Radio Milwaukee’s Top 25 Albums of 2020

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In a year that otherwise disappointed in so many ways, music came through for us. The pandemic did little to slow the tide of new releases from both established stars and bright newcomers, with standout albums coming from all corners of music and the globe. Who would have guessed that such an awful year could have produced so many wonderful records?

These were our favorite albums of the year, as voted on by Radio Milwaukee DJs and staff.

25. Barely Civil – “I’ll Figure This Out”

24. Chika – “INDUSTRY GAMES”

23. 070 Shake – “Modus Vivendi”

22. Disclosure – “ENERGY”

21. Fleet Foxes – “Shore”

20. Lido Pimenta – “Miss Colombia”

19. The Beths – “Jump Rope Gazers”

18. Perfume Genius – “Set My Heart On Fire Immediately”

17. Brandy – “b7”

16. Samia – “The Baby”

15. The Chats – “High Risk Behavior”

14. IDLES – “Ultra Mono”

13. Sylvan Esso – “Free Love”

12. Khruangbin – “Mordechai”

11. Chaii – “Lightswitch EP”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MpmgZjS3mI

10. Waxahatchee – “Saint Cloud”

Before writing her fifth album as Waxahatchee, Katie Crutchfield got sober and fell in love, changes so momentous she marked them with nothing less than a total reinvention of Waxahatchee’s sound. Gone almost completely are the alternative and power-pop trappings of her previous albums, replaced with the luxurious twang and unhurried tempos of the Americana records she grew up on. Crutchfield’s “wiser, slower and attuned” makeover, to borrow her phrasing from the achingly gorgeous “Fire,” complements her so completely it almost feels like a waste that it took her so long to embrace her inner country singer. “Saint Cloud” was one of the first major albums released after the world went into lockdown in March, and its sumptuous tour of the American South couldn’t have been a more welcome escape. (Evan Rytlewski)

9. Kaytranada – “BUBBA”

In a year that’s been corroded with so much despair, “BUBBA” plays as close to a lighthearted escape from reality as one could possibly get. While I’m generally familiar with the Kaytranada sound, this project considerably exceeded my expectations. Each track flows seamlessly through a series of hard-grooving house beats, with transitions that create that favored instance in music listening where you don’t find the need to skip to the better song. This is set early with track two’s repeated line, “won’t you stop and listen to the music,” as you’ll inadvertently find yourself dancing and unable to move your ears and body from anything else. Nearly every song features a different artist, and each one comfortably meshes their unique sound within the dance template that Kaytranada has established. This album will organically make you move and groove, while lifting your spirits and serving the vibe that we all deserve. (B~Free)

8. Dua Lipa – “Future Nostalgia”

“Future Nostalgia” was supposed to be ripping through the speakers at the PrideFest dance pavilion this year, alongside Gaga’s “Chromatica,” a moment I was surely looking forward to with my friends. But even though we didn’t get to party in person, “Future Nostalgia” blared through my own speakers throughout the summer. A nearly perfect pop album from a fresh artist gives you everything — huge hooks, disco basslines and major danceability to truly feel yourself, even if you’re alone in your living room. (Nate Imig)

7. Tame Impala – “The Slow Rush”

My boss, Jordan Lee, describes Tame Impala as, “a perfect puzzle piece.” He’s thinking of it like a DJ. You can play Tame Impala out of boom-bap hip-hop because of the drums. You can play into ’70s AM because of the vocals. Or really between everything because Kevin Parker is a record shelf. That’s way “The Slow Rush” hit with so many people on staff here. No matter what your musical center is, Tame Impala overlaps it and also brings something else into it. It’s that perfect puzzle piece. (Justin Barney)

6. Bad Bunny – “YHLQMDLG”

It’s no mystery how the year 2020 will be remembered in the future. The effects from the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement to combat racial injustice in our nation and all over the globe has taken a toll on everyone. You know what? With all of the negativity surrounding it all, we still have music. Creatives can’t be stopped and this was evident in the three full length albums Bad Bunny released this year. My pick this year is YHLQMDLG, which stands for “Yo hago lo que me da la gana.” Translation? “I do what I want.” This piece gave millions of fans the escape they needed and still seek to pass the time and maybe even thrive. Reggaetón and Latin trap beats mixed with raw, exhilarating, and healing lyrics kept us moving forward. This is why Bad Bunny is my number one artist of 2020. (Kenny Perez)

5. Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher”

How is it that Phoebe Bridgers can simultaneously haunt and console? What kind of ethereal sorcery does she possess to be so angelic, yet so cooly sinister? She’s mysterious, yet candidly confessing. She’s the unassuming villain we eternally empathize with.

