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Watch: Shea Coulee's Most Touching Video To Date For "Rewind"
Directed by Sam Bailey, the black-and-white visual takes viewers through Couleé's memory as they relive both tender and volatile moments with their lover
Shea Couleé delivers a stirring dramatic performance in the video for one of their most vulnerable songs to date, "Rewind."
Directed by Sam Bailey, the black-and-white visual takes viewers through Couleé's memory as they relive both tender and volatile moments with their lover.
"It has a very cinematic quality to match the cinematic quality of the song," Couleé exclusively told Billboard. "And it's kind of a glimpse into my life and my past .. the concept of rewinding, as if our lives were films that we have the ability to go back and re-do."
They add that the video touches on how minds can alter memories to be less painful: "We try to get the best edit that we can so it doesn't hurt as much."
Putting their usual lively, fierce side on pause, Couleé let their guard down about a past relationship in the song with producer and songwriter GESS.
"The fans had only seen this high-energy, dance-y, confident music [from me] and this was my opportunity to show a little bit of vulnerability," Couleé said. "The only relationship I ever had, other than the one I'm in now, he suffered from bipolar disorder and he wound up taking his life. It's really, really hard. It's such a weird heartbreak because there's so many unanswered questions."
Music has allowed the former RuPaul's Drag Race cast member to show different sides of themselves. "I enjoy being able to surprise people and reveal my different sides to them – sometimes people only see a certain side, and music allows yourself to express yourself a bit more," they said.
Photo: Kelly Samson, Gallery Photography
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.
Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.
A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.
This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.
"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."
He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.
"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.
To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.
Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images
9 "RuPaul's Drag Race" Queens With Musical Second Acts: From Shea Couleé To Trixie Mattel & Willam
RuPaul broke down a barrier with her hit 1993 single "Supermodel," and these queens have stomped right through.
When RuPaul first hit the mainstream in 1993 with the hit single "Supermodel (You Better Work)," it was the culmination of about a decade of work in music — from her time fronting the new wave band Wee Wee Pole to her years working the New York City nightlife scene as a club kid and dancer. "Supermodel" pushed RuPaul into the mainstream, giving her the opportunity not only to land cosmetics contracts and present VMAs, but also to get her brand out there.
A talk show and some hosting gigs followed, and in 2009, Logo launched "RuPaul’s Drag Race," a then mostly unheralded reality competition show hosted by the queen herself. Since then, the show has aired more than 200 episodes featuring more than 270 queens. (That’s not even including the girls from the international "Drag Race" spin-offs, of which there are many.) RuPaul has also continued her musical career, to date releasing a staggering 15 LPs, six compilation albums, 68 singles, and 42 music videos. In short, RuPaul’s musical cred is bonafide.
That musical legacy has trickled down to Ru’s TV family, too. Now in its 15th season, "RuPaul’s Drag Race" has introduced the world to a generation of incredible drag performers, including more than a few who have made their mark on the musical world. Today, most queens who make it to the end of their "Drag Race" season end up releasing a collaborative single as part of the show, like season 13’s "Lucky" or "All-Stars" season two’s "Read U Wrote U."
Some queens have gone beyond that, dropping solo LPs, fronting bands, and even touring arenas with their music. Here are nine "Drag Race" alums whose music has helped launch their second act.
A stellar queen from Chicago, Shea Couleé first showed up on "Drag Race" in season nine, where she came in second behind Sasha Velour. She came back for "Drag Race All-Stars" season 5, which she won, and then took another stab at the crown for "All-Stars" season 7.
That season, she was able to showcase her musical talent with a stellar performance of "Your Name." That song, along with a whole slate of other bangers inspired by Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, and Chaka Khan are on her latest record, 8, which she’s touring now. Couleé also will join five other "Drag Race" alum on a recently announced U.S. tour.
Bob The Drag Queen
A true multi-hyphenate, Bob The Drag Queen is not only "Drag Race" season eight winner; he’s also a comedian, podcaster, actor, host and musician. Best known for tracks like "Purse First," which he dropped the same day he won "Drag Race," Bob's latest effort is a great listen, too. The six-song EP Gay Barz is filled with stellar club bangers that mix camp and hip-hop, showcasing Bob's true musical sensibility.
You can’t talk about musically successful "Drag Race" queens without talking about Trixie Mattel. While the "All-Stars" 3 winner makes a good portion of her income doing everything from refurbishing a hotel to curating and creating her successful cosmetics line, she still devotes time to her music.
