2021 Grammy Awards Review

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Last night’s 2021 Grammy awards finally took place at the Staples Center in Las Angeles after being postponed due to COVID. In case you missed it, we have the full list of winners and the best…and the worst of the live performances.

I have to start by giving props to Trevor Noah. Hosting an awards show is hard enough as it is. He did it with NO audience. Just a few cameras in his face and the nominees sitting at socially distanced tables with masks on. It felt a bit awkward at the beginning, but he found his groove and he did an incredible job.

Performances

Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar

Harry Styles kicked the show off with his hit, Watermelon Sugar. It was pretty cool to see the performers just performing for each other like a jam session. Here is Harry and his feather boa.

Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted

Billie took the stage with her bother, Finneas O’Connell to perform Everything I Wanted. I’m not gonna lie…I am a Billie Eilish stan. She’s incredible. Check out a short snippet here.

Haim – Steps

This is my first experience with Haim, and I gotta say…I’m a fan. There’s only a 38 second clip, so here it is!

Black Pumas – Colors

I love the Black Pumas. So soulful, so unique compared to everything that’s currently out there. They were up for 3 Grammys last night, including Record of the Year

DaBaby ft. Roddy Rich – Rockstar

It was a pretty dope performance. It’s a shame there’s only a 38 second clip to this one. I’ll give you an interview with ET Canada, which shows a bit more of the performance, and some 2 of my favorite Tweets from it.

lol

Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez – Dakiti

This performance was pretty awesome. It felt like a music video. I have no idea what they said, but I enjoyed it.

Dua Lipa – Levitating ft. DaBaby/Don’t Stop Now

Dua Lipa is a crazy-good performer. Every movement is choreographed, from her steps to her fingers wrapping around the microphone. Precision at it’s finest. She’s a badass on that stage.

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – Leave The Door Open

This was probably my favorite performance of the night. That could be my bias showing, as I’m a huge fan of both of these guys. They really go back to the 70’s with this one. I love it.

Taylor Swift – Medley

Taylor Swift was doing Taylor Swift things on stage. Not my cup of whisky, but she is great at what she does and I respect the hell out of her. She looked great, sounded great, and the set was beautiful. Here is 6 minutes of Tay Tay.

Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak – Good Golly, Miss Molly (Little Richard Tribute)

These guys can do no wrong. A great tribute to the late Little Richard.

Lionel Richie – Lady (Kenny Rogers Tribute)

In a beautiful tribute to the late Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie sings a great rendition of Rogers’ hit, Lady.

Brandi Carlile – I Remember Everything (John Prine Tibute)

There is no video of this performance online yet, so I’ll give you Brandi’s interview about the performance.

Brittany Howard – You’ll Never Walk Alone (Feat. Chris Martin) Tribute to Gerry Mardsen

Brittany Howard is an absolute powerhouse. The Alabama Shakes singer teamed up with Chris Martin on the keys with this beautiful tribute to Gerry Marsden.

Mickey Guyton – Black Like Me

Sending a powerful message at a time we need it most, Guyton has a stunning voice and she really showed it last night.

Maren Morris and John Mayer – The Bones

Morris on vocals and Mayer on guitar…that’s a nice sound. I’m not a huge fan of the song, but Morris does have a beautiful voice and you can never go wrong with John Mayer on guitar.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion – WAP

Here’s where things get weird. Look, I respect both of these women and their art, and I congratulate them both on their achievements…but cancel culture has me a bit confused. You want to get rid of Dr Seuss books and Mr. Potato Head…but WAP (Wet Ass P*ssy) is cool to play on primetime television? I’m just confused where that line is for you cancelers out there. Personally, cancel culture is a bunch of bullshit and it’s getting out of hand.

Don’t get me wrong. They performed the shit out of this song. The choreography was on point and the set was dope. It also provided the GIF of the night, thanks to Post Malone. I laughed SO hard at his reaction.

Anyway, here’s WAP.

Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding

I need to know what was in that red solo cup he was drinking out of during WAP. Post put on a great show. He didn’t miss a note and it was an emotional performance.

Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture

In the wake of the trial for the death of George Floyd and the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s tragic death, this performance was poignant.

Doja Cat – Say So

I’m a fan of Doja Cat and her performance last night was off the hook.

BTS – Dynamite

BTS always puts on a show. K-Pop artists are trained and groomed for years before they even hit a stage. Everything has to be spot-on. There is a dark side to that part of K-Pop, but that’s another story. These guys are dope and seeing K-Pop blow up in the US makes me really miss Korea.

Roddy Rich – Heartless / The Box

The final performance of the night provided great ending to a fun night of live music that I needed.

