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Tag: Grammys (91-100 of 169)

Group threatens CBS with boycott over Grammy reduction

A group of musicians is threatening to organize a boycott of CBS, network of the 2012 Grammy Awards, after the Recording Academy dropped 31 categories, according to the Associated Press. In April, the Academy announced that the number of Grammy categories would be reduced from 109 to 78, and the group, led by Grammy-nominated Latin jazz musician Bobby Sanabria, charges that this move intentionally and unfairly targets ethnic music. The new Grammy policy has drawn criticism from the likes of Bill Cosby, Herbie Hancock, and Paul Simon.

In a response, the Academy said in a statement: “The Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees and its committees — made up of elected, qualified voting members from The Academy’s 12 Chapter Cities around the country and a broad spectrum of music makers — spent two years researching and ultimately making the decision to restructure the Grammy Awards Categories for reasons that had everything to do with recognizing excellence in music and the integrity of our awards and nothing to do with ethnicity or race. We were up front, transparent, and painstakingly clear about how and why the awards restructuring was done, and any allegations that the process was carried out in secret or without warning are demonstrably false.

“We respect the right of our members to their opinions, and continue to listen to their views with open minds. There is no basis for any kind of legitimate legal claim. We cannot comment on a hypothetical lawsuit.”

CBS declined to comment.

Recording Academy cuts 31 Grammy Awards categories

The Recording Academy, whose annual Grammy Awards “recognize excellence in music,” announced earlier today that they’ve cut the amount of categories used to acknowledge that greatness to 78.

The top always-televised awards—Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist—were not touched.

But several existing categories have merged. R&B took one of the hardest hits, being cut in half to four. And male, female, and group R&B Vocal Performance awards are now one: R&B Performance. Like rhythm and blues, a new award for Rock Performance replaces awards for Rock Solo Vocal Performance and Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.

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Mumford & Sons to launch Railroad Revival Tour this April

Mumford-and-SonsImage Credit: Matt Kent/WireImage.comMumford & Sons is bound for glory. The British foursome is teaming up with Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros for a unique new railroad tour across the American Southwest this April.

Coming straight off their memorable performance with Bob Dylan at the Grammys, they intend to pay tribute to country music legend/folk-hero Woody Guthrie by eating, sleeping, recording, and performing in 15 vintage railcars from the 1950s and ‘60s. The Railroad Revival Tour will kick off in Oakland, CA on April 21 and wrap up April 27 in New Orleans with stops in Arizona and Texas in between. READ FULL STORY

Mumford and Sons: Ben Lovett talks about playing with Dylan, recording with Ray Davies, and high-fiving R. Kelly

Mumford-and-SonsImage Credit: Rebecca MillerIt’s been a busy few weeks for U.K. folkies Mumford & Sons. The quartet performed at the Grammys with a certain Mr Bob Dylan, won British Album of the Year at the Brit Awards for their debut release Sigh No More and saw that aforementioned platter achieve platinum status here. But Mumford keyboardist Ben Lovett still found the time to talk with EW about their recent adventures, and why he hasn’t yet bought himself that gold plated rock star jacuzzi.

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Dr. Dre debuts 'I Need a Doctor' video, pays tribute to Eazy-E: See it here!

Another footnote to the Ruthless Records era has just been written. Dr. Dre debuted his new video for “I Need a Doctor,” the second single off his third—and, supposedly, final—album, Detox. And it does feel like a career-capper. Check it out: READ FULL STORY

Arcade Fire's manager bites back at music exec's open letter to Grammys: 'They just made the best album'

Arcade FireArcade Fire manager Scott Rodger has (arcade) fired back at allegations that his Canadian indie rockers knew about their “Album of the Year” Grammy win ahead of time.

Rodger insists there was “no big plot” in spite of what industry player Steve Stoute implied in a full-page ad in the New York Times, which Rodger calls “a nice piece of self-publicity.”

Rodger was referring to Stoute’s vitriolic letter in Sunday’s Times which marveled at the “sheer coincidence” that Arcade Fire were ready to play out the awards show immediately after nabbing their Grammy.

As for whether the least-known band on the Grammy broadcast was in cahoots with insider masterminds and network TV execs, Rodger had this to say:

“Arcade Fire had the final slot on the Grammys as the ratings are low at the end of the broadcast. It really is that simple. We were one of the least-known acts on the bill for a network audience. Don’t you think I wanted a better slot for the band?”

