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GRAMMY Rewind: Smokey Robinson Accepts A GRAMMY On Behalf Of The Temptations In 1973
Motown legend Smokey Robinson filled in after fellow label icons the Temptations won a golden gramophone for "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," and took a moment to celebrate the group's "fantastic" achievements.
Since its premiere in October 1972, "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" remains one of the highest-performing singles in the Temptations' catalog — and one of Motown's timeless classics. The song quickly rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the end of 1972, and snagged the group two GRAMMY wins at the 1973 GRAMMYs.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, Motown legend Smokey Robinson takes the stage to accept the Temptations' award for Best Duo/Group R&B Vocal Performance at the 15th GRAMMY Awards. Robinson was a longtime collaborator of the group, writing some of their most notable hits, including "My Girl," "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "Get Ready."
"I would like to say it's a great pleasure for me to come and accept this award for the Temptations, who have always been fantastic and are doing special, fantastic things," Robinson praised, alluding to their "musical marriage" to songwriter and producer Norman Whitfield.
Press play on the video above to watch Smokey Robinson accept the Temptations' golden gramophone for "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" at the 1973 GRAMMYs, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
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GRAMMY Rewind: Faith Hill Graciously Thanks Her Supporters After 'Breathe' Wins Best Country Album In 2001
After winning Best Country Album for 'Breathe' — one of her three wins at the 2001 GRAMMYs — Faith Hill delivered a heartfelt speech thanking her family for helping her achieve her dreams, and her team for making that dream a reality.
When Dolly Parton, flanked by Brad Paisley, handed Faith Hill her GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2001 — for her classic 1999 album Breathe — it felt like a passing of the torch.*
The first words out of an awestruck Hill's mouth, to Parton: "Wow! And coming from you, thank you so much. I just admire you so much."
Hill went on to deliver a heartfelt speech, in which she thanked her parents for helping facilitate her music dreams and expressed how long and hard her journey to the GRAMMYs stage was.
Breathe helped Hill take home three GRAMMYs that night — the others being Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("Breathe") and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals ("Let's Make Love," with three-time GRAMMY-winning husband Tim McGraw.)
Check out the throwback to Y2K-era country music history above, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
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15 Songs That Will Make You Dance And Cry At The Same Time, From "Hey Ya!" To "Dancing On My Own"
Whether it's "Tears of a Clown" or "Tears in the Club," take a listen to some of the most sneakily sad songs by Outkast, TLC, Avicii and more.
In 2003, OutKast scored their second No. 1 hit with "Hey Ya!" The timeless track has an upbeat energy that makes you want to shake it like a polaroid picture — until you happen to catch its rather unhappy lyrics.
"Are we so in denial when we know we're not happy here?" André 3000 sings on the second verse. The line that follows may sum up its contrasting nature: "Y'all don't wanna hear me, you just wanna dance."
The ability to make listeners feel (and physically react) to a wide range of emotions is part of the genius of songwriting. Tunes like "Hey Ya!" — a sad narrative disguised by an infectious melody — is one trick that has been mastered by Outkast, R.E.M., Smokey Robinson, Robyn and many more.
If you've ever happily boogied to a beat before realizing that the lyrics on top are actually a big bummer, you're certainly not alone. BBC and Apple Music both call such tracks Sad Bangers, a fitting name for what's become an unofficial genre over the past half-century.
In light of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, GRAMMY.com compiled a list of 15 songs that will both get you in your feelings and get your body moving.
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles — "The Tears of a Clown" (1967)
The upbeat music on this Motown classic was written by Stevie Wonder, a 25-time GRAMMY winner who is deft at crafting tearjerkers that will tease your body into joyful dancing. The bassoon-bottomed song registers at 128 beats per minute, a tempo that's still favored by modern dance music producers. So when Smokey sings, "The tears of a clown/When there's no one around," you'd be forgiven for also welling up just a little bit while you're in the groove.
Gloria Gaynor — "Never Can Say Goodbye" (1975)
Gloria Gaynor reimagined the Jackson 5's 1971 pop hit "Never Can Say Goodbye" for the disco era. The sweeping string arrangements and trotting beat helped to fill dance floors, and to make the poignant song about holding onto a love of her own. Other cover versions by Isaac Hayes and the Communards also capture the contradictory vibe.
Tears For Fears — "Mad World" (1983)
British duo Tears For Fears became internationally known after outfitting their first danceable hit with a depressing and dramatic chorus that's hard to shake even 40 years after its release: "I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad, the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had." Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith would later release more uplifting fare, such as "Everybody Wants to Rule The World" and "Sowing the Seeds of Love."
