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Grupo Firme & Banda MS Pay Tribute to Jenni Rivera at 2022 Premios Juventud

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The late Jenni Rivera was honored at the 2022 Premios Juventud with a special tribute on the 10th anniversary of the regional Mexican artist’s passing.

Genre giants, Grupo Firme and Banda MS, took the stage to honor the chart-topping artist performing her anthems “No Llega el Olvido,” “Ya Lo Sé,” “Basta Ya” and “Inolvidable.”

Following the medley, the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation was honored with an Agent of Change Award recognizing its work in aiding women and children who have been victims of abuse and domestic violence. Rivera’s children, Jacqie, Jenicka, Michael and Johnny Rivera, who continue to honor her legacy, received the accolade on behalf of the foundation.

“What a beautiful tribute, thank you so much, guys,” Jacqie said. “I hope I don’t cry but I know my mom enjoyed this moment. She’s here with us tonight, I can feel it. Five years ago, Puerto Rico went through one of the worst storms, Hurricane Maria, but the island is now stronger than ever. My mother also weathered many difficult storms that knocked her down but she never gave up. She used those difficult moments to get back up and become an inspiration to many. I’m so proud to be here and receive this honor on her behalf.”

Jenicka added. “Thank you for choosing our mom. My sister Chiquis couldn’t be here but she sent some words and wanted to say thank you and that my mom’s legacy lives on via her music, children, fans and foundation.” Lastly, Michael simply said. “My mom always said, ‘I’m notorious for falling down, infamous for getting up.’ God bless you all.”

This year, 10 new categories were added to Premios Juventud: female artist – on the rise, male artist – on the rise, my favorite actor, my favorite actress, best onscreen couple, my favorite streaming artist, best couple song, tropical hit, the best beatmakers, and best fandom. Premios Juventud winners are determined by fan votes.

This year, the awards show — which aired live on Univision — was co-hosted by bachata crooner Prince Royce, Grupo Firme’s Eduin Caz, Mexican pop star Danna Paola, and television personality Clarissa Molina.



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Grammy Voters Reveal Secret Ballots: Why Industry Pros Did or Didn’t Go for Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Adele, Lizzo and Other Front-Runners

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Do Grammy voters go with their heads or their hearts? Do they pick by personal preference or strategically? Do they even know who the nominees are? To get inside the voting body’s mind, Variety spoke with five industry figures, on the condition of anonymity, to find out how Recording Academy members really made their decisions about the contenders in the top four categories this year.

Voter 1: 

A music manager who has been a Grammy voter for 15-plus years

Record of the year: “I picked Steve Lacy’s ‘Bad Habit’ for both record and song. It’s pop music that doesn’t sound like any other pop music — not like records where you could replace the vocal and it sounds the same. I love ABBA, but I did not love this record. The Harry Styles record was really good. There are certain artists, like Brandi Carlile, that are very good for the Grammys, so I understand why she’s there, but that record didn’t do much for me. I like but don’t love that Beyoncé song, ‘Break My Soul’; I like ‘Cuff It’ better. I think there’s a really good chance Beyoncé wins one or all the big categories. Beyoncé will win this, or maybe Adele could; ‘Easy on Me’ is cool, but it’s not ‘Rolling in the Deep.’”

Album of the year: “Kendrick Lamar. He’s so big, but that record doesn’t sound like he was looking at anybody else’s record. Bad Bunny was by far the most commercially successful album of the year, but I think a lot of people have no idea who Bad Bunny is, just like when ‘Despacito’ was the biggest song of the year and didn’t win. The Coldplay record is an atrocity. I don’t know who that record is for — I don’t think 12-year-olds want to hear Chris Martin, and I definitely don’t think Coldplay fans want to hear BTS and Selena Gomez.”

Song of the year: “This year in particular, I felt like they didn’t get this category right. I love Kendrick Lamar’s ‘The Heart, Part Five,’ but it’s singular for the record. If you take the production out, is it really the same song? I feel like this is usually more of a ballad-y category —a song that had commercial success but can become a Great American Songbook song. Gayle’s ‘ABCDFU’ I hate, but novelty records have been big forever. Again, that feels to me more like a record than a song. God bless Bonnie Raitt — if she wins, that would be fun — but I don’t know that anyone was thinking that was the best song this year. Steve Lacy’s hook is just so infectious I went with that again. For the winner, I feel like it comes down to a Harry-Beyonce thing. I think there’s a really good chance Beyonce wins one or all the big categories.”