“Punisher” exists like a liquid running through me, warming the dark patches of my being with a weight equally as dark. I have not lived the personal experiences Bridgers so poetically writes about, yet the imagery and emotional response that her songs induce resonates with me, stirring up internalized wounds I could never put words to.

“Punisher” is beautiful. It’s an album born from cathartic necessity with earnestness and intention. It molds pain into hypnotic comfort. We all need to feel the feels every now and then, so please, treat yourself to the best breakdown this album can offer. (Erin Bagatta)

4. Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”

The opening bars for the first track “I Want You To Love Me” start bouncy, playful even. Next comes swirling, cinematic notes from a piano, followed by Fiona’s vocals. An introduction of sorts, letting you know she’s still here, waiting for love and approval. But from who? I find it all kinda mysterious. But it’s clear that she’s not playing around when her vocals in the last 30 seconds of the song turn into guttural screeches while she bangs the final notes out on the piano. That’s when I smile and realize she’s just getting started to exercise some stuff out on this record. And I’m ALL IN.

Next comes “Shameika,” a song inspired by memories of childhood schoolmates. Fiona’s lyrics reveal those awkward moments most of us faced in school as a kid. You know, when you just wanted to fit in. Some of the lyrics read as if she was looking through messages scrawled in her own yearbook. Some reveal moments she felt bullied and rejected. But when the line “Shameika said I had potential” starts, you realize she may have not been totally alone.

In the next track, the chorus repeats “Fetch the bolt cutters, I’ve been in here too long” which seems like the start of Fiona’s journey to heal from traumatic issues in her childhood. Pay attention to the end of the track, to the soft, echoing whisper voices, dogs barking and audible breathing. It seems like she may have just escaped from where she’s been trapped and stuck, for a long time. I’ve seen a couple of my friends post that the line from “Under The Table” that goes “Kick me under the table all you want. I won’t shut up” resonate. That makes me smile. My friends are strong women and this song is an ode to women everywhere finding their voices. Fiona Apple does not pull any punches on this album. (Dori Zori)

3. Run The Jewels – “RTJ4” 

“Do Killer Mike and El-P possess a cultural crystal ball?” This is the question I asked myself as I listened to “RTJ4” for the first time in the summer of 2020, a summer we will always remember. We were all growing anxious and frustrated with the limitations the pandemic had placed on us. We could not go out and see shows. We could not enjoy the tours we had all planned on seeing, which for me included seeing Run The Jewels with Rage Against the Machine at Alpine Valley.

Then George Floyd was murdered.We all collectively had experienced this horror before, but 2020 sharpened our response. As I spent the early summer looking for the words to express how I felt, along came “RTJ4.” Of course I had already heard the lead single “Ooh La La” prior to the album release, and thought RTJ4 was potentially going to be an album of rap tricks and treats for old hip-hop fans like me. I had no idea how poignant and timely the content was going to be.

On “RTJ4,” Killer Mike returned to the level of lyricism I expected from him on his “R.A.P. Music” album. Cold, cunning, sharp and right on point, Killer Mike found the words to express the way I was feeling in the summer of 2020. El-P also stepped up his lyrical wits on this project, standing toe to toe with his hip-hop anti-hero comrade. I must’ve listened to this record 20 times in the first month it was released. I kept going back to it, finding new things I missed the first few times I listened to it, and deeper meanings in the lyrics and themes of the album.