Grammy Winners

Record of the Year

  • “Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish — Winner
  • “Black Parade” — Beyoncé
  • “Colors” — Black Pumas
  • “Rockstar” — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
  • “Say So” — Doja Cat
  • “Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
  • “Circles” — Post Malone
  • “Savage” — Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

Album of the Year

  • “Folklore” — Taylor Swift — Winner
  • “Chilombo” — Jhené Aiko
  • “Black Pumas” (Deluxe Edition) — Black Pumas
  • “Everyday Life” — Coldplay
  • “Djesse Vol. 3” — Jacob Collier
  • “Women in Music Pt. III” — Haim
  • “Future Nostalgia” — Dua Lipa
  • “Hollywood’s Bleeding” — Post Malone

Song of the Year

  • “I Can’t Breathe” — H.E.R. — Winner
  • “Black Parade” — Beyoncé
  • “The Box” — Roddy Ricch
  • “Cardigan” — Taylor Swift
  • “Circles” — Post Malone
  • “Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
  • “Everything I Wanted” —  Billie Eilish
  • “If the World Was Ending” — JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels

Best New Artist

  • Megan Thee Stallion — Winner
  • Ingrid Andress
  • Phoebe Bridgers
  • Noah Cyrus
  • Chika
  • D Smoke
  • Doja Cat
  • Kaytranada

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • “Watermelon Sugar” — Harry Styles — Winner
  • “Yummy” — Justin Bieber
  • “Say So” — Doja Cat
  • “Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish
  • “Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
  • “Cardigan” — Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • “Rain on Me” — Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande — Winner
  • “Un Dia (One Day)” — J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy
  • “Intentions” — Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
  • “Dynamite” — BTS
  • “Exile” —  Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

  • “American Standard” — James Taylor — Winner
  • Blue Umbrella” — Burt Bacharach & Daniel Tashian
  • “True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter” — Harry Connick Jr.
  • “Unfollow the Rules” — Rufus Wainwright
  • “Judy” — Renée Zellweger

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • “Future Nostalgia” — Dua Lipa — Winner
  • “Changes” — Justin Bieber
  • “Chromatica” — Lady Gaga
  • “Fine Line” — Harry Styles
  • “Folklore” — Taylor Swift

Best Dance Recording

  • “10%” — Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis — Winner
  • “On My Mind” — Diplo & Sidepiece
  • “My High” — Disclosure, Aminé and Slowthai
  • “The Difference” — Flume featuring Toro y Moi
  • “Both of Us” — Jayda G

Best Dance/Electronic Album

  • “Bubba” — Kaytranada — Winner
  • “Kick I” — Arca
  • “Energy” — Disclosure
  • “Planet’s Mad” — Baauer
  • “Good Faith” — Madeon

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

  • “Live at the Royal Albert Hall” — Snarky Puppy — Winner
  • “Axiom” — Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah
  • “Chronology of a Dream: Live at The Village Vanguard” — Jon Batiste
  • “Take the Stairs” — Black Violin
  • “Americana” — Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill Frisell

Best Rock Performance

  • “Shameika” — Fiona Apple — Winner
  • “The Steps” — HAIM
  • “Stay High” — Brittany Howard
  • “Not” — Big Thief
  • “Kyoto” — Phoebe Bridgers
  • “Daylight” — Grace Potter

Best Metal Performance

  • “Bum-Rush” — Body Count — Winner
  • “Underneath” — Code Orange
  • “The In-Between” — In This Moment
  • “Bloodmoney” — Poppy
  • “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” — Power Trip

Best Rock Song

  • “Stay High” — Brittany Howard — Winner
  • “Kyoto” — Phoebe Bridgers
  • “Lost in Yesterday” — Tame Impala
  • “Not” — Big Thief
  • “Shameika” — Fiona Apple

Best Rock Album

  • “The New Abnormal” — The Strokes — Winner
  • “A Hero’s Death” — Fontaines D.C.
  • “Kiwanuka” — Michael Kiwanuka
  • “Daylight” — Grace Potter
  • “Sound & Fury” — Sturgill Simpson

Best Alternative Music Album

  • “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” — Fiona Apple — Winner
  • “Hyperspace” — Beck
  • “Punisher” — Phoebe Bridgers
  • “Jaime” — Brittany Howard
  • “The Slow Rush” — Tame Impala

Best R&B Performance

  • “Black Parade” — Beyoncé — Winner
  • “Lightning & Thunder” — Jhené Aiko featuring John Legend
  • “All I Need” — Jacob Collier featuring Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign
  • “Goat Head” — Brittany Howard
  • “See Me” — Emily King

Best Traditional R&B Performance

  • “Anything for You” — Ledisi — Winner
  • “Sit On Down” — The Baylor Project featuring Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor
  • “Wonder What She Thinks of Me” — Chloe x Halle
  • “Let Me Go” — Mykal Kilgore
  • “Distance” — Yebba

Best R&B Song

  • “Better Than I Imagined” — Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello — Winner
  • “Black Parade” — Beyoncé
  • “Collide” — Tiana Major9 & EARTHGANG
  • “Do It” — Chloe x Halle
  • “Slow Down” — Skip Marley & H.E.R.

