Tag Archives: Angelique Kidjo

Explosive Drum and Bass from African Amazons

Les Amazones d’Afrique – République Amazone

République Amazone (Amazon Republic) brings together some of West Africa’s best female singers with highly percussive electronic music.

While the women provide the lead and background vocals, Irish producer Liam Farrell, also known as Doctor L, contributes most of the instruments in the form of electronic bass and beats. The focus is on powerful, deep bass sounds, developing a hybrid sound that combines traditional world music vocals and club-style dance beats.

Les Amazones d’Afrique (the African amazons) include Angélique Kidjo, Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Mariam Doumbia, Mariam Koné, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Nneka, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné.

Additional instrumentalists on some of the songs include Mouneissa Tandina on drums, Mamadou Diakité on guitar, Harouna Samaké on kamele ngoni, Vincent Courtois on cello, Patrick Ruffino on bass.

Buy République Amazone

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World Music Artists in Support of ‘Kids Against Malaria’ Project

Acclaimed musicians Martín Perna (Antibalas, Ocote Soul Sounds), Gangbe Brass, several members of Antibalas, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo have participated in the recording of a song to support the Kids Against Malaria initiative. The message of the song is pretty basic: sleep under an insecticide treated mosquito net and get to a medical provider as soon as you’re feeling sick.

The Kids Against Malaria effort started with a song written by teacher Sim D’Souza and his students at an arts and music elementary school in Whydah (Oidah), Benin, called CIAMO. The song reached musician and filmmaker Jon Fine, who produced the song by enlisting the support of renowned Afrobeat and world music artists.

The video is available here:

trailer-kids-against-malaria-english/

The “Kids Against Malaria” project was launched. It’s a multi-language musical project focusing on malaria treatment and prevention. With the international team, the producers filmed and recorded in New York City and Benin with support from the United States Embassy in Benin, UNICEF, The President’s Malaria Initiative, USAID, Peace Corps, the CDC, The UN Foundation and Harvard University.

Malaria is still widespread in much of the world. About 3.2 billion people – nearly half the planet’s population – are at risk. The disease, spread by the bite of female mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium parasites, is generally deadly for pregnant women and children under the age of five. It’s estimated that 1,200 children a day are dying from malaria around the world. Malaria is both preventable and curable.

All the proceeds from downloads, music videos, ringtones, educational videos, and social media initiatives, earned from the song will benefit CIAMO School of Music (for arts education), The UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign (to purchase nets) and Harvard University’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe initiative (for Malaria research).

For more on information about the Kids Against Malaria project, visit Kidsagainstmalaria.com.

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Artists Profiles: Angélique Kidjo

Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo

Angélique Kidjo is one of the African singers with more attraction and performance power. The direct rhythms, strong, energetic, taken from the traditions of her homeland, Benin (Western Africa), are combined with the sounds of reggae, samba, funk, soul, gospel, zouk and many more.

On stage is where Kidjo shows her charisma. She is a great dancer. With her very short hair style, she is a real version of the “postmodern” African woman. In addition, she has the ability of communicating with her audience, a gift that is transmitted just as well live as on her CDs. “Even when I am singing alone in my own studio, I imagine that I am with my audience.”

Kidjo was born in Cotonou and was raised in Quidah, a small coastal city of Benin, a country that harbors numerous cultures. The main language of Benin is Fon, the language that Angélique uses more often when she sings, although she also sings in English, a language that she speaks with fluency, as well as French.

Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo

Kidjo comes from a family with nine siblings, who have an open mind about international music. Her mother, a choreographer and theatrical director, has had a profound influence in the life of Angélique, who used to act in her mother’s plays when she was a little girl.

Traditional music was not the only kind of music that the young Angelique used to listen to. Benin, in the 1970s was open to numerous styles: salsa, Zairean rumba, makossa from Cameroon, soul, funk, Gospel… even Arabic and Indian music was available. Her brother, a guitarist, introduced her to the sounds of Santana and they memorized his songs.

When she was still an adolescent, Kidjo began to tour Benin performing at local festivals and on the radio. She was one of the few female artists doing this. People in Benin didn’t look kindly to women who tried to make a professional living from singing. “It was so hard. I really had to fight.”

Miriam Makeba, the South African singer, was one of her main idols and Kidjo performed some of her songs, like the Swahili ballad Malaika.

Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo

She moved to Paris in 1983, where she found a melting pot of music. Some of the most famous West African musicians, such as Salif Keita and Manu Dibango, were also in Paris, either recording albums or living there. African musicians mixed with Caribbean, French and American musicians. The result was an explosion of hot rhythms and a crossed fertilization of world-beat styles that found an echo in the in the musical experience of Kidjo and created the most appropriate environment so that she could develop her own style.

Some call it afro-funk, they can call it whatever they want, but it is really difficult to classify my music within only one style. Even when I use my own traditional music I don’t try to recreate just only style but rather I mix it all.”

Kidjo took advantage of her stay in Paris to enroll in a jazz school. “There, I was taught many things, I improved my tone and I learned flexibility for my voice.” It was an important element for someone whose native language is Fon, which is tonic, with a soft oscillating musical profile.

Angélique joined a Dutch Afro-jazz group, Pili Pili, with which she recorded two albums. Together they participated at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1987. That same year she met Jean Hebrail, a French bassist and composer, whom she married sometime later.

Parakou, her first internationally distributed album, featured Jasper van’t Hof, the leader of Pili Pili.

Logozo, recorded in Miami in 1991 and produced by Joe Galdo of Miami Sound Machine, featured Branford Marsalis on saxophone. Marsalis later performed on Kidjo’s album Oremi. The album features Kidjo singing duets with Cassandra Wilson (“Never Know”) and Kelly Price (“Open Your Eyes”).

Kidjo’s most ambitious album, Fifa (1996), featured more than 100 percussionists, flutists, cowbell and berimbau players, singers, and dancers from Benin and one track featuring Carlos Santana.

In 1998, she started a trilogy of albums, Oremi, Black Ivory Soul and Oyaya that explored the African roots of the music of the Americas. Oremi featured Cassandra Wilson, Branford Marsalis, Kelly Price and Kenny Kirkland.

During 2001, Kidjo started to work on the Black Ivory Soul album, drawing connections between Benin and music of Bahía, Brazil. “For the new album, I went to Brazil and wrote songs with Carlinhos Brown, and Vinicius Cantuaria, and I am covering a song by Gilberto Gil, which he wrote after traveling to Benin.” The album also features drummer Ahmir Thompson, from the Roots, and Romero Lumbambo, the Brazilian guitar master, along with African and Bahianese players. “The concept of the album is based on my research into truth and the idea of bringing people together through music.”

Kidjo won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music for her album Djin Djin, and in the same year received Benin’s Commander of National Order of Merit for loyal services to the nation. Kidjo dedicated her Grammy award to the “women of Darfur, the women who are fighting every day to give their kids an education.” On Djin Djin, Kidjo collabnotrated with guest stars including Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Branford Marsalis and Josh Groban. The record was a return to Kidjo’s Beninese roots, capturing the most traditional rhythms from her country. It comprised material sung in her native languages as well as in English and French.

Since March 2009, Kidjo has been campaigning for “Africa for women’s rights”–a movement launched by The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). In September of 2009, UNICEF and Pampers launched the ‘Give the Gift of Life’ campaign to eradicate Tetanus and asked Kidjo to produce a song, “You Can Count On Me,” where each download of the song donated a vaccine to a mother or mother-to-be. She also campaigned for Oxfam at the Hong Kong WTO meeting for their Fair Trade Campaign, participated in the video for the ‘In My Name Campaign’ with Will I Am from The Black Eyed Peas, and was one of the LiveEarth Ambassadors for the 2010 ‘Run For Water’ events along with Jessica Biel and Pete Wentz.

Also in 2010, musician and philanthropist Peter Buffett and Kidjo teamed up to release “A Song For Everyone.” 100% of proceeds from the sale of the song benefited the Batonga Foundation, an organization founded by Angelique to advance education for girls in Africa.

Oyo, released in 2010, celebrates the music that shaped Kidjo’s artistic formation, including “Lakutshona Llanga,” a lullaby made famous by Kidjo’s hero, Miriam Makeba; Yoruban interpretations of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” and Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti;” a collaboration with Diane Reeves on “Monfe Ran E,” a tribute to the Aretha Franklin hit, “Baby I Love You;” and a take on James Brown’s “Cold Sweat.”