Music critics from many different publications and websites have placed this album high on their year end lists, but for me as a huge RTJ fan this album is more than just a great collection of songs for a strange and wondrous year. This album cements Run The Jewels on the list of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time. A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan, any rap fan will agree that those groups belong on this list. “RTJ4” has pushed Run The Jewels onto that list for me now as well. (Jordan Lee)

2. Thundercat – “It Is What It Is”

It takes a certain amount of something to pull off what he is; a bass player-cum-singer songwriter. And now, Thundercat has done it twice, on his last release and this one; which finds him once again working with psychedelically savant beatmaker Flying Lotus, “It Is What It Is” finds its groove in headier spaces defining what it means to be, dank. (Marcus Doucette)

1. SAULT – “Untitled (Black Is)”/”Untitled (Rise)”

Releasing an album on Juneteenth in a year of a racial reckoning has to be one of the most potent, creative statements of the year. That is precisely what the enigmatic band Sault did with “Untitled (Black Is).” Sault took Black anger, revolution and joy and managed to express all of it in under 57 minutes. Not only that, “Untitled (Black Is)” was able to showcase the amazing beauty and the wide-ranging sounds of the Black diaspora from the Motown-inspired soul of “Miracles” to the Afrobeat-rock vibe of “Bow” featuring Michael Kiwanuka to the futuristic R&B of “Wildfires,” the standout track of the album.

If that wasn’t enough, Sault followed up “Untitled (Black Is) after only 12 weeks with another album titled “Untitled (Rise).” While “Untitled (Black Is) was filled with raw emotions, this one feels hopeful and meditative. The first album was telling me it is okay to be angry and sad and I need the time to deal with my emotions, while “Untitled (Rise)” told me to take time to breathe and now it is my time to take action. The songs on this album are more upbeat and inspired by sounds of funk and disco, which you can definitely hear on the tracks “Strong, “I Just Want To Dance,” and “Fearless.” The latter is one of the highlights of the album.

Without promotion or much fanfare, Sault dominated the year with two of the best albums. While major awards shows ignored these albums, they have earned album(s) of the year in my book. Sault truly showcased what Black excellence is all about! (Tarik Moody)

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Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa lead the 2021 Grammy nominations

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The Recording Academy announced its 2021 Grammy nominations on Tuesday, with Beyoncé, rising pop star Dua Lipa and stoner superstar Post Malone leading a diffuse field.

Beyoncé features on two songs in the record of the year category, which essentially rewards the year’s best single: the remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” and her own “Black Parade.” The latter was also nominated for song of the year, which is awarded to the winner’s songwriters.

The Grammys made several changes to its structure this year, including increasing its voting membership by 2,300 and tweaking its nominations process after years of criticism over a lack of diversity amid the ceremony’s top categories. The moves were meant to “to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure that the … nominating process and rules are more transparent and fair,” according to a statement on its website.

Beyoncé, seen here attending the 2020 pre-Grammy gala, received two record of the year nominations Tuesday | Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

The Academy also made its rules and guidelines public for the first time, including definitions for previously murky eligibility requirements and voting guidelines. It also changed the names of several categories — the Latin Pop Album category was renamed to the slightly more-inclusive Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album — and instituted a method for flagging conflicts of interest on its still-secretive Nominations Review Committees, whose members are not made public.

In addition, the Academy made several personnel changes, most notably the firing its first female CEO, Deborah Dugan, after less than a year on the job. Dugan had accused the Academy of being “rigged” and “corrupt,” while the Academy had said she was terminated following a confidential investigation into allegations that Dugan had bullied a senior member of the Academy. Former Google executive Valeisha Butterfield Jones was appointed to Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, a new position created in response to recommendations made by a task force focused on diversity and inclusion. She will “design, build and implement world-class programs and industry standards focused on inclusion, belonging and representation for underrepresented communities and creators.”

The results of these efforts at the top of the marquee are mixed. The eight nominations in the album of the year category, for example, are gender-diverse but mostly white, save for the rock group Black Pumas and the multi-racial pop singer Jhene Aiko. Record of the year nominees form a richer field, including the fast-rising rapper DaBaby, pop provocateur Doja Cat, and the aforementioned Megan Thee Stallion. All of the nominees for best pop vocal album are white artists.