Best Progressive R&B Album

  • “It Is What It Is” — Thundercat — Winner
  • “Chilombo” — Jhené Aiko
  • “Ungodly Hour” — Chloe x Halle
  • “Free Nationals” — Free Nationals
  • “F*** Yo Feelings” — Robert Glasper

Best R&B Album

  • “Bigger Love” — John Legend — Winner
  • “Happy 2 Be Here” — Ant Clemons
  • “Take Time” — Giveon
  • “To Feel Love/D” — Luke James
  • “All Rise” — Gregory Porter

Best Rap Performance

  • “Savage” — Megan thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé — Winner
  • “Deep Reverence” — Big Sean featuring Nipsey Hussle
  • “Bop” — DaBaby
  • “Whats Poppin” — Jack Harlow
  • “The Bigger Picture” — Lil Baby
  • “Dior” — Pop Smoke

Best Melodic Rap Performance

  • “Lockdown” — Anderson .Paak — Winner
  • “Rockstar” — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
  • “Laugh Now Cry Later” — Drake featuring Lil Durk
  • “The Box” — Roddy Ricch
  • “Highest in the Room” — Travis Scott

Best Rap Song

  • “Savage” — Megan thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé — Winner
  • “The Bigger Picture” — Lil Baby
  • “The Box” — Roddy Ricch
  • “Laugh Now Cry Later” — Drake featuring Lil Durk
  • “Rockstar” — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch

Best Rap Album

  • “King’s Disease” — Nas — Winner
  • “Black Habits” — D Smoke
  • “Alfredo” — Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
  • “A Written Testimony” — Jay Electronica
  • “The Allegory” — Royce da 5’9″

Best Country Solo Performance

  • “When My Amy Prays” — Vince Gill — Winner
  • “Stick That in Your Country Song” — Eric Church
  • “Who You Thought I Was” — Brandy Clark
  • “Bluebird” — Miranda Lambert
  • “Black Like Me” — Mickey Guyton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

  • “10,000 Hours” — Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber — Winner
  • “All Night” — Brothers Osborne
  • “Ocean” — Lady A
  • “Sugar Coat” — Little Big Town
  • “Some People Do” — Old Dominion

Best Country Song

  • “Crowded Table” — The Highwomen — Winner
  • “Bluebird” — Miranda Lambert
  • “The Bones” — Maren Morris
  • “More Hearts Than Mine” — Ingrid Andress
  • “Some People Do” — Old Dominion

Best Country Album

  • “Wildcard” — Miranda Lambert — Winner
  • “Nightfall” — Little Big Town
  • “Never Will” — Ashley McBryde
  • “Lady Like” — Ingrid Andress
  • “Your Life Is a Record” — Brandy Clark

Best New Age Album

  • “More Guitar Stories” — Jim “Kimo” West — Winner
  • “Songs from the Bardo” — Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal & Jesse Paris Smith
  • “Periphery” — Priya Darshini
  • “Form//Less” — Superposition
  • “Meditations” — Cory Wong & Jon Batiste

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

  • “All Blues” — Chick Corea, soloist — Winner
  • “Guinnevere” — Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah, soloist
  • “Pachamama” — Regina Carter, soloist
  • “Tomorrow is the Question” — Julian Lage, soloist
  • “Celia” — Gerald Clayton, soloist
  • “Moe Honk” — Joshua Redman, soloist

Best Jazz Vocal Album

  • “Secrets are the Best Stories” — Kurt Elling featuring Danilo Pérez — Winner
  • “ONA” — Thana Alexa
  • “Modern Ancestors” — Carmen Lundy
  • “Holy Room: Live at Alte Oper” — Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band
  • “What’s the Hurry” — Kenny Washington

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

  • “Trilogy 2” — Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade — Winner
  • “on the tender spot of every calloused moment” — Ambrose Akinmusire
  • “Waiting Game” — Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science
  • “Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard” — Gerald Clayton
  • “RoundAgain” — Redman Mehldau McBride Blade

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

  • “Data Lords” — Maria Schneider Orchestra — Winner
  • “Dialogues on Race” — Gregg August
  • “Monk’estra Plays John Beasley” — John Beasley
  • “The Intangible Between” — Orrin Evans and The Captain Black Big Band
  • “Songs You Like a Lot” — John Hollenbeck with Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Gary Versace and The Frankfurt Radio Big Band

Best Latin Jazz Album

  • “Four Questions” — Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra — Winner
  • “Tradiciones” — Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra
  • “City of Dreams” — Chico Pinheiro
  • “Viento y Tiempo – Live at Blue Note Tokyo” — Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée Nuviola
  • “Trane’s Delight” — Poncho Sanchez

Best Gospel Performance/Song

  • “Movin’ On” — Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music — Winner
  • “Wonderful is Your Name” — Melvin Crispell III
  • “Release (Live)” — Ricky Dillard featuring Tiff Joy
  • “Come Together” — Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins Presents: The Good News
  • “Won’t Let Go” — Travis Greene

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

  • “There Was Jesus” — Zach Williams & Dolly Parton — Winner
  • “The Blessing (Live)” — Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Elevation Worship
  • “Sunday Morning” — Lecrae featuring Kirk Franklin
  • “Holy Water” — We the Kingdom
  • “Famous For (I Believe)” — Tauren Wells featuring Jenn Johnson

Best Gospel Album

  • “Gospel According to PJ” — PJ Morton — Winner
  • “2econd Wind: ReadY” — Anthony Brown & group therAPy
  • “My Tribute” — Myron Butler
  • “Choirmaster” — Ricky Dillard
  • “Kierra” — Kierra Sheard

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

  • “Jesus is King” — Kanye West — Winner
  • “Run to The Father” — Cody Carnes
  • “All of My Best Friends” — Hillsong Young & Free
  • “Holy Water” — We the Kingdom
  • “Citizen of Heaven” — Tauren Wells

