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Monday
Feb092015

Kanye West on Beck's Grammy Win: "He Should Have Given His Award to Beyoncé"

Def Jam; Peter HapakEveryone thought Kanye West was joking Sunday night at the Grammy Awards when he went on stage after Beck won best album honors. Everyone assumed Kanye was making a humorous reference to his infamous 2009 MTV VMA performance when he stormed the stage after Beyonce lost to Taylor Swift.  Kanye didn’t say anything while on stage Sunday, leading everyone to believe it was just a joke, but he told E! Online afterward that Beck “should have given his award to Beyoncé.”

Speaking about Beck’s win, Kanye told E!, "I don't know what he said, I just know is if the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain't gonna play with them no more. 'Flawless,' Beyoncé video. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it.”

Kanye wasn’t finished. "Because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you're disrespectful to inspiration and we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day and they listen to that Beyoncé album and they feel like it takes them to another place," he added.

Kanye then took a shot at the Grammy broadcast, saying, "Then they do this whole promotional event, they'll run the music over somebody's speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. Like, no, we not playing with them no more. By the way, I got my wife, my daughter and my clothing line, so I'm not going to do nothing to put my daughter at risk but I am here to fight for creativity. That's the reason why I didn't say anything tonight. But you all know what it meant when 'Ye walks on the stage.”


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Monday
Feb092015

Grammys Backstage Report

The Recording AcademyHere's what some of the winners had to say backstage at the 57th Grammy Awards, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night:

-- Sam Smith was understandably excited after winning four awards, including three in the major categories: Best New Artist, and Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Stay with Me."

He joked to reporters, "I feel like Kate Winslet at the Oscars right now." Actually, he had better luck than Winslet, who didn't win an Oscar until her sixth nomination.

He continued, "It's a dream come true. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life."

When asked if anything could top the night he'd just had, Sam joked, "A boyfriend would be nice." But, he added, "I don't think it would top this, though. Nothing. And that's the curse for the rest of my life, I think."

As for the ex that inspired "Stay with Me," Sam said they're still friends. He said, "I'm pretty sure he's very happy."

-- One of the most-talked-about moments of the Grammys was Kanye West showing up onstage as Beck was set to accept the Album of the Year award. It appeared to be a joke at the time, though a seemingly-upset Kanye indicated otherwise during an interview with E! later in the night.

Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow downplayed the incident when he was asked about it backstage by ABC News Radio. He said, "They are all adults, more or less...I thought it wound up being playful and fun, and no harm done."

Portnow also addressed the exclusion of Joan Rivers, who posthumously won her first Grammy earlier in the day, for best spoken word album, from the "In Memoriam" segment. Portnow explained that the tribute can only accommodate so many people from the industry, stating, "We never make everybody happy. We do the best we can to create sort of a mix of different genres and genders and generations and so on."

-- Miranda Lambert called her win for best country album, for Platinum, "surreal." Her work on the album was important to her, she said, because she felt it was the "one that was going to set up the next decade" of her career.

-- A Great Big World claimed the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance for their hit with Christina Aguilera, "Say Something." They quipped that the experience felt like The Truman Show, as if it weren't real.

-- Country trio The Band Perry won their first-ever Grammy, taking the best country duo/group performance category for "Gentle On My Mind." Kimberly Perry said it's a "life-changing" moment for them because many years ago they'd dreamed of simply appearing at the Grammys. She added that it "raises the momentum" as they continue to develop their third album.

-- "Weird Al" Yankovic declared that winning a Grammy never gets old. He won his fourth Grammy, for his album Mandatory Fun, but pointed out his first victory came 30 years ago. He said, "I'm not jaded about it, it's an amazing feeling."

He joked that when he wins a Grammy he has it screwed to his head for a week, like he's a "Grammy unicorn."

-- The movie Frozen was honored in a couple of categories: best compilation soundtrack for visual media, and best song written for visual media for "Let It Go." The husband-and-wife duo behind "Let It Go," Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, is collaborating with Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris on something for that ceremony. Anderson-Lopez teased that it will consist of Harris "doing what he does best."

-- After scooping up the award for best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella, Pentatonix stated that it was the coolest thing in their career, and validates what they do.

-- Prior to Katy Perry's performance of "By the Grace of God," domestic violence survivor Brooke Axtell shared her story of how she sought help at a domestic violence center. Backstage, she commented that she didn't speak onstage from a "place of pain, but a place of hope." She said it was an honor to take part in the segment, which also included a video appearance by President Obama calling on musicians to pledge to stop domestic violence.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Monday
Feb092015

Beyoncé, Pharrell Winners at NAACP Image Awards

PRNewswire; Columbia RecordsBeyoncé and Pharrell Williams were winners at the 46th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California Friday night.

Bey was named outstanding female artist, while Pharrell took male honors.

Alicia Keys earned the award for outstanding song for "We Are Here." John Legend triumphed in the outstanding music video category for “You and I (Nobody in the World).”

Other winners included Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight.

Here are all of the winners in the music categories:

Outstanding Male Artist
Pharrell Williams

Outstanding Female Artist
Beyoncé

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration
“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith feat. Mary J. Blige

Outstanding Song
“We Are Here,” Alicia Keys

Outstanding Music Video
“You and I (Nobody in the World),” John Legend

Outstanding Album
Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, Aretha Franklin

Outstanding New Artist
3 Winans Brothers

Outstanding Jazz Album
My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke, Al Jarreau

Outstanding Gospel Album (Traditional or Contemporary)
Where My Heart Belongs, Gladys Knight


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Monday
Feb092015

Grammy Awards: The Performances

Image Courtesy The Recording AcademyThere were some actual Grammys handed out Sunday night in Los Angeles, but as usual, the Grammys telecast, which aired on CBS, was all about the musical performances -- this year, there were a whopping 23.  Here's a rundown of who sang what:

Rock legends AC/DC, in their first-ever Grammy performance, opened the show with their latest track, "Rock or Bust," and then segued into their classic "Highway to Hell." Many audience members donned light-up devil's horns for the song, and Lady Gaga was seen losing her mind, rocking out in the front row.

Ariana Grande sang her ballad "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" on a blue-lit stage, with a string section and lots of fog.

Jessie J & Tom Jones duetted on the classic "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'," to honor the songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who wrote it.

A leather-clad Miranda Lambert turned in a rocking performance of her song "Little Red Wagon," complete with smoke, fireworks, flashing lights and profanity. She left in the s-word, which is part of the song's lyrics, but pulled the mic away; the sound also dropped out during that part.

Kanye West performed his emotional song "Only One," which he wrote with Paul McCartney, while standing on a spotlight shining up from the floor.

Madonna sang her new song "Living for Love" in a performance inspired by the song's video, which features her playing a sexy matador to dozens of half-men, half-bulls.  A gospel choir also joined in.  The Queen of Pop wore a revealing red-and-black leotard, did a lot of dancing, and ended the number by being hoisted up to the ceiling on a cable.

Ed Sheeran performed his hit "Thinking Out Loud" backed up by John Mayer, jazz legend Herbie Hancock and Questlove from The Roots.  Ed then introduced ELO, led by Jeff Lynne, who performed their classic "Evil Woman."  Paul McCartney was seen standing up and clapping along, then seemed to get embarrassed when he realized the camera was on him and sat back down. As ELO segued into another classic, "Mr. Blue Sky," Ed came out and joined Lynne in a duet, as Taylor Swift danced along in the audience.

Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani performed "My Heart Is Open," their duet from Maroon 5's current album V.

Hozier performed his Grammy-nominated hit "Take Me to Church," joined by Annie Lennox, and then the two sang the 1956 song "I Put a Spell on You," which Annie recorded for her current album Nostalgia.

Pharrell, dressed for some reason like a bell boy, teamed with pianist Lang Lang and composer Hans Zimmer for a very unique spin on his song "Happy."  He started out simply reciting the words to the song, which were then echoed back to him in a variety of languages.  Next, as he began singing the song, he was joined by a troupe of dancers, a group of people playing violins, a gospel choir standing in the aisles, Lang Lang on piano and Zimmer on guitar.

After an anti-domestic violence PSA starring President Obama aired, a survivor of domestic abuse named Brooke Axtell took the stage and delivered a spoken-word performance about her own experiences, noting, "Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse.”  That led into a performance by Katy Perry, who sang her wrenching ballad "By the Grace of God."  She was dressed in white from head to toe, and as she sang, shadow figures swayed and danced on a screen behind her.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga duetted on the standard "Cheek to Cheek," with Gaga nearly falling out of her dress.

Usher paid tribute to Stevie Wonder by singing his song "If It's Magic," and Stevie walked onstage at the end to play harmonica.

Eric Church sang "Give Me Back My Hometown."

Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam teamed up for a duet on Brandy's song "Hold My Hand."

With no introduction, Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney began performing their new acoustic collaboration "FourFiveSeconds"  -- from Rihanna's upcoming album -- standing in front of a blank white screen.  All three were wearing black suits.  McCartney looked like he was singing and playing guitar, but it was impossible to hear him.

Sam Smith duetted with Mary J. Blige on "Stay with Me" on a stage lit by lanterns. 

Latin rocker Juanes sang the song "Juntos (Together)."

Actor Shia LaBeouf, who stars in Sia's video for "Elastic Heart," gave a bizarre introduction -- what else? -- for her performance of "Chandelier."  It took place on a set that looked like a series of completely trashed, interconnected rooms.  Sia sang with her back to the camera as little Maddie Ziegler, who starred in the "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart" videos, performed a modern dance number along with, strangely, Kristen Wiig.  Both wore blonde bob wigs and jumpsuits, which they later removed to reveal flesh-colored leotards.

Beck and Coldplay's Chris Martin teamed up for a low-key duet of Beck's song "Heart Is a Drum"

Beyonce, clad in a white outfit that made her look like an angel, belted out "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" mostly a cappella, backed by a male choir. Then, she introduced John Legend and Common, who performed their Oscar-nominated hit "Glory," from the movie Selma.  When that was over, Sam Smith and Mary J. Blige returned to the stage to close the show with a bit more of the night's big winning song, "Stay with Me."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Feb092015

Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Brandy Clark Bring Country to the Grammy Awards

Image Courtesy The Recording AcademyCountry music got a bit of screen time at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night on CBS. Dierks Bentley introduced his friend Miranda Lambert for her fiery performance of "Little Red Wagon." She went on to win Best Country Album for Platinum. Keith Urban took the stage to introduce Eric Church's performance of the Grammy-nominated hit, "Give Me Back My Hometown." Best New Artist nominee Brandy Clark teamed up with Dwight Yoakam for an acoustic performance of "Hold My Hand" from her album, 12 Stories.

A few country stars walked away with awards presented during the pre-telecast ceremony Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

Carrie Underwood won the Best Country Solo Performance award for "Something in the Water," and The Band Perry took the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category for "Gentle on My Mind." That song is featured on the soundtrack of the Glen Campbell documentary, I'll Be Me. Glen shared the Best Country Song Grammy with his co-writer Julian Raymond for "I'm Not Gonna Miss You." The song was also featured in I'll Be Me and is the last song Glen ever recorded. That song is nominated for the Best Original Song award at the Oscars coming up February 22.

Hunter Hayes and Rosanne Cash were among the presenters in the pre-telecast ceremony.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Grammy Winners List

NARASHere's a list of winners in the major categories at the 57th Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles on Sunday night:

Record of the Year
"Stay with Me (Darkchild Version)," Sam Smith

Best New Artist
Sam Smith

Song of the Year
"Stay with Me," Sam Smith, songwriters Sam Smith, James Napier & William Phillips

Album of the Year
Morning Phase, Beck

Best Pop Solo Performance
"Happy (Live)," Pharrell Williams

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
"Say Something," A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera

Best Pop Vocal Album
In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Cheek to Cheek, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

Best Country Album
Platinum, Miranda Lambert

Best Rock Album
Morning Phase, Beck

Best Rock Song
"Ain't It Fun," Paramore, songwriters Hayley Williams and Taylor York

Best Rock Performance
"Lazaretto," Jack White

Best Metal Performance
"The Last In Line," Tenacious D

Best Alternative Music Album
St. Vincent, St. Vincent

Best Urban Contemporary Album
G I R L, Pharrell Williams

Best R&B Performance
"Drunk In Love," Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z

Best Traditional R&B Performance
"Jesus Children," Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm Jamal Warner

Best R&B Album
Love, Marriage & Divorce, Toni Braxton & Babyface

Best R&B Song
"Drunk In Love," Beyonce & Jay Z, songwriters Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyoncé Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor & Brian Soko

Best Rap Album
The Marshall Mathers LP2, Eminem

Best Rap Song
"I," Kendrick Lamar, songwriters K. Duckworth & C. Smith

Best Rap Performance
"I," Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
"The Monster," Eminem Featuring Rihanna

Best Country Song
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You," Glen Campbell, songwriters Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond

Best Country Solo Performance
"Something in the Water," Carrie Underwood

Best Country Duo or Group Performance
"Gentle on My Mind," The Band Perry

Best Music Video
"Happy," Pharrell Williams; We Are From LA, video director; Kathleen Heffernan, Roman Pichon Herrera, Jett Steiger & Cedric Troadec, video producers

Best Music Film
20 Feet From Stardom, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill; Morgan Neville, video director; Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers, video producers

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Diary Of A Mad Diva, Joan Rivers

Best Comedy Album
Mandatory Fun, "Weird Al" Yankovic


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry and Glen Campbell Among Early Grammy Award Winners

Image Courtesy The Recording AcademyA few country stars walked away with Grammy Awards presented during the pre-telecast ceremony Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

Carrie Underwood won the Best Country Solo Performance award for "Something in the Water," and The Band Perry won their first Grammy ever in  the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category for "Gentle on My Mind." That song is featured on the soundtrack of the Glen Campbell documentary, I'll Be Me. Glen's song from that documentary, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," won the Best Country Song Grammy. Glen co-wrote the song with Julian Raymond, and it was the last song Glen ever recorded. That song is nominated for the Best Original Song award at the Oscars coming up February 22.

Hunter Hayes and Rosanne Cash were among the presenters in the pre-telecast ceremony. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET Sunday night on CBS.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Merle Haggard Responds to Bob Dylan's MusiCares Person of the Year Diss

Image Courtesy Capitol RecordsBob Dylan's 35-minute speech as the guest of honor at Friday night's MusiCares Person of the Year event included a mention of his 2005 touring partner, Merle Haggard. Bob said "Merle Haggard didn't even think much of my songs. I know he didn't. He didn't say that to me, but I know way back when he didn't."

