meta-scriptThe Roxy Still Rocks At 50: Why The Sunset Strip Staple Remains A Music Mecca | GRAMMY.com
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Outside The Roxy in 2022

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The Roxy Still Rocks At 50: Why The Sunset Strip Staple Remains A Music Mecca

Opening Sept. 18, the GRAMMY Museum's "Roxy: 50 and Still Rockin’" pays tribute to the club's legendary past and continued relevance. GRAMMY.com spoke with owner Lou Adler and some of the club's long-time supporters about the historic L.A. venue.

GRAMMYs/Sep 13, 2023 - 01:54 pm

A rite of passage for countless bands over the decades and a touchstone for myriad genres, Los Angeles venue The Roxy still rocks at 50. 

When the intimate club opened on Sept. 20, 1973 with a three-night stand by Neil Young and the Santa Monica Flyers (who had just finished recording Tonight’s the Night nearby at Studio Instrument Rentals), the sidewalk beneath the marquee was jammed with thousands of people hoping for a ticket. 

Neil and Crazy Horse baptized the venue with a blistering garage rock set, while Graham Nash and Cheech & Chong opened. (The Roxy appeared in the comedy duo’s debut movie, Up in Smoke, a few years later.) 

The Roxy Turns 50 opening night

The Roxy's opening day┃Mark Sullivan/Getty Images

In its first decade, a who’s who of legends played The Roxy, including: Billy Joel, Jimmy Cliff, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Ettta James, B.B. King, Prince, Herbie Hancock, and the late Jimmy Buffett. Fifty years since Lou Adler opened the doors at 9009 Sunset Boulevard, live music still reverberates inside its four walls.

The legendary venue survived while countless clubs shuttered, thanks to Adler’s passion. The astute entrepreneur and 2019 GRAMMY Trustee Award recepient eventually bought the building —  guaranteeing control and preventing a landlord from ever telling him to go.

The club is part of the cultural fabric of the Sunset Strip along with the Whisky A Go Go and the Troubadour. Today a mix of local acts, national touring artists and legends take the stage— earlier this year, two-time GRAMMY winner Shooter Jennings paid tribute to Warren Zevon with a set devoted to the LA songwriter. 

A new exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum will pay tribute to the club's legendary past and continued relevance. "Roxy: 50 and Still Rockin’" opens Sept. 18 and runs until Jan. 7, 2024. The exhibit includes behind-the-scenes photos of celebrities at On the Rox (the exclusive club above The Roxy), photos chronicling the original production of "The Rocky Horror Show," plus historic memorabilia from Lou Adler’s archives.      

Bringing The Roxy To The Sunset Strip

Catching up with Adler finds the octogenarian in good spirits. Sporting a white toque and white sunglasses that match his goatee, Adler reminisces about The Roxy’s early days, its rich history and its legacy. A framed promotional poster for Up in Smoke hangs on the wall behind the club owner, who discovered the comedic pair at the Troubadour and directed their screen debut. Cheech & Chong returned the favor in 2013 when they inducted Adler into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

These days, Adler leaves the running of The Roxy to his sons. At 89, he prefers to get his live music fix at Coachella. The impresario never imagined the club he opened along with Elmer Valentine (who founded the Whisky) — with additional financial help from a trio of original investors: David Geffen, Elliot Roberts and Peter Asher — would last 50 years. 

"I was just looking for next week!," Adler laughs when asked about The Roxy’s golden anniversary. "It is pretty amazing, but it does not feel like forever that I opened the doors. I just took it decade by decade. You put it all together and it adds up to 50." 

The Roxy Turns 50 lou adler

 Lou Adler┃Bezjian/WireImage

When Adler and his partners took over the lease at 9009 Sunset Boulevard, the building housed a strip club called Largo. Adler already co-owned, along with Valentine and Mario Maglieri, the Rainbow Bar & Grill next door. Opening a rock club next to the popular eatery frequented by rock stars and their groupies made sense. The Roxy never played favorites.

"It's based on music … and  the music is always evolving," says Lou’s eldest son Nic, who took over ownership of The Roxy in 2000. "We are agnostic when it comes to genre; it's a room that works great for jazz, comedy, hard rock or hip-hop. We are defined by a collection of history rather than by genre." 

And, if you attend an event at the storied club, you are a part of that history. "You are never at a show at the Roxy, you are part of the show," adds Nic, who was born the same year The Roxy opened.

