years since, Williams has continued his balancing act of in-demand producer and solo artist, even reuniting with N.E.R.D. in 2017 for No One Ever Really Dies. Williams recently served as both featured artist and producer on Jack Harlow's Come Home the Kids Miss You and Pusha T's It's Almost Dry (on which he co-wrote and produced seven of the 12 tracks).

Nick Jonas

Almost a decade after the Jonas Brothers parted ways in 2013 (though not forever, as it turned out), Nick Jonas continues to write his own story. His breakout song as a solo artist — 2014's "Jealous," which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 — set the stage for his self-titled album that also saw hits in "Chains" and deluxe track "Levels." (All three singles went to No. 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart.)

Jonas continued to hone his signature pop-meets-R&B sound on 2016's Last Year Was Complicated, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and delivered the catchy Tove Lo collab "Close." As he continued his solo music, Jonas also expanded his acting resume, earning a starring role in the drama series Kingdom and guest starring on the satirical slasher show Scream Queens.

Reuniting with his brothers for a chart-topping comeback in 2019, Jonas served as a coach on "The Voice" in 2020 and returned in 2021. Amid the revamped Jonas Brother mania,  Jonas released his third solo LP, Spaceman, in 2021, teaming up with his bros for the deluxe cut "Selfish."

Next, the Jonas Brothers will launch a five-date Vegas residency in June. (Joe Jonas is also making a comeback this year with his dance-rock project DNCE.)

Diana Ross

Since beginning her career as the lead singer of the Supremes, Diana Ross has become one of the most celebrated solo artists still working today. Building on the myriad hits she released throughout the 1970s on Motown Records, Ross entered a new era with Diana in 1980, the best-selling album of her career with the timeless classics "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out." 

The '80s saw another string of hits for Ross, including her classic 1981 duet with Lionel Richie, "Endless Love." While her releases became more sporadic at the turn of the 21st century, Ross' genre-spanning accomplishments earned her the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Still going strong in the seventh decade of her career, Ross released her 25th album, Thank You, in 2021. Her first release in 15 years was produced by current pop chart whisperer Jack Antonoff and ushered in a new phase for the living legend. 

This year, she collaborated with psych-rockers Tame Impala on "Turn Up The Sunshine" for the new Minions soundtrack and will play the "Legend" slot at the UK's renowned Glastonbury Festival in June.

Gwen Stefani

As No Doubt hit their commercial peak in the early 2000s, Gwen Stefani officially broke off with 2004's "What You Waiting For." For three years straight, Stefani served up several smashes including the Fiddler-on-the-Roof-sampling "Rich Girl," the Akon-featuring "Sweet Escape" and the Billboard Hot 100-topping anthem "Hollaback Girl."

Following a string of No Doubt reunion shows in 2015, Stefani released This Is What the Truth Feels Like in 2016, marking her first solo album in 10 years and her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Four years later, her headline-making romance with fellow "The Voice" coach (and her now husband) Blake Shelton resulted in two Country Airplay No. 1s in 2020 with "Nobody But You" and "Happy Anywhere."

In January 2021, Gwen Stefani shared the music video for her don't-call-it-a-comeback single, "Let Me Reintroduce Myself." The song's bright, reggae-tinged feel is matched by its video, which sees Stefani revisiting looks from both her No Doubt days and her solo times with the Harajuku Girls. 

Stefani continues to inspire the next generation, too. Olivia Rodrigo has cited Stefani as one of her biggest inspirations, telling TIME that Stefani is the artist she'd most like to write a song with. Stefani's response? "I'd be honored."

5 Takeaways From Harry Styles' New Album 'Harry's House'

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GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.

In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.

 

Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

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Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

 GRAMMY.com

 Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. 

The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 and will be broadcast live on the Univision Television Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. 

"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list. 

At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself  but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the album release of that concert, Juan Gabriel En Vivo Desde El Palacio De Bellas Artes, broke sales records and established his iconic status. 

After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.   

In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.   

Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized. 

For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or ticketing@grammy.com.

Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Grizzled Mighty perform at Bumbershoot on Sept. 1

Photo: The Recording Academy

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Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Alexa Zaske
Seattle

This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.

The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.

Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."

Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.

Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed. 

Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.

My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.

For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.

(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)

Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

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Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Feb 11, 2019 - 10:58 am

As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.

Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.

"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."

Full Winners List: 61st GRAMMY Awards