Billie Eilish Dominates Grammy Awards

US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish poses in the press room with the awards for Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Best New Artist, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles.
FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

 

Pop iconoclast Billie Eilish cleaned up at the Grammys on Sunday, winning five awards, as the music world mourned the loss of LA’s hometown basketball hero Kobe Bryant with a series of emotional tributes.

Eilish, 18, swept the “big four” prizes — Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist — in an industry acknowledgment of her wave-making role as the new reference point for pop’s future.

“What’s next? I don’t know — be in this moment is all I’m thinking about,” Eilish told reporters backstage.

Lizzo — one of her main competitors, who won three awards — kicked off the glitzy gala at the Staples Center by dedicating it to Bryant, in the very arena where the NBA icon made history with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Tonight is for Kobe,” shouted the 31-year-old twerking flautist, hours after his death in a helicopter crash was confirmed. His 13-year-old daughter and seven others also died in the incident.

Lizzo then launched into an eye-popping medley performance of her top hits that set the tone for the night.

She handed over to host Alicia Keys, who offered another love letter to Bryant’s memory: “We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero.”

“And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” said Keys, before launching into a soulful rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye (To Yesterday)” with the group Boyz II Men.

“He would want us to keep the vibrations high,” Keys later said, before singing a humorous yet soothing opening monologue at the piano.

A mushrooming crowd of people, many of them in tears, gathered near the arena to mourn the 41-year-old Bryant. Flags were flying at half-mast.

– ‘Lift each other up’ –

 

But the show went on, with an understated performance from Eilish who thanked her fans — and fellow nominee Ariana Grande — in accepting her haul of trophies.

“Mainly I think the fans deserve everything,” she said, standing alongside her brother Finneas O’Connell, who shared in her Grammy glory while also winning his own producing and engineering awards.

“I feel like they have not been talked about enough tonight because they’re the only reason any of us are here at all. So thanks to the fans.”

And she gave a shoutout to Grande, who despite five nominations went home empty-handed, saying that Grande’s “thank u, next,” had been a lifesaver for her.

“I think it deserves more than anything in the world, I love you so much,” Eilish said.

Lil Nas X took home two Grammys for his pop culture phenomenon “Old Town Road,” while Lizzo won three out of her eight nominations.

“This whole week, I’d be lost in my problems, stressed out — and then in an instant all of that can go away and your priorities really shift,” the 31-year-old superstar said, alluding to Bryant’s death.

“Let’s continue to reach out, hold each other down and lift each other up.”

The veterans were not shut out — Lady Gaga won two Grammys for her soundtrack for the hit film “A Star Is Born,” and one went to Beyonce, who nabbed the prize for best music film for “Homecoming.”

– Backstage controversy –

A message of love pervaded the night, particularly in light of Bryant’s death and a moving all-star tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle.

That message overpowered the considerable pre-show backstage drama.

Just days before the gala, the Recording Academy’s suspended CEO Deborah Dugan — the first woman to lead the embattled institution behind the Grammys — filed an explosive discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She says she was suspended after raising concerns over sexual harassment, voting irregularities and other misconduct within the Academy — one of music’s most influential organizations, but one long accused of favoritism and a lack of diversity.

Dugan also alleged that her predecessor, Neil Portnow, had raped a foreign female musician — an allegation he has rejected as “ludicrous and untrue.”

The controversy went more or less unmentioned on Sunday, with only a few vague onstage allusions to the crisis.

 

– Stage on fire –

Often remembered as much for its performances as its winners, the Grammys included a boudoir-inspired medley show from Grande, along with a rollicking genre-blending rendition of “Old Town Road” that featured K-pop sensation BTS, country star Billy Ray Cyrus and the eclectic DJ Diplo.

Gary Clark Jr, who won three Grammys including best rock song for his anti-racist “This Land,” gave several showstopping performances, and his success was seen by many as an overdue recognition of black influence on rock.

Wearing a blond bowl-cut wig, Tyler, the Creator delivered an intriguing art-pop rap performance complete with stage-shaking camera work and pyrotechnics.

Usher drove the crowd crazy in leading a tribute to the late legend Prince, performing songs including “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss.”

FKA Twigs joined him in lingerie to deliver a pole-dancing performance — and none other than Prince’s protegee Sheila E was on the drums.

2020 Grammy Awards Key Winners

 

US rapper Lil Nas X poses in the press room with the awards for Best Music Video and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Frederic J. Brown / AFP

 

Here is a list of winners in key categories at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, which took place Sunday in Los Angeles.

 

Teenage goth-pop iconoclast Billie Eilish was the big winner with a total of five golden statuettes, including a clean sweep of the “big four” prizes.

Lizzo, the top nomination getter, won three prizes — best pop solo performance, best urban contemporary album, and best traditional R&B performance.

Album of the Year: Billie Eilish, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

Record of the Year: Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”

Song of the Year (recognizing songwriting): Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, “Bad Guy”

Best New Artist: Billie Eilish

Best Music Video: Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road”

Best Rap Album: Tyler, The Creator, “Igor”

Best Rock Album: Cage The Elephant, “Social Cues”

Best Pop Vocal Album: Billie Eilish, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

Best Pop Solo Performance: Lizzo, “Truth Hurts”

Best Pop/Duo Performance: Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road”

Best Urban Contemporary Album: Lizzo, “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)”

Best Country Album: Tanya Tucker, “While I’m Livin'”

Best Alternative Music Album: Vampire Weekend, “Father of the Bride”

Best World Music Album: Angelique Kidjo, “Celia”

AFP

Key Nominees For The 2020 Grammy Awards

Grammy Awards

Here is a list of nominees in the major categories for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, which will be handed out January 26 in Los Angeles:

Album of the Year

Bon Iver, “i, i”

Lana Del Rey, “Norman Fucking Rockwell!”

