2017 Academy Awards

See the complete list of winners for the 2017 Academy Awards

Mahershala Ali, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Casey Affleck at the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Tyler Golden/ABC)

Watch the biggest mistake in Oscar history

Find out why the Oscar mistake wasn’t a hoax

Jimmy Kimmel and Warren Beatty
Jimmy Kimmel and Warren Beatty at the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Eddy Chen/ABC)

Check out what celebrities wore on the red carpet

Janelle Monae arrives at 2017 Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
Janelle Monáe at the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Mike Baker/©A.M.P.A.S.)

See what the winners said backstage

“Moonlight” filmmakers Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski and Barry Jenkins at the 89th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Mike Baker/©A.M.P.A.S.)

2017 Brit Awards: David Bowie, Rag’n’Bone Man are the top winners

February 22, 2017

Rag'n'Bone Man
Rag’n’Bone Man at the 37th Annual Brit Awards in London on February 22, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

With two prizes each, David Bowie and Rag’n’Bone Man were the top winners at the annual 37th Annual Brit Awards, which were presented at London’s O2 Arena on February 22, 2017. Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis hosted the ceremony, which was televised in the U.K. on ITV. The awards are from the British Phonographic Industry. Bowie (who died in 2016 of cancer) was awarded British Album of the Year (for “Blackstar”) and British Male Solo Artist. Rag’n’Bone Man won the prizes for British Breakthrough Act and Critics’ Choice Award.

Performers at the event included Bruno Mars; Little Mix; Emeli Sandé; Katy Perry with Skip Marley; Chris Martin; the Chainsmokers with Coldplay; Skepta; Ed Sheeran with Stormzy; and Robbie Williams.

Award presenters included Noel Gallagher, Alice Levine, Clara Amfo, Laura Jackson, Zane Lowe, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, Fearne Cotton, Holly Willoughby, Naomi Campbell, Jonathan Ross, Take That, Maisie Williams, Romesh Ranganathan, David Tennant, Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora and Emeli Sandé.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the 2018 Brit Awards.

*=winner

British Male Solo Artist

David Bowie*
Craig David
Kano
Michael Kiwanuka
Skepta

British Female Solo Artist

Anohni
Ellie Goulding
Lianne La Havas
Nao
Emeli Sandé*

British Group

The 1975*
Bastille
Biffy Clyro
Little Mix
Radiohead

British Breakthrough Act

Anne-Marie
Blossoms
Rag’n’Bone Man*
Skepta
Stormzy

British Single of the Year

Alan Walker – “Faded”
Calum Scott – “Dancing On My Own”
Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”
Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – “Rockabye”
Coldplay – “Hymn for the Weekend”
James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go”
Jonas Blue featuring Dakota – “Fast Car”
Little Mix – “Shout Out to My Ex”*
Tinie Tempah featuring Zara Larsson – “Girls Like”
Zayn – “Pillowtalk”

British Album of the Year

The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It
David Bowie – Blackstar*
Kano – Made in the Manor
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Skepta – Konnichiwa

British Artist Video of the Year

Coldplay – “Hymn for the Weekend”
James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go”
Little Mix featuring Sean Paul – “Hair”
Zayn – “Pillowtalk”
Eliminated
Adele – “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”
Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”
Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – “Rockabye”
Jonas Blue featuring Dakota – “Fast Car”
One Direction – “History”*
Tinie Tempah featuring Zara Larsson – “Girls Like”

International Male Solo Artist

Bon Iver
Bruno Mars
Leonard Cohen
Drake*
The Weeknd

International Female Solo Artist

Beyoncé*
Christine and the Queens
Rihanna
Sia
Solange

International Group

A Tribe Called Quest*
Drake and Future
Kings of Leon
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Twenty One Pilots

Critics’ Choice

Anne-Marie
Dua Lipa
Rag’n’Bone Man*

Brits Global Success Award

Adele*

Icon Award

Robbie Williams*

2017 BookExpo: Stephen King to make his first appearance at the event

February 17, 2017

Stephen King
Stephen King (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC)

The following is a press release from BookExpo:

One of the most sought-after events at ReedPOP’s BookExpo each year, the 2017 Adult Book & Author Breakfast is shaping up to be the forum’s most exciting yet with the first-ever BookExpo appearance by best-selling novelist Stephen King (“Misery,” “11/22/63,” “On Writing”). Joined by Owen King, his son and co-author of the upcoming novel “Sleeping Beauties,” the pair will offer a special introduction to the breakfast, “Prologue by Stephen King & Owen King.” Following their introduction, comedian and actress Whitney Cummings (Whitney, 2 Broke Girls co-creator) will take the BookExpo stage to host the event and discuss her upcoming memoir, “I’m Fine… And Other Lies. She will be joined by Captain Scott Kelly” (“Endurance: My Year in Space”), Kenya Barris (“This is Basic Sh*t”), Jesmyn Ward (“Sing, Unburied, Sing”) and Claire Messud (“The Burning Girl: A Novel”), all of whom will speak about their upcoming releases and the inspiration behind their writing.