Merle took to his Facebook page to disagree with Bob's statement. The post says, "Bob Dylan I've admired your songs since 1964. 'Don't Think Twice' Bob, Willie [Nelson] and I just recorded it on our new album."

Bob said Merle's Bakersfield, California contemporary Buck Owens did like Dylan's songs, and he'd rather have Buck's blessing than Merle's anyway.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Grammy Executive Producer Says Tonight's Ceremony Will Be Packed with "Remarkable" Performances

The Recording AcademyAs you'd expect, tonight's Grammy Awards will feature performances by an impressive array of music stars, including the musical mash-ups between unusual pairings of artists that have become a tradition at the annual ceremony.  Quite a few veteran stars will be taking part in these collaborations, including Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne, Herbie Hancock, Tony Bennett and ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox.

The show's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, says there are so many "remarkable" collaborative performances lined up for the Grammys this year that picking the one that will be the most talked-about after the event "might be the hardest question" to answer.  Among the moments to watch for, according to Ehrlich, is McCartney's collaboration with pop/R&B star Rihanna and rapper Kanye West, on the song "FourFiveSeconds," from her forthcoming album.

In addition, the producer says he thinks the duet between Lennox and rising alternative star Hozier will be a "showstopper."

"Obviously we're gonna do [Hozier's hit] 'Take Me to Church,'" explains Ehrlich.  "But Annie, when I called her, I said to her, 'You know I really think 'Take Me to the River' would be amazing.'  She did an incredible version of that some years back.  And she called me back and said, 'You know, I like that, but is there any possibility of doing 'I Put a Spell on You'?' -- which is from her new album.  So they're gonna do that."

The evening's other mash-up performances include Jones with pop singer Jessie J, Bennett with Lady Gaga, and Lynne with Hancock, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran and The Roots' Questlove.

Of course, the Grammys will feature plenty of individual performances too, including Madonna and, for the first time ever at the Grammys, Australian rock legends AC/DC.

Ehrlich, meanwhile, says there one band he was hoping to get on the show but couldn't.

"We had some serious talks with U2 and they were ready to come," he tells ABC News Radio.  "Whether it would have been a mash-up or whether it would have just been a solo performance by the band, we were talking.  But then that kind of went by the wayside when Bono had his accident."

The U2 frontman banged himself up pretty badly while bike-riding in New York City this past November, and has said he may never play guitar again, but Ehrlich hears that he's on the mend.

"I'm hearing really good reports about him being much better, but unfortunately not in time for us," he explains.

In addition to the performances, of course, are the actual Grammy Awards presentations.  Veteran artists who have been nominated this year include U2, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Glen Campbell, Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Lennox, Gloria Gaynor, Gregg Allman, Johnny Winter, James Brown, Darlene Love, Pink Floyd and Sergio Mendes.  In addition, music collections from Neil Young and The Grateful Dead are in the running for the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package prize.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony air tonight on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

Here is a select list of Grammy categories featuring the aforementioned nominees:

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Cheek to Cheek, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Nostalgia, Annie Lennox
Night Songs, Barry Manilow
Sending You a Little Christmas, Johnny Mathis
Partners, Barbra Streisand with Various Artists

Best Rock Album
Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams
Morning Phase, Beck
Turn Blue, The Black Keys
Hypnotic Eye, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Songs of Innocence, U2

Best Country Song
"American Kids," Kenny Chesney, songwriters Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
"Automatic," Miranda Lambert, songwriters Miranda Lambert, Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby
"Give Me Back My Hometown," Eric Church, songwriters Eric Church, Luke Laird
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You," Glen Campbell, songwriters Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond
"Meanwhile Back at Mama's," Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, songwriters Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnson, Jeffery Steele

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
American Hustle, Various Artists
Frozen, Various Artists
Get On Up: The James Brown Story, James Brown
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1, Various Artists
The Wolf of Wall Street, Various Artists

Best Song Written for Visual Media
"Everything Is Awesome!!!," Joshua Bartholomew, Lisa Harriton, Shawn Patterson, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer & Jorma Taccone, songwriters (Tegan And Sara Featuring The Lonely Island)
"I See Fire," Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You," Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters (Glen Campbell)
"Let It Go," Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel)
"The Moon Song," Spike Jonze & Karen O, songwriters (Scarlett Johansson & Joaquin Phoenix)

Best American Roots Performance
"Statesboro Blues," Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal
"A Feather's Not a Bird," Rosanne Cash
"And When I Die," Billy Childs featuring Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas
"The Old Me Better," Keb' Mo' featuring The California Feet Warmers
"Destination," Nickel Creek

Best Blues Album
Common Ground -- Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin
Promise of a Brand New Day, Ruthie Foster
Juke Joint Chapel, Charlie Musselwhite
Decisions, Bobby Rush with Blinddog Smokin'
Step Back, Johnny Winter

Best World Music Album
Toumani & Sidiki, Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki Diabaté
Eve, Angelique Kidjo
Our World in Song, Wu Man, Luis Conte & Daniel Ho
Magic, Sérgio Mendes
Traces of You, Anoushka Shankar

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Cities of Darkscorch, Various Artists
A Letter Home (Vinyl Box Set), Neil Young
The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27), Various Artists
Sparks (Deluxe Album Box Set), Imogen Heap
Spring 1990 (The Other One), Grateful Dead

Best Surround Sound Album
Beppe: Remote Galaxy, Vladimir Ashkenazy & Philharmonia Orchestra
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
Chamberland: The Berlin Remixes, David Miles Huber
The Division Bell (20th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set), Pink Floyd
Epics of Love, Song Zuying, Yu Long & China Philharmonic Orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection', Benjamin Zander & Philharmonia Orchestra

Best Music Film
Beyoncé & Jay Z: On the Run Tour, Beyoncé & Jay Z
Ghost Stories, Coldplay
20 Feet from Stardom, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill
Metallica Through the Never, Metallica
The Truth About Love Tour: Live from Melbourne, Pink


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb082015

Grammy Executive Producer Previews Tonight's Performances by AC/DC and Other Rock Artists

NARASAC/DC have been a band for more than 40 years, but there's one thing the Australian rockers haven't done during their long, illustrious career: perform on the Grammys.  That will change tonight when they take the stage to perform at 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

"I've got AC/DC on the show!" declares Grammy executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, to ABC News Radio.  "They're not a new, young act, but they've never been on a Grammy show."

Several other artists from the world of classic rock also will be performing on the show, all taking part in what Ehrlich describes as "remarkable" collaborations.  These include Paul McCartney with Rihanna and Kanye West; ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox with rising alternative star Hozier; and Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne with Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, The Roots' Questlove and jazz great Herbie Hancock.

Ehrlich says he thinks the duet between Lennox and Hozier will be a "showstopper."

"Obviously we're gonna do 'Take Me to Church' with Hozier," explains Ehrlich.  "But Annie, when I called her, I said to her, 'You know I really think 'Take Me to the River' would be amazing.'  She did an incredible version of that some years back.  And she called me back and said, 'You know, I like that, but is there any possibility of doing 'I Put a Spell on You'?' -- which is from her new album.  So they're gonna do that."