Best Roots Gospel Album

  • “Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album)” — Fisk Jubilee Singers — Winner
  • “Beautiful Day” — Mark Bishop
  • “20/20” — The Crabb Family
  • “What Christmas Really Means” — The Erwins
  • “Something Beautiful” — Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Best Latin Pop Album or Urban Album

  • “YHLQMDLG” — Bad Bunny — Winner
  • “Por Primera Vez” — Camilo
  • “Mesa Para Dos” — Kany García
  • “Pausa” — Ricky Martin
  • “3:33” — Debi Nova

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album

  • “La Conquista del Espacio” — Fito Paez — Winner
  • “Aura” — Bajofondo
  • “MONSTRUO” — Cami
  • “Sobrevolando” — Cultura Profética
  • “Miss Colombia” — Lido Pimienta

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)

  • “Un Canto por México, Vol. 1” — Natalia Lafourcade — Winner
  • “Hecho en México” — Alejandro Fernández
  • “La Serenata” — Lupita Infante
  • “Bailando Sones y Huampangos con Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez” — Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez
  • “Ayayay!” — Christian Nodal

Best Tropical Latin Album

  • “40” — Grupo Niche — Winner
  • “Mi Tumbao” — José Alberto “El Ruiseñor”
  • “Infinito” — Edwin Bonilla
  • “Sigo Cantando al Amor” (Deluxe) — Jorge Celedon & Sergio Luis
  • “Memorias de Navidad” — Víctor Manuelle

Best American Roots Performance

  • “I Remember Everything” — John Prine — Winner
  • “Colors” — Black Pumas
  • “Deep In Love” — Bonny Light Horseman
  • “Short and Sweet” — Brittany Howard
  • “I’ll Be Gone” — Norah Jones & Mavis Staples

Best American Roots Song

  • “I Remember Everything” — John Prine — Winner
  • “Cabin” — The Secret Sisters
  • “Ceiling to the Floor” — Sierra Hull
  • “Hometown” — Sarah Jarosz
  • “Man Without a Soul” — Lucinda Williams

Best Americana Album

  • “World on the Ground” — Sarah Jarosz — Winner
  • “Old Flowers” — Courtney Marie Andrews
  • “Terms of Surrender” — Hiss Golden Messenger
  • “El Dorado” — Marcus King
  • “Good Souls Better Angels” — Lucinda Williams

Best Bluegrass Album

  • “Home” — Billy Strings — Winner
  • “Man on Fire” — Danny Barnes
  • “To Live in Two Worlds, Vol. 1” — Thomm Jutz
  • “North Carolina Songbook” — Steep Canyon Rangers
  • “The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project, Vol. 1” — Various Artists

Best Traditional Blues Album

  • “Rawer than Raw” — Bobby Rush — Winner
  • “All My Dues are Paid” — Frank Bey
  • “You Make Me Feel” — Don Bryant
  • “That’s What I Heard” — Robert Cray Band
  • “Cypress Grove” — Jimmy “Duck” Holmes

Best Contemporary Blues Album

  • “Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?” — Fantastic Negrito — Winner
  • “Live at the Paramount” — Ruthie Foster Big Band
  • “The Juice” —  G. Love
  • “Blackbirds” — Bettye LaVette
  • “Up and Rolling” — North Mississippi Allstars

Best Folk Album

  • “All the Good Times” — Gillian Welch & David Rawlings — Winner
  • “Bonny Light Horseman” — Bonny Light Horseman
  • “Thanks for the Dance” — Leonard Cohen
  • “Song for Our Daughter” — Laura Marling
  • “Saturn Return” — The Secret Sisters

Best Regional Roots Music Album

  • “Atmosphere” — New Orleans Nightcrawlers — Winner
  • “My Relatives – ‘Nikso’ Kowaiks” — Black Lodge Singers
  • “Cameron Dupuy and The Cajun Troubadours” — Cameron Dupuy And The Cajun Troubadours
  • “Lovely Sunrise” — Nā Wai ʽEhā
  • “A Tribute to Al Berard” — Sweet Cecilia

Best Reggae Album

  • “Got to Be Tough” — Toots & The Maytals — Winner
  • “Upside Down 2020” — Buju Banton
  • “Higher Place” — Skip Marley
  • “It All Comes Black to Love” — Maxi Priest
  • “One World” — The Wailers

Best Global Music Album

  • “Twice as Tall” — Burna Boy — Winner
  • “Fu Chronicles” — Antibalas
  • “Agora” — Bebel Gilberto
  • “Love Letters” — Anoushka Shankar
  • “Amadjar” — Tinariwen

Best Children’s Album

  • “All the Ladies” — Joanie Leeds — Winner
  • “Be a Pain: An Album for Young (and Old) Leaders” — Alastair Moock And Friends
  • “I’m an Optimist” — Dog On Fleas
  • “Songs for Singin'” — The Okee Dokee Brothers
  • “Wild Life” — Justin Roberts

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)

  • “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth” — Rachel Maddow — Winner
  • “Acid for the Children – A Memoir” — Flea
  • “Alex Trebek – The Answer Is…” — Ken Jennings
  • “Catch and Kill” — Ronan Farrow
  • “Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)” — Meryl Streep and Full Cast

Best Comedy Album

  • “Black Mitzvah” — Tiffany Haddish — Winner
  • “I Love Everything” — Patton Oswalt
  • “The Pale Tourist” — Jim Gaffigan
  • “Paper Tiger” — Bill Burr
  • “23 Hours to Kill” — Jerry Seinfeld