Oyo features a band of acclaimed musicians, including guitarist Lionel Loueke, Christian McBride on upright bass, Kendrick Scott on drums and Thiokho Diagne on percussion. Trumpeter Roy Hargove makes a memorable appearance on “Samba Pa Ti.”

Kidjo’s 2014 album Eve (429 Records) is named after Kidjo’s mother. Eve is a collection of songs dedicated to the power of African womanhood, mostly those women Angelique grew up with in her native Benin. The guests on the album include Dr. John, Rostamm Btmanglij (Vampire Weekend), the Kronos Quartet and the Orchestra Philharmonique du Luxumbourg, as well as guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Steve Jordan, bassist Christian McBride and Senegalese percussionist Magatte Sow.

Kidjo’s autobiography, Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music, came out in 2014 written with Rachel Wenrick, published by Harper Collins.

In 2015 Angelique Kidjo won her second “Best World Music Album” Grammy Award for her Eve album. That same year Kidjo released Sings, recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg, conducted by Gast Waltzing. This project fused the classical music traditions of Europe and the rhythms of her native land. Kidjo recreated nine classic pieces from her 24 year discography and two new songs (“Otishe,” “Mamae”) from the sessions of her Eve album.

The guest artists on Sings include upright bassists Christian McBride and Massimo Biolcati; guitarists Lionel Loueke, Dominic James and David Laborier; Gast Waltzing on flugelhorn; several native Beninese singers, and Brazilian classical guitarist Romero Lubambo.

The orchestra brings different textures to my life and music,” said Kidjo about her symphonic collaboration. “Unlike in pop music, the orchestra doesn’t follow you, it leads and dares you to follow it. If you don’t do this successfully, the songs suffer and the communication is lost. But I love the challenge of doing new things. I never want to get too comfortable with what I’m doing, and I love my work too much to repeat myself.”

In addition to her music career, Kidjo has devoted much of her adult life to global charity work. She is a spokesperson for UNICEF and Oxfam, and created her own charity, Batonga, which aims to create a culture that values and supports the secondary education of girls in Africa.

Discography:

Pretty (1980)

Ewa Ka Djo (Let’s Dance) (1985)

Parakou (Open/Island Records, 1989)

Logozo (Mango Records 539 918, 1991)

Aye (Mango Records 539 934, 1993)

Fifa (Mango Records 531 039, 1996)

Oremi (Island/Mango 524 625 Records)

Keep on Moving: The Best of Angelique Kidjo (Columbia 85758, 2001)

Black Ivory Soul (Columbia 85799, 2002)

Oyaya! (Sony, 2004)

Djin Djin (2007)

Õÿö (Razor & Tie, 2010)

Spirit Rising, Live (2012)

Eve (429 Records, 2014)

Sings, with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (429 Records, 2015)

Videos

World Music Portraits: Angelique Kidjo (Shanachie)

Live From Guest Street: Angelique Kidjo & Friends (PBS, 2012)

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Angelique Kidjo’s ‘Sings’ Wins the Best World Music Album Award at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards

The Recording Academy announced today the winners the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Angelique Kidjo’s album ‘Sings’ won in the world music category.

Other nominees included:
Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo – Gilberto Gil (Masterworks)

Music from Inala – Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Ella Spira & The Inala Ensemble (Ladysmith Black Mambazo)

Home – Anoushka Shankar (Deutsche Grammophon)

I Have No Everything Here – Zomba Prison Project (Six Degrees)

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Paco de Lucia, Angelique Kidjo, Gamble & Huff, and Kenny Barron to Receive Honorary Doctor of Music Degrees at Berklee Colle

Paco de Lucía
Paco de Lucía
Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown will present Paco de Lucia, Angelique Kidjo, Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Kenny Barron with honorary doctor of music degrees at Berklee College of Music’s commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 8, at the 7,000-seat Agganis Arena at Boston University. Commencement speaker Kenneth Gamble will address more than 860 Berklee graduates, their parents and invited guests.

This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influence in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Dizzy Gillespie, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Aretha Franklin, Juan Luis Guerra, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, The Edge, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Michel Camilo, Chaka Khan, Loretta Lynn, Quincy Jones, Bonnie Raitt, and Ahmet Ertegun.

On commencement eve, as is Berklee’s tradition, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with their careers at the Agganis. The concert and ceremony are not open to the public.