In a sign of ostensible forward motion for the organization, however, this year’s nominees for best new artist might actually be new to most people. Country artist Ingrid Andress released her debut album, Lady Like, this year; Phoebe Bridgers is a highly respected indie artist, whose album Punisher broke into the top 50 of Billboard’s 200 albums chart this year; fans of the Tiny Desk may recognize Chika, a Nigerian-American rapper; this makes Noah Cyrus’ second year of being up for a best new artist award (after the MTV Video Music Awards in 2017); D Smoke turned a win on a music competition show into real cultural relevancy; Doja Cat has parlayed a viral hit into a proper career; Kaytranada is another confusing choice for best new artist, considering the length of his resume; and finally, Megan Thee Stallion, who likely needs no introduction.

The 2021 Grammy Award Nominations

Record Of The Year

Awarded to the artist and producer(s), recording engineer(s), mixer(s) and mastering engineer(s), if other than the artist.

  • “Black Parade” — Beyoncé
  • “Colors” — Black Pumas
  • “Rockstar” — DaBaby Featuring Roddy Ricch
  • “Say So” — Doja Cat
  • “Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish
  • “Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
  • “Circles” — Post Malone
  • “Savage” — Megan Thee Stallion Featuring Beyoncé

Song Of The Year

A songwriter(s) award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the eligibility year. (Recording artists’ names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Black Parade” — Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk & Rickie “Caso” Tice, songwriters (Beyoncé)
  • “The Box” — Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Roddy Ricch)
  • “Cardigan” — Aaron Dessner & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
  • “Circles” — Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk, Austin Post & Billy Walsh, songwriters (Post Malone)
  • “Don’t Start Now” — Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa & Emily Warren, songwriters (Dua Lipa)
  • “Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
  • “I Can’t Breathe” — Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. & Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)
  • “If The World Was Ending” — Julia Michaels & JP Saxe, songwriters (JP Saxe Featuring Julia Michaels)

Album Of The Year

Awarded to artist(s) and to featured artist(s), songwriter(s) of new material, producer(s), recording engineer(s), mixing and mastering engineer(s) credited with at least 33% playing time of the album, if other than the artist.

  • Chilombo — Jhené Aiko
  • Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition) — Black Pumas
  • Everyday Life — Coldplay
  • Djesse Vol. 3 — Jacob Collier
  • Women In Music Pt. III — Haim
  • Future Nostalgia — Dua Lipa
  • Hollywood’s Bleeding — Post Malone
  • Folklore — Taylor Swift

Best New Artist

This category recognizes an artist whose eligibility-year release(s) achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and notably impacted the musical landscape.

  • Ingrid Andress
  • Phoebe Bridgers
  • Chika
  • Noah Cyrus
  • D Smoke
  • Doja Cat
  • Kaytranada
  • Megan Thee Stallion

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

For new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborative pop recordings. Singles or tracks only.

  • “Un Dia (One Day)” — J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy
  • “Intentions” — Justin Bieber Featuring Quavo
  • “Dynamite” — BTS
  • “Rain On Me” — Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande
  • “Exile” — Taylor Swift Featuring Bon Iver

Best Pop Vocal Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing of new pop vocal recordings.

  • Changes — Justin Bieber
  • Chromatica — Lady Gaga
  • Future Nostalgia — Dua Lipa
  • Fine Line — Harry Styles
  • Folklore — Taylor Swift

Best Dance/Electronic Album

For vocal or instrumental albums.

  • Kick I — Arca
  • Planet’s Mad — Baauer
  • Energy — Disclosure
  • Bubba — Kaytranada
  • Good Faith — Madeon

Best Rock Performance

For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative rock recordings.

  • “Shameika” — Fiona Apple
  • “Not” — Big Thief
  • “Kyoto” — Phoebe Bridgers
  • “The Steps” — HAIM
  • “Stay High” — Brittany Howard
  • “Daylight” — Grace Potter

Best Progressive R&B Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded progressive vocal tracks derivative of R&B.

  • Chilombo —Jhené Aiko
  • Ungodly Hour — Chloe X Halle
  • Free Nationals — Free Nationals
  • F*** Yo Feelings — Robert Glasper
  • It Is What It Is — Thundercat

Best Rap Performance

For a rap performance. Singles or tracks only.

  • “Deep Reverence” — Big Sean Featuring Nipsey Hussle
  • “Bop” — DaBaby
  • “What’s Poppin” — Jack Harlow
  • “The Bigger Picture” — Lil Baby
  • “Savage” — Megan Thee Stallion Featuring Beyoncé
  • “Dior” — Pop Smoke

Best Country Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new country recordings.