Best Musical Theater Album

  • “Jagged Little Pill” — Winner
  • “Amélie”
  • “American Utopia on Broadway”
  • “Little Shop of Horrors”
  • “The Prince of Egypt”
  • “Soft Power”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media

  • “Jojo Rabbit” — Various artists — Winner
  • “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” — Various artists
  • “Bill & Ted Face the Music” — Various artists
  • “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” — Various artists
  • “Frozen II” — Various artists

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

  • “Joker” — Hildur Guðnadóttir, composer — Winner
  • “Ad Astra” — Max Richter, composer
  • “Becoming” — Kamasi Washington, composer
  • “1917” — Thomas Newman, composer
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” — John Williams, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media

  • “No Time to Die” (from No Time to Die) — Billie Eilish — Winner
  • “Beautiful Ghosts” (from Cats) — Taylor Swift
  • “Carried Me with You” (from Onward) — Brandi Carlile
  • “Into the Unknown” (from Frozen II) — Idina Menzel featuring AURORA
  • “Stand Up” (from Harriet) — Cynthia Erivo

Best Instrumental Composition

  • “Sputnik” — Maria Schneider — Winner
  • “Baby Jack” — Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
  • “Be Water II” — Christian Sands
  • “Plumfield” — Alexandre Desplat
  • “Strata” — Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly Of Shadows featuring Anna Webber & Eric Miller

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

  • “Donna Lee” — John Beasley — Winner
  • “Bathroom Dance” — Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • “Honeymooners” — Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly Of Shadows
  • “Lift Every Voice and Sing” — Jarrett Johnson Featuring Alvin Chea
  • “Uranus: The Magician” — Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

  • “He Won’t Hold You” — Jacob Collier featuring Rapsody — Winner
  • “Asas Fechadas” — Maria Mendes Featuring John Beasley & Orkest Metropole
  • “Desert Song” — Säje
  • “From This Place” — Pat Metheny featuring Meshell Ndegeocello
  • “Slow Burn” — Becca Stevens featuring Jacob Collier, Mark Lettieri, Justin Stanton, Jordan Perlson, Nic Hard, Keita Ogawa, Marcelo Woloski & Nate Werth

Best Recording Package

  • “Vols. 11 & 12” — Doug Cunningham & Jason Noto, art directors (Desert Sessions) — Winner
  • “Everyday Life” — Pilar Zeta, art director (Coldplay)
  • “Funeral” — Kyle Goen, art director (Lil Wayne)
  • “Healer” — Julian Gross & Hannah Hooper, art directors (Grouplove)
  • “On Circles” — Jordan Butcher, art director (Caspian)

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

  • “Ode to Joy” — Lawrence Azerrad & Jeff Tweedy, art directors (Wilco) — Winner
  • “Flaming Pie (Collector’s Edition)” — Linn Wie Andersen, Simon Earith, Paul McCartney & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)
  • “Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991” — Lisa Glines & Doran Tyson, art directors (Grateful Dead)
  • “Mode” — Jeff Schulz, art director (Depeche Mode)
  • “The Story of Ghostly International” — Michael Cina & Molly Smith, art directors (Various Artists)

Best Album Notes

  • “Dead Man’s Pop” — Bob Mehr, album notes writer (The Replacements) — Winner
  • “At The Minstrel Show: Minstrel Routines From The Studio, 1894-1926” — Tim Brooks, album notes writer (Various Artists)
  • “The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital Of The West, 1940-1974” — Scott B. Bomar, album notes writer (Various Artists)
  • “The Missing Link: How Gus Haenschen Got Us From Joplin To Jazz And Shaped The Music Business” — Colin Hancock, album notes writer (Various Artists)
  • “Out Of A Clear Blue Sky” — David Sager, album notes writer (Nat Brusiloff)

Best Historical Album

  • “It’s Such A Good Feeling: The Best Of Mister Rogers” — Mister Rogers — Winner
  • “Celebrated, 1895-1896” — Unique Quartette
  • “Hittin’ The Ramp: The Early Years (1936 – 1943)” — Nat King Cole
  • “1999 Super Deluxe Edition” — Prince
  • “Souvenir” — Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
  • “Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions” — Béla Fleck

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

  • “Hyperspace” — Drew Brown, Andrew Coleman, Shawn Everett, Serban Ghenea, David Greenbaum, Jaycen Joshua, Beck Hansen & Mike Larson, engineers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer (Beck) — Winner
  • “Black Hole Rainbow” — Shawn Everett & Ivan Wayman, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Devon Gilfillian)
  • “Expectations” — Gary Paczosa & Mike Robinson, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Katie Pruitt)
  • “Jaime” — Shawn Everett, engineer; Shawn Everett, mastering engineer (Brittany Howard)
  • “25 Trips” — Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Adam Grover, mastering engineer (Sierra Hull)

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

  • Andrew Watt — Winner
  • Jack Antonoff
  • Dan Auerbach
  • Dave Cobb
  • Flying Lotus

