Tag: Grammy Awards

New Collection of Kendrick Lamar Music Appears Online

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Becomes the 1st 30-Times Multiplatinum Album in U.S. History

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Michael Jackson holding the several Grammy awards he won at the 1984 Grammy ceremonies Feb. 28, 1984, in Los Angeles. His top award was Album of the Year for Thriller. (SUSAN RAGAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Michael Jackson is still setting records years after his death. The King of Pop’s Thriller album has become the first album to go platinum 30 times in the U.S., with sales of more than 30 million albums here and 100 million albums worldwide.

“RIAA has awarded gold and platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30-times, multiplatinum plateau,” said Recording Industry Association of America chief Cary Sherman in a statement. “We are honored to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in gold and platinum history.”

Thriller was released Nov. 30, 1982, and spent nearly two-and-a-half years on the Billboard album charts, with 37 weeks at No. 1. The album was produced by Quincy Jones and won eight Grammys. Included on the album were such hits as “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and its title song, “Thriller.”

“It is crystal clear that Michael Jackson is simply the greatest and biggest artist of all time,” Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid said in a statement. “Not only are his charts hits, and sales stats staggering, but his pure musicality was otherworldly. Thriller was groundbreaking and electrifying … it was perfection. I am extremely proud that Michael is the heart and soul of Epic Records, and he will forever remain the one-and-only King of Pop.”

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Kendrick Lamar Leads Grammy Nominations With 11

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The Recording Academy announced the Grammy Award nominations this morning. Kendrick Lamar leads the field with 11 nods. The Weeknd and Taylor Swift both received seven Grammy nominations. Other top nominees include DrakeJohn Legend, and Kanye West.

The Academy is committed to celebrating a diverse blend of talented entertainers, musicians, and producers, and this commitment is evident in the nominees for the Album of the Year category.  According to Grammy.com. Lamar has been nominated for his “jazz-infused rap,” Alabama Shakes for their “alternative and soulful rock,” Swift for her pop, Chris Stapleton for his “classic country sounds,” and The Weeknd for his “genre-bending R&B style.”

D’Angelo and The Vanguard are nominated for Record of the Year, along with Mark Ronson featuring Bruno MarsEd Sheeran, The Weeknd, and Swift.

The Grammy ceremony will be held Feburary 15, 2016 in Los Angeles. A list of nominees follows below: Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar Leads Grammy Nominations With 11”

Grammy Awards 2015 Winners List (So Far): Beyoncé and Pharrell Win Early!

Beyonce Pyramids 4-22

Before the show even started, a handful of winners have been announced for this year’s 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

Beyonce, who has had a record-breaking 52 nominations, took home an early award in the Best Surround Sound Album category for her self-titled 2013 release. Beyonce has now won 18 Grammy’s but has yet to take home the Album of the Year title, an award she’s up for later tonight.

Meanwhile, Pharrell won another Grammy for himself in the form of Best Music Video with his wildly popular “Happy” visuals.

Ahead of the ceremony and performances, check out an early list of the winners and nominees below:

Album of the Year

Beck, Morning Phase
Beyonce, Beyonce
Ed Sheeran, x
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
Pharrell Williams, G I R L

Best New Artist

Bastille
Iggy Azalea
Brandy Clark
Haim
Sam Smith

Record of the Year

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
“Chandelier,” Sia
“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith
“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor

Song of the Year

“Chandelier,” Sia
“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor
“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith
“Take Me to Church,” Hozier

Best Rap Album

The New Classic, Iggy Azalea
Because the Internet, Childish Gambino
Nobody’s Smiling, Common
The Marshall Mathers LP2, Eminem
Oxymoron, ScHoolboy Q
Blacc Hollywood, Wiz Khalifa

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
“A Sky Full of Stars,” Coldplay
“Say Something,” A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera
“Bang Bang,” Ariana Grande, Jessie J & Nicki Minaj
“Dark Horse,” Katy Perry ft. Juicy J

Best Rap Performance

“3005,” Childish Gambino
“0 to 100/The Catch Up,” Drake
“Rap God,” Eminem
“i,” Kendrick Lamar
“All I Need Is You,” Lecrae

Best Alternative Music Album

This Is All Yours, alt-J
Reflektor, Arcade Fire
Melophobia, Cage the Elephant
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Lazaretto, Jack White

Continue reading “Grammy Awards 2015 Winners List (So Far): Beyoncé and Pharrell Win Early!”

Usher, Willie Nelson and Janelle Monae Set for Stevie Wonder “All-Star Grammy Salute” on February 10

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Stevie Wonder will get the all-star treatment next month during a tribute concert in his honor.  The Associated Press reports that UsherWillie Nelson and Janelle Monae will be among the performers paying tribute to Wonder at “Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute.”

The event, which will also feature performances from Coldplay‘s Chris Martin and Ed Sheeran, will take place at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.

The concert is scheduled to be held two days after the 57th annual Grammy Awards. Wonder’s history with the Grammys is a stellar one that includes receiving 25 Grammy Awards during his career.

Tickets for “Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute” are currently on sale. The show is set to air as a two-hour special Feb. 16 on CBS.

article via eurweb.com

Pharrell Williams Tops Grammys with Producer, Record of the Year Wins

Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers accept Best Duo/Group Grammy Award
Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers accepting Best Duo/Group  Performance Grammy Award

Although he easily could have been remembered solely for his avant garde Vivienne Westwood hat this Grammy year, Pharrell Williams‘ musical forays trumped his sartorial whims last night, garnering him Producer of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance honors.  Williams also has partial claim to the Album of the Year award, which electronic duo Daft Punk won for Random Access Memories (featuring two Pharrell collaborations.)  Other notable winners were Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, (Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album), Alicia Keys (Best R&B Album), Bruno Mars (Best Pop Vocal Album), Ziggy Marley (Best Reggae Album) and Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, who won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Holy Grail.”