Rodger also said their second performance was not guaranteed, as the producers would have cut it if the awards show had run overtime. In fact, the last half of “Ready to Start” was still drowned-out by sponsorship messages and completely cut from international broadcasts.

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Skylar Grey talks penning 'I Need a Doctor,' her name change, and why her upcoming album may have a sound we've never heard before

Skylar-Grey_320.jpg Image Credit: Greg LaurenEven though we didn’t actually get a good look at Skylar Grey on the Grammys stage as she performed “I Need a Doctor” with Eminem and Dr. Dre, it was still a coming out party for the Wisconsin native who had 80 kids in her high school graduating class and turns 25 Wednesday.

Grey, who was also nominated for two Grammys for penning the Rihanna-sung chorus to Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” tells EW her team has since been bombarded with emails from people wanting to work together, but she declines to name names, because you never know which collaborations will actually happen. (For her Twitter followers who know Nikki Sixx reached out via tweet about writing a song together, she says he has spoken to her manager but nothing has been set up yet.)

Keeping her in the shadows during the Grammys performance—something new fan Shirley Manson questioned—was intentional, Grey says. “My whole roll-out as Skylar Grey has been this mysterious being,” says the artist formerly known as Holly Brook. (She released the 2006 album Like Blood Like Honey and the 2010 EP O’Dark Thirty under that moniker, her first and middle names.) “If you’ve seen the website, even the pictures are very shadowed because we’re slowly easing me out. I’m not a big fan of trying to be a sex symbol or any of that stuff because I really like the music to speak for itself. And so I wanted to make that clear from the very beginning.”  READ FULL STORY

Adele sings 'Natural Woman' beautifully on 'VH1 Unplugged' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If British chanteuse Adele had been included in Sunday’s Grammys-opening tribute to Aretha Franklin (and honestly, why wasn’t she?), it’s worth considering: What ‘Retha song should/would/could she have contributed?

Well, any and all of course — there’s little this lady can’t do. But based on her explosive, emotive rendition of “Natural Woman” in this exclusive clip from an upcoming episode of VH1’s Unplugged, we here at EW would vote resoundingly for Carole King’s woman-empowered classic that Aretha popularized in 1967. As you might imagine, the rebooted Unplugged atmosphere is just perfect for Adele’s fiery singer-songwriter sensibility. Plus, it showcases the fact that this gal can sing. She don’t need no backup. No synthesizers. And no dancers. It’s all about her.

VH1 Unplugged: Adele premieres online Thursday, March 3, at 7 p.m. at Unplugged.VH1.com and will air on VH1 Friday, March 4, at 11 p.m. The online premiere on March 3 will be accompanied by a live viewing party where fans can watch and chat with one another. Watch the beautiful clip of Adele singing “Natural Woman” here:

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Jennifer Lopez's forthcoming album 'Love?': Producer RedOne spills on the sound

Jennifer-LopezImage Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesAmerican Idol judge Jennifer Lopez’s long-gestating album Love? is currently slated for a March 29 release, and one single, the Pitbull-infused, “Lambada”-riffing “On the Floor” has already hit radio (although not the Billboard charts in the U.S….yet). So we’ve gotten a taste of what’s possibly to come, but what’s up with the rest of the forthcoming album? Lopez is reportedly using music that she recorded for the album back when it was in the works at Sony and songs that she’s newly recorded with producers Tricky Stewart, The-Dream, and RedOne. Which is interesting considering RedOne came down the red carpet at Sunday evening’s 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where he spilled some details about what to expect when Love? drops next month. “I did  about half of the album and I am one of the executive producers with LA Reid,” Red One told EW. “The first song, ‘On The Floor,’ is already blowing up and the rest is even better. Lots of dance songs.”

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Cee Lo's stylist reveals the story behind his feathery Grammy get-up, talks Gwyneth-Beyonce friendship

Cee-Lo-Paltrow-GrammysThere were plenty of surprises on last night’s Grammys, but nothing gave us quite the sartorial shock as the performance of “Forget You,” which saw Cee Lo Green outfitted in a giant feather costume, a gaggle of Muppets, and a stiletto-dancing Gwyneth Paltrow. We got the facts about the fantastical duet from Green’s stylist, Shawn Barton, who has previously worked with OutKast. (Barton spoke to us from London, where she had jetted straight from the Grammys alongside Green, who will be performing at the Brit Awards on Feb. 15.) She dished on Green’s inspiration for the outlandish performance, Paltrow’s wardrobe change of heart, and a certain famous someone who was cheering them on backstage.

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