Taking place Thursday, June 1, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, the Adult Book & Author Breakfast is one of the many events at BookExpo highlighting the hundreds of authors who participate in the show. This year’s breakfast will bring together some of the industry’s leading voices in adult literature from a diverse group of backgrounds for an insightful and lively discussion. The event’s host, Whitney Cummings, is an acclaimed comedian and actress best known for starring in and creating the sitcom Whitney and co-creating the hit TV series “2 Broke Girls,” which is currently airing its 6th season on CBS. She most recently starred in the stand-up comedy special “I’m Your Girlfriend” on HBO.

She will play host to some of the most anticipated authors of the day. Celebrated astronaut Scott Kelly, a veteran of four space flights and the world record holder for the number of consecutive days spent in space, will discuss his upcoming memoir, “Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery.”

Kenya Barris, debuting his personal collection of humorous essays, “This is Basic Sh*t,” is a writer, producer and creator of numerous television series including ABC’s “Black-ish,” a sitcom that has been lauded for its ability to address some of today’s most controversial issues in an intelligent, thoughtful and humorous way.

“Sing, Unburied, Sing” author Jesmyn Ward, the winner of the National Book Award and the Strauss Livings Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University, has received much praise for her previous works, “Salvage the Bones” and “Where the Line Bleeds.”

Claire Messud, an acclaimed novelist whose books include the best seller “The Emperor’s Children” (2006), will debut her latest work, “The Burning Girl: A Novel.” Her many honors include Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and she currently teaches fiction writing at Harvard University. Past breakfast speakers have included Faith Salie, Chelsea Handler, Sebastian Junger and Brandon Stanton.

A master of horror and suspense, Stephen King is the author of more than 50 books, most of them worldwide bestsellers. His son, Owen King, is following in his father’s footsteps as author of the novel “Double Feature” and “We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories,” and the co-author of the graphic novel “Intro to Alien Invasion. Sleeping Beauties” is the first father/son collaboration for the Kings.

This year’s breakfast will also feature an updated, more interactive format that will showcase more authors than ever before, giving the audience a unique experience to hear the speakers engage with one another and field questions from the audience. Thursday’s Adult Book & Author Breakfast will be followed by the highly-anticipated Children’s Book & Author Breakfast on Friday morning.

“Our Adult Book & Author Breakfast is always a highlight of the show, drawing over a thousand attendees interested in discovering new books and engaging with some of the most prominent authors in literature today. It will be a truly memorable morning,” said Brien McDonald, Event Director for BookExpo. “This event is just one of many at BookExpo this year that furthers our mission to use books as a unifying platform and a place where all voices can be heard. We are working to showcase throughout BookExpo a diverse range of authors who can each offer a unique perspective on both literature and the world around us.”

Full program information can be found below:

THURSDAY, JUNE 1
8:00AM – 9:30AM ADULT BOOK & AUTHOR BREAKFAST (Main Stage)

The Thursday morning breakfast will feature Scott Kelly author of Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery (Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House); Kenya Barris, author of This is Basic Sh*t (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group); Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner); and Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl: A Novel (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.). Actress and Comedian Whitney Cummings, author of I’m Fine…And Other Lies (Putnam / Penguin Random House), will host. The breakfast will open with a Prologue from Stephen and Owen King, co-authors of Sleeping Beauties (Scribner).

BookExpo, North America’s largest gathering of book industry professionals from around the globe, and BookCon, the consumer extension of the show, combine to make the ultimate event destination for the publishing industry and booklovers worldwide. BookExpo is widely known as the leading business event for publishers, booksellers, librarians, digital content creators, traditional and self-published authors, media, bloggers, rights professionals and movie and television executives who attend to discover new voices, learn about trends shaping the book industry and network with those who have a passion for books and reading. BookCon is the ultimate fan event where storytelling and pop culture collide – offering fans unprecedented access to authors, publishers, celebrities and creators of content that influence everything we read, hear and see.