She’s released four records — all of which are folksier and Fountains Of Wayne-inspired than anything else that’s come out of "Drag Race" — touring extensively around each, as well as a number of music videos. Some of her songs, like "Mama Don’t Make Me Put On The Dress Again," can seem a little tongue in cheek, but Mattel backs it all up with legit musical skills, playing both the guitar and the autoharp quite well.
Fans loved Adore Delano on "Drag Race" season seven and that ardor only continued after the show. The performer’s musical career really started to take off with 2014’s Till Death Do Us Party, which reached No. 59 on the Billboard 200 chart. Subsequent punky dance records like 2016’s After Party, 2017’s Whatever, and 2021’s Dirty Laundry EP have helped Delano sell out venues around the world.
Delano’s music bops all over the pop landscape, with tracks like "Hello, I Love You" merging Katy Perry styling with coyly bubblebum lyrics while the electro-tinged "I Adore U" would fit perfectly on a packed nightclub dancefloor.
Another "Drag Race" winner with a brazenly brash attitude and a heaping helping of musical talent, Alaska has released four albums, all with fairly spicy names. First came 2015’s Anus, followed by 2016’s Poundcake, 2019’s Vagina, and then 2022’s Red 4 Filth.
Alaska’s singles have always been earworms, too, and she’s brought her "Drag Race" sisters along whenever she can. Kandy Muse features on "Sitting Alone In The VIP," while "Girlz Night," which found Rose and Jan dropping in with their girl group Stephanie’s Child. Alaska has even brought her talent to the theater, crafting "Drag: The Musical," which sold out its entire debut run in 2022.
Willam might be one of the most controversial "Drag Race" contestants of all time, earning an early dismissal from season four after RuPaul accused her of breaking the rules behind the scenes. (Willam has since explained that she was getting illicit hotel visits from her husband during taping.)
Still, she had a successful Hollywood career before "Drag Race," with guest spots on numerous television procedurals. She’s only become more notable since, even snagging a speaking part in Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born. Her musical output has always been as sassy and tongue in cheek as she is. Her parody tracks like "Aileen" and "Derrick" skillfully tread the thin line between musical triumph and well-executed gag. She’s also been a part of two drag supergroups: DWV with Detox and Vicky Vox, and the AAA Girls with Courtney Act and Alaska.
Courtney Act came to "Drag Race" fame after making the season six finale, where she’d ultimately lose to Bianca Del Rio. She’s been singing pretty much her entire career — she actually broke into entertainment by appearing on "Australian Idol" in 2003 — but much of her output has come since her "Drag Race" debut.
Like her Australian sister Kylie Minogue, Act loves a soaring, inspirational club banger, as evidenced by singles like "Kaleidoscope" and "Fight For Love." She released "To Russia With Love" in an effort to help shine a light on anti-gay purges in Chechnya.
Since her "Drag Race" loss, Courtney Act has appeared on a variety of reality shows in both the UK and Australia, including "Dancing With The Stars" and "Celebrity Big Brother UK," the latter of which she won.
Known for her oddball humor, out-there drag, and frequent collaborations with Trixie Mattel, Katya came to "Drag Race" prominence on season seven before she returned to compete in "All-Stars" two. Her drag is half performance piece, half wacked out fashion show, and her drag persona is a sort of cold Russian uber-bitch.
Katya's music follows suit, with much of her 2020 EP Vampire Fitness featuring songs in multiple languages as Katya channeled her favorite Russian nightclub singers. That’s not to say that the tracks don’t rip, though: "Ding Dong" is a certified earworm, Russian lyrics and all, while the breathy goth dance cut "Come To Brazil" (guest starring Alaska) has racked up over a million views on YouTube.
The season one winner of "Drag Race Canada," Priyanka charmed fans worldwide with her charming earnestness and musical prowess. After snagging the crown, she released her debut EP, Taste Test, as well as a slate of five music videos in support of the record. The clips combine into a story of super villain-infused murder mystery that culminates in a battle royale between Priyanka and "Drag Race UK" contestant Cheryl Hole. The whole thing is as goofy as it is danceable.
Fun fact: "Come Through," which is a great and catchy song as its own, also features a guest verse from Priyanka’s "Drag Race Canada" sister Lemon. The song has become so beloved among fans that a one-hour mix of just that snippet of the song has almost 750,000 views on YouTube.
Photo: Rachel Kupfer
A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.
It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.
Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.
Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.
In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.
Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.
There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.
Say She She
Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.
While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."
Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.
Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.
Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.
Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.
L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.
During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.
Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.
Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.