Best new artist: “Some of them I didn’t know, which I think is probably true of a lot of people. I voted for Wet Leg because I love how singular it is. I think they could win. Every part of the industry is its own bubble, but in my circle, they have a lot of love. Måneskin feels very kitschy for the Grammys. Muni Long is awesome, but she’s not a new artist in any way. Anitta is not new at all either. I love the Latto single ‘Big Energy’ — that could have been in the record of the year category — but I don’t know if anyone really knows her beyond the song.”

Voter 2: 

A Grammy-winning producer-engineer who has been a voter for almost 20 years

Record of the year: “I felt very strongly that Lizzo has changed this culture a lot. ‘About Damn Time’ was a great track that everyone responded to. I also look at who’s been there and go, ‘OK, Adele, Beyoncé — they always win; it’s the same people over and over again.’ So I went for Lizzo. I have no idea who’s going to win; I feel a little out of touch with where the Academy is right now. I think Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’ is an amazing, catchy song. I loved the Brandi Carlile track, but I didn’t think it was record of the year. I also like the Steve Lacy track a lot, but what do I think everyone else is gonna vote for? Not those two. For the top categories, I think it has to be about more than just your taste. ‘And the Grammy goes to …’  should mean something other than ‘I just liked that track.’”

Album of the year: “I think they’re very much catering to the pop world. Brandi’s album is maybe the only one that has real musicians. The credit list on the album is not 8,000 people — three people made that record, plus the band, and that’s it. The pendulum is swinging. It was way deep into white man world, and it came back, and now it’s way into ‘We must appease the TikTok generation, or the kids won’t understand why we’re having this award show.’ But they don’t even watch TV! If it’s about what’s the most streamed, and if you look at how many Latin people there are in the world, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Bad Bunny would be in there. It’s also a great record, but it brings me to: What do I think is excellent? I feel like Lizzo crosses this line between pop and excellence of craft.”

Song of the year: “‘As It Was’ — regardless of the visuals, regardless of his audience, regardless of any of it, it’s a good song. But ‘About Damn Time” is also a fun song. ‘ABCDFU’ is a cute song, too — but do I think it’s song of the year because it was on TikTok eighty bajillion times? I don’t know. ‘Easy on Me’ is no different from every other Adele ballad. ‘Bad Habit’ is a good song, but I don’t think that was song of the year. I don’t care about the Taylor Swift song.”

Best new artist: “I was between Toby Nwigwe and Wet Leg, but I don’t see Toby as a new artist, and I saw Wet Leg as more of a sensational new thing, so I voted for that. Toby’s been around and Måneskin’s been around — how is that best new artist? Or is it just time for the Grammys to push them forward? There’s some interesting names here, but do you see them graduating to the other lists we just went through? I don’t see any of these artists doing that. Well, I guess Måneskin could inherit some bigger rock-stage throne. And Anitta is pretty outstanding, so maybe she’s the one that could.”

Voter 3

A 20-something producer, voting for the first time

Record of the year: “ ‘As It Was’ is the most culturally impactful and representative of what our generation consumes — a perfectly well-formed pop song. It was too omnipresent to not be record of the year. I do think the Grammys should represent more of what’s current. I’ve never heard those ABBA or Mary J. Blige records; what are those doing here?”

Album of the year: “‘Harry’s House.’ Did I personally listen to it a ton? No. Did it make itself known in every TikTok? Absolutely. Beyoncé is a close second. Lizzo’s project was great, but only had one massive song on it. I listened to Kendrick much more than the others, yet it didn’t have a standout song and I don’t feel it had the cultural impact that album of the year deserves.”

Song of the year: “The Steve Lacy song for sure. Freshest, most tasteful, exciting, different, fun song. ‘Bad Habit’ just smokes everything in terms of taste, cool factor and pushing sonic boundaries, and it was simultaneously so commercially successful and the biggest earworm of the whole year, probably, or up there alongside ‘As It Was.’ Another thing about ‘Bad Habit’ is that everything feels like a chorus. Even the verses feel like a chorus… Looking at some of these other songs, like ‘God Did’ and ‘All Too Well’ — what are these doing here?”