Ehrlich, meanwhile, says there one band he was hoping to get on the show but couldn't.

"We had some serious talks with U2 and they were ready to come," he tells ABC News Radio.  "Whether it would have been a mash-up or whether it would have just been a solo performance by the band, we were talking.  But then that kind of went by the wayside when Bono had his accident."

The U2 frontman banged himself up pretty badly while bike-riding in New York City this past November, and has said he may never play guitar again, but Ehrlich hears that he's on the mend.

"I'm hearing really good reports about him being much better, but unfortunately not in time for us," he explains.

In addition to the performances, of course, are the actual Grammy Awards.  Among the classic-rock artists nominated in various categories this year are U2, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Gregg Allman, Pink Floyd, Metallica and the late Johnny Winter.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will be held tonight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Here is a select list of Grammy categories featuring at least one veteran rock artist:

Best Rock Album
Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams
Morning Phase, Beck
Turn Blue, The Black Keys
Hypnotic Eye, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Songs of Innocence, U2

Best Metal Performance
"Neon Knights," Anthrax
"High Road," Mastodon
"Heartbreaker," Motörhead
"The Negative One," Slipknot
"The Last in Line," Tenacious D

Best American Roots Performance
"Statesboro Blues," Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal
"A Feather's Not a Bird," Rosanne Cash
"And When I Die," Billy Childs featuring Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas
"The Old Me Better," Keb' Mo' featuring The California Feet Warmers
"Destination," Nickel Creek

Best Blues Album
Common Ground -- Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin
Promise of a Brand New Day, Ruthie Foster
Juke Joint Chapel, Charlie Musselwhite
Decisions, Bobby Rush with Blinddog Smokin'
Step Back, Johnny Winter

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Cities of Darkscorch, Various Artists
A Letter Home (Vinyl Box Set), Neil Young
The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27), Various Artists
Sparks (Deluxe Album Box Set), Imogen Heap
Spring 1990 (The Other One), Grateful Dead

Best Surround Sound Album
Beppe: Remote Galaxy, Vladimir Ashkenazy & Philharmonia Orchestra
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
Chamberland: The Berlin Remixes, David Miles Huber
The Division Bell (20th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set), Pink Floyd
Epics of Love, Song Zuying, Yu Long & China Philharmonic Orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection', Benjamin Zander & Philharmonia Orchestra

Best Music Film
Beyoncé & Jay Z: On the Run Tour, Beyoncé & Jay Z
Ghost Stories, Coldplay
20 Feet from Stardom, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill
Metallica Through the Never, Metallica
The Truth About Love Tour: Live from Melbourne, Pink


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Grammy Executive Producer Previews Performances by AC/DC, Hozier 

The Recording AcademyAC/DC have been a band for over 40 years, but there’s one thing the classic rockers haven't done during their long, illustrious career: play the Grammys. That will change this Sunday when they take the stage to perform at 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

"I’ve got AC/DC on the show!" exclaims Grammy executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, to ABC News Radio. "They’re not a new, young act, but they’ve never been on a Grammy show. So the idea of having these first-timers is really exciting, and it energizes all of us."

Other performers include a collaboration between Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and Beck, plus a duet between rising alternative star Hozier and acclaimed pop singer Annie Lennox, which Ehrlich thinks will be a "show-stopper."

"Obviously we’re gonna do 'Take Me to Church' with Hozier," Ehrlich says. "But Annie, when I called her, I said to her, 'You know I really think 'Take Me to the River' would be amazing.' She did an incredible version of that some years back. And she called me back and said, 'You know, I like that, but is there any possibility of doing 'I Put a Spell On You'?' -- which is from her new album. So they’re gonna do that and I think it’s gonna be a show-stopper."

As for whom he wanted to get on the show but couldn't, Ehrlich says he was close to getting U2, but the plans fell through.

"We had some serious talks with U2 and they were ready to come," he tells ABC News Radio. "Whether it would have been a mash-up or whether it would have just been a solo performance by the band, we were talking. But then that kind of went by the wayside when Bono had his accident."

The U2 frontman injured himself up pretty badly while bike-riding in New York City last November and has said he may never play guitar again, but Ehrlich hears he may be on the mend. 

"I'm hearing really good reports about him being much better, but unfortunately not in time for us," he explains. 

In addition to the performances, of course, are the actual Grammy awards. Beck's Morning Phase received a nomination for Album of the Year, giving him the lead over all the rock artists with four nominations. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday night on CBS. Here are all the nominees for the rock categories:

Best Rock Album
Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams
Morning Phase, Beck
Turn Blue, The Black Keys
Hypnotic Eye, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Songs of Innocence, U2

Best Rock Song
"Blue Moon," Beck, songwriter Beck Hansen
"Gimme Something Good," Ryan Adams, songwriter Ryan Adams
"Fever," The Black Keys, songwriters Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney, Brian Burton
"Ain't It Fun," Paramore, songwriters Hayley Williams and Taylor York
"Lazaretto," Jack White, songwriter Jack White

Best Rock Performance
"Gimme Something Good," Ryan Adams
"Do I Wanna Know?" Arctic Monkeys
"Blue Moon," Beck
"Fever," The Black Keys
"Lazaretto," Jack White

Best Metal Performance
"Neon Knights," Anthrax
"High Road," Mastodon
"Heartbreaker," Motörhead
"The Negative One," Slipknot
"The Last In Line," Tenacious D

Best Alternative Music Album
This Is All Yours, Alt-J
Reflektor, Arcade Fire
Melophobia, Cage the Elephant
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Lazaretto, Jack White


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Beck Says Nomination for Album of the Year Among Pop Artists Is "Not So Strange" 

Image Courtesy of Capitol RecordsBeck may seem a little a little out of place among pop's biggest names -- Beyonce, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams -- on the Grammy Album of the Year ballot, but he thinks his Morning Phase isn't that separate from his fellow nominees.

"My family, my friends, they listen to Beyoncé all the time," Beck tells the Los Angeles Times. "And I was working with Pharrell around the time I was working on this record, so he was at the house. In some ways it’s not so strange."

"This music, although it’s in different genres, it all feels like a part of my life," he continues. "My record is a very kind of simple, traditional singer-songwriter record. But I guess the Sam Smith and the Ed Sheeran records are in that vein too."

Beck received his first Grammy nominations at the 1997 ceremony and has been consistently nominated since, so he has had a front row seat to its evolution.

"There’s definitely been a shift. I’d say the show has gotten younger in recent years," Beck says. "When I started, it was all veterans, so anybody I was in the category with were just giants. It’d be like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. I was, like, 'Can you guys make another category, please? Because there’s no way in hell I’m ever gonna win.'"

In addition to its nod for Album of the Year, Beck's Morning Phase is nominated for Best Rock Album. Its single, "Blue Moon," is up for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

The Grammys will air Sunday night on CBS.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Sunday Night's Grammy Awards Will Feature "Remarkable Combinations" of Artists, Says Exec. Producer 

The Recording AcademyOne of this year's Grammy nominees is Meghan Trainor, for her #1 hit "All About That Bass," and this Sunday night's Grammy telecast will be all about those "Grammy Moments" -- musical mash-ups featuring odd collections of artists that you won't see anywhere else.  The show's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, says there are so many this year, he really can't pinpoint which one people will be talking about on Monday morning.