To register or for more information, please visit www.bookexpoamerica.com.

2017 ACM Awards: Keith Urban leads with seven nominations

February 16, 2017

ACM Awards

With seven nominations, Keith Urban is the leading contender at the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, which will be held April 2, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will host the ACM Awards for the second year in a row. CBS will have the live U.S. telecast of the show, which is produced by Dick Clark Productions and ACM. The ACM’s professional membership selects the nominees and winners of the ACM Awards.

Other multiple nominees for this year’s ACM Awards include Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris, who received six nominations each; Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line, who have five nominations each; and Bentley, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton, who received three nominations each.

Here is the complete list of nominations for the 52nd Annual ACM Awards:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Florida Georgia Line
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Dierks Bentley
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts

New Male Vocalist of the Year Presented by T-Mobile
Kane Brown
Chris Janson
Chris Lane
Jon Pardi
Brett Young

New Female Vocalist of the Year Presented by T-Mobile
Lauren Alaina
Cam
Brandy Clark
Maren Morris
* four nominees only

New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year Presented by T-Mobile
A Thousand Horses
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
LOCASH
Maddie & Tae

Album of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
“Black” – Dierks Bentley (Producers: Ross Copperman, Arturo Buenahora Jr.; Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville)

“Dig Your Roots” – Florida Georgia Line (Producer: Joey Moi; Record Label: Big Machine Label Group)

“Hero” – Maren Morris (Producers: busbee, Brad Hill, Maren Morris; Record Label: Columbia Nashville)

“Ripcord” – Keith Urban (Producers: Jeff Bhasker, busbee, Nathan Chapman, Nitzan Kaikov, Dann Huff, Tyler Johnson, Johnny Price, Nile Rodgers, Keith Urban, Greg Wells; Record Label: Hit Red Records, Capitol Records Nashville)

“The Weight of These Wings” – Miranda Lambert (Producers: Frank Liddell, Eric Masse, Glenn Worf; Record Label: RCA Nashville, Vanner Records)

Single Record of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
“Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban (Producers: Dann Huff, Keith Urban; Record Labels: Hit Red Records, Capitol Records Nashville)

“H.O.L.Y.” – Florida Georgia Line (Producer: Joey Moi; Record Label: Big Machine Label Group)

“Humble and Kind” – Tim McGraw (Producers: Byron Gallimore, Tim McGraw; Record Label: McGraw Music, Big Machine Records)

“My Church” – Maren Morris (Producers: busbee, Maren Morris; Record Label: Columbia Nashville)

“Vice” – Miranda Lambert (Producers: Frank Liddell, Eric Masse, Glenn Worf; Record Label: RCA Nashville, Vanner Records)

Song of the Year [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
“Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban (Songwriters: Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen; Publishers: WB Music Corp (ASCAP), Music Of The Corn (ASCAP), HillarodyRathbone Music (ASCAP), BMG Gold Songs (ASCAP), House of Sea Gayle Music (ASCAP), Spirit Catalog Holdings (S.a.r.l.), Spirit Two Nashville (ASCAP))

“Die a Happy Man” – Thomas Rhett (Songwriters: Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur; Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music Inc (BMI), Cricket On The Line (BMI), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp (BMI), Eastman Pond Publishing (BMI), Music of Big Deal (BMI), Nice Life (BMI), Frederic And Reid Music (BMI), BMG Platinum Songs (BMI), Brodsky Spensive Publishing (BMI))

“Humble and Kind” – Tim McGraw (Songwriter: Lori McKenna; Publishers: Songs of Universal Inc (BMI), Hoodie Songs (BMI))

“Kill a Word” – Eric Church Featuring Rhiannon Giddens (Songwriters: Eric Church, Luke Dick, Jeff Hyde; Publishers: Emileon Songs (BMI), Little Louder Songs (BMI), Longer And Louder Music (BMI), Mammaw’s Fried Okra Music (BMI), Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI))

“Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton (Songwriters: Dean Dillon, Linda Hargrove; Publishers: Universal-Songs Of PolyGram International (BMI), EMI Algee (BMI))

“Vice” – Miranda Lambert (Songwriters: Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne; Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI), Pink Dog Publishing (BMI), Smack Hits (GMR), Kobalt Music Group, Ltd. (GMR), Anderson Fork In The Road Music (ASCAP), Kobalt Music Publishing America, Inc. (ASCAP), Smackville Music (ASCAP))