Best new artist: “This is the easiest answer: Omar Apollo. He stands for the LGBT community and for Latino people and makes the best music. Domi & JD Beck are amazingly talented but feel too niche. The truth is I don’t know a lot of these other people.” 

Voter 4:

A music business veteran in his 70s

Record of the year: “I try to be ecumenical, but there’s a significant percentage of music I’ve never heard. It’s a lot of work to listen to all of it. I guess I’m a bad voter because I didn’t do my diligence. But that’s my right… I voted for ABBA.They used to get short shrift because they were dismissed as pop fluff, but I’ve always been a fan. The new album is not their best ever, but it’s pretty good. I really hope they win something, but I doubt they will. I would’ve voted for Adele’s ‘Easy on Me’ if ABBA wasn’t in the category.”

Album of the year: “Again, ABBA… With Beyoncé, the fact that every time she does something new, it’s a big event and everyone’s supposed to quake in their shoes — it’s a little too portentous. I hold Harry Styles’ origin story against him. He’s from a boy band, and I never took those acts seriously.”

Song of the year: “Lizzo has this focus and ultra-talent. The fact that she’s big and can do what she wants is secondary to me. She writes, sings and, of all things, plays the flute. She deserves the recognition because she put the effort into it; her success isn’t about marketing. Though it is a bit jarring to see it takes an entire office building to write these songs.”

Best new artist: “I was captivated by Molly Tuttle’s beyond-great version of the Rolling Stones’ ‘She’s a Rainbow.’ I didn’t know much about her, but I did hear her cover of the Dead’s ‘Cold Rain and Snow.’ I didn’t do a real analysis, with brackets — I liked her, so I voted for her.”

Voter 5:

A thirtysomething, Juno-nominated female singer voting for the second time

Record of the year: “I voted for ‘As It Was.’ It’s a pretty standard pop song, but it’s catchy and similar to what I would want to put out, so that influenced me. If I had to listen to one of the songs forever, it would be that one. I didn’t vote for either Adele or Beyoncé in any of the top categories. I love Beyoncé’s album and have been a fan of Adele, but I feel that they have already won a lot of Grammys. I think Doja Cat is cool and I respect Brandi Carlile, but their records didn’t overwhelm me. I respect Lizzo as an artist, because she plays the flute and I do, too, but she’s not my favorite.”

Album of the year: “I’m a huge Coldplay fan, even more than Harry Styles. They’ve stood the test of time; they’re amazing, prolific songwriters. This isn’t their best album, but I would love to see them get a Grammy.”

Song of the year: “’All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).’ That song is awesome, and my focus was on the lyrics. Most songs these days are created by committee. Taylor is an old-school writer and one of only two credited on the song, and she’s the most similar to what I aspire to be like. Kendrick Lamar is a great songwriter, great lyricist, but there’s no second or third place in the voting.”

Best new artist: “Måneskin. I hadn’t really heard of anyone in this category except for Anitta and Samara Joy. Maybe I’m living under a rock. I listened to songs from all of them and I liked Måneskin the best. I love their videos, and they put on a great live show.”

Additional reporting by Roy Trakin and Ellise Shafer



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Shania Twain Returns With ‘Queen of Me’: Stream It Now

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Shania Twain is back on her horse with “Queen Of Me,” her first album in more than five years.

The Canadian country-pop superstar marks her comeback with the 12-track set, led by “Waking Up Dreaming,” her first single since 2017, and her latest, “Giddy Up!”.

A five-time Grammy Award winner, Queen of Me marks the first artist release through Republic Nashville.

“I’m honored and excited to be the label’s first artist and lead the charge of this new and exciting chapter,” she said last September when the deal was struck. “In this respect, it feels like a new beginning all around, and I’m embracing it wholeheartedly.”

Queen of Me is the followup to Twain’s fifth studio album Now, which blasted to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2017. Prior to that, Twain’s fourth album release was 2002’s Up, which also hit No. 1 on the main U.S. chart.

Considering that timeline, which, for lengthy periods saw Twain sidelined with health problems, including Lyme disease, dysphonia and throat surgery, Queen of Me is just her second studio LP in more than 20 years.

Twain has been in the headlines of late, discussing her severe reaction to the COVID-19 virus, which evolved into pneumonia and required her to be airlifted to a hospital, and for an interview with Apple Music in which she talked about the time she almost worked with Prince before his death.