David Wild attests to The Roxy’s mojo. Born and raised on the East Coast, Manhattan’s Bottom Line was his touchstone when it came to live music. The music critic and author saw many historic shows at this now long-gone New York City venue before moving to Los Angeles in 1991 to cover the Sunset Strip music scene for Rolling Stone. Arriving in Hollywood, he was well aware of The Roxy’s reputation. Two of his first three dates with his wife happened at the club. The shows were Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife and San Francisco alt-rockers Wire Train. Local rock band the Eels were also Roxy regulars in the 1990s and lead singer E (Mark Oliver Everett) played the Wild’s wedding. 

In those days, the journalist was a club fixture and treated well. Except, for one strange night.  

"I arrived and the doorman said, ‘I’m sorry Mr. Wild, but you are already here," he recalls. "That’s the only time in my life that this has ever happened; there was a David Wild impersonator! They found the guy who had a fake press card and removed him."

To commemorate The Roxy’s 50th, Neil Young’s name returns to the marquee 50 years to the day he inaugurated the joint. On Sept. 20-21,  Neil and Crazy Horse will play a pair of sold-out benefit shows. Micah Nelson replaces longtime Crazy Horse member Nils Lofgren, who is currently on tour with Bruce Springsteen.  

Springsteen and the E Street Band also have a history with The Roxy. During the 1975 Born to Run tour, the songwriter did a four-night residency there. Three years later he returned for a three-hour set that KMET FM broadcast live. This concert was one of the most popular bootleg tapes Springsteen fans traded for decades until its official release in 2018. 

Asked to name a couple of his favorite nights at The Roxy, Lou Adler is quick to answer. "First, Bob Marley, mostly because you had heard about him, heard the music and read about the culture, but then all of a sudden there he was and he brought all of that to the stage. Second, The Clash at Midnight [April 27, 1980]. That was exceptional. Just shy of 500 [people] is what we are told we can put in that room. For The Clash at Midnight show there were 1,300!"  

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show": Born At The Roxy, Not In Transylvania 

From the outset The Roxy hosted a variety of entertainment, from stand-up comedy (it’s here back in 1981 where Paul Reubens introduced — and perfected — his Pee-wee Herman character) to live theater. "The Rocky Horror Show" opened its inaugural North American run at the club in 1974 before it was made into the cult classic movie. Adler was with his wife in London when she took him to see this off-the-wall musical. He fell in love with the story and songs and inked a deal backstage that same night with the producer to bring the satiric production to America.  

For The Roxy Theater one-year run, Tim Curry played the lead role. On opening night, an A-list of Hollywood celebrities attended, including Mick Jagger, Cher, and Jack Nicholson. "The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s" first North American run is also where a young pianist and composer named David Foster got his big break.

The Roxy Turns 50 rocky horror embed

Tim Curry performs in a stage production of "Rocky Horror"┃Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

"Everything I have today, really, came from that one year in that tight, little confined space in the Roxy’s balcony playing keyboards in the house band in 'Rocky Horror,'" says Foster in an original documentary short film made exclusively by the GRAMMY Museum to commemorate the Roxy at 50. "That’s where I met everybody. The balcony was probably supposed to sit four people and we were like eight. The two background singers had to stay in the hallway stairs right behind the balcony. That’s where they performed. Somehow we managed to get drums, bass, a saxophone, and two keyboards up there. 

"It was tight, but again, I didn’t care," he continues. "I was on my way. And Lou (Adler) probably doesn’t even know this, but he gave me the greatest break of my life when he suggested I be the piano player on the [Rocky Horror Picture Show] album. To my recollection, none of the other players in the band were asked to be on the album. Somehow, I’d managed to get his attention and playing on that album was the start of me doing sessions."

The Roxy Rocks On

Due to The Roxy’s incredible acoustics, dozens of live albums have been recorded there over the past half-century, including: Genesis, Social Distortion, Patti Smith, the Smithereens and Bob Marley and the Wailers. Besides the Neil Young and Crazy Horse 50th anniversary shows this fall, The Roxy will hosting other celebratory concerts including the Wallows and Ricky Lee Jones. Stephen Marley's performance will commemorate his father’s famous set there with the Wailers in 1976. 

"The Roxy has had a rich history of legendary shows, including Bob and the Wailers," says the eight-time GRAMMY winner Marley. "I can remember hitting that stage two decades ago with The Melody Makers & The Ghetto Youths Crew. What a night! I am excited to come back and perform new songs from my forthcoming album ‘Old Soul,’ as well as some of my dad’s classics to commemorate 50 years of this iconic venue." 