Beyoncé and Jay Z opened the show with the steamy, risqué “Drunk in Love,” kicking off a night filled with larger-than-life performances including Pink‘s literal and vocal acrobatics on “Try” and “Just Give Me A Reason,” Katy Perry‘s witchy snap vibe on “Dark Horse” with Juicy J , Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons‘ brilliant, burning mash up of “m.A.A.d City” and “Radioactive,” and Pharrell, Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk with Stevie Wonder on a version of “Get Lucky” that flawlessly blended in Chic’s “Le Freak” and Wonder’s “Another Star.”

One of the biggest, funnest surprises of the evening came late in the show when Queen Latifah introduced Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty‘s performance of “Same Love.” Midway through the song, Latifah re-appeared to officiate a wedding ceremony for thirty-three couples – heterosexual and homosexual – in the aisles of the Los Angeles Staples Center.  As they said their “I dos”, Madonna strolled out in a white suit, hat and cane, melding the chorus of “Open Your Heart” into “Same Love.”

A full list of the Grammy winners follows below:

Album of the Year: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk

Record of the Year: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

Song of the Year: “Royals,” Joel Little, Ella Yelich O’Connor (Lorde)

Best Country Album: “Same Trailer, Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves

Best Pop Vocal Album: “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Bruno Mars

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: “Holy Grail,” Jay Z and Justin Timberlake

Best Pop Solo Performance: Lorde

Best Rock Song: “Cut Me Some Slack,” Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk

Best New Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Continue reading “Pharrell Williams Tops Grammys with Producer, Record of the Year Wins”

Maya Angelou to Receive Honorary Book Award

Dr. Maya Angelou poses at the the Special Recognition Event for Dr. Maya Angelou � The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait at Dr. Angelou's home June 21, 2010 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Ken Charnock/Getty Images)
Dr. Maya Angelou poses at the the Special Recognition Event for Dr. Maya Angelou The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait at Dr. Angelou’s home June 21, 2010 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Ken Charnock/Getty Images)

The book world is finally honoring Maya Angelou.

The poet and author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will be this year’s recipient of the Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community, the National Book Foundation announced today. It is the first major literary prize for the 85-year-old Angelou, who has been celebrated everywhere from the Grammy Awards to the White House. She has received three Grammys for best spoken word album, a National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Speaking by telephone with The Associated Press, Angelou said she couldn’t wait to be in the same room as “some very big names in the literary world” and that the Literarian prize made her feel that she was “picking in high cotton.”

“Dr. Angelou’s body of work transcends the words on the page,” the book foundation’s executive director, Harold Augenbraum, said in a statement. “She has been on the front lines of history and the fight for social justice and decade after decade remains a symbol of the redemptive power of literature in the contemporary world.”

Continue reading “Maya Angelou to Receive Honorary Book Award”

R.I.P. Cleotha Staples of the Staples Singers

 

APphoto_Obit-Cleotha Staples

Cleotha ”Cleedi” Staples (pictured), the eldest member of the famed soul/gospel group, The Staple Singers, passed away on Feb. 21 of causes related to Alzheimer’s disease. The performer had battled the disease for over a decade, according to Philly.com.  She was 78.  Cleotha was born in Drew, Miss., on April 11, 1934 to Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his wife Oceola. She was soon followed by siblings Pervis, Yvonne, Mavis and Cynthia.

After relocating to Chicago in search of better employment opportunities, Cleotha’s father managed to work a few manual labor jobs while Oceola toiled at a hotel stint overnight. Pops began to teach his children gospel songs in order to keep them entertained during the evenings while their mother worked. Pops’ sister Katie enjoyed her brother and his family’s singing so much that she invited them to sing at her church one Sunday morning in 1948. Congregants loved what they heard and begged for three encores.  This event marked the beginning of the Staples family’s professional singing career.

The Staple Singers “Respect Yourself” On Soul Train: 

Continue reading “R.I.P. Cleotha Staples of the Staples Singers”

Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Sting to Perform Together at Grammys

From left, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Sting will perform together at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.From left, Evan Agostini/Invision, via Associated Press; Jon Furniss/Invision, via Associated Press; Hussein Malla/Associated PressFrom left, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Sting will perform together at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

To the ever-growing list of artists already scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, add this unlikely combination: Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Sting. The trio will perform together during the show, the Recording Academy announced Monday, as will Kelly Clarkson. All but Sting also are nominees for awards this year.

In another unusual pairing, the show will also have Sir Elton John and the 21-year-old British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performing together in a live setting for the first time. The Black Keys, Fun., the Lumineers and Frank Ocean will also be making their debuts as Grammy performers on the Sunday night broadcast on CBS.

The ranks of Grammy presenters is also swelling, with Prince, Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Lopez now confirmed in that role. They join a list that also includes Carly Rae Jepsen and Katy Perry from the pop world; the country music stars Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban; and two stars of hit television series, Kaley Cuoco and Neil Patrick Harris.

article by Larry Rohter via nytimes.com

 

Born On This Day in 1938: Singing Legend Etta James

Etta JamesBorn Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, CA on January 25, 1938, Etta James was an American singer whose style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz.  Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as “Roll With Me, Henry“, “At Last“, “Tell Mama“, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me“, and “I’d Rather Go Blind” for which she wrote the lyrics.  James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.  To learn more about Etta James, click here, and watch her perform “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson