The GRAMMY Playlist: Father's Day

Celebrate dad's big day with a song
  • Photo: Johnny Nunez/
  • Photo: John Shearer/
    The Black Keys' Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/
    Eric Clapton
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/
  • Photo: Michael Caulfield/
    James Brown
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/
    George Michael
  • Photo: Rick Diamond/
    Hank Williams Jr.
  • Photo: Chris McKay/
    Mick Fleetwood
  • Photo: Frederick Breedon IV/Getty Images
    Naomi and Wynonna Judd
  • Photo: Sal Idriss/Redferns
    Luther Vandross
June 14, 2013 -- 10:00 am PDT

Music has long been a staple at weddings, from Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March," which is often played as the bride walks down the aisle, to Beyoncé's GRAMMY-winning "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" signaling all the "single ladies" to prepare for the traditional bouquet toss.

But perhaps the most emotional musical moment at any wedding is the traditional father-daughter dance. It's one of those fathers-only moments that will happen only once…hopefully. For sons, memories may lay in the first time your dad taught you to ride a bike, throw a ball or catch a fish.

Over the years, father figures have been the subject of many songs — whether it's playing the role of a preacher, a teacher, a protector, or generally the one who knows best. So for this Father's Day on June 16, we're bringing you our GRAMMY playlist in acknowledgement of the men we can't live without, whether you call him father, daddy or big poppa.

The Black Keys, Best Alternative Music Album, 2010

Who is most likely to fight over dad's attention this Father's Day? Brothers, of course (and maybe sisters). This album also garnered Michael Carney, brother of the Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney, Best Recording Package at the 53rd GRAMMY Annual Awards.

"Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (Part 1)"
James Brown, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, 1999

"He ain't no drag, he's got a brand new bag" and he's the Godfather of Soul. This track helped Brown gain momentum among a mainstream audience in 1965, and garnered him hist first GRAMMY for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording at the 8th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"My Father's Eyes"
Eric Clapton, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, 1998

Clapton, arguably a musician who is most familiar with the hardships of fatherhood having lost a young son, sings a beautiful song about a father teaching his son in the eyes of his own father: "How do I teach him?/Bit by bit I've realized/That's when I need them/That's when I need my father's eyes."

"Oh Daddy"
Fleetwood Mac, Album Of The Year for Rumours, 1977

Rumours have it that the "daddy" in this song is Mick Fleetwood — the one member of this GRAMMY-winning group that kept it all together during a rough patch in Fleetwood Mac's career marked by turbulent interband relationships and substance abuse.3

Father's Day GRAMMY Playlist

"Song For My Father" (iTunes>)
The Horace Silver Quintet, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, 1999

Pianist Horace Silver probably wrote the ultimate blank Father's Day card with this instrumental jazz GRAMMY Hall Of Famer. Whatever you'd like to say to your father on June 16, dedicate this song to him — it speaks for itself.

"Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days)"
The Judds, Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, 1986

Some of the best moments with fathers (or grandfathers) are spent telling stories of the "good old days." Together with her mom Wynonna, Naomi Judd asks the grandpa in this song about the days when lovers really fell in love and daddies never went away. The song also won the GRAMMY for Best Country Song.

"Papa Don't Preach"
Madonna, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female nominee, 1986

You may remember the feeling of fear inside when confessing to your father that you wrecked the car or failed a test. For Madonna, the topic of teenage pregnancy led her to sing "Papa don't preach, I'm in trouble deep." And if you watch the accompanying music video you'll find he listened when she said, "Don't you stop loving me daddy."

"My Heart Belongs To Daddy"
Mary Martin, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, 2007

Martin received her first big break on Broadway when she played the part of Dolly Winslow in Cole Porter's 1938 musical "Leave It To Me!" She performed a show-stopping rendition of "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" while suggestively perched atop a large cabin trunk. This makes us wonder who else her heart belonged to.

"Father Figure"
George Michael, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male nominee, 1988

Michael topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988 with this track that speaks perfectly to those men in our lives who may not be fathers in the literal sense, but will nonetheless be the ones to love you "'til the end of time." The song comes from the Album Of The Year-winning Faith.

"Big Poppa"
Notorious B.I.G., Best Rap Solo Performance nominee, 1995

OK, this track isn't exactly a tribute to fathers, but the late Notorious B.I.G. references a few ladies he saw one night that should have been having his baby, so it's safe to say he had fatherhood in mind.

Live At St. Douglas Convent

Father Guido Sarducci, Best Comedy Recording nominee, 1980

What would a Father's Day playlist be without the mention of a father of the cloth, Father Guido Sarducci, the fictional character created by comedian Don Novello. If you aren't familiar with this recording, you may remember Father Sarducci from his appearances on "Saturday Night Live" during the '70s.

Father Father
Pops Staples, Best Contemporary Blues Album, 1994

Not only is he a GRAMMY winner himself, but Pops Staples is also the father of GRAMMY-winning artist Mavis Staples and the rest of the Staple Singers clan. Someone should have recorded an album titled Father Father as a dedication to him.

"Papa Was A Rollin' Stone"
The Temptations, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, 1999

This song, about an absentee father, doesn't exactly fall under the category of warm and fuzzy when it comes to tunes about fathers, but that didn't keep the Temptations from reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.

Father And Son
Hank Williams Sr. And Hank Williams Jr., Best Country & Western Album nominee, 1965

This father-son country powerhouse teamed to record Father And Son in 1965, with the senior landing them in the Top 10 on the Country Albums chart. Apparently, Williams is considered the father of country music.

"Dance With My Father"
Luther Vandross, Song Of The Year, 2003

This is perhaps one of the more emotional tunes for a Father's Day playlist. For Vandross, dancing with his father as a child is a metaphor for the love, comfort and protection a father provides. The album of the same name won the GRAMMY for Best R&B Album.

"Daughters" (iTunes>)
Nas, Best Rap Performance, nominee, 2012

Check it out: Nas wrote this song as a reflection on the growth of his daughter, Destiny Jones, who he says was "taught and rasied like a princess." The song also garnered Nas and a cast of writers a nomination for Best Rap Song.

What song will you dedicate to the man you look up to? Drop us a comment.


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