The gravitas of The Roxy as an aspirational venue is not lost on expat Americans. Take musician Bill King. The conscientious objector to the Vietnam War arrived in Toronto in the early 1970s along with his young bride. Despite making his home in Canada for the past 50 years, King returned to the U.S. for many gigs. Playing The Roxy on his 30th birthday (Jan. 28, 1977) as the Pointer Sisters music director was one such show; it was also one of the most memorable moments of his life — and not just because he got to meet a pair of his professional basketball heroes: Julius "Dr. J" Irving and George McGinnis, who were in the crowd. 

For the two-night stand, King played grand piano and clavinet along with an all-star band that included James Jamerson (bass); David T. Walker (guitar) and James Gadson (drums). Sonny Burke, Smokey Robinson’s music director, also played the Fender Rhodes.     

"That gig was one momentous lesson about groove and pocket," King recalls. "As soon as the band hit the downbeat, I felt something different from the standard jam pocket. It was broader. Gadson played down front of the beat and Jamerson behind. As I’m adjusting to the beat, Jamerson says to me. ‘Gadson is out in front of the beat, and I’m back here — all the real estate in between belongs to you. Build wisely!’ I took a deep breath and searched for that comfort zone between greatness. A pocket so wide you could have a smoke and a beer before the next beat."

People love nostalgic tales like King’s story. This fall music fans, who never experienced the club in its first few decades, can feel what it was like in its heyday at the GRAMMY Museum's "Roxy: 50 and Still Rockin.’"      

"I think Lou has the ability to tap into the cultural zeitgeist by setting the right tone with that space," says Jasen Eamons, Chief Curator, Vice President of Curatorial Affairs, GRAMMY Museum. "What he and Elmer [Valentine] wanted from the beginning was to create an intimate space, but also treat the artist with respect by designing dressing rooms where they felt like they were valued." 

Many of the photos in the GRAMMY Museum exhibit take you backstage, including a shot of Ronnie Wood paying respect to Muddy Waters and Ringo Starr with his key in the door to On the Rox. 

"This is all about Elmer Valentine," comments Lou Adler. "Originally a cop from Chicago, he turned the lights on in L.A .when it came to music venues, starting with P.J.s, followed by the Whisky, the Rainbow and eventually the Roxy. He loved music and loved musicians. He is really responsible for everything that happened and continues to happen on the Sunset Strip. That should not be lost." 

As to what the next 50 years hold for The Roxy, it’s anyone’s guess, but as long as there is an Adler interested in the music and the business (Besides Nic, Lou has six other sons and seven grandchildren) the venue’s legacy will endure. 

"It’s a family business," Nic concludes. "As long as there is somebody in our family discovering music for the first time — and getting that feeling that you can only get from being five feet from your favorite band — there will always be an Adler to keep the club going."

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Normani in 2023
Normani attends Elle's Women In Hollywood event in 2023.

Photo: MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images

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Breaking Down Normani's Journey To 'Dopamine': How Her Debut Album Showcases Resilience & Star Power

The wait for Normani's first album, 'Dopamine,' is officially over. Upon the album's arrival, reflect on all of the major moments that have happened in the six years since she made her solo debut.

GRAMMYs/Jun 14, 2024 - 09:39 pm

All eyes are on Normani as her long-awaited debut album, Dopamine, arrives to eager fans and critics alike on June 14. It arrives more than six years after Normani made her solo debut post-Fifth Harmony — and though she has released a number of singles since, even her most loyal listeners were bewildered by the delay of her debut project. But the 28-year-old has been strategic in building something timeless.

"I took the time to learn and develop my sound. I wanted to be different and create a body of work that's unique but still fresh and exciting," Normani tells GRAMMY.com. "There were many days of trial and error trying to perfect something that embodies who I am and the type of artist I wanted to be. I always knew that I had to trust myself even when others doubted me and questioned my hunger."

On the highly anticipated Dopamine, Normani's womanhood and artistic breadth effortlessly glides across its 13 tracks. She makes no apologies for her sexier image and music after years of "feeling safe with being seen, but not too seen," as she told Teen Vogue in 2020. That newfound confidence translates into a musical paradise that's a far cry from her Fifth Harmony days. Up until now, the world has only received Normani's talent in snippets here and there; Dopamine finally gives us the full dose.