  • Lady Like— Ingrid Andress
  • Your Life Is A Record— Brandy Clark
  • Wildcard — Miranda Lambert
  • Nightfall— Little Big Town
  • Never Will — Ashley McBryde

Best Jazz Vocal Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal jazz recordings.

  • Ona — Thana Alexa
  • Secrets Are The Best Stories — Kurt Elling Featuring Danilo Pérez
  • Modern Ancestors — Carmen Lundy
  • Holy Room: Live At Alte Oper — Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band
  • What’s The Hurry — Kenny Washington

Best Latin Pop or Urban Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new Latin pop or urban recordings.

  • YHLQMDLG— Bad Bunny
  • Por Primera Vez — Camilo
  • Mesa Para Dos — Kany García
  • Pausa — Ricky Martin
  • 3:33 — Debi Nova

Best Americana Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental Americana recordings.

  • Old Flowers — Courtney Marie Andrews
  • Terms Of Surrender — Hiss Golden Messenger
  • World On The Ground — Sarah Jarosz
  • El Dorado — Marcus King
  • Good Souls Better Angels — Lucinda Williams

Best Contemporary Blues Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental contemporary blues recordings.

  • Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? — Fantastic Negrito
  • Live At The Paramount — Ruthie Foster Big Band
  • The Juice — G. Love
  • Blackbirds — Bettye LaVette
  • Up And Rolling — North Mississippi Allstars

Best Global Music Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental global music recordings.

  • FU Chronicles — Antibalas
  • Twice As Tall — Burna Boy
  • Agora — Bebel Gilberto
  • Love Letters — Anoushka Shankar
  • Amadjar — Tinariwen

Best Spoken Word Album

Includes poetry, audio books and storytelling.

  • Acid For The Children: A Memoir — Flea
  • Alex Trebek – The Answer Is… — Ken Jennings
  • Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, And The Richest, Most Destructive Industry On Earth — Rachel Maddow
  • Catch And Kill — Ronan Farrow
  • Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) — Meryl Streep (& Full Cast)

Best Music Film

For concert/performance films or music documentaries. Award to the artist, video director and video producer.

  • Beastie Boys Story — Beastie Boys
  • Black Is King — Beyoncé
  • We Are Freestyle Love Supreme — Freestyle Love Supreme
  • Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice — Linda Ronstadt
  • That Little Ol’ Band From Texas — ZZ Top

Best Pop Solo Performance

For new vocal or instrumental pop recordings. Singles or tracks only.

  • “Yummy” — Justin Bieber
  • “Say So” — Doja Cat
  • “Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish
  • “Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
  • “Watermelon Sugar” — Harry Styles
  • “Cardigan” — Taylor Swift

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new traditional pop recordings.

  • Blue Umbrella — (Burt Bacharach &) Daniel Tashian
  • True Love: A Celebration Of Cole Porter — Harry Connick, Jr.
  • American Standard — James Taylor
  • Unfollow The Rules — Rufus Wainwright
  • Judy — Renée Zellweger

Best Dance Recording

For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances. Vocal or instrumental. Singles or tracks only.

  • “On My Mind” — Diplo & SIDEPIECE (Diplo & SIDEPIECE, producers; Luca Pretolesi, mixer)
  • “My High” — Disclosure ft. Aminé & Slowthai (Guy Lawrence & Howard Lawrence, producers; Guy Lawrence, mixer)
  • “The Difference” — Flume ft. Toro y Moi (Flume, producer; Eric J Dubowsky, mixer)
  • “Both Of Us” — Jayda G (Fred Again.. & Jayda G, producers; Fred Again.. & Jayda G, mixers)
  • “10%” — Kaytranada ft. Kali Uchis (Kaytranada, producer; Neal H. Pogue, mixer)

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

For albums containing approximately 51% or more playing time of instrumental material. For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings.

  • Axiom — Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah
  • Chronology Of A Dream: Live At The Village Vanguard — Jon Batiste
  • Take The Stairs — Black Violin
  • Americana — Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill Frisell
  • Live At The Royal Albert Hall — Snarky Puppy

Best Metal Performance

For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative metal recordings.