About the honorees:

Spain’s Paco de Lucia is one of the world’s greatest guitarists. The Latin Grammy winner is the most innovative and influential flamenco artist of his generation. His recordings have had a revolutionary impact, bringing flamenco music worldwide attention. Born into a family of flamenco guitar players and singers in Algeciras, Spain, de Lucia adopted the Gypsy lifestyle associated with flamenco, where community, improvisation and inspiration, rather then formal training, informed his playing.

De Lucia recorded his first album in 1968, made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1970, and has recorded more than 30 albums. He has collaborated with a range of artists, from Spanish masters to American jazz and pop stars, including Ricardo Modrego, Camaron de la Isla, Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, and Bryan Adams, on “Have You Ever Really Loved a Women.” He has defined his own influential sound by staying true to his flamenco roots while stretching his artistry by continuing to follow his inspirations, like a true gypsy. More detailed information at Paco de Lucia.

Grammy Award–winning Angelique Kidjo wears the title Africa’s premier diva, so deemed by Time magazine, proudly. Like Miriam Makeba before her, Kidjo is internationally renowned as Africa’s most celebrated female musical exponent. She has made her mark not only in music, but in humanitarian work including with her own Batonga Foundation, which provides educational aid to African girls. More information is available at Angelique Kidjo.

The singer, songwriter and dancer was born in Benin, and the music of her homeland has always been an ingredient in the mix of soul, r&b, jazz, and pop music on her numerous albums. Her newest CD, Oyo, is a mix of original songs and covers that pay tribute to the artists that have inspired her, like Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Carlos Santana, and James Brown. Bono, John Legend, Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove, and Lionel Loueke are just some of the collaborators who join her on the recording.

The Gamble & Huff songwriting and production team has churned out 70 #1 pop and r&b singles and collected 175 gold, platinum, and multiplatinum certificates. They have produced more than 3,500 songs and won five Grammy Awards. The 45-year partnership can be summed up in a phrase that brings to mind a canon of soul and dance hits that will forever be part of the sonic atmosphere: The Sound of Philadelphia.

Instantly recognizable singles on their Philadelphia International Records and other labels include “Love Train,” “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “Me and Mrs. Jones,” and “If You Don’t’ Know Me By Now,” among many others. A wide range of artists have recorded their songs, from the O’Jays, the Supremes, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Wilson Pickett, and Patti LaBelle to Elivs Presley, the Jacksons, Heavy D and the Boyz, Simply Red, and Hall and Oates.

Composer, arranger and bandleader Kenny Barron has spent 50 years decades at the forefront of jazz piano aristocracy. He is an inductee into the National Endowment for the Arts prestigious Jazz Masters class of 2010, one of his many awards. The multiple Grammy nominee has released more than 40 albums as a leader. As a sideman, he was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s quintet, and appeared with Chet Baker, Ron Carter, Stan Getz, and Joe Henderson, among others.

Barron was a music professor at Rutgers University from 1973 – 2000. His support of young musicians extends from inviting them to become his band members to bringing them into the studio to record on his albums. Willing to be challenged and seeking adventure in his projects throughout his career, Barron formed the group Sphere to pay tribute to Thelonious Monk, partnered with violinist Regina Carter as an improvisational duo, and immersed himself in Brazilian music for the album Canta Brasil.

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The World Music Grammy Awards go to Angelique Kidjo and Soweto Gospel Choir

The 50th Annual Grammy Awards were given in a ceremony held February 10, 2008, at Staples Center in Los Angeles (California). The Best Contemporary World Music Album Grammy Award went to Djin Djin – Angelique Kidjo (Razor & Tie Direct/Starbucks Entertainment), while the Best Traditional World Music Album award was given to African Spirit – Soweto Gospel Choir (Shanachie Entertainment)For the first time in many years, the Album Of The Year award went to a jazz album, Herbie Hancock’s tribute to Joni Mitchell, titled River River: The Joni Letters.

Other winners of categories related with world music or roots music include:

Best Latin Jazz Album

  • Funk Tango – Paquito D’Rivera Quintet (Paquito Records)

Best Tropical Latin Album

Best Traditional Folk Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.) 