As you dig into Dopamine, take a look at a complete breakdown of every major moment that's led to Normani's long-awaited debut project.

2018: She Re-Introduced Herself As An R&B Star

A mere month prior to Fifth Harmony's hiatus announcement, a then 21-year-old Normani teamed up with Khalid for her first-ever single as a solo act, "Love Lies." Penned for the Love, Simon soundtrack, the sultry R&B number foreshadowed Normani's imminent success outside of Fifth Harmony; not only did it crack the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it hit No. 1 on both Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 and Radio Songs charts.

At the tail end of 2018, Normani delivered another R&B jam, the hazy, slow-burning duet with 6lack, "Waves," which found success on multiple R&B charts. Though somewhat forgotten compared to "Motivation" and "Wild Side" (more on those later), "Waves" shows off Normani's vocal range as she laments over an on-again, off-again relationship.

2019: She Celebrated A Global Smash & Massive Opening Act Slot

Normani struck gold again in 2019 when she teamed up with Sam Smith for "Dancing With a Stranger," which became the most-played radio song in the world that year, according to Forbes. Sonically speaking, the disco-tinged oasis marked new territory for Normani — and it paid off in a big way as it boasts over a billion Spotify streams and remains her biggest single to date.

The singer's star continued shining bright into that summer, when she served as the opener for the North American leg of Ariana Grande's Sweetener Tour. The arena trek marked her first opportunity to show off her performing skills, and further prove her prowess as a solo act.

On the heels of the international success of "Dancing With a Stranger" and touring with Grande, Normani released her first fully solo single, "Motivation." The bubbly track presented a poppier side and offered a fun moment with its Y2K-inspired video, even igniting a viral dance challenge. But it seemingly wasn't indicative of the direction she was headed; at the time, Normani admitted to The Cut that she "didn't feel like it represented" her as an artist.

Still, "Motivation" served as a pivotal moment for Normani. It became a top 20 hit on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart, and she delivered a showstopping performance of the song at the MTV Video Music Awards — which even earned the title of 2019's best performance from Harper's Bazaar.

2020 & 2021: She Teamed Up With Two Of Rap's Biggest Female Stars

The next couple of years saw Normani continue linking up with several of her peers. She first joined forces with Megan Thee Stallion for the anthemic "Diamonds" — which brilliantly samples Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" — off the Birds of Prey soundtrack. Soon after, she teamed up with Megan again — this time, for a jaw-dropping cameo in the video for the chart-topping smash "WAP" with Cardi B.

"WAP" drew criticism for its sexually explicit lyrics (and equally racy video), but the message aligned perfectly with Normani's mission to champion and represent Black women in and outside of the music industry. 

"The 'WAP' video I was really, really excited to be a part of, just because I feel like we're in a time in music where women — and Black women — are really on top, which is something I feel like we haven't seen in a very, very long time," she told Teen Vogue. "Where I come from, we were all about female empowerment. The fact that I could be a part of such a special moment embracing our sexuality, in which I definitely think there's a double standard, [was exciting] to be a part of it."

In 2021, Normani took her turn with Cardi B on another fiery track, "Wild Side," which saw her return to her R&B foundation while also continuing her artistic evolution. From sampling Aaliyah's "One in a Million" to executing the intricate choreography seen in the Tanu Muino-directed video, the '90s-inspired slow jam — which closes out Dopamine — whet fans' appetite and established Normani as a force to be reckoned with in R&B and beyond.

2022: She Traversed Several Different Musical Worlds

Keeping fans on their toes, Normani veered away slightly from her signature R&B sound by incorporating synth-pop into the one-off single "Fair." The mid-tempo track put the spotlight on her vulnerability; the lyrics deal with watching a past lover move on as if you never existed.

"This one is really unique and different for me. Probably not what everyone is expecting," she said in an Instagram story ahead of the release.

A few months later, Normani dove deeper into the dance genre by lending her light and airy vocals to Calvin Harris' "New to You," a collaboration that also featured Tinashe and Offset. But she never strayed too far from her R&B stylings, as she also teamed up with childhood friend Josh Levi for a remix of his song "Don't They" that summer.

2023: She Ushered In A New Era

Though 2023 didn't see any new music from Normani, she made some business moves that indicated she was ready for a reset. That May, Normani parted ways with S10 Entertainment and Brandon Silverstein after signing a new management deal with Brandon Creed and Lydia Asrat — signifying a new chapter and much-needed change in direction. 