Video of the Year Presented by Xfinity [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]
“Fire Away” – Chris Stapleton (Director: Tim Mattia; Producer: Jennifer Rothlein)

“Forever Country” – Artists of Then, Now & Forever (Director: Joseph Kahn; Producers: Nathan de la Rionda, Jil Hardin, Charleen Manca, Joanna Carter, Chandra LaPlume, Sarah Trahern, Damon Whiteside)

“Humble and Kind” – Tim McGraw (Director: Wes Edwards; Producer: Jennifer Rothlein)
Peter Pan – Kelsea Ballerini (Director: Kristin Barlowe; Producer: Michelle Abnet)

“Vice” – Miranda Lambert (Director: Trey Fanjoy; Producer: Ashley Bergeron Ford)

Vocal Event of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
“Different for Girls” – Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King (Producers: Ross Copperman, Arturo Buenahora Jr.; Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

“Forever Country” – Artists of Then, Now & Forever (Producer: Shane McAnally; Record Label: MCA Nashville)

“May We All” – Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw (Producer: Joey Moi; Record Label: Big Machine Label Group)

“Setting the World on Fire” – Kenny Chesney featuring P!nk (Producers: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney; Record Labels: Blue Chair Records, Columbia Nashville)

“Think of You” – Chris Young featuring Cassadee Pope (Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young; Record Labels: RCA Nashville, RCA Records)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Awards counts for artists reflect categories in which they have been recognized as individuals or as part of their duo or group. In some cases, an artist may receive more than one nomination which factors into their official count. For example, Keith Urban received two nominations in the Album of the Year category—one each as artist and producer—because that category recognizes both.

March 14, 2017 UPDATE: These winners have been announced, and they will be performing at the 2017 ACM Awards:

  • Brothers Osborne – New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year presented by T-Mobile
  • Maren Morris (previously announced performer) – New Female Vocalist of the Year presented by T-Mobile
  • Jon Pardi – New Male Vocalist of the Year presented by T-Mobile

2017 Coachella Festival: Lucky Blue Smith’s band The Atomics star in H&M Loves Coachella campaign

February 16, 20172017 Coachella Festival

The Atomics star in the 2017 H&M Loves Coachella campaign.
The Atomics star in the 2017 H&M Loves Coachella campaign. (Photo courtesy of H&M)

The 2017 H&M Loves Coachella campaign will star the pop/rock band The Atomics, which consists of model Lucky Blue Smith and his sisters Pyper America, Starlie and Daisy Clementine. To celebrate the launch of the collection, The Atomics will also be performing live from the H&M Store in New York City’s Times Square on March 16, 2017. In a promotional video for H&M Loves Coachella, the Atomics perform a cover version of the Grass Roots’ “Live for Today.”

According to a press release from H&M, the collection is about capturing that festival spirit whether you’re lucky enough to be in the Californian desert, or sharing the Coachella feeling around the world. H&M Loves Coachella will be available in the U.S. beginning March 23 and globally from March 30in select H&M stores, as well as online.

Key pieces in this year’s collection include the sheer black lace spaghetti-strap dress, worn with a faux suede studded choker and pink heart sunglasses. There is also the floral-embroidered denim jacket, which can be paired with a metallic bodysuit made from recycled polyester. For men, there are tie-dye T-shirts with matching tie-dye drawstring shorts.

The annual Coachella Music and Arts Festival, the world’s largest-grossing music festival, takes place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. This year’s Coachella wil take place April 14 to April 16, 2017 and April 21 to April 23, 2017.

H&M is having a sweepstakes in which people who unwanted clothing in any condition, from any brand to any H&M location for H&M’s garment recycling program and receive 15 percent off their entire purchase and the chance to win two three-day passes to Coachella.

Legoland debuts The Lego Batman Movie Days in 2017

February 14, 2017

The Lego Batman Movie Days
(Photo courtesy of Merlin Entertainments)

“The LEGO Batman Movie,” from Warner Bros. Pictures and LEGO System A/S, LEGOLAND Parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers around the world will celebrate the Caped Crusader with an exclusive new event—The LEGO Batman Movie Days—taking place on select dates in 2017. The event, developed with The LEGO Group and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will take place on select dates at LEGOLAND locations worldwide in early 2017. For a list of planned activities, attraction hours and ticket prices at each site, visit www.LEGOLAND.com.