Kate Bush — "Running Up That Hill" (1985)
Kate Bush has had three twirls through charts around the world with "Running Up That Hill," beginning with its 1985 release and then as an unlikely Summer Olympics closing ceremony song in 2012.
"And if I only could, I'd make a deal with God/And I'd get him to swap our places/Be running up that road/be running up that hill/With no problems," she sings in the chorus of the racing track, longing to be more worry-free.
More recently, a placement in the Netflix drama Stranger Things in 2022 earned the weepy, minor key-led dance number a whole new generation of fans. The English artist was recently named a 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Midnight Oil — "Beds Are Burning" (1988)
Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett channeled the rage he felt from early climate change and the lack of Aboriginal land rights in the Australian Outback into "Beds Are Burning." The powerful dance tune flooded airwaves and dance floors around the world in the late '80s, reaching No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"How can we dance when the Earth is turning?" he sings in the rousing chorus. "How do we sleep while the beds are burning?"
Garrett clearly had a personal connection to the song's yearning message: He later dedicated his life to environmental activism as the leader of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and became an elected Member of Australia's House of Representatives.
Crystal Waters — "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" (1991)
A house music hit about a woman without a home, "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" helped New Jersey singer Crystal Waters achieve international success despite a somewhat somber subject. A subsequent parody on the sketch comedy series "In Living Color" drew attention to the contrast of having happy and upbeat instrumentation with dispiriting lyrics.
"She's just like you and me/But she's homeless, she's homeless," rings the chorus. "As she stands there singing for money/La da dee la dee da…"
R.E.M. — "Shiny Happy People" (1991)
This upbeat collaboration is between rock group R.E.M. and B-52's singer Kate Pierson.The jangly guitar pop makes you want to clap your hands and stomp your feet, but the lyrics make you question if everything is indeed quite so shiny and happy.
The song is rumored to be about the massacre in China's Tiananmen Square, because the phrase "Shiny Happy People" appeared on propaganda posters. Pierson isn't so sure about that, though.
"I can't imagine that R.E.M. was thinking at the time, Oh, we want this song to be about Chinese government propaganda," she said in a 2021 interview with Vulture. "It was supposed to be shiny and happy. It was a positive thing all-around."
TLC — "Waterfalls" (1994)
"Waterfalls" was a worldwide hit for TLC in 1994, thanks to its sing-along chorus and funky bassline. The song's insistent bounce softens a firm lyrical warning that pulls people back from the edge: "Don't go chasing waterfalls/Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to/I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all/But I think you're moving too fast."
"We wanted to make a song with a strong message — about unprotected sex, being promiscuous, and hanging out in the wrong crowd," Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas shared with The Guardian in 2018. "The messages in 'Waterfalls' hit home. I think that's why it's our biggest hit to date."
Outkast — "Hey Ya!" (2003)
André 3000 sings about loveless relationships to a whimsical, time-shifting dance beat on this Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping smash. The seriousness of the song — which André 3000 once explained is about "the state of relationships in the 2000s" — got lost among many listeners.*
Its unhappy lyrics were masked by André's peppy singing, as well as the song's jangly guitar and keyboard-led groove, which infectiously doubles up in speed at the end of every four beats. Even Outkast themselves couldn't help acknowledging the song's juxtaposition in a 2021 tweet.
Robyn — "Dancing On My Own" (2010)
A penultimate example of a sad banger is "Dancing On My Own" by Swedish pop star Robyn. The rueful song — a top 10 hit in multiple countries — commands you to shake your stuff, while also picturing yourself watching your ex move on at the club. Calum Scott's 2016 cover really brings out the sadness that can be obscured by Robyn's uptempo version.
"Said, I'm in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh no/And I'm right over here, why can't you see me?" Robyn sings in the chorus. "And I'm giving it my all/ But I'm not the girl you're taking home."
Fun. — "Some Nights" (2012)
fun. (the trio of Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess) is best known for the zeitgeist-grabbing pop-rock power ballad "We Are Young," which is about the relentlessly positive enthusiasm of youth out on the town. The title track to their 2012 album Some Nights (which contains "We Are Young") is a much dancier, yet sadder song.
"What do I stand for?" Ruess asks as your feet shuffle along to the beat. "Most nights, I don't know anymore."