"The transition signified a new beginning, filled with hopes of  moving forward and getting things done that were important to me," Normani tells GRAMMY.com. "I was faced with many obstacles over the years, some that you would not believe. But through it all, my faith in God kept me aligned with what I felt was right for me."

A couple months later, Normani launched a partnership with Bose that saw her give a first preview of the assertive Dopamine track "Candy Paint." She also offered some insight to the album delays, which partially stemmed from her parents' health struggles.

"It was hard feeling misunderstood because of the lack of knowledge people had for my circumstances in real-time. I don't even know if I had the energy to explain — my emotional, spiritual and mental endurance was really tested," she explained to Dazed. "When my parents got sick, I didn't have the mental capacity to even try to be creative, but I pushed myself anyway. If it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't have, but I know it's what got them through such a tough time — they needed to see me persevere and push through and continue to move forward."

As she shared with Bose, crafting Dopamine ended up being a creative outlet for Normani and offered a sign of hope for her and her parents during their respective treatments.

"(When my mom was going through chemo) the thing that really kept her going was getting on FaceTime and being like, 'How are the sessions going?' She's always so eager to hear the new records we've been working on," she said. "And then a year later, when my dad ended up being diagnosed, he would say mid treatment, 'I'm ready for you to take over the world.'"

2024: She Completed A Hard-Fought Journey

By the beginning of 2024, even Normani couldn't help but acknowledge how long fans had been waiting for her debut LP. She facetiously launched a website called wheresthedamnalbum.com — but it actually served as the official kickoff to the album campaign.

Two months after she shared the album's title and stunning cover art on the site, Normani delivered the guitar-driven lead single "1:59" arrived, as well as a release date for Dopamine.

Despite a series of false starts and personal challenges, Dopamine is proof that Normani is as resilient as they come — and this project was well worth the wait. Opening tracks "Big Boy" and "Still" flex her swag, whereas Janet Jackson-coded tunes like "All Yours" and "Lights On" (co-written with Victoria Monét) ooze sensual vibes. While the album mostly caters to her R&B foundation, she touches on her dance music dabblings with the house-leaning"Take My Time." 

Dopamine even offered a full-circle moment for Normani, who has cited Brandy as one of her biggest musical inspirations. The R&B trailblazer lends background vocals to "Insomnia," which also features hypnotic production from Stargate

As Normani embraces her close-up, she's keenly aware that the stakes are high, but it's a moment she's been ready for all along.

"I hope [fans] see the passion and the hard work that I have put into creating something so special," she tells GRAMMY.com. "I love my fans and how they have been patiently waiting and supporting me over the years. I hope the wait was worth it for them and they are proud of what we have accomplished together."

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Musicians Mark Stoermer, Brandon Flowers, Ronnie Vannucci and David Keuning of The Killers poses for a portrait during the 2004 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Killers

Photo: Frank Micelotta

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5 Ways ‘Hot Fuss’ Propelled The Killers To Rock Royalty

During the alternative-guitar-band renaissance of the early 2000s, the Killers slugged out a debut album that’ll stick with us forever. Here are five reasons ‘Hot Fuss’ catapulted the Vegas favorites to the top.

GRAMMYs/Jun 14, 2024 - 05:19 pm

They came out of their cage, and now they're doing just fine. 

In an era of stiff competition, from the White Stripes to the Strokes, the Killers could have gotten lost in the shuffle. But with 2004's Hot Fuss, the Brandon Flowers-led, Vegas-based rock band essentially emerged fully formed, with a debonaire mystique, a raided new wave record collection (think the Cure and Duran Duran), and a knack for sky-high hooks. They didn't just nail the songs, and charisma, on the first go — they created one of the most timeless albums of their generation. 

In the 20 years since, chances are "Mr. Brightside" has gotten maddeningly stuck in your head at least once. But that's just the tip of the iceberg: Hot Fuss is teeming with cryptic one-liners, sticky melodies and a specifically aughts sort of emotional abandon.

Today, the Killers are one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century, with five GRAMMY nominations and more than 28 million records sold worldwide. Here are five aspects of Hot Fuss that helped them break into the stratosphere.  

It's The Result Of A Completely Scrapped First Attempt 

Sometimes, the first thought isn't the best thought. The Killers were full steam ahead on their debut album when Flowers hit a major snag: a little album called This Is It by the Strokes came out. 

"When we put it on in the car, that record just sounded so perfect," Flowers admitted to NME in 2012. "I got so depressed after that, we threw away everything, and the only song that made the cut and remained was 'Mr. Brightside.'" 