The Lego Batman Movie Days
(Photo courtesy of Merlin Entertainments)

The LEGO Batman Movie Days Schedule

LEGOLAND Parks

  • LEGOLAND California Resort (Carlsbad, Calif.): Feb. 18-19, 25-26
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort (Winter Haven, Fla.): March 4-5, 11-12
  • LEGOLAND Windsor Resort (outside London): March 10-April 16
  • LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort (near Günzburg, Germany): Early April
  • LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort (Johor, Malaysia): Feb. 17-March 31

U.S. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Dates

  • Arizona: Feb. 11-March 26
  • Atlanta: Feb. 18-19, 25-26
  • Boston: Weekends in March
  • Chicago: Feb. 18-20, 25-26
  • Dallas: Jan. 1-Mar 2
  • Kansas City: Feb. 18-26
  • Michigan: Feb. 18-20, 25-26
  • Philadelphia: June 24-25
  • Westchester (Yonkers, N.Y.): Feb. 10-19

International LEGOLAND Discovery Center Dates

  • Manchester (U.K.): Jan. 9-March 31
  • Toronto: Feb. 25-26, March 4-5
  • Berlin: Jan. 28-March 5
  • Oberhausen (Germany): Feb. 10-March 5
  • Istanbul: Jan. 1-March 31
  • Osaka: April 1-30
  • Tokyo: April 1-30
  • Shanghai: Feb. 10-March 5

Adele backstage at the 2017 Grammy Awards

February 13, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards took place on February 12, 2017, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

ADELE

Grammy wins:

  • Album of the Year (“25”)
  • Record of the Year (“Hello”)
  • Song of the Year (“Hello”)
  • Best Pop Vocal Album (“25”)
  • Best Pop Solo Performance (“Hello”)

Here is what this Grammy winner said backstage in the Grammy Awards press room.

Adele at the 2017 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Adele at the 2017 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Phil McCarten/CBS)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

You’ve become the first artist in history to sweep the top three Grammy awards—Record, Song and Album of the Year—in two separate years. An amazing achievement. Can you talk about what it means to you to accomplish something historic and just what it means to you to win these awards tonight from your peers?

The Grammys mean a lot to me. Obviously, it’s the award show. I’m very, very humbled by this accomplishment I feel very lucky to have achieved. And like I said in my speech, for me, my album of the year is “Lemonade,” and so a piece of me died inside as a Beyoncé stan, I’m not going to lie, because I was completely rooting for her. And I voted for her. But I’m incredibly humbled, especially being from the U.K.

It’s an amazing feat to have achieved. I am incredibly humbled by it. And America have always been very kind to me, and I don’t even know why you’re honest I don’t get it but I’m but I feel amazing about it, of course. It’s an amazing thing to show my son, I’m raising him to respect women, and he knows I’m a powerful force. He feels it at home, let alone when he comes to work with me. And he comes everywhere.

What does it means to have such large public acceptance of your song “Hello”? It’s become like a worldwide anthem.

It was hard work writing this album. You know, it was daunting following “21” up … I felt the pressure writing “25” very much. And for very long time during that process I didn’t really find my voice. And I don’t know if I did find it, even towards the end. But the reception to “Hello … “Hello” actually started when I was writing it with the lyric “hello, misery,” so I’m sure you can imagine the mood that I was in when I was writing that: fucking miserable! But Greg Kurstin, who I wrote it with, was like, “I’m not sure about that line, about ‘hello misery.’” He turned it into “hello it’s me.”

I was gone for so long. I had my baby, and I raised him through the toddler years and then I sort of slowly edged my way back into work. And I didn’t think anyone would care. I thought the commercial that we had in England, and also shortly followed after, I thought no one would know it was me. But thank God they did or that would have been a really expensive disaster. Of course, I am always, always an appreciative and of all of the love that I’m shown.

What did it mean to you pay tribute to George Michael tonight? And what were some of your early memories of him?

Well, we could be here while. First of all, I was devastated by that [George Michael’s death] and my rehearsal great. I had a bit of a shaky rehearsal today but I mean I’ve been working really hard on this tribute for months usually every day. I did it with Hans Zimmer, and I was in his studio even when he couldn’t see me just sitting there waiting for him to give me some time, which he did, very graciously.

And my earliest memory of me being a lone fan out of my family was “Fastlove.” It was when the video came out for that, and I was blown away with how fucking hot he was. It’s actually quite exceptional how good-looking he was. I was young, like I was about 10. And I heard the vulnerability in that zone and especially in the middle eight, where it goes from being about one-night stands and being a little bit sleazy to saying in the absence of security I made my way into the night, and I lost my way basically, and I recognize that. I didn’t relate to it when I was 10. That would be weird.