"This year, that might be the hardest question," Ehrlich tells ABC News Radio. "I mean, this show runs the gamut...you’ve got AC/DC, Madonna, classic artists like that, and then it’s Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran...and these combinations this year, I think, are remarkable, all the way from Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine to Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney."

Not only that, but Ehrlich says a real thrill for him this year is that so many artists who'll be performing have never before graced the Grammy stage.

"At least half the show or more are people who have not been on the Grammys before," he tells ABC News Radio. "I mean, we’ve got our standard-bearers.  John Legend, we love having back. Madonna’s been on a number of times. Kanye’s been with us a certain number of times. But I mean, I’ve got AC/DC on the show! They’re not a new, young act, but they’ve never been on a Grammy show. So the idea of having these first-timers is really exciting, and it energizes all of us."

Here are just some of the stars who've been announced as performing so far:

Solo:  Madonna, AC/DC, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Sia

Together:  Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett; Rihanna, Paul McCartney & Kanye West; John Legend, Common and, supposedly, Beyonce; Sam Smith and Mary J. Blige; Coldplay's Chris Martin and alt-rocker Beck; legendary crooner Tom Jones and Jessie J; Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani; Hozier and Annie Lennox;and Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, The Roots' Questlove, jazz icon Herbie Hancock and legendary British rock band ELO, led by Jeff Lynne.

It's an impressive list, but Ehrlich admits there's one big act that got away from him this year.

"We had some serious talks with U2 and they were ready to come," he tells ABC News Radio. "Whether it would have been a mash-up or whether it would have just been a solo performance by the band, we were talking. But then that kind of went by the wayside when Bono had his accident." The U2 frontman banged himself up pretty badly while bike-riding in New York City last November, and has said he may never play guitar again, but Ehrlich hears he may be on the mend.  "I’m hearing really good reports about him being much better, but unfortunately not in time for us," he explains.

As for the acts he has booked, Ehrlich says he's very excited about Hozier and Annie Lennox, who will duet on Hozier's Grammy-nominated hit "Take Me to Church" and Annie's rendition of the 1956 rock song "I Put a Spell on You.  "I think it’s gonna be a showstopper," he says. 

Ehrlich also teases that "Chandelier" singer Sia's performance will be one to watch, since the Grammy-nominated Australian singer/songwriter won't pose for publicity photos, doesn't appear in her own videos and won't show her face when she performs.  "It presented some challenges in terms of how we’re gonna present her, but I think when people see it they’re gonna be knocked out," he says.

But despite all the star power on stage, Ehrlich says the Grammys are still about the little golden gramophones that some lucky artists will be taking home at the end of the night.

"I think one of the things about this show is that I think people really do care about who wins Grammys," he tells ABC News Radio. "And I certainly know the artists care. So, you know, it makes it a more interesting show. There’s a story to it, in addition to these great performances."  

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by LL CooL J, airs Sunday night on CBS.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Sunday
Feb082015

Pharrell, Beyonce, Usher, Drake & More Among Nominees for Sunday's Grammy Awards

Image Courtesy The Recording AcademyThe 57th annual Grammy Awards is sure to be a memorable one.  Pharrell Williams, who's among the leading nominees, will also perform during music's biggest night, as will Beyonce, Usher and many others. 

The ceremony will also feature a series of mash-up duets, including  Mary J. Blige and her "Stay With Me" collaborator Sam Smith. Questlove from The Roots will join singer John Mayer and jazz icon Herbie Hancock for a performance, while Rihanna will take stage with Paul McCartney and Kanye West, followed by John Legend and rapper Common.

Sam Smith, Pharrell and Beyonce lead the nominees, with six nods each.  Rappers Iggy Azalea, Drake and Jay Z, as well as Sia, Usher, all have four nominations each. Chris Brown and Eminem follow with three nods, while newcomer Jhene Aiko scored two, including Best R&B Song for "The Worst."

Hosted by LL Cool J, the Grammy Awards will air live Sunday from Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Here are all the nominations in the top categories for each genre:

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

Best New Artist
Iggy Azalea
Bastille
Sam Smith
HAIM
Brandy Clark

Song of the Year
"All About that Bass," Meghan Trainor, songwriters Megan Trainor & Kevin Kadish
"Chandelier," Sia, songwriter Sia and Jesse Shatkin
"Stay with Me," Sam Smith, songwriters Sam Smith, James Napier & William Phillips
"Take Me to Church," Hozier, songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne
"Shake It Off," Taylor Swift, songwriters Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Karl Johan Schuster

Album of the Year
G I R L, Pharrell Williams
In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith
Morning Phase, Beck
X (Multiply), Ed Sheeran
Beyonce, Beyonce

Best Pop Solo Performance
"All of Me (Live)," John Legend
"Happy (Live)," Pharrell Williams
"Chandelier," Sia
"Stay with Me," Sam Smith
"Shake it off," Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
"Fancy," Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
"A Sky Full of Stars," Coldplay
"Bang Bang," Jessie J, Nicki Minaj & Ariana Grande
"Say Something," A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera
"Dark Horse," Katy Perry feat. Juicy J

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Sail Out, Jhene Aiko
Beyonce, Beyonce
X, Chris Brown
Mali Is, Mali Music
G I R L, Pharrell Williams

Best R&B Performance
"Drunk In Love" Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z
"New Flame" Chris Brown Featuring Usher & Rick Ross
"It's Your World" Jennifer Hudson Featuring R. Kelly
"Like This" Ledisi
"Good Kisser" Usher

Best Traditional R&B Performance
"As" Marsha Ambrosius & Anthony Hamilton
I.R.S., Angie Fisher
"Jesus Children," Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm Jamal Warner
Nobody, Kem
"Hold Up Wait A Minute (Woo Woo)," Antonique Smith

Best R&B Album
Islander, Bernhoft
Lift Your Spirit, Aloe Blacc
Love, Marriage & Divorce, Toni Braxton & Babyface
Black Radio 2, Robert Glasper Experiment
Give The People What They Want, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Best R&B Song
"Drunk In Love," Beyonce & Jay Z, songwriters Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyoncé Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor & Brian Soko
"Good Kisser," Usher, songwriters Ronald “Flip” Colson, Warren “Oak” Felder, Usher Raymond IV, Jameel Roberts, Terry “Tru” Sneed & Andrew “Pop” Wansel
"New Flame," Chris Brown f. Usher & Rick Ross, songwriters Eric Bellinger, Chris Brown, James Chambers, Malissa Hunter, Justin Booth Johnson, Mark Pitts, Usher Raymond IV, William Roberts, Maurice "Verse" Simmonds & Keith Thomas
"Options (Wolfjames Version)," Luke James, songwriters Dominic Gordon, Brandon Hesson, William Roberts & Jamaica "Kahn-Cept" Smith
"The Worst," Jhené Aiko, songwriter Jhené Aiko Chilombo

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 Rap Song
"Anaconda," Nicki Minaj, songwriters Ernest Clark, Jamal Jones, Onika Maraj, Marcos Palacios & J. Solone-Myvett
"Bound 2," Kanye West & Charlie Wilson, songwriters Mike Dean, Malik Jones, Che Pope, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, John Stephens, Kanye West, Charlie Wilson & Cydel Young
"I," Kendrick Lamar, songwriters K. Duckworth & C. Smith
"We Dem Boyz," Wiz Khalifa, songwriters N. Fisher & C. Thomaz
"0 To 100/The Catch Up," Drake, songwriters  A. Feeney, Aubrey Graham, A. Hernandez, P. Jefferies, M. Samuels & Noah Shebib