How would the Killers' legacy have changed without classics like "Somebody Told Me" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine"? We'll never know — but the band (and the world) is likely glad they gave Hot Fuss a second shot. 

Brandon Flowers Is A Superb Lyricist 

Did you know Hot Fuss has an extended murder narrative? Well, in two songs: "Midnight Show" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine." (The third act, "Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf," was relegated to their 2007 B-sides and rarities disc, Sawdust.) 

Outside of sprawling concepts, Flowers' sneaky prowess as a lyricist is all over Hot Fuss, from sticky alliteration ("Turning saints into the sea/ Swimming through sick lullabies") to masterful use of negative space. 

Exhibit A is "Smile Like You Mean It": "Someone is calling my name/ From the back of the restaurant/ And someone is playing a game/ In the house that I grew up in/ And someone will drive her around/ Down the same streets that I did." By erasing the specifics, and only providing a framework of memory, the picture is ever more elusive and intriguing. 

The Album Is Front-Loaded With Five Bangers 

Sure, some tracks on Hot Fuss, like "Change Your Mind" and "Believe Me Natalie," are relatively minor. 

But with absolute napalm across the first five tracks — "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," "Mr. Brightside," "Smile Like You Mean It," "Somebody Told Me," "All These Things That I've Done" — it's actually kind of a relief to get a sleeper album track, that reveals its qualities slower. 

No matter your take on the rest of Hot Fuss, or their discography, the fact remains undeniable: they came in swinging. 

They Kept The Demos Intact For Raw Impact 

The Killers and the Boss have crossed paths a time or two — and they made a Springsteenian move when they used demos as the final tracks. It worked, imbuing Hot Fuss with a certain spontaneity and energy. 

And because these Hot Fuss tracks were meant to comprise a demo, "We never thought [these songs] would be on a record." drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. later admitted. Talk about a turn of events: what could have been a collection of scratch tracks would help define a generation. 

"Mr. Brightside" Took On A Life Of Its Own 

"Mr. Brightside" has undeniably become the Killers' signature song — a staple not only at their concerts, but at bars and karaoke joints around the world. And once social media came along, it inspired a cornucopia of memes: even snippets of lyrics, like "Comin' out of my cage" and "It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?" have become miniature cultural forces. 

Aside from Flowers' almost unwaveringly single-note verse melody, the song's odd structure — the second verse is the same as the first — has also been ripe for humor: one favorite meme takes you into the fictional writer's room when that decision was made. 

Whether for rock 'n' roll transcendence, or just a nostalgic laugh, revisit Hot Fuss as it turns 20 — and smile like you mean it. 

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Khalid
Khalid

Photo: ro.lexx

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New Music Friday: Listen To New Songs From Khalid, Mariah Carey, NAYEON, And More

From reworked classics to new fresh tunes, take a listen to some of the most exciting tracks that dropped on June 14.

GRAMMYs/Jun 14, 2024 - 03:44 pm

Those pre-summer Fridays just keep rolling on. With each release day, the music community fills our hard drives, playlists and record shelves with more aural goodness.

Granted, to wrangle it all in one place is impossible — but GRAMMY.com can provide a healthy cross-section of what's out there. From here, venture forth into new releases by Luke Combs (Fathers & Sons), Normani (Dopamine), Moneybagg Yo (Speak Now), Jelly Roll ("I Am Not Okay"), and more.

For now, here are nine new songs or albums to explore.

Khalid — "Adore U"

After previously released single "Please Don't Fall in Love With Me," Khalid is back with another luminous ode to romantic disconnection, where he calls for healing amid broken ties.

"Thousand miles apart and you're still in my heart/ Can we take it back?" Khalid pleads in the hook. "I'm waiting at the start/ Fly me to the moon and now I'm seeing stars when we touch."

Khalid hasn't released a full-length album since 2019's Free Spirit. But he's been teasing a new project for a minute: two weeks ago, he shared an Instagram carousel with the caption "5 years later. Here we go again." And the yearning "Adore U" certainly sets the tone for what's to come in Khalid's world.

NAYEON — 'NA'

TWICE's NAYEON is shifting gears towards her highly anticipated solo comeback with the release of NA, a project that spans pop, dance, and more. The follow-up to her debut solo album, 2022's IM NAYEON, NA provides a glimpse into the TWICE member's transition from being daunted by a solo career to finding comfort in the act.