Avicii — "Wake Me Up" (2013)
Avicii collaborated with soulful pop singer Aloe Blacc for this worldwide chart-topper that is considered one of EDM's peak anthems. The slapping beat masks the track's sad, self-reflective lyrics about being lost.
The Swedish DJ/producer's 2018 death by suicide adds an even heavier air to Blacc's impassioned chorus: "So wake me up when it's all over/When I'm wiser and I'm older/All this time I was finding myself, and I/I didn't know I was lost."
Flume featuring Kai — "Never Be Like You" (2015)
"Never Be Like You" isn't the fastest cut in Australian DJ/producer Flume's bass-heavy discography, but the wispy track still has an irresistible bump to it. Canadian singer Kai begs her lover not to leave her ("How do I make you wanna stay?"), but her lovely tone still manages to keep the song hopeful.
FKA twigs featuring The Weekend — "Tears In The Club" (2022)
Perhaps the most overt selection of this entire list is "Tears In The Club," which finds FKA twigs and The Weeknd taking to the dancefloor to shake off the vestiges of a bad relationship. The singer/dancer has been candid about being in an abusive relationship, and the song is a lowkey bop that's buoyed by despairing chants such as, "I might die on the beat, love."
Everything But The Girl — "Nothing Left to Lose" (2023)
Nearly 30 years after DJ/producer Todd Terry helped introduce Everything But the Girl to the international dance music community with a remix of "Missing," the duo leaned into their electronic side on "Nothing Left to Lose." A single from their first album in 24 years, Fuse, "Nothing Left to Lose" features a squelching electronic bassline that contrasts the song's helpless yearning.
"I need a thicker skin/ This pain keeps getting in/ Tell me what to do/ 'Cause I've always listened to you," the pair's Tracy Thorne sings on the opening verse. Later, she makes a demand that fittingly sums up the conflicts of a quintessential sad banger: "Kiss me while the world decays."
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GRAMMY Rewind: Daft Punk Shares "Love" For Macklemore After 'Random Access Memories' Wins Album Of The Year In 2014
Notorious for their silent (and masked) appearances, French EDM duo Daft Punk had 'Random Access Memories' collaborator Paul Williams deliver their heartwarming message at the 56th GRAMMY Awards — which included a shout-out to Macklemore.
This year, Daft Punk is celebrating their 20th anniversary. Their groundbreaking album Random Access Memories also celebrates a milestone anniversary in 2023, turning 10 on May 17.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, we turn back the clock to 2014, when Daft Punk won the prestigious Album of the Year award for Random Access Memories. Notorious for their silent, faceless appearances, musical legend Paul Williams accepted the duo's award while they stood back.
"Back when I was drinking and using, I used to imagine things that weren't there that were frightening. Then, I got sober, and two robots called me and asked me to make an album," Williams joked at the beginning of the speech.
"I just got a message from the robots, and what they wanted me to say is that as elegant and as classy as the GRAMMY has ever been is the moment when we saw those wonderful marriages," Williams said, referring to Macklemore's revolutionary performance of "Same Love" at the same ceremony. "'Same Love' is fantastic, and it was the height of fairness and the power of love for all people at any time, in any combination."
Williams went on to praise Daft Punk's generous spirit, their fellow collaborators, and the love that went into making the album.
Press play on the video above to watch Paul Williams' full acceptance speech for Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
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GRAMMY Rewind: Macy Gray Praises Hip-Hop & Her Legendary Mentors After "I Try" Wins In 2001
Macy Gray gave a shout-out to Prince, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone during a quick but heartfelt acceptance speech for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 43rd GRAMMY Awards.
After having a whirlwind year thanks to her runaway hit "I Try," Macy Gray celebrated yet another accomplishment thanks to the ubiquitous jam: her first GRAMMY.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, we flashback to the evening Gray won the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award for her chart-topping single, "I Try." Though her acceptance speech was short and sweet, she made sure the people who got her there — starting off with her biggest inspirations.
"I just want to thank all of my mentors, like Prince, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone," Gray said at the start of her speech. She went on to praise the hip-hop community, her band and her family.
"I'm really flattered by all of you who voted for me. Thanks!" Gray exclaimed as she made her way off the stage.
Gray also scored Record of the Year and Song of the Year nominations for "I Try" that year. The year prior, she was up for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Do Something" as well as the coveted Best New Artist.
Press play on the video above to watch Macy Gray's quick but gracious acceptance speech for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2001 GRAMMYs, and check back to GRAMMY.com every Friday for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
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