That song, I was very, very adamant. I was devastated on Christmas Day [2016, the day Michael died]. I had to go for a walk on my own and breathe for a while and on Boxing Day, which is [December] 26th for us. I said to Simon [Konecki], my partner, “I have to do that tribute!”

And they didn’t want a tribute at first, his family and camp and stuff like that. And they came back and were very specific that it would be me. And I was like, “Great! I’ve got something in the pipeline. If you want me to do it I’ll do it.” I found him to be one of the truest icons, because a lot of time with people that are that globally known and famous, there tends to be—not fakeness in a bad way—but they put on a massive bravado and alter ego to protect themselves—and rightly so, and I completely understand and appreciate that—but for him, it didn’t always seem to be solely based on a look or about an assumption.

And also, he was very British no matter where his career or his love life took, he always remained true to Britain and they gave him a hard fucking time a lot of the time. It can be. The British press, I love you. I don’t know if I mean that but they really gave my whole time and he still stayed loyal to the very, very end. And that no matter our how much I trying to escape Britain sometimes, my roots are there, so I relate to that. And I also took great comfort in him and the bigger my career got in trying to remain myself so. It was an honor to do it tonight.

Your songs don’t sound overproduced. They’re almost like demos that sound like you’re in someone’s living room ….

They’re all demos.

How involved do you get in the way those records sound?

Yeah, I am anal. I’m a control freak, and I get really anal about things. Actually, there’s a whole other version of “21,” which I have spoken about before. Nothing beats a demo for any artist, in my opinion. Whenever I’ve heard the originals of their songs, there’s a passion and an urgency in demos which can never seem to be reenacted, especially in my case. I sit there like a backseat driver.

I don’t know how to work a computer. I can’t even work anything you’re on. Some of them are Dells and some of them are Apples. I do have an Apple. It hasn’t been on for about year. And I sit behind and say, “What’s that bit? What’s that bit? Let’s do this bit.”

And I reference other records and sounds I’ve heard from the past or current hits. I like to think of myself as very involved. I definitely wrote a lot less in this record than I did in “21,” and that was because I had a bad drinking habit on “21,” so I couldn’t quite get inspiration this time around.

“Hello” became a standard almost immediately, which is so unusual in our culture. Can you talk more about how it all emerged? Greg said he playing moody chords. Did the words all come out at once? And can you talk about “The Other Side”?

Sure. He was playing moody chords. That’s all everyone ever plays for me whenever we get in the studio and because that’s the kind of mood I’m in. It started out, like I said, the original line, we were just fucking around, and then the line “Hello misery” came out, so he pulled me up on that immediately. He was like, “Maybe you should go meditate” or something like that. So I tried to be like zen. And then I came back. We wrote the first two verses really quickly, actually, which tends to be the case with my biggest songs.

But the chorus, we had three different courses for “Hello,” actually. And there was one that was a very country vibe. I’m hugely inspired by country music. And I was a bit concerned about the chorus that you all know because it obviously goes quite high. I didn’t know if I could replicate it. I was going on the tour as well that she booked before I got pregnant, and then I got pregnant, and I was like, “Peace out!”

So I knew I’d have to hit that note every night. Obviously, it would be an opener once the verse was written because its hello. So we changed it a few times, and we settled on that chorus. “The other side” is the other side of being a grown-up, is the other side of my relationship with my all friends and my ex-boyfriends and death.

My grandfather, he’s a huge part of my life, even though you’ve been gone for 18 years. So it’s kind of the other side of the other side of not knowing. I don’t know if I lost touch with a lot of my friends because of how famous I got all or because you grow up. A lot of my friends tell me they lost touch with other people as well, with the way that life changes whether it’s my circumstance or different one.

You praised Beyoncé a lot in your acceptance speeches. Did you get a chance to speak to her tonight?

We did speak. I spoke to her before, just to let her know how honored and privileged I feel to be nominated alongside her. And then we spoke afterward as well. She was very gracious and humble as always, as you can expect from her. And the reason I felt the need to say something was my album of the year is “Lemonade.” She is my icon of my whole life.

I was 11 years old. And I was at school … and I was with some girlfriends, and we were practicing a song for an assembly with our friends with all our family and stuff. And I think, obviously, for my recommendation, it was a Spice Girls song. And they were like, “Have you heard [the Destiny’s Child song] “No, No, No”? I was like, no, no, no, I haven’t heard ‘No, No, No.’” And they played it to me.