Best Remixed Recording

  • “Roses (Imanbek Remix)” — Imanbek Zeikenov, remixer (SAINt JHN) — Winner
  • “Do You Ever (RAC Mix) — RAC, remixer (Phil Good)
  • “Imaginary Friends (Morgan Page Remix)” — Morgan Page, remixer (Deadmau5)
  • “Praying for You (Louie Vega Main Remix) — Louie Vega, remixer (Jasper Street Co.)
  • “Young & Alive (Bazzi vs. Haywyre Remix)” — Haywyre, remixer (Bazzi)

Best Engineered Album, Classical

  • “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, ‘Babi Yar'” — David Frost & Charlie Post, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra) — Winner
  • “Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua” — Bernd Gottinger, engineer (JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus)
  • “Gershwin: Porgy and Bess” — David Frost & John Kerswell, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (David Robertson, Eric Owens, Angel Blue, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus)
  • “Hynes: Fields” — Kyle Pyke, engineer; Jesse Lewis & Kyle Pyke, mastering engineers (Devonté Hynes & Third Coast Percussion)
  • “Ives: Complete Symphonies” — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers; Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, mastering engineers (Gustavo Dudamel & Los Angeles Philharmonic)

Producer of the Year, Classical

  • David Frost — Winner
  • Blanton Alspaugh
  • Jesse Lewis
  • Dmitry Lipay
  • Elaine Martone 

Best Orchestral Performance

  • “Ives: Complete Symphonies” — Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic) — Winner
  • “Aspects of America – Pulitzer Edition” — Carlos Kalmar, conductor (Oregon Symphony)
  • “Concurrence” — Daníel Bjarnason, conductor (Iceland Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Copland: Symphony No. 3” — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
  • “Lutosławski: Symphonies No. 2 & 3” — Hannu Lintu, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording

  • “Gershwin: Porgy and Bess” — David Robertson, conductor; Angel Blue & Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus) — Winner
  • “Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen” — Gil Rose, conductor; Heather Buck & Stephen Powell; Gil Rose, producer (Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Odyssey Opera Chorus)
  • “Floyd, C: Prince of Players” — William Boggs, conductor; Keith Phares & Kate Royal; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Florentine Opera Chorus)
  • “Handel: Agrippina” — Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor; Joyce DiDonato; Daniel Zalay, producer (Il Pomo D’Oro)
  • “Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg” — Donald Runnicles, conductor; David Butt Philip & Elena Tsallagova; Peter Ghirardini & Erwin Stürzer, producers (Orchestra Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin; Chorus Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin)

Best Choral Performance

  • “Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua” — JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass & Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann & Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus & UCLA Chamber Singers) — Winner
  • “Carthage” — Donald Nally, conductor (The Crossing)
  • “Kastalski: Requiem” — Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Charles Bruffy, Steven Fox & Benedict Sheehan, chorus masters (Joseph Charles Beutel & Anna Dennis; Orchestra Of St. Luke’s; Cathedral Choral Society, The Clarion Choir, Kansas City Chorale & The Saint Tikhon Choir)
  • “Moravec: Sanctuary Road” — Kent Tritle, conductor (Joshua Blue, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Dashon Burton, Malcolm J. Merriweather & Laquita Mitchell; Oratorio Society Of New York Orchestra; Oratorio Society Of New York Chorus)
  • “Once Upon a Time” — Matthew Guard, conductor (Sarah Walker; Skylark Vocal Ensemble)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

  • “Contemporary Voices” — Pacifica Quartet — Winner
  • “Healing Modes” — Brooklyn Rider
  • “Hearne, T,: Place” — Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods & Place Orchestra
  • “Hynes: Fields” — Devonté Hynes & Third Coast Percussion
  • “The Schumann Quartets” — Dover Quartet

Best Classical Instrumental Solo

  • “Theofanidis: Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra” — Richard O’Neill; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony) — Winner
  • “Adés: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” — Kirill Gerstein; Thomas Adès, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas” — Igor Levit
  • “Bohemian Tales” — Augustin Hadelich; Jakub Hrůša, conductor (Charles Owen; Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks)
  • “Destination Rachmaninov – Arrival” — Daniil Trifonov; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor (The Philadelphia Orchestra)

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album

  • “Smyth: The Prison” — Sarah Brailey & Dashon Burton; James Blachly, conductor (Experiential Chorus; Experiential Orchestra) — Winner
  • “American Composers at Play – William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto” — Stephen Powell (Attacca Quartet, William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto, Charles Neidich & Jason Vieaux)
  • “Clairières – Songs by Lili & Nadia Boulanger” — Nicholas Phan; Myra Huang, accompanist
  • “Farinelli” — Cecilia Bartoli; Giovanni Antonini, conductor (Il Giardino Armonico)
  • “A Lad’s Love” — Brian Giebler; Steven McGhee, accompanist (Katie Hyun, Michael Katz, Jessica Meyer, Reginald Mobley & Ben Russell)

Best Classical Compendium

  • “Thomas, M.T.: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke” — Isabel Leonard; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer — Winner
  • “Adès Conducts Adès” — Mark Stone & Christianne Stotijn; Thomas Adès, conductor; Nick Squire, producer
  • “Saariaho: Graal Théâtre; Circle Map, Neiges, Vers Toi Qui Es Si Loin” — Clément Mao-Takacs, conductor; Hans Kipfer, producer
  • “Serebrier: Symphonic Bach Variations; Laments and Hallelujahs; Flute Concerto” — José Serebrier, conductor; Jens Braun, producer
  • “Woolf, L.P.: Fire and Blood” — Matt Haimovitz; Julian Wachner, conductor; Blanton Alspaugh, producer