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 Rap/Sung Collaboration
"Blak Majik," Common Featuring Jhené Aiko
"The Monster," Eminem Featuring Rihanna
"Tuesday," I Love Makonnen Featuring Drake
"Studio," Schoolboy Q Featuring BJ The Chicago Kid
"Bound 2," Kanye West & Charlie Wilson

Best Music Video
"We Exist," Arcade Fire; David Wilson, video director; Jason Baum, video producer
"Turn Down For What," DJ Snake & Lil Jon; Daniels, video directors; Judy Craig, Candice Ouaknine, Jonathan Wang & Bryan Younce, video producers
"Chandelier," Sia; Daniel Askill & Sia, video directors; Jennifer Heath, video producer
"Happy," Pharrell Williams; We Are From LA, video director; Kathleen Heffernan, Roman Pichon Herrera, Jett Steiger & Cedric Troadec, video producers
"The Golden Age," Woodkid Featuring Max Richter; Chis Clayton & Yoann Lemoine, video directors; Roman Pichon Herrera, Christine Miller, Susan Porche & Annabel Rosier, video producers

Best Music Film
Beyoncé & Jay Z: On The Run Tour, Beyoncé & Jay Z; Jonas Åkerlund, video director; Svana Gisla, video producer
Ghost Stories, Coldplay; Paul Dugdale, video director; Jim Parsons, video producer
20 Feet From Stardom, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill; Morgan Neville, video director; Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers, video producers
Metallica Through The Never, Metallica; Nimród Antal, video director; Adam Ellison & Charlotte Huggins, video producers
The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne, Pink; Larn Poland, video director; Roger Davies, video producer

 


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb082015

Hunter Hayes Loves Rubbing Shoulders with the Legends at the Grammy Awards

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes debuted his song "Invisible" on last year's Grammy telecast, and now he's earned a Best Country Solo Performance nomination for his recording of the song. Looking back on his experience attending the Grammy Awards last year, Hunter recalls being starstruck by all the big names he met at the show.

"I just so happened to run into Sir Paul McCartney backstage and talked to him last year," Hunter says. "That's not the kind of stuff that happens at any other show, you know? So, it was special."

Hunter loves being in the audience for all the big Grammy performances, and he's quick to let his fellow artists know when he's enjoyed what they did on stage.

Says Hunter, "I got to tell Imagine Dragons how much I loved their performance last year. Stuff like that, you know? You gotta love that."

Hunter will be on hand for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards airing Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb072015

Bob Dylan, Honored as 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year, Steals the Show with His Speech 

William ClaxtonIt’s hard to imagine anyone could top Friday night’s benefit concert of first-rate artists performing Bob Dylan’s songs. But Dylan himself did it...and he didn’t sing or play a note.  He just talked. And he talked.  For 35 minutes, Dylan seemed to make up for sometimes not saying one word to the audience during his concerts.

As the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year, honored by the charitable arm of the Recording Academy, Dylan was introduced to the stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center by former president Jimmy Carter, who told the well-dressed crowd of music industry professionals and fans, “There’s no doubt that his words on peace and human rights are much more incisive and much more powerful and much more permanent than those of any president of the United States.”

After a few more words from the former president, Dylan approached the podium. He opened by saying he needed “to thank some people tonight.”  Then he was off to the races.

Dylan said he’s “eternally grateful” to the talent scout who long-ago signed him to Columbia Records when he was a nobody with a “non-commercial” sound.  He thanked his first music publisher.  He praised Peter, Paul and Mary for taking “Blowin’ in the Wind” and turning it into a hit. Dylan said it wasn’t the way he would have done it -- he said “they straightened it out.”  Since then, he noted, “hundreds of people have recorded it,” which he doesn’t think would have happened if it weren’t for that folk trio.

Dylan said he wasn’t a pop songwriter but the Byrds, the Turtles and Sonny and Cher turned some of his songs into top-10 pop hits. He described their versions of his songs as commercials for his songwriting, and noted that now, 50 years later, his songs are actually being used for commercials, such as last year’s Chrysler commercial during the Super Bowl.

Those pop versions of his songs were fine, Dylan said, but when Nina Simone covered his songs, including “Just Like a Woman” and “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” “it validated everything I was about.”

Dylan also mentioned Jimi Hendrix, saying he wished the late guitarist was still alive so he could thank him because he took “some small songs of mine that nobody paid any attention to and turned them into classics,” including “All Along the Watchtower.”  Kudos also went out to Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Buck Owens and others for being important to Dylan along the way.

Then Dylan slapped down his critics who have been giving him “a hard time since Day One,” pointing out that “critics say I can’t sing. I croak.” That’s when Dylan asked why he gets “special treatment” when Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Dr. John should be blasted by critics, too.  It was hard to tell if Dylan was trying to be funny or if he really was ragging on those other performers.

Finally, Dylan told how the MusiCares charity -- which was created to help musicians in need of financial or medical help -- came to the end of a rockabilly one-hit wonder he knew and respected named Billy Lee Riley, who died of cancer in 2009. Dylan said MusiCares paid for Riley’s doctor bills and mortgage and gave him spending money to make him comfortable until the end.  And Dylan said, “Any organization that would do that would have to have my blessing.”

Dylan himself didn't perform, but many, many others did: there were 17 live performances in all, including Alanis Morissette doing “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Jack White singing “One More Cup of Coffee” and Norah Jones crooning “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight.” The evening wrapped up with Neil Young performing “Blowin’ in the Wind.” 

Here’s the list of Bob Dylan songs that were performed live on stage at Friday’s MusiCares benefit concert:

Beck – "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"
Aaron Neville – "Shooting Star"
Alanis Morissette – "Subterranean Homesick Blues"
Los Lobos – "On a Night Like This"
Willie Nelson – "Senor"
Jackson Browne – "Blind Willie McTell"
John Mellencamp – "Highway 61 Revisited"
Jack White – "One More Cup of Coffee"
Tom Jones – "What Good Am I"
Norah Jones – "I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight"
Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks – "Million Miles"
John Doe – "Pressing On"
Crosby, Stills and Nash – "Girl From the North Country"
Bonnie Raitt – "Standing in the Doorway"
Sheryl Crow – "Boots of Spanish Leather"
Bruce Springsteen with Tom Morello – "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door"
Neil Young – "Blowin’ in the Wind"


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb072015

Ringo Starr Asking Fans to Submit Photos for "Postcards from Paradise" Video

Credit: Rob ShanahanRingo Starr is making a video for the title track of his upcoming album, Postcards from Paradise, and he's seeking a little help from his fans.  The ex-Beatles drummer has launched a fun new promotion asking his faithful followers to submit photos of what they consider a depiction of paradise, and some of these images will be chosen to be included in the upcoming promo clip.

You can share your pics via Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #RingoPostcardsContest.  Don't wait too long, though -- the photos must submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, February 9.  For more details, visit RingoPostcards.com.

