Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” Puts a New Twist on Jealousy

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleOn first listen, Little Big Town‘s new single, “Girl Crush,” may seem like a same-sex love song, but the lyric about is a little more complex than that. The other woman that vocalist Karen Fairchild is singing about is actually the new love of the guy she wants to be with. The song puts a new spin on good, old-fashioned jealousy.

“The lyric of ‘Girl Crush’ is written in a kind of sexy way, so some people might turn it off when they get to ‘I wanna taste your lips’ and all that,” Karen explains, “but once they get to the hook, they go, ‘Oh! It turns.’ It’s about a girl saying, ‘Why do you love her and not me?’”

She adds, “You’ve got to lean in a little bit, but the fans are really loving this one.”

The fans of “Girl Crush” include Miranda Lambert and Kelly Clarkson, who have both covered the song in recent concerts. “Girl Crush” is included on Little Big Town’s latest album, Pain Killer, available now.


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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.


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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.”



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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.



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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


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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.


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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.



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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.


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Brandy Clark Was Rushing Through Airports When She Learned of Her Grammy Nominations

Image Courtesy EB Media PRBrandy Clark spends a lot of time on planes lately, so it’s no surprise she found out about her two Grammy nominations while passing through multiple airports. Brandy was flying from Nashville to New Mexico for a concert the morning the Grammy nominees were announced. After getting through airport security, Brandy got a text from her publicist telling her she’d received a Best Country Album nomination for 12 Stories.

Brandy tells ABC News Radio, “I opened it and there’s a picture of the Best Country Album nominations and 12 Stories is right in the middle, and I started shaking and crying. I just was overwhelmed, and it was so great because I wasn’t expecting it.”

Once she landed in Dallas to change planes, Brandy turned her phone on to find more than 90 text messages. One text from her songwriter friend, Jessie Jo Dillon, stood out because it was all capital letters.

“I clicked on hers, and it was, ‘Holy…’ a whole bunch of [expletives], ‘You’ve been nominated for Best New Artist over all genres,'” Brandy recalls. “And I thought, ‘She’s wrong about that. That’s not correct. She’s confused.'”

Another text from her publicist confirmed Brandy was nominated against the likes of Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea for Best New Artist.

As for the Best Country Album nod, Brandy adds, “I believe in 12 Stories so much and believe it deserves the recognition of that nomination. I know that probably sounds arrogant, but I really just believe it is in the top five country albums. I’m not saying I think it’s number one, but I think it deserves to be in that pool.”

Brandy will perform with Dwight Yoakam on the Grammy Awards Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.

In other Brandy news, she has co-written a new musical with her frequent collaborator Shane McAnally, loosely based on the classic TV series, Hee Haw. Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical is a musical comedy, and it’s set to premiere at the Dallas Theater Center in Texas on September 2 and run through October 11. For more information, go to DallasTheaterCenter.org.


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Country Stars Offer Autographed Guitars and VIP Experiences for Grammy Charity Online Auction

Image Courtesy The Recording AcademyMiranda Lambert, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban are among the stars who have autographed guitars for the Grammy Charity Online Auction, running now through February 19.

Florida Georgia Line is also offering a VIP concert and meet-and-greet package in the auction.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast live on CBS Sunday night.  Performers on the show, including Miranda and Eric Church, will be autographing additional items for the auction this weekend.

To check out the items up for bid, go to Ebay.com/Grammy. Proceeds go to the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares.


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