Best Contemporary Classical Composition

  • “Rouse: Symphony No. 5” — Christopher Rouse, composer (Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony) — Winner
  • “Adès: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” — Thomas Adès, composer (Kirill Gerstein, Thomas Adès & Boston Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua” — Richard Danielpour, composer (JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus)
  • “Floyd, C.: Prince of Players” — Carlisle Floyd, composer (William Boggs, Kate Royal, Keith Phares, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Hearne, T.: Place” — Ted Hearne, composer (Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods & Place Orchestra)

Best Music Video

  • “Brown Skin Girl” — Beyoncé, Saint Jhn & Wizkid Featuring Blue Ivy Carter — Winner
  • “Life Is Good” — Future Featuring Drake
  • “Lockdown” — Anderson .Paak
  • “Adore You” — Harry Styles
  • “Goliath” — Woodkid

Best Music Film

  • “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” — Linda Ronstadt — Winner
  • “Beastie Boys Story” — Beastie Boys
  • “Black Is King” — Beyoncé
  • “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” — Freestyle Love Supreme
  • “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” — ZZ Top

Conclusion

Congratulations to Beyonce for breaking the record for most Grammy awards by a female artist. Congrats to The Weeknd, who is a Grammy winner in my eyes. Seriously though…what’s with the snub? Dude’s been in the top 10 all year. Number 1 for a good chunk of the year. Get it together over there.

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2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

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Happy hump day, dudes and dudettes!

Yesterday, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH released their list of 2021 nominees. Let’s break the list down!

This is the order that the artists currently stand in the voting. If your favorite is at the bottom, get to voting!

Tina Turner

The 81-year-old megastar looks like a shoo-in for the Hall this year. Tina Turner is a 12-time Grammy winner and has sold over 100 million records, making her one of the best-selling artists of all-time.

Turner also broke barriers as the first black artist AND the first female to grace the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.

She is best known for her singles Proud Mary, What’s Love Got To Do With It, and The Best.

Here is Tina Turner singing Proud Mary live at Wembley in 2000.


Foo Fighters

Formed in 1994 by former Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl as a solo project, the Foo Fighters picked up a few more members, and have released hit-after-hit since.

The rock band has won 12 Grammys and have just released a new album, Medicine At Midnight.

Dave Grohl is a true rockstar and he is someone I have always admired. I am truly excited for this nomination. He is one person I would absolutely love to sit down with and just talk about music.

Here are a couple of my favorite Dave Grohl moments:

How awesome is that?
Look at me, motherf*cker! Look at me…look at me! Get the F*ck out of my show right now!”
I have done this…minus the guitar.

Carole King

Quite possibly the greatest songwriter of our generation, Carole King has either written or co-written 118 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

118. That’s ridiculous. Wow.

King has 4 Grammys and has also been inducted to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. In 2014, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, written by Douglas McGrath, opened on Broadway. The show starred Jessie Mueller as Carole King. You know you made an impact when someone writes a musical about you.

Here is Carole King singing Natural Woman live in Oakland, 1972. Also the highlights from the Broadway production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.


Iron Maiden

This British heavy-metal band was formed in 1975 by Steve Harris, the band’s bassist.

Iron Maiden has sold well over 100 million records, worldwide…which is crazy considering the minimal air-time they received.

In a 2016 article on Loudersound, Paul Branigan hilariously explains how rock bands, including Iron Maiden, are tools of Satan and must be stopped. US Christian groups labeled the band as “Satanists” and called for people to destroy copies of their album The Number of the Beast…which is just hilarious, in my opinion.

Here is the controversial hit, The Number of the Beast live from The Forum in Las Angeles, 2008.

666. The number of the beast!

The Go-Go’s

The LA-based, all female new wave band was formed in 1978. Led by vocalist Belinda Carlisle, The Go-Go’s sold over 7 million albums worldwide.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Jane Wiedlin discussed what it was like for all female bands in their time. She said:

“If you look at a band like the Runaways, they’re all talented people, especially Joan [Jett], whom I consider a genius, and yet they were basically created by a really creepy man [Kim Fowley] who forced them into their image, who wrote their songs for them. I feel like those girls were really degraded. And so I guess I just feel lucky that we came about organically and kind of kept our own power.”

Here is The Go-Go’s hit single, We Got The Beat.

That hair…

Rage Against The Machine

RATM, the LA-based rock band formed in 1991 is on the nominee list for the third time since 2017.

The band, consisting of Tom Morello, Zack de la Rocha, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk, is known for their leftist anti-authoritarian and revolutionary views in their music.

Rage has won 2 Grammys and is hoping the third time is the charm for the Hall of Fame.

Here is Rage Against The Machine with one of my favorite songs to rock out to, Killing In The Name, live at PinkPop 1993.

F*ck you, I won’t do what you tell me

Todd Rundgren

The 73-year-old multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer from Philadelphia played a diverse range of styles and genres. Rundgren was responsible for the first interactive television concert in 1978, and the first interactive album, No World Order, in 1994.