Postcards from Paradise, Starr's 18th studio album, is scheduled to be released on March 31.  The record includes contributions from Ringo's current All Starr Band members: Steve Lukather, Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie, Richard Page, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette.  It also features guest appearances by Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Benmont Tench, Dave Stewart, Richard Marx, Nathan East and more.

Ringo and his All Starr Band kick off their latest tour on Friday, February 13, in Bossier City, Louisiana.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb072015

Usher Scores 13th No. 1 on "Billboard's" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart 

Image Courtesy RCA/Saccenti

Usher's latest single, "I Don't Mind" featuring Juicy J, continues to dominate the chart.

After peaking atop Billboard's Hot R&B Songs chart last month, his stripper anthem has climbed from #2 to #1 this week on the publication's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, marking his first topper on that chart in nearly three years.

The song is Usher's 13th #1 on the ranking, tying him with Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson for sixth place among all-time #1 hitmakers, according to the magazine. Usher is only a few songs away from surpassing Janet Jackson, who has 15, and he could potentially out-perform the current record holders, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, both tied with 20 hits. 

"I Don't Mind" is the buzz track from Usher's highly anticipated eighth album, tentatively titled UR.

Here are the artists with the most Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart-toppers dating to 1958:

20, Aretha Franklin
20, Stevie Wonder
17, James Brown
15, Janet Jackson
14, the Temptations
13, Marvin Gaye
13, Michael Jackson
13, Usher
12, Drake
11, R. Kelly
11, Gladys Knight/the Pips


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb072015

Grammy Predictions: Sam Smith? Beyonce? Taylor? Who Will Win?

Eric McCandless/CBS/Columbia Records/Josh ShinnerGoing into the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, the leading nominees are Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams and Beyonce, who each have six nods. Next with four nominations each are country stars Eric Church and Miranda Lambert, rappers Iggy Azalea, Drake and Jay Z,  Sia, Usher, and alt-rockers Jack White and Beck.  But who's going to win?  Well, it may not be a Grammy sweep for one single performer.

The most predictable category seems to be Best New Artist. The nominees include singer Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, country singer/songwriter Brandy Clark, sister group HAIM, and British band Bastille, but ABC Radio's resident music expert, Andrea Dresdale, says there's a clear frontrunner. 

"Sam Smith has six nominations but really, if there's any category he's a lock in, it's this one," she says. "The Grammys love young artists like Sam who make soulful, classic-sounding records.  Just look at some of the past winners in this category: Adele, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Norah Jones...he's definitely in that tradition."

Sam is also nominated for Record of the Year for his hit "Stay with Me."  The competition includes Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off,"  "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, and Sia's "Chandelier."  Dresdale thinks "Stay with Me" and "Shake It Off" are the two main contenders, but believes Swift might have a slight edge because her album, 1989, wasn't eligible to be nominated this year.

"Her album came out too late to receive a Grammy nomination, but I think that the industry wants to reward her, because that album was so successful," explains Dresdale. "So I think if there's a category that they're gonna give..her, they're gonna give it to her for...Record of the Year. It was a great sounding record, [and] it was number one for weeks, unlike 'Stay with Me.' So I think it's really between Sam and Taylor in this category."

In the prestigious Song of the Year category, Sam Smith is nominated yet again for "Stay with Me," and the competition includes "All About That Bass,"  "Shake It Off," Hozier's "Take Me to Church" and Sia's "Chandelier."  Dresdale thinks "Chandelier" could win because this is a songwriters' award, and, she says, Sia is "the songwriter's songwriter." 

"Sia has been working kind of behind the scenes for years, writing hits for other artists like Rihanna," says Dresdale. "I think that people in the music industry want to reward her for this big hit....the biggest hit of her career as an artist herself.  I think that this has a good shot at taking Song of the Year."

That leads us to Album of the Year where the nominees include, yes, Sam Smith, for his debut In the Lonely Hour, along with the latest albums by Beck, Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.  Even Smith says that if he wins, he'll give his trophy to Beyonce, and Dresdale agrees that her self-titled disc, released unexpectedly at the end of 2013, deserves to win.

"The album was critically acclaimed, it sold well. It changed the entire music industry," Dresdale explains. "Because, let's think back to the days of December 2013 when, all of a sudden, an entire Beyonce album that nobody knew was coming appeared, and everybody just lost their minds. It's a great album, [it] got everybody talking and also, Grammy loves Beyonce. They won't stop giving her trophies. They won't stop nominating her. I think this category is hers."

Ne-Yo, a Grammy-winning star in his own right and one of Beyonce's collaborators -- he co-wrote her #1 smash "Irreplaceable" --  also thinks Queen Bey should take home the biggest prize of the night.

He tells ABC News Radio, "No one can deny that that album -- from the way that she released it to the multiple hits that [are] on it, to the fact that she did a video for each and every single song -- nobody can deny that that was a moment, and I definitely feel like its Grammy-worthy, yeah."  

Here are all the nominations in the top categories for each genre:

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

Best New Artist
Iggy Azalea
Bastille
Sam Smith
HAIM
Brandy Clark

Song of the Year
"All About that Bass," Meghan Trainor, songwriters Megan Trainor & Kevin Kadish
"Chandelier," Sia, songwriter Sia and Jesse Shatkin
"Stay with Me," Sam Smith, songwriters Sam Smith, James Napier & William Phillips
"Take Me to Church," Hozier, songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne
"Shake It Off," Taylor Swift, songwriters Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Karl Johan Schuster

Album of the Year
G I R L, Pharrell Williams
In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith
Morning Phase, Beck
X (Multiply), Ed Sheeran
Beyonce, Beyonce

Best Pop Solo Performance
"All of Me (Live)," John Legend
"Happy (Live)," Pharrell Williams
"Chandelier," Sia
"Stay with Me," Sam Smith
"Shake it off," Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
"Fancy," Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
"A Sky Full of Stars," Coldplay
"Bang Bang," Jessie J, Nicki Minaj & Ariana Grande
"Say Something," A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera
"Dark Horse," Katy Perry feat. Juicy J

Best Pop Vocal Album
Ghost Stories, Coldplay
Bangerz, Miley Cyrus
My Everything, Ariana Grande
Prism, Katy Perry
X, Ed Sheeran
In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Cheek to Cheek, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Nostalgia, Annie Lennox
Night Songs, Barry Manilow
Sending You a Little Christmas, Johnny Mathis
Partners, Barbra Streisand with Various Artists

Best Country Album
Riser, Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders, Eric Church
The Way I'm Livin', Lee Ann Womack
12 Stories, Brandy Clark
Platinum, Miranda Lambert

Best Rock Album
Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams
Morning Phase, Beck
Turn Blue, The Black Keys
Hypnotic Eye, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Songs of Innocence, U2

Best Rock Song
"Blue Moon," Beck, songwriter Beck Hansen
"Gimme Something Good," Ryan Adams, songwriter Ryan Adams
"Fever," The Black Keys, songwriters Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney, Brian Burton
"Ain't It Fun," Paramore, songwriters Hayley Williams and Taylor York
"Lazaretto," Jack White, songwriter Jack White

Best Rock Performance
"Gimme Something Good," Ryan Adams
"Do I Wanna Know?" Arctic Monkeys
"Blue Moon," Beck
"Fever," The Black Keys
"Lazaretto," Jack White