And I remember it so clearly how I felt hearing her voice, hearing all their voices, but hers specifically. And then I got home you know we kind of just started getting the Internet. Luckily, my mom’s boyfriend at the time built websites. He managed to find me some photographs of her. And I fell in love immediately with her. And that was when I was 11. And I’m 28 now.

And the way that I felt when I first heard “No, No, No” was exactly the same as how I felt when I heard “Lemonade” last year. The other people who make me feel like that are all dead. So I’m living off of music that they made when they were alive. Whereas for her to be making such relevant music for that long of a period and still affect all of us—it’s not just me—there are friendships I have that are completely defined by us being complete Beyoncé stans.

I don’t take any fucking shit when it comes to anyone not liking Beyoncé. You can’t be my life you know. You simply can’t. So I felt the need to do it. I also simply felt like it was her time to win. My view is kind of like, “What the fuck does she have to do to win Album of the Year?” That’s also how I feel.

And I felt this album, like I said earlier, was another side to her that we haven’t seen and I felt blessed to be brought into that situation. Obviously, the visual is very new, and the Grammys are very traditional, but I just thought this year would be the year that they would kind of go with the tides. And I am, of course, very, very grateful having won it, and but I felt the need because I love her because I felt like she was more than worthy, and that’s pretty much it, really. Hang your blessings. You’ll never hear from me again!

Solange backstage at the 2017 Grammy Awards

February 13, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards took place on February 12, 2017, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

SOLANGE

Grammy win:

Best R&B Performance (“Cranes in the Sky”)

Here is what this Grammy winner said backstage in the Grammy Awards press room.

Solange Knowles at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017.
Solange at the 2017 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Phil McCarten/CBS)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What does winning this award mean to you?

I think I’m most excited about the fact that I wrote “Cranes in the Sky” in a period of kind of desperation and weariness. And the fact that is resonated in the way that it has now eight years later, a song that kind of got pushed to the side a lot. I knew that this was the right time. And this is such a beautiful honor and I’m so humbled by it, but I honestly felt like I won far before this because of all of the connectivity that the record has had, especially with black women, and the stories that I hear on the street, so it’s a wonderful, wonderful night. And yeah, I just feel gratitude.

Your mother always gives you the same amount of credit that she does your sister Beyoncé. How important is that for you?

Well, she’s my mother. I think that just our love and support for both of us has been completely a beautiful love story. And we continue to honor her and all that she has shown us by example of womanhood and womanism. And it just feels like such a joy to have had her be a part of the album to kind of pay that forward.

You’ve become such a fashion icon as well, and it really has enhanced the music. How important is the fashion part of your music?

I think that visual art and all aspects are super-important to me, whether it be through the creation of my videos on my album artwork creating strong visual representation of not only myself but again black women and getting to see us as avant-garde beings in a world that sometimes puts us in a box is really important to me, so thank you for recognizing that.

What artists influence you, especially at a time when artists are speaking out about political issues?

I look to Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye and the artists of our times that have really pushed political messages through their music and their artistry. I think that all that we can do as artists and especially of songwriters is write about what’s true to us. And I think that the music that is out right now that is really connecting and thriving reflects that. And I’m really grateful to those artists for paying it through, because it’s not easy. It’s scary putting yourself on the line when you’re making political and social statements with your work.

So I just honor the greats. I look to Nina Simone, who did that during a time where it’s interesting to protect the trajectory of her career now. She’s being so celebrated and revered, but she was really shut up during that time; she was really told to just sing. And so those are the artists who paved the way for us to do what we’re doing now. We’re not doing nothing new.

Hillary Scott backstage at the 2017 Grammy Awards

February 13, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards took place on February 12, 2017, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

HILLARY SCOTT & THE SCOTT FAMILY

Grammy wins:

  • Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song (“Thy Will”)
  • Best Contemporary Christian Album (“Love Remains”)

Here is what this Grammy winner said backstage in the Grammy Awards press room.

Hillary Scott at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017.
Hillary Scott at the 2017 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

Can you talk about how emotional you got in your acceptance speech?