Rundgren also produced tracks on Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell, Hall and OatesWar Babies, and Grand Funk Railroad’s We’re An American Band, just to name a few.

Here is Todd Rundgren’s 1973 hit, Hello It’s Me.

Hello it’s me
I’ve thought about us for a long long time

Devo

This Akron, OH rock band was formed in 1973. In 2021, Devo looks to return home to Cleveland and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They are known for their science fiction themes and social satire.

Devo played a heavy hand in the beginning of music videos, creating LazerDisk format clips in their video for Whip It, which was played on MTV at the very beginning of it all.

When MTV played music.

Here is the innovative 1980 video, Whip It.

It’s not too late
To whip it
Whip it good

Dionne Warwick

Now 80-years-old, Warwick is more than deserving of a place in the Hall. Known for her single That’s What Friends Are For, she is one of the most charted female vocalists of all-time with 56 singles reaching the Hot 100.

EW named Warwick the “newly minted queen of social media” last week, as she has been hilariously active on Twitter lately. Have a look at the EW video in her tweet below.

“I asked The Weeknd why he didn’t spell his name right.”

Here is Dionne Warwick with the 1985 hit, That’s What Friends Are For.

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for

Chaka Khan

67-year-old powerhouse, Chaka Khan, is widely known as the “Queen of Funk.” She has won 10 Grammys and has sold over 70 million records since her career started in 1973.

Khan has been on the ballet for the Rock Hall twice as a solo artist, and 4 times as a member of Rufus featuring Chaka Khan.

Most recently, Chaka Khan appeared on season 3 of The Masked Singer as Miss Monster in 2020…at young age of 79. Have a look at one of her performances here.

Imagine having to perform in that crap. No thanks.

Here she is in her prime, singing Ain’t Nobody live from Germany, 1985

And now we’re flyin’ through the stars
I hope this night will last forever

New York Dolls

This punk rock/glam rock band formed in New York City in 1971. The band never really received any traction in commercial music, but they did turn out 2 of the most popular cult rock albums and really predated punk music.

The New York Dolls heavily influenced acts like Kiss, the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and even Guns n Roses.

Here is their 1973 live performance of Personality Crisis.

All about that personality crisis, you got it while it was hot
But now, frustration and heartache is what you got

Kate Bush

This 62-year-old singer, songwriter, was the first female artist to claim a UK number 1 with a self-written song at the age of 19 (1978).

Bush signed with EMI Records after Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour helped produce her first demo tape. She has been nominated for 3 Grammy Awards and was first nominated for the Rock Hall in 2018.

Here is Kate Bush with Babooshka.

All yours
Babooshka, babooshka, babooshka 

LL Cool J

Short for “Ladies Love Cool James” which is a fun fact I just learned. The 53-year-old hip-hop artist from Queens, NY has 2 Grammys under his belt, and became the first rapper to receive Kennedy Center Honors.

Aside from his music career, LL appeared in the films Any Given Sunday, S.W.A.T., and Deep Blue Sea. He also stars in NCIS: Las Angeles.

Here is LL Cool J with the hit Doin It.

Doin it and doin it and doin it well

Jay Z

With a $1 BILLION net worth, it’s safe to say 51-year-old Shawn Cory Carter has made one hell of a career for himself.

The rapper/songwriter/executive/businessman/producer is one of the most influential names in all of hip-hop. This guy started his career in music by founding Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995.

22 Grammy Awards later, Jay Z was the first rapper inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time according to Rolling Stone.

On the business side, Jay has founded several multi-million dollar corporations, Rocawear and the 40/40 Club. He also founded the entertainment company Roc Nation and took over the streaming source Tidal.

Not to mention the fact that he is married to one of the biggest superstars of all time, Beyoncé.

I want your life, Jay Z.

I listened to a lot of Jay growing up. I actually made a point of it to eat at the McDonald’s on 145th and Broadway that he wrote about in New York State of Mind.

I used to cop in Harlem,
all of my Dominicanos
right there up on Broadway,
brought me back to that McDonalds

Here is one of my favorite Jay Z hits from when I was a kid, 1999 hit Big Pimpin‘.

We doin’, big pimpin’, we spendin’ cheese
Check ’em out now
Big pimpin’, on B.L.A.D.’s
We doin big pimpin’ up in N.Y.C.

Mary J. Blige

Signed to Uptown Records in 1991, Mary’s esteemed career began. She has sold over 80 million records worldwide, won 9 Grammys, 12 American Music Awards, and even 3 Golden Globes.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul deserves a shot at the Hall. If she doesn’t get it this year, I’d be willing to bet she will in the next couple of years,

Here is Mary J. Blige with her 2009 hit, Family Affair.

Mary J is in the spot tonight, and I’mma make ya feel alright

Fela Kuti

Last but not least, we have the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti. He was a superstar in Africa in the 1970s and an outspoken political activist.

As an artist, he was known for his showmanship and his concerts were considered to be quite wild. Fela passed away in 1997.

In 2008, Fela’s music was brought to New York in the off-Broadway production of Fela! a story of the man’s life, which opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Niell Theatre and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2009.

Here is Fela Kuti’s live performance of Pansa Pansa in Germany, 1987.

There we have it. All 16 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees.

Be sure to vote your favorites in at https://vote.rockhall.com/

Who are you voting for? Let me know in the comments!