  • Dirt Farmer – Levon Helm (Dirt Farmer Music/Vanguard Records)

Best Native American Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Best Hawaiian Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

[image4_right]Best Reggae Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Mind Control – Stephen Marley (Tuff Gong/Ghetto Youths/Universal Republic)

Best Bluegrass Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

  • Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) from Raising Sand
    Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
    [Rounder Records]

Other winners:

Record Of The Year

  • Rehab
    Amy Winehouse
    Mark Ronson, producer; Tom Elmhirst, Vaughan Merrick, Dom Morley, Mark Ronson & Gabriel Roth, engineers/mixers
    Track from: Back To Black
    [Universal Republic Records]

Album Of The Year

  • River: The Joni Letters
    Herbie Hancock
    Leonard Cohen, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza & Tina Turner, featured artists; Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein, producers; Helik Hadar, engineer/mixer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer
    [Verve]  

Song Of The Year

  • Rehab
    Amy Winehouse, songwriter (Amy Winehouse)
    Track from: Back To Black [Universal Republic Records; Publisher: EMI Music Publishing]

Best New Artist

  • Amy Winehouse

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Rehab
    Amy Winehouse
    Track from: Back To Black [Universal Republic Records]

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • What Goes Around…Comes Around
    Justin Timberlake
    [Jive]

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(For established duos or groups, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Makes Me Wonder
    Maroon 5
    Track from: It Won’t Be Soon Before Long
    [Octone/A&M Records]

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • One Week Last Summer
    Joni Mitchell
    Track from: Shine
    [Hear Music]

Best Pop Instrumental Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

  • The Mix-Up –
    Beastie Boys [Capitol Records]

Best Pop Vocal Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Back To Black
    Amy Winehouse
    [Universal Republic Records]

Best Dance Recording
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances. Vocal or Instrumental. Singles or tracks only.)

  • LoveStoned/I Think She Knows
    Justin Timberlake
    Nate (Danja) Hills, Timbaland & Justin Timberlake, producers; Jimmy Douglass & Timbaland, mixers
    Track from: FutureSex/LoveSounds
    [Jive/Zomba]

Best Electronic/Dance Album
(For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.)

  • We Are The Night
    The Chemical Brothers
    [Astralwerks]

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Call Me Irresponsible
    Michael Bublé
    [143 Records/Reprise]

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Radio Nowhere
    Bruce Springsteen
    Track from: Magic
    [Columbia]

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(For duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Icky Thump
    The White Stripes
    Track from: Icky Thump
    [Third Man/Warner Bros.]

Best Hard Rock Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • The Pretender
    Foo Fighters
    [Roswell/RCA Records]

Best Metal Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Final Six
    Slayer
    Track from: Christ Illusion
    [American Recording/Columbia]

Best Rock Instrumental Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Includes Rock, Hard Rock and Metal. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Once Upon A Time In The West
    Bruce Springsteen
    Track from: We All Love Ennio Morricone
    [Sony Classical]

Best Rock Song
(A Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Rock, Hard Rock & Metal songs. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Radio Nowhere
    Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)
    Track from: Magic
    [Columbia; Publisher: Bruce Springsteen]

Best Rock Album
(Vocal or Instrumental. Includes Hard Rock and Metal.)

  • Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
    Foo Fighters
    [Roswell/RCA Records]

Best Alternative Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Icky Thump
    The White Stripes
    [Third Man/Warner Bros.]

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • No One
    Alicia Keys
    [J Records/MBK Entertainment]

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Future Baby Mama
    Prince
    Track from: Planet Earth
    [Columbia/NPG Records]

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(For duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Disrespectful
    Chaka Khan Featuring Mary J. Blige
    [Burgundy/Sony/BMG]

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • In My Songs
    Gerald Levert
    Track from: In My Songs
    [Atlantic]

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Daydreamin’
    Lupe Fiasco Featuring Jill Scott
    Track from: Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor
    [1st & 15th/Atlantic]

Best R&B Song
(A Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • No One
    Dirty Harry, Kerry Brothers & Alicia Keys, songwriters (Alicia Keys)
    [J Records/MBK Entertainment; Publishers: Lellow Productions/EMI April Music, Book Of Daniel Music/EMI Music Publishing, D. Harry Productions]

Best R&B Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Funk This
    Chaka Khan
    [Burgundy Records]

Best Contemporary R&B Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Because Of You
    Ne-Yo
    [Def Jam Recordings]