Absolutely. We’ve said it all along, even when we were making it, before one person heard it, these songs and the heart of this album is our family’s heart poured out. So this album is really in dedication to a lot of people who are really dear to us—a lot of them who have walked through the process with us and are praying for us and loving us. Friends and family and a couple of loved ones—my grandfather being one of them. And we lost him to leukemia five years ago. And this record, we hoped and prayed that anyone who got a chance to hear it would feel hope and feel encouraged in whatever they’re going through. It’s just extremely dear to us and very emotional.

Hillary, you’ve won Grammys before, so why did you get so emotional tonight?

The single “I Will” is just so personal to me. It’s a song that I wrote about a miscarriage I had last September, so it’s extremely personal. Honestly, too, I think about my co-writers Emily Weisband and Bernie Herms. Bernie also co-produced that track with Ricky Skaggs. And it was Emily and Bernie’s first Grammy that they’ve ever had a chance to win, so that was a huge moment to be able to be on stage with them, sharing in that.

2017 Grammy Awards: Adele wins big and performs twice

February 13, 2017

by Carla Hay

Adele at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017. (Photo by Phil McCarten/CBS)

British singer/songwriter Adele set a new record at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017. Adele became the first artist to win the Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year in two separate years. Her album “25” and her smash hit song “Hello” also won Grammys for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Vocal Performance, respectively.

Adele also performed twice on the televised portion of the ceremony: She sang “Hello” at the beginning. She later paid tribute to the late George Michael with a literally show-stopping version of Michael’s “Fastlove,” when she began the song and then stopped and asked to start over so she could sing better. Adele made profuse apologies for the interruption, but that flub was overshadowed by her historic sweep of the Grammy Awards. She also won in all five categories for which she was nominated.

David Bowie’s “Blackstar” album and song were awarded five Grammys: Best Alternative Music Album; Best Rock Performance; Best Rock Song; Best Recording Package; and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Other multiple winners included Chance the  Rapper (who was named Best New Artist), Beyoncé, and Hillary Scott & the Scott Family, who won two Grammys each. Beyoncé went into the ceremony with the most nominations (nine).

The ceremony handed most of the awards in a pre-telecast ceremony (hosted by Margaret Cho) that could be viewed on the Internet. The televised portion of the show is about the live performances and the awards in the biggest categories.

A complete list of winners can be found at the official Grammy website.

“The Late Late Show” host James Corden hosted the televised portion of the ceremony, which was shown on CBS in the United States.  He was brought in as a new host for the Grammys, which were hosted by LL Cool J from 2012 to 2016. The change in hosts appears to have made an impact on the ratings. According to CBS, the 2017 Grammy Awards had 26 million U.S. viewers:  the largest Grammy Awards audience since 2014. Corden also emceed the 2016 Tony Awards, which had its highest ratings in several years, due in large part to the Tony-winning blockbuster “Hamilton.”

Here is the complete list of performances that took place at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards:

Artist(s) Song(s)
Adele “Hello”
The Weeknd
Daft Punk
“Starboy” (intro)
“I Feel It Coming”
Keith Urban
Carrie Underwood
“The Fighter”
Ed Sheeran “Shape of You”
Lukas Graham
Kelsea Ballerini
“7 Years”
“Peter Pan”
Beyoncé “Love Drought”
“Sandcastles”
James Corden
Neil Diamond
Jennifer Lopez
John Legend
Faith Hill
Jason Derulo
Ryan Tedder
Keith Urban
Tim McGraw
“Sweet Caroline”
Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like”
Little Big Town “Teenage Dream” (intro)
Katy Perry
Skip Marley
“Chained to the Rhythm”
William Bell
Gary Clark Jr.
“Born Under a Bad Sign”
Maren Morris
Alicia Keys
“Once”
Adele Tribute to George Michael
“Fastlove”
Metallica
Lady Gaga
“Moth Into Flame”
Sturgill Simpson
The Dap-Kings
“All Around You”
Demi Lovato
Tori Kelly
Little Big Town
Andra Day
Tribute to the Bee Gees
“Stayin’ Alive”
“Tragedy”
“How Deep Is Your Love”
“Night Fever”
A Tribe Called Quest
Anderson .Paak
Busta Rhymes
Consequence
“Award Tour”
“Movin Backwards”
“We the People….”
The Time
Bruno Mars
Tribute to Prince
“Jungle Love”
“The Bird”
“Let’s Go Crazy”
Pentatonix “ABC”
Chance the Rapper
Kirk Franklin
Francis and the Lights
Tamela Mann
“How Great”
“All We Got”
John Legend
Cynthia Erivo
In Memoriam
“God Only Knows”

More Grammy Awards:

Backstage interviews