On her phone call with the Purple One, Prince laid out some ground rules for what would-be studio time with Twain — namely that there was no swearing allowed at Paisley Park.

“So that was another strike,” Twain told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “I’m like, ‘Oh no, I love you so much, but I don’t think I could get through writing and recording an album without swearing, somewhere along the way.”

Twain is set to serve as a presenter at the 2023 Grammy Awards and she’s the subject of the Netflix documentary Not Just A Girl, produced by Mercury Studios and directed by Joss Crowley.

Stream Queen of Me below.



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Grammys 2023: Who’s Performing, Attending and Skipping Music’s Biggest Night

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At a time when nothing feels normal anymore, the first “normal” Grammy Week in three years is shaping up to be even more action-packed than the pre-Covid years. Starting Wednesday, nearly every day and night is jam-packed with parties, showcases, brunches, lunches and happy hours like it was 2019 all over again.

Amid all the hubbub, we’re still awaiting the full lineup of performers for the Feb. 5 show at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com arena, which the Grammys have been announcing unusually late in the game this year — and literally during a game, as was the case when Harry Styles was revealed as a performer in a commercial that aired during the fourth quarter of the Chiefs-Bengals AFC final on Sunday night.

Below is a rundown of the artists we know are performing (18 performance slots are planned), ones we know are not, ones who are attending but probably not performing — and ones we hear just might be… All of which is to say, subject to change and updates.

Who’s Performing: Already announced are Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo and Sam Smith with Kim Petras. Variety also hears that DJ Khaled will take the stage, possibly with Jay-Z — “GOD DID,” their collaboration with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, John Legend and Fridayy, is up for three awards including song of the year.

Also expected are several all-star tributes: Kacey Musgraves will pay homage to the late Loretta Lynn with “Coal Miner’s Daughter”; Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood and Bonnie Raitt will honor Christine McVie with “Songbird”; and Maverick City Music and Quavo will perform “Without You” in memory of Takeoff.

Fifty years of hip-hop will get its own tribute curated by Questlove. LL Cool J will introduce the segment, perform and give a dedication to hip-hop, while the Roots provide music and Black Thought narrates. Confirmed performers include Big Boi, Busta Rhymes with Spliff Star, De La Soul, DJ Drama, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Missy Elliott, Future, GloRilla, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Mele Mel & Scorpio/Ethiopian King, Ice-T, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne, The Lox, Method Man, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rahiem, Rakim, RUN-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella, Scarface, Swizz Beatz and Too $hort.

As for the big three — let’s just say it: Adele, Beyonce and Taylor — the status is still uncertain. Adele has Las Vegas residency concerts on the two nights before the Grammys, which makes a performance at the big show possible (she could rehearse as late as Thursday) but less likely. She did, however, seemingly confirm her attendance at a recent Vegas date.

Beyonce performed an elaborate set at the grand opening of the Atlantis the Royal hotel in Dubai earlier this month — for a reported $24 million — so she’s certainly rehearsed. And her Wednesday announcement of a world tour bodes well for an appearance.

Swift, Variety hears, will not perform.

Who’s Attending: All the best new artist nominees — Anitta, Omar Apollo, DOMi & JD Beck, Samara Joy, Latto, Måneskin, Muni Long, Tobe Nwigwe, Molly Tuttle and Wet Leg — are expected to be in attendance but so far none have been offered a performing slot. Doja Cat, up for six nominations, will also walk the red carpet and sit inside, but she’s not expected to perform. Same with Future, who’s up for best rap album among multiple other nods. Zach Bryan, up for best country solo performance, will be in attendance but not booked to perform.

Who’s Skipping: Lady Gaga, up for two awards for “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick” is not expected to attend as she is currently filming; Finneas, nominated for best song written for visual media, is on tour in Australia; Drake is up for several collaborations in 2022, including with Future and Jack Harlow, but his attendance at these ceremonies is rarely confirmed ahead of showtime.

The 65th annual Grammy Awards are produced by Fulwell 73 Productions for the Recording Academy. Raj Kapoor serves as showrunner and executive producer, alongside Ben Winston and Jesse Collins as executive producers. Phil Heyes joins for the first time as director, Eric Cook as co-executive producer with Tabitha Dumo, Tiana Gandelman, Patrick Menton, and David Wild as producers. 



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