One highlight is the shimmering "Butterflies," which NAYEON described to Rolling Stone as "one of my favorite songs" yet "one of the harder ones to record, actually." Another is the brassy "Magic," which she calls "a very self-confident song." All in all, NA winningly cements NAYEON's identity — irrespective of her main gig.

Mariah Carey — 'Rainbow: 25th Anniversary Extended Edition'

In light of its 25-year anniversary, Mariah Carey revisits her iconic 1999 album, Rainbow, which featured collaborations with fellow household names like Jay-Z, USHER, and Missy Elliott. The new anniversary edition boasts a plethora of remastered and remixed tracks — a treasure trove for Carey acolytes.

One new track is "Rainbow's End," produced by David Morales; Carey described it as "a hopeful ending to an emotional roller-coaster ride." Elsewhere, there's "There For Me," a love letter to her fans that didn't make the album; a new remix of "How Much" by Jermaine Dupri, and some intriguing live recordings and a cappella tracks.

$UICIDEBOY$ — 'New World Depression'

Since at least their debut album, 2018's I Want to Die in New Orleans, rap duo $UICIDEBOY$ have expertly cataloged the bugs beneath the rock of the human experience: addiction, depression, the whole nine yards. New World Depression is a further distillation of their beautifully filthy aesthetic and worldview.

In highlights like "Misery in Waking Hours" and "Transgressions," MCs $crim and Ruby da Cherry's chroniclings of misery are barer than ever: "Hurts too much to give a f— / Demoralized, always lying, telling people I'll be fine," they rap. Who hasn't felt like this, at one point or another?

John Cale — 'POPtical Illusion'

At 82, Velvet Underground violist, multi-instrumentalist and co-founder John Cale is still a tinkerer, a ponderer, an artist in flux rather than stasis. In 2023, when GRAMMY.com asked when he felt he came into his own as an improviser, he immediately replied "Last year."

That interview was centered around that year's solo album, Mercy, another gem in a solo discography full of them. Now, he's already back with a follow-up, POPtical Illusion.

While POPtical Illusion maintains its predecessors' foreboding, topical nature — and then some — tracks like "Laughing in My Sleep" and "Funkball the Brewster" couch these morose topics in a more playful, irreverent aural palette.

Tanner Adell — "Too Easy"

The Twisters soundtrack continues to be a whirlwind of great tunes. The latest dispatch is Tanner Adell's "Too Easy," a country-pop dance floor banger — its video even featuring a performance by dance troupe the PBR Nashville Buckle Bunnies.

"Too Easy" is the fourth song to be released from the Twisters soundtrack, following Tucker Wetmore's "Already Had It," Megan Moroney's "Never Left Me," Bailey Zimmerman's "Hell or High Water," and Luke Combs' "Ain't No Love in Oklahoma." The full album — which features a hoard of country stars, including Lainey Wilson, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Childers and more — will be available on July 19 when the movie hits theaters.

Stonebwoy — "Your Body"

We've clearly caught Ghanian Afropop star Stonebwoy in a jubilant mood. In a teaser for his new song, "Your Body," the singer born Livingstone Satekia undulates on a saturated, red-and-blue backdrop, foreshadowing the sticky summer days we'll spend jamming the tune.

And the full song certainly doesn't disappoint. Interweaving strains of pop, R&B and reggae, with Stonebwoy deftly switching between singing and rapping, "Your Body" will get your body moving.

Toosii — "Where You Been"

Rapper Toosii last teased his upcoming eighth mixtape, JADED, with "Suffice," its lead single released back in November. In the interim, he's been "locked in perfecting a new look a new sound new everything!" as he shared in an Instagram reel. "I just hope you're ready," he added with star and smile emojis.

Said teaser pointed toward a melancholic, weighty ballad, which ended up being the next release from JADED, "Where You Been." Riding a multidimensional, brain-flipping beat, the song is an immersive, thoughtful banger not to be missed.

Victoria Monét — "Power of Two" (from 'The Acolyte')

The latest Star Wars show on Disney+, "The Acolyte," is getting rave reviews — and three-time GRAMMY winner Victoria Monét is now part of its musical universe. She's contributed an original song, "Power of Two," to the end credits of the Lucasfilm series.

Over an ethereal, melancholic beat, the lyrics detail emotions ripe for either terra firma or a galaxy far, far away: "You thought your soul was a necklace/ That you could wear and take off/ That you could rip and break off/ That you could trade in the dark/ But you're mine."