Best Rap Solo Performance
(For a solo Rap performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Stronger
    Kanye West
    Track from: Graduation
    [Roc-A-Fella Records]

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
(For duo, group or collaborative performances of Rap only. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Southside
    Common Featuring Kanye West
    Track from: Finding Forever
    [Geffen]

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
(For a Rap/Sung collaborative performance by artists who do not normally perform together. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Umbrella
    Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z
    Track from: Good Girl Gone Bad
    [Def Jam Recordings]

Best Rap Song
(A Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Good Life
    Aldrin Davis, Mike Dean, Faheem Najm & Kanye West, songwriters (J. Ingram & Q. Jones, songwriters)(Kanye West Featuring T-Pain)
    Track from: Graduation
    [Roc-A-Fella; Publishers: Yellow Brick Road Music/Eiseman Music/EMI Blackwood Music/Please Gimme My Publishing/Careers BMG Music Publishing, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing]

Best Rap Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Graduation
    Kanye West
    [Roc-A-Fella Records]

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Before He Cheats
    Carrie Underwood
    Track from: Some Hearts
    [19 Recordings/Arista Nashville]

Best Male Country Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Stupid Boy
    Keith Urban
    Track from: Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing
    [Capitol Records Nashville]

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(For established duos or groups with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • How Long
    Eagles
    [Eagles Recording Co. II]

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
(For a collaborative performance, with vocals, by artists who do not normally perform together. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Lost Highway
    Willie Nelson & Ray Price
    Track from: Last Of The Breed
    [Lost Highway Records]

Best Country Instrumental Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Throttleneck
    Brad Paisley
    Track from: 5th Gear
    [Arista Nashville]

Best Country Song
(A Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Before He Cheats
    Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)
    Track from: Some Hearts
    [19 Recordings/Arista Nashville; Publishers: Big Loud Shirt Industries, Mighty Underdog Music/Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing]

Best Country Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • These Days
    Vince Gill
    [MCA Nashville]

Best Bluegrass Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • The Bluegrass Diaries
    Jim Lauderdale
    [Yep Roc Records]

Best New Age Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Crestone
    Paul Winter Consort
    [Living Music]

Best Contemporary Jazz Album

  • River: The Joni Letters
    Herbie Hancock
    [Verve]

Best Jazz Vocal Album

  • Avant Gershwin
    Patti Austin
    [Rendezvous Entertainment]

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo

  • Anagram
    Michael Brecker, soloist
    Track from: Pilgrimage
    [Heads Up International]

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

  • Pilgrimage
    Michael Brecker
    [Heads Up International]

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

  • A Tale Of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina)
    Terence Blanchard
    [Blue Note]

Best Gospel Performance
(Tie)

  • Blessed & Highly Favored
    The Clark Sisters
    Track from: Live – One Last Time
    [EMI Gospel]

     

  • Never Gonna Break My Faith
    Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige (Featuring The Harlem Boys Choir)
    Track from: Bobby: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    [Island Def Jam]

Best Gospel Song
(A Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Blessed & Highly Favored
    Karen Clark-Sheard, songwriter (The Clark Sisters)
    Track from: Live – One Last Time
    [EMI Gospel; Publisher: K. Sheard’s Melody]

Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Before The Daylight’s Shot
    Ashley Cleveland
    [204 Records]

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • A Deeper Level
    Israel And New Breed
    [Integrity Music]

Best Southern, Country, Or Bluegrass Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Salt Of The Earth
    Ricky Skaggs & The Whites
    [Skaggs Family Records]

Best Traditional Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Live – One Last Time
    The Clark Sisters
    [EMI Gospel]

Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Free To Worship
    Fred Hammond
    [Verity]

Best Latin Pop Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • El Tren De Los Momentos
    Alejandro Sanz
    [Warner Music Latina]

Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • No Hay Espacio
    Black:Guayaba
    [Machete Music]

Best Latin Urban Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Residente O Visitante
    Calle 13
    [Norte]

Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • 100% Mexicano
    Pepe Aguilar
    [EMI Televisa]

Best Tejano Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Before The Next Teardrop Falls
    Little Joe & La Familia
    [TDI Records]

Best Norteño Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Detalles Y Emociones
    Los Tigres Del Norte
    [Fonovisa Records]

Best Banda Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Te Va A Gustar
    El Chapo
    [Disa]

Best Traditional Blues Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Last Of The Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas
    Henry James Townsend, Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins, Robert Lockwood, Jr. & David "Honeyboy" Edwards
    [The Blue Shoe Project]

Best Contemporary Blues Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • The Road To Escondido
    JJ Cale & Eric Clapton
    [Reprise Records/Warner Music Group]

Best Polka Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Come Share The Wine
    Jimmy Sturr And His Orchestra
    [Rounder]

Best Musical Album For Children
(For albums consisting of predominantly music or song vs. spoken word.)

