Given that he routinely fills stadiums and has notched 30 No. 1 hits, it’s a pleasant surprise for Kenny Chesney to still be experiencing firsts in his 20-plus-year career. Tuesday morning he celebrated his first solo Grammy nomination: best country album for “Cosmic Hallelujah.”
“To me, the Grammys represent the best of what all music is,” Chesney exclusively told The Times. “It’s everyone who makes music, who creates and plays, coming together as one big family — and really considering the best of the year.”
The Tennessee native has previously been nominated five times, including nods for duets with Pink (2016’s “Setting the World on Fire”) and Grace Potter (“You and Tequila” from 2011) and group outings with friends like Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson. But all of those were either in the duo/group or collaboration categories so this solo recognition was particularly meaningful.
For all the strides the Grammys made in completing a long-overdue embrace of hip-hop in its 2018 nominees, there remained a glaring and all-too-depressing omission: the visionary group A Tribe Called Quest.
Released a year ago this month, “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service” was an immediate critical favorite as Tribe emerged from a roughly 15-year hiatus and sounded as vital as ever despite the loss of influential co-founder Phife Dawg, who died in 2016 before the album was completed. The group’s performances to celebrate the release, which included a bittersweet tribute to Phife in a November appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” a farewell tour as well as a triumphant set at the 2017 Grammys with Busta Rhymes and Anderson .Paak, seemed to set the stage for a well-deserved awards-night victory lap for the group’s final statement.
Sadly, it was not to be. Hampered, perhaps, by that late 2016 release date, it was shut out in the Grammy nominations even as genre-mates Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar led the way in the major categories. Even more disappointing, “We Got It From Here” marked the group’s final shot to win a Grammy award after losing out in 1997, 1999 and 2012 (for the documentary “Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest”).
“The Defiant Ones” was one of the most ambitious projects Allen Hughes had tackled in his 25 years behind the camera.
The four-part miniseries, nominated for a music film Grammy, sought to chronicle the different yet deeply intertwining lives of billionaire music moguls Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.
It was a wildly fascinating look into the rise (and falls) of both men separately — and together — with candid interviews from the subjects. Along the way, the film became a who’s who of contemporary music, with many of the players traced to Dre or Iovine.
But it almost didn’t happen – at least in the way we saw it.
In 2011, Hughes directed Dre’s “I Need A Doctor” video from his infamously shelved “Detox” record. Though the two had known each other for years, it was the first time they had worked together. And soon an idea of a Dre-focused documentary was born.
OK, maybe “mysterious” is the wrong word at this point, but the production team known as Shampoo Press & Curl earned three Grammy nominations on Tuesday morning for its work on Bruno Mars’ massive hit album“24K Magic.” Other than with Mars, the production team has no other credits.
But it’s not too hard to deduce its members, even if the origin story hasn’t officially been written. The songwriters included in Mars’ nominations for album of the year are identified as Christopher “Brody” Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence & Bruno Mars, and those credits permeate the album. Each time the team is cited as Shampoo Press & Curl, three of those four members are also listed as songwriters.
Though the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher was best known as an actress, and specifically for her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” films, Fisher was also an acclaimed author who penned eight books. She was previously nominated in this same category for her 2009 book, “Wishful Drinking.”
Although she had written about her life extensively before, “The Princess Diarist” was notable for its deep dive into Fisher’s time making “Star Wars,” from tales from the make-up chair to the revelation of a brief affair the then-19-year-old actress had with costar Harrison Ford.
Winter is coming to the 2018 Grammy Awards: “Game of Thrones” nabbed its first Grammy nomination Tuesday morning.
“Game of Thrones” composer Ramin Djawadi was nominated in the category for score soundtrack for visual media for his work on Season 7 of the hit HBO fantasy series. Djawadi was previously nominated for a Grammy for composing the score of “Iron Man.”
While this is “Thrones’” first Grammy nod, the score from the series has been previously nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy for the Season 4 episode “The Mountain and the Viper.” The music from the series has also been recognized by the International Film Music Critics Assn.; the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; the Hollywood Music in Media Awards and the World Soundtrack Awards.
Khalid Robinson had already told his mom he planned on pursuing music instead of going to college when he got the unlikeliest of co-signs: Reality star Kylie Jenner.
The El Paso teen, like many aspiring musicians, was uploading the music he was making to his Soundcloud account.
His first song was trashed by a classmate, something his entire high school found out about. “Instead of giving up, it kind of gave me the inspiration to keep going,” Robinson said in an interview with The Times earlier this year.
However, the next record he uploaded, an earnest ballad called “Saved,” elicited a far better response from the kids at school.
And then came “Location,” a soulful, guitar-kissed ode to technology’s role in coupledom he uploaded before graduating high school.
Rave-scene observers have wondered what the future holds for the post-EDM era. The major festivals have taken some hits for booking much the same lineups at the top of their bills for years — one reason being that the scene hasn’t made many new superstars of the Skrillex/Deadmau5/Zedd caliber in a while.
This year’s Grammys may offer some hints at the next generation of arena-sized acts to come out of the genre. Two artists — the L.A.-based genre-hopper Bonobo and the live juggernaut Odesza — are up for both dance recording and dance/electronic album.
Each have had huge years — Odesza headlined Staples Center and Bonobo did the Greek — and appear to be consensus picks for Grammy stardom at a time when few mainstream dance acts can compete amidst the current wave of hip-hop on streaming services. Even more interesting: They both did it on divisions of the same indie label, the electronic music stalwart Ninja Tune.
This time last year, new artist nominee Sza was ready to call it quits on her recording career.
A fierce self-critic, the singer-songwriter born Solána Rowe found herself trapped in a sea of doubt, fear and anxiety as she recorded what became her breakout debut, “Ctrl.”
“I’m a Scorpio with a Pisces moon. I am very critical of myself. I’m actually way less critical of others than I am of myself,” she told the Times earlier this fall. “I’m in my own head a lot. It’s hard and really discouraging.”