Bring these killer tunes straight into your weekend — and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more brand-new New Music Friday lists!

Victoria Monét's Evolution: How The "On My Mama" Singer Transitioned From Hit Songwriter To Best New Artist Nominee

Photo of a gold GRAMMY trophy against a black background with white lights.
GRAMMY Award statue

Photo: Jathan Campbell

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GRAMMY Awards Updates For The 2025 GRAMMYs: Here's Everything You Need To Know About GRAMMY Awards Categories Changes & Eligibility Guidelines

Key updates to the 2025 GRAMMY Awards season include adjustments to eligibility criteria, Category renaming, and submission guidelines updates for some Categories, including the Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical Category.

GRAMMYs/Jun 14, 2024 - 01:53 pm

The Recording Academy, the organization behind the annual GRAMMY Awards, is sharing a series of updates to the annual GRAMMY Awards process for the 2025 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 67th GRAMMY Awards, which take place Sunday, Feb. 2, live at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Key updates to the 2025 GRAMMY Awards season include adjustments to eligibility criteria, Category renaming, and submission guidelines updates for some Categories, including the Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical Category. All updates go into effect immediately at the 2025 GRAMMYs.

The 2024 amendments were voted on and passed at the Recording Academy's semiannual Board of Trustees meeting. These changes, designed to enhance the integrity and inclusivity of the awards, reflect the Academy's commitment to staying current with the evolving music industry.

Read more: 2025 GRAMMYs To Take Place Sunday, Feb. 2, Live In Los Angeles; GRAMMY Awards Nominations To Be Announced Friday, Nov. 8, 2024

The Recording Academy accepts proposals for changes to the GRAMMY Awards process from members of the music community year-round. The Awards & Nominations Committee, composed of Recording Academy Voting Members from diverse genres and backgrounds, meets annually to review proposals to update Awards Categories, procedures and eligibility guidelines.

For more information about the 2025 GRAMMY Awards season, learn more about the annual GRAMMY Awards process, read our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, view the official GRAMMY Awards Rules and Guidelines, and visit the GRAMMY Award Update Center for a list of real-time changes to the GRAMMY Awards process.

Read the updates and amendments for the 2025 GRAMMYs in full below:

Eligibility, Criteria & Submission Guidelines Amendments:

  • All eligibly-credited Featured Artists with under 50% playtime will now be awarded a Winners' Certificate for all genre album Categories. (Note: Does not apply to Best Musical Theater Album, the General Field or Craft Categories.)

  • In the Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical Category, the following submission guidelines were amended, allowing for wider representation of the songwriter community:

    • The minimum submission threshold in which a songwriter is credited as a songwriter or co-writer (not a primary or featured artist or producer) was reduced from five to four songs.

    • The additional number of songs a songwriter may enter in which they are also credited as a primary or featured artist, or any other supporting role, increased from four to five.

  • The Best Traditional R&B Performance Category criteria was amended to more accurately represent recordings that embody the classic elements of R&B/soul music, distinguishing them from contemporary interpretations of the genre.

  • The Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Category criteria was amended to expand the Category by broadening its scope and welcoming more entries from the Musical Theater community. Additionally, album eligibility criteria was updated to require that albums in this Category must contain more than 75% of newly recorded (previously unreleased) performances.

  • The Best Children's Music Album Category criteria was amended to include a requirement that lyrics and English-language translations must be included with entry submissions. Additionally, an intended audience age range for this Category was defined as infant to 12 years old.

GRAMMY Award Category Adjustments:

  • The Best Remixed Recording Category has moved from the Production, Engineering, Composition & Arrangement Field into the Pop & Dance/Electronic Field.

  • The Category formerly known as Best Pop Dance Recording has been renamed Best Dance Pop Recording.

  • The Best Dance/Electronic Music Album Category was renamed to Best Dance/Electronic Album, and the Category criteria was amended to establish that albums must be made up of at least 50% Dance/Electronic recordings to qualify.

  • Conjunto music will now be recognized in the Best Regional Roots Music Album Category, rather than the Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano) Category.

  • The Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media Category was amended to include a qualification for released material, specifically new DLC (downloaded content in-game) and Seasonal Expansions. The updated qualification establishes that greater than 50% of the music on an otherwise eligible Video Game Soundtrack or Interactive Media Soundtrack must be derived from new episodes or new programming released during the GRAMMY eligibility year for which it is entered.

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