  • A Green And Red Christmas
    The Muppets
    Ted Kryczko & Ed Mitchell, producers
    [Walt Disney Records]

Best Spoken Word Album For Children
(For albums consisting of predominantly spoken word vs. music or song.)

  • Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows
    Jim Dale
    [Listening Library]

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling)

  • The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream
    Barack Obama
    [Random House Audio]

Best Comedy Album
(For comedy recordings, spoken or musical)

  • The Distant Future
    Flight Of The Conchords
    [Sub Pop]

Best Musical Show Album
(Award to the Album Producer(s), and to the Lyricist(s) & Composer(s) of 51% or more of a new score. (Artist, Lyricist & Composer names appear in parentheses.))

  • Spring Awakening
    Duncan Sheik, producer; Duncan Sheik, composer; Steven Sater, lyricist (Original Broadway Cast With Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele & Others)
    [Decca Broadway]

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
(Award to the Artist(s) and/or Producer(s) of a majority of the tracks on the album, or to the individual(s) actively responsible for the concept and musical direction and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as applicable.)

  • Love
    (The Beatles)
    George Martin & Giles Martin, producers

    [Apple Records/Capitol Records]

Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
(Award to Composer(s) for an original score created specifically for, or as a companion to, a current legitimate motion picture, television show or series or other visual media.)

  • Ratatouille
    Michael Giacchino, composer
    [Walt Disney Records]

Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
(A Songwriter(s) award. For a song (melody & lyrics) written specifically for a motion picture, television or other visual media, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Love You I Do (From Dreamgirls)
    Siedah Garrett & Henry Krieger, songwriters (Jennifer Hudson)
    Track from: Dreamgirls
    [Music World Music/Sony Urban Music/Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax; Publishers: Miroku Music/Williamson Music/Black Chick Music Publishing, SKG Songs]

Best Instrumental Composition
(A Composer’s Award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Cerulean Skies
    Maria Schneider, composer (Maria Schneider Orchestra)
    Track from: Sky Blue
    [ArtistShare]

Best Instrumental Arrangement
(An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • In A Silent Way
    Vince Mendoza, arranger (Joe Zawinul)
    Track from: Brown Street
    [Heads Up International]

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
(An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • I’m Gonna Live Till I Die
    John Clayton, arranger (Queen Latifah)
    Track from: Trav’lin’ Light
    [Verve]

Best Recording Package

  • Cassadaga
    Zachary Nipper, art director (Bright Eyes)
    [Saddle Creek]

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package

  • What It Is!: Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)
    Masaki Koike, art director (Various Artists)
    [Rhino]

Best Album Notes

  • John Work, III: Recording Black Culture
    Bruce Nemerov, album notes writer (Various Artists)
    [Spring Fed Records]

Best Historical Album

  • The Live Wire – Woody Guthrie In Performance 1949
    Nora Guthrie & Jorge Arévalo Mateus, compilation producers; Jamie Howarth, Steve Rosenthal, Warren Russell-Smith & Dr. Kevin Short, mastering engineers (Woody Guthrie)
    [Woody Guthrie Publications]

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
(An Engineer’s Award. (Artists names appear in parentheses.))

  • Beauty & Crime
    Tchad Blake, Cameron Craig, Emery Dobyns & Jimmy Hogarth, engineers (Suzanne Vega)
    [Blue Note]

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
(A Producer’s Award. (Artists names appear in parentheses.))

  • Mark Ronson
    • Back To Black (Amy Winehouse) (T)
    • Littlest Things (Lily Allen) (T)
    • Rehab (Amy Winehouse) (T)
    • Version (Mark Ronson) (A)
    • You Know I’m No Good (Amy Winehouse) (T)

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
(A Remixer’s Award. (Artists names appear in parentheses for identification.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Bring The Noise (Benny Benassi Sfaction Remix)
    Benny Benassi, remixer (Public Enemy)
    Track from: Bring The Noise/Give It Up EP
    [Ultra Records]

Best Surround Sound Album
(For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.)