Billie Eilish, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

Ariana Grande, “thank u, next”

H.E.R., “I Used To Know Her”

Lil Nas X, “7”

Lizzo, “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)”

Vampire Weekend, “Father Of The Bride”

Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance on a song –

Bon Iver, “Hey, Ma”

Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”

Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”

H.E.R., “Hard Place”

Khalid, “Talk”

Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road”

Lizzo, “Truth Hurts”

Post Malone and Swae Lee, “Sunflower”

 Song of the Year, recognizing songwriting

Lady Gaga, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna, “Always Remember Us This Way” (from “A Star Is Born”)

Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, “Bad Guy”

Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth and Tanya Tucker, “Bring My Flowers Now”

H.E.R., Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris and Rodney Jerkins, “Hard Place”

Taylor Swift, “Lover”

Lana Del Rey and Jack Antonoff, “Norman Fucking Rockwell!”

Lewis Capaldi, Tom Barnes, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn and Sam Roman, “Someone You Loved”

Lizzo, Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic and Jesse Saint John, “Truth Hurts”

Best New Artist

Black Pumas

Billie Eilish

Lil Nas X

Lizzo

Maggie Rogers

Rosalia

Tank And The Bangas

Yola

Best Music Video

The Chemical Brothers, “We’ve Got to Try”

Gary Clark Jr, “This Land”

FKA twigs, “Cellophane”

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road”

Tove Lo, “Glad He’s Gone”

Best Rap Album

Dreamville, “Revenge Of The Dreamers III”

Meek Mill, “Championships”

21 Savage, “I Am > I Was”

Tyler, The Creator, “Igor”

YBN Cordae, “The Lost Boy”

 Best Rock Album

Bring Me The Horizon, “Amo”

Cage The Elephant, “Social Cues”

The Cranberries, “In The End”

I Prevail, “Trauma”

Rival Sons, “Feral Roots”

Best Pop Vocal Album

Beyonce, “The Lion King: The Gift”

Billie Eilish, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

Ariana Grande, “thank u, next”

Ed Sheeran, “No. 6 Collaborations Project”

Taylor Swift, “Lover”

Best Alternative Music Album

Big Thief, “U.F.O.F.”

James Blake, “Assume Form”

Bon Iver, “i, i”

Vampire Weekend, “Father of the Bride”

Thom Yorke, “Anima”

 Best World Music Album

Altin Gun, “Gece”

Bokante & Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley, “What Heat”

Burna Boy, “African Giant”

Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet, “Fanm D’Ayiti”

Angelique Kidjo, “Celia”

AFP

Breakout Star Lizzo Leads With Eight Grammy Nominations

In this file photo taken on August 26, 2019 US singer Lizzo performs on stage during 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  PHOTO: Angela WEISS / AFP

 

Singer and rapper Lizzo scored eight Grammy nominations Wednesday to lead a field packed with newcomers, including bold pop iconoclast Billie Eilish and overnight sensation Lil Nas X, for music’s biggest honors.

The magnetic 31-year-old Lizzo debuted in 2013 but truly burst into the public eye this year with her third studio album “Cuz I Love You,” which scored a nomination for the prestigious Album of the Year category for the Grammys, which will take place on January 26.

Eilish also nabbed a shot at best album for “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” to bring her total nomination count to six, as the genre-bending meme king Lil Nas X rode the fame of his viral smash “Old Town Road” to also snag six chances at Grammy gold.

The newbies will square up against some superstar challengers.

Ariana Grande — whose album “thank u, next” missed last year’s Grammy deadline — bagged five nominations this year.

Beyonce earned four nods on the strength of her Netflix concert film about her dazzling 2018 Coachella performance and the album accompanying this year’s “Lion King” film remake.

The enigmatic R&B prodigy H.E.R., who won two Grammys last year, also got five nominations this year, including for Album of the Year.

Once a perennial favorite, Taylor Swift was once again largely snubbed from the major categories for her new album “Lover,” except for Song of the Year — which honors best songwriting — for her title track.

She is up for just three awards this year, the two others coming in the pop categories.

Along with the nomination leaders, the nominee list includes a mix of pop newcomers and veteran alt-leaning acts including Lana Del Rey, Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend.

AFP

Burna Boy Nominated For 2020 Grammy Awards

Nigerian singer, Burna Boy, has made the list of nominees for 2020 Grammy Awards.

In the recently released list on Grammys.com website, Burna’s African Giant album is nominated for ‘Best World Music category.’

The nomination is for albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental World Music recordings.

Nominated in the same category with Burna Boy is Altin Gün (GECE); Bokanté & Metropole Orkest Conducted By Jules Buckley (WHAT HEAT); Nathalie Joachim With Spektral Quartet (FANM D’AYITI) and Angelique Kidjo (CELIA).

The cheery news of the nomination was met with congratulatory messages from many other Nigerian artists including Wizkid, Davido, May D, Iyanya, Patoranking, Runtown, Banky W, among others.

See some of the tweets congratulating Burna Boy below…