Usher, Chris Martin & More Honor Nelson Mandela At Global Citizen Festival


Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival


Usher, Chris Martin & More Honor Nelson Mandela At Global Citizen Festival

A stellar lineup of GRAMMY-winning artists went all out at the special event honoring the late South African leader's legacy

GRAMMYs/Dec 4, 2018 - 05:26 am

With a lineup including GRAMMY-winners Usher, Pharrell, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin, Kacey Musgraves and Eddie Vedder, one could only expect to be wowed. That was definitely the case for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, held Dec. 2 in South Africa to honor the late iconic activist Nelson Mandela's legacy 100 years after his birth. The celebratory event was hosted by South African comedian Trevor Noah and featured powerful speeches from the likes of Oprah Winfrey plus plenty of breathtaking performances from the aforementioned big-name musicians as well as several rising African artists, including South African DJ/producer—and underground house music favorite—Black Coffee and Nigerian singer and producer—and recent Drake collaborator—Wizkid.

If you missed the event's livestream on YouTube yesterday, you're in luck. The majority of the event (although only a small part of Jay-Z and Beyoncé's epic closing) is available online, along with several clips of the speeches and performances, including Usher's mashup of his "Without You," a 2011 collab from GRAMMY-winning DJ/producer David Guetta, with Black Coffee's 2001 dance-club jam "We Dance Again," joined on-stage by Black Coffee himself. As reported by Billboard, Usher, alongside the South African Indigenous Dance Academy, performed a traditional South African style of dance, the Gwara Gwara. Other stars such as Childish Gambino and Rihanna have showcased this dance over past year, the latter star showing off her moves on none other than the 60th GRAMMY Awards stage, during her performance of "Wild Thoughts."

Usher talked to the significance of the collaboration with Black Coffee, IDA and Global Citizen:

"In the process of working on music in L.A., we started talking about what we could do at the festival to celebrate the culture, to make everyone there feel like they saw something special. So we developed this and we reached out to IDA to come onstage and perform with us." Usher told Billboard. "You see how artists can fulfill their duty to give back. The celebrity aspect is a treat for their time, for people who are advocating for these goals."

The R&B megastar also pointed to the exciting prospect of releasing material with Black Coffee: "We're working on music for the future. The song we worked on so far is incredible." 

The 10-hour event also included an above-and-beyond almost-90-minute concert from the ultimate power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z similar to their global stadium-filling On the Run II Tour, complete with a closing act of their tear-jerking duet rendition of "Young Forever." Their set also brought some of the evenings other special guests onstage, including Ed Sheeran and Pharrell.

"I can feel so much light and beauty in here," said Beyoncé during their performance.

In addition to joining the Carters onstage, Pharrell also had Coldplay frontman Chris Martin join him to perform their new song "E-Lo." The song was recently released as part of the four-song Global Citizen Ep 1, under Coldplay's apparent new pseudonym, or perhaps side-project, Los Unidades. Usher and Martin also joined Pharrell to back him as he sang his joyful GRAMMY-winning hit "Happy."

Other standout performances included Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder singing his group's classic "Better Man" backed by South Africa's powerful GRAMMY-winning Soweto Gospel Choir. Nigerian singer and producer Wizkid, who has collaborated with Drake on several tracks including "Come Closer," also performed several songs, including a mashup with the Choir.

Global Citizen reports the event led to 5.6 million social media actions by online participants around the world. Participants with enough points were entered in a lottery to win tickets to the event. In all, the event helped raise over $7 billion including commitments from organizations such as the World Bank, all towards helping "fulfill Mandela's vision of ending extreme poverty."

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY


Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs



Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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