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What's The Difference? GRAMMY Record Of The Year Vs. Song Of The Year
Ever wondered what distinguishes the GRAMMY categories of Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year? Find out once and for all here.
Since the dawn of time, or at least since the 1st Annual GRAMMY Awards, casual music fans and uninitiated industry professionals alike have seemingly pondered the same GRAMMY question: What is the difference between Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year categories?
If you've wondered this yourself, fear not, for you have arrived at the answer.
Simply put, Record Of The Year deals with a specific recording of a song and recognizes the artists, producers and engineers who contribute to that recording, while Song Of The Year deals with the composition of a song and recognizes the songwriters who wrote the song. That's it in a nutshell!
To dig a little deeper, let's look at the definition of each category, who it includes, and some recent examples.
Record Of The Year, Explained
The Record Of The Year GRAMMY goes to the artist(s), producer(s), and engineer(s) involved in crafting the specific recording (hence "record") of a song. For example, the winner at the 57th GRAMMY Awards for Record Of The Year was "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)" by Sam Smith. As the primary artist, Sam Smith received a GRAMMY, as did the three producers (including Rodney Jerkins a.k.a. "Darkchild) and the four engineers who worked on the recording, including those properly credited for recording, mixing, and mastering the record.
Song Of The Year, Explained
The Song Of The Year award, on the other hand, goes to the songwriter(s) (hence "song) of new material (not including sampled or interpolated material) of a song. For example, at the 44th GRAMMY Awards, the winner of Song Of The Year was "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys, and as the sole writer of the song, Keys received the GRAMMY. For this reason, Song Of The Year is referred to as a songwriter's award, one of several across the 84 categories that recognize the songwriter.
Does that clear things up a bit? Hopefully, it does.
The Recording Academy strives to award excellence in many facets of the music creation process, thus necessitating the distinction between the year's best recording and its best song composition.
For bonus points, let's look at one more example from the 59th GRAMMY Awards. The GRAMMY for Record Of The Year went to "Hello" by Adele, earning GRAMMY gold for Adele as the artist as well as producer Greg Kurstin and the eight engineers who worked on the record. The GRAMMY for Song Of The Year also went to "Hello" — however, only the songwriters, Adele and Greg Kurstin, received the Song Of The Year GRAMMY.
So now, when you're watching the 60th GRAMMY Awards live on CBS Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, you'll be able to dazzle your friends with your insider knowledge. For a rundown of this year's nominees in both of these major categories, check out our Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year roundups.
Universal language: Why humans need music
Learn why music is truly a common language that is key to human development and evolution
There's no doubt music finds a way into nearly every moment of our daily lives, whether it's marking milestones such as a first dance at a wedding, the soundtrack to our favorite movie or singing in the shower for fun. In fact, it's hard to imagine times when we are more than an ear-length away from hearing another song.
But why does music mean so much to us? A powerful form of communication that transcends all barriers — music is our common language, but why?
A composer and educator with a lifelong fascination for music, Adam Ockelford has traced our connection with music back to infants and caregivers. Infants are unable to follow words, but they are developmentally primed to trace patterns in sound, such as through the songs a caretaker sings to them. Therefore, understanding music is intuitive for humans, even at a very young age, and it encourages healthy development.
In addition, there may be another evolutionary purpose for music. Music provides a sense of sameness between humans — if you can copy the sounds someone else makes, you must be an ally. This synergy plays a role in human survival because it evokes empathy and understanding, a lesson we still learn from music in today's culture.
"Music is central to the notion of what it is to be human, and spans cultures, continents and centuries," writes Ockelford. "My music, your music, our music can bind us together as families, as tribes and as societies in a way that nothing else can."
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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
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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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
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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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."