  • Love
    Paul Hicks, surround mix engineer; Tim Young, surround mastering engineer; George Martin & Giles Martin, surround producers (The Beatles)
    [Apple/Capitol Records]

Best Engineered Album, Classical
(An Engineer’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.))

  • Grechaninov: Passion Week
    John Newton, engineer (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale)
    [Chandos]

Producer Of The Year, Classical
(A Producer’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.))

  • Judith Sherman
    • American Virtuosa: Tribute To Maud Powell (Rachel Barton Pine & Matthew Hagle)
    • From Barrelhouse To Broadway: The Musical Odyssey Of Joe Jordan (Rick Benjamin & The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra)
    • Górecki: String Quartet No. 3 ‘…Songs Are Sung’ (Kronos Quartet)
    • Strange Imaginary Animals (Eighth Blackbird)
    • Tchaikovsky: Three String Quartets, Souvenir De Florence (Ying Quartet)

Best Classical Album
(Award to the Artist(s) and to the Album Producer(s) if other than the Artist.)

  • Tower: Made In America
    Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Tim Handley, producer; Tim Handley, engineer/mixer (Nashville Symphony)
    [Naxos]

Best Orchestral Performance
(Award to the Conductor and to the Orchestra.)

  • Tower: Made In America
    Leonard Slatkin, conductor (Nashville Symphony)
    [Naxos]

Best Opera Recording
(Award to the Conductor, Album Producer(s) and Principal Soloists.)

  • Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel
    Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor; Rebecca Evans, Jane Henschel & Jennifer Larmore; Brian Couzens, producer (Sarah Coppen, Diana Montague & Sarah Tynan; New London Children’s Choir; Philharmonia Orchestra)
    [Chandos Opera In English]

Best Choral Performance
(Award to the Choral Conductor, and to the Orchestra Conductor if an Orchestra is on the recording, and to the Choral Director or Chorus Master if applicable.)

  • Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Simon Rattle, conductor; Simon Halsey, chorus master (Thomas Quasthoff & Dorothea Röschmann; Rundfunkchor Berlin; Berliner Philharmoniker)
    [EMI Classics]

Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra)
(Award to the Instrumental Soloist(s) and to the Conductor.)

  • Barber/Korngold/Walton: Violin Concertos
    Bramwell Tovey, conductor; James Ehnes (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra)
    [CBC Records]

Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)
(Award to the Instrumental Soloist.)

  • Beethoven Sonatas, Vol. 3
    Garrick Ohlsson
    [Bridge Records, Inc.]

Best Chamber Music Performance
(Award to the Artists.)

  • Strange Imaginary Animals
    Eighth Blackbird
    [Cedille Records]

Best Small Ensemble Performance
(Award to the Ensemble (and to the Conductor.))

  • Stravinsky: Apollo, Concerto In D; Prokofiev: 20 Visions Fugitives
    Yuri Bashmet, conductor; Moscow Soloists
    [Onyx Classics]

Best Classical Vocal Performance
(Award to the Vocal Soloist(s).)

  • Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs
    Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (James Levine; Boston Symphony Orchestra)
    [Nonesuch Records]

Best Classical Contemporary Composition
(A Composer’s Award. (For a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.))

  • Made In America
    Joan Tower (Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
    Track from: Tower: Made In America
    [Naxos]

Best Classical Crossover Album
(Award to the Artist(s) and/or to the Conductor.)

  • A Love Supreme: The Legacy Of John Coltrane
    Turtle Island Quartet
    [Telarc]

Best Short Form Music Video
(For an individual track or single promotional clip. Award to the Artist and to the Video Director/Producer.)

  • God’s Gonna Cut You Down
    Johnny Cash
    Tony Kaye, video director; Rachel Curl, video producer
    [American Records/Lost Highway Records]

Best Long Form Music Video
(For video album packages consisting of more than one song or track. Award to the Artist and to the Video Director/Producer of at least 51% of the total playing time.)

  • The Confessions Tour
    Madonna
    Jonas Akerlund, video director; Sara Martin & David May, video producers
    [Warner Bros.]
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