Best Metal Performance
"Neon Knights," Anthrax
"High Road," Mastodon
"Heartbreaker," Motörhead
"The Negative One," Slipknot
"The Last In Line," Tenacious D

Best Alternative Music Album
This Is All Yours, Alt-J
Reflektor, Arcade Fire
Melophobia, Cage the Elephant
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Lazaretto, Jack White

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Sail Out, Jhene Aiko
Beyonce, Beyonce
X, Chris Brown
Mali Is, Mali Music
G I R L, Pharrell Williams

Best R&B Performance
"Drunk In Love" Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z
"New Flame" Chris Brown Featuring Usher & Rick Ross
"It's Your World" Jennifer Hudson Featuring R. Kelly
"Like This" Ledisi
"Good Kisser" Usher

Best Traditional R&B Performance
"As" Marsha Ambrosius & Anthony Hamilton
I.R.S., Angie Fisher
"Jesus Children," Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm Jamal Warner
Nobody, Kem
"Hold Up Wait A Minute (Woo Woo)," Antonique Smith

Best R&B Album
Islander, Bernhoft
Lift Your Spirit, Aloe Blacc
Love, Marriage & Divorce, Toni Braxton & Babyface
Black Radio 2, Robert Glasper Experiment
Give The People What They Want, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Best R&B Song
"Drunk In Love," Beyonce & Jay Z, songwriters Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyoncé Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor & Brian Soko
"Good Kisser," Usher, songwriters Ronald “Flip” Colson, Warren “Oak” Felder, Usher Raymond IV, Jameel Roberts, Terry “Tru” Sneed & Andrew “Pop” Wansel
"New Flame," Chris Brown f. Usher & Rick Ross, songwriters Eric Bellinger, Chris Brown, James Chambers, Malissa Hunter, Justin Booth Johnson, Mark Pitts, Usher Raymond IV, William Roberts, Maurice "Verse" Simmonds & Keith Thomas
"Options (Wolfjames Version)," Luke James, songwriters Dominic Gordon, Brandon Hesson, William Roberts & Jamaica "Kahn-Cept" Smith
"The Worst," Jhené Aiko, songwriter Jhené Aiko Chilombo

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 Rap Song
"Anaconda," Nicki Minaj, songwriters Ernest Clark, Jamal Jones, Onika Maraj, Marcos Palacios & J. Solone-Myvett
"Bound 2," Kanye West & Charlie Wilson, songwriters Mike Dean, Malik Jones, Che Pope, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, John Stephens, Kanye West, Charlie Wilson & Cydel Young
"I," Kendrick Lamar, songwriters K. Duckworth & C. Smith
"We Dem Boyz," Wiz Khalifa, songwriters N. Fisher & C. Thomaz
"0 To 100/The Catch Up," Drake, songwriters  A. Feeney, Aubrey Graham, A. Hernandez, P. Jefferies, M. Samuels & Noah Shebib

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 Rap/Sung Collaboration
"Blak Majik," Common Featuring Jhené Aiko
"The Monster," Eminem Featuring Rihanna
"Tuesday," I Love Makonnen Featuring Drake
"Studio," Schoolboy Q Featuring BJ The Chicago Kid
"Bound 2," Kanye West & Charlie Wilson

Best Country Song
"American Kids," Kenny Chesney, songwriters Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
"Automatic," Miranda Lambert, songwriters Miranda Lambert, Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby
"Give Me Back My Hometown," Eric Church, songwriters Eric Church, Luke Laird
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You," Glen Campbell, songwriters Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond
"Meanwhile Back at Mama's," Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, songwriters Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnson, Jeffery Steele

Best Country Solo Performance
"Give Me Back My Hometown," Eric Church
"Invisible," Hunter Hayes
"Automatic," Miranda Lambert
"Something in the Water," Carrie Underwood
"Cop Car," Keith Urban

Best Country Duo or Group Performance
"Gentle on My Mind," The Band Perry
"Meanwhile Back at Mama's," Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
"Raise 'Em Up," Keith Urban featuring Eric Church
"Day Drinkin'," Little Big Town
"Somethin' Bad," Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood

Best Music Video
"We Exist," Arcade Fire; David Wilson, video director; Jason Baum, video producer
"Turn Down For What," DJ Snake & Lil Jon; Daniels, video directors; Judy Craig, Candice Ouaknine, Jonathan Wang & Bryan Younce, video producers
"Chandelier," Sia; Daniel Askill & Sia, video directors; Jennifer Heath, video producer
"Happy," Pharrell Williams; We Are From LA, video director; Kathleen Heffernan, Roman Pichon Herrera, Jett Steiger & Cedric Troadec, video producers
"The Golden Age," Woodkid Featuring Max Richter; Chis Clayton & Yoann Lemoine, video directors; Roman Pichon Herrera, Christine Miller, Susan Porche & Annabel Rosier, video producers

Best Music Film
Beyoncé & Jay Z: On The Run Tour, Beyoncé & Jay Z; Jonas Åkerlund, video director; Svana Gisla, video producer
Ghost Stories, Coldplay; Paul Dugdale, video director; Jim Parsons, video producer
20 Feet From Stardom, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill; Morgan Neville, video director; Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers, video producers
Metallica Through The Never, Metallica; Nimród Antal, video director; Adam Ellison & Charlotte Huggins, video producers
The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne, Pink; Larn Poland, video director; Roger Davies, video producer

 
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Saturday
Feb072015

Dave Grohl to Present at Sunday's Grammy Awards

Image Courtesy of ABCFoo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has been added to the list of presenters at Sunday night's Grammy Awards. Other presenters include actors Anna Kendrick, Shia LaBeouf, and Gwyneth Paltrow, soul and R&B legend Stevie Wonder, and pop stars Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.

Grohl will also grace your television screen Saturday when he and the Foos perform on Austin City Limits. The episode will feature the band playing hits like "Walk," "Best of You" and "Congregation."

Sonic Highways, the Foos' latest album, isn't up for any Grammys this year -- the record was released after the September 30 cut-off date -- but the band's 2011 record, Wasting Light, and its singles brought in five Grammy Awards.

AC/DC, Beck, Coldplay's Chris Martin, No Doubt's Gwen Stefani and Hozier will perform at Sunday's ceremony.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards air Sunday night on CBS. Here are the nominees for the rock categories:

Best Rock Album
Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams
Morning Phase, Beck
Turn Blue, The Black Keys
Hypnotic Eye, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Songs of Innocence, U2

Best Rock Song
"Blue Moon," Beck, songwriter Beck Hansen
"Gimme Something Good," Ryan Adams, songwriter Ryan Adams
"Fever," The Black Keys, songwriters Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney, Brian Burton
"Ain't It Fun," Paramore, songwriters Hayley Williams and Taylor York
"Lazaretto," Jack White, songwriter Jack White

Best Rock Performance
"Gimme Something Good," Ryan Adams
"Do I Wanna Know?" Arctic Monkeys
"Blue Moon," Beck
"Fever," The Black Keys
"Lazaretto," Jack White

Best Metal Performance
"Neon Knights," Anthrax
"High Road," Mastodon
"Heartbreaker," Motörhead
"The Negative One," Slipknot
"The Last In Line," Tenacious D

Best Alternative Music Album
This Is All Yours, Alt-J
Reflektor, Arcade Fire
Melophobia, Cage the Elephant
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Lazaretto, Jack White


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