  • “Bum-Rush” — Body Count
  • “Underneath” — Code Orange
  • “The In-Between” — In This Moment
  • “Bloodmoney” — Poppy
  • “Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Axe) – Live” — Power Trip

Best Rock Song

A songwriter(s) Award. Includes rock, hard rock and metal songs. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the eligibility year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Kyoto” — Phoebe Bridgers, Morgan Nagler & Marshall Vore, songwriters (Phoebe Bridgers)
  • “Lost In Yesterday” — Kevin Parker, songwriter (Tame Impala)
  • “Not” — Adrianne Lenker, songwriter (Big Thief)
  • “Shameika” — Fiona Apple, songwriter (Fiona Apple)
  • “Stay High” — Brittany Howard, songwriter (Brittany Howard)

Best Rock Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new rock, hard

rock or metal recordings.

  • A Hero’s Death — Fontaines D.C.
  • Kiwanuka — Michael Kiwanuka
  • Daylight — Grace Potter
  • Sound & Fury — Sturgill Simpson
  • The New Abnormal — The Strokes

Best Alternative Music Album

Vocal or instrumental.

  • Fetch The Bolt Cutters — Fiona Apple
  • Hyperspace — Beck
  • Punisher — Phoebe Bridgers
  • Jaime — Brittany Howard
  • The Slow Rush — Tame Impala

Best R&B Performance

For new vocal or instrumental R&B recordings.

  • “Lightning & Thunder” — Jhené Aiko ft. John Legend
  • “Black Parade” — Beyoncé
  • “All I Need” — Jacob Collier ft. Mahalia & Ty Dolla $Ign
  • “Goat Head” — Brittany Howard
  • “See Me” — Emily King

Best Traditional R&B Performance

For new vocal or instrumental traditional R&B recordings.

  • “Sit On Down” — The Baylor Project ft. Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor
  • “Wonder What She Thinks Of Me” — Chloe X Halle
  • “Let Me Go” — Mykal Kilgore
  • “Anything For You” — Ledisi
  • “Distance” — Yebba

Best R&B Song

A songwriter(s) award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the eligibility year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Better Than I Imagine” — Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello & Gabriella Wilson, Songwriters (Robert Glasper Ft. H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello)
  • “Black Parade” — Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk & Rickie “Caso” Tice, Songwriters (Beyoncé)
  • “Collide” — Sam Barsh, Stacey Barthe, Sonyae Elise, Olu Fann, Akil King, Josh Lopez, Kaveh Rastegar & Benedetto Rotondi, Songwriters (Tiana Major9 & Earthgang)
  • “Do It”  — Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Anton Kuhl, Victoria Monét, Scott Storch & Vincent Van Den Ende, Songwriters (Chloe X Halle)
  • “Slow Down” — Nasri Atweh, Badriia Bourelly, Skip Marley, Ryan Williamson & Gabriella Wilson, Songwriters (Skip Marley & H.E.R.)

Best R&B Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new R&B recordings.

  • Happy 2 Be Here — Ant Clemons
  • Take Time — Giveon
  • To Feel Love/D — Luke James
  • Bigger Love — John Legend
  • All Rise — Gregory Porter

Best Melodic Rap Performance

For a solo or collaborative performance containing both elements of R&B melodies and rap.

  • “Rockstar” — DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch
  • “Laugh Now, Cry Later” Drake ft. Lil Durk
  • “Lockdown” — Anderson .Paak
  • “The Box” — Roddy Ricch
  • “Highest In The Room” — Travis Scott

Best Rap Song

A songwriter(s) award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the eligibility year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “The Bigger Picture” — Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew & Rai’shaun Williams, songwriters (Lil Baby)
  • “The Box” — Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Roddy Ricch)
  • “Laugh Now, Cry Later” — Durk Banks, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Ron Latour & Ryan Martinez, songwriters (Drake ft. Lil Durk)
  • “Rockstar” — Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Ross Joseph Portaro Iv & Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Dababy ft. Roddy Ricch)
  • “Savage” — Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe & Anthony White, songwriters (Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Beyoncé)

Best Rap Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new rap recordings.

  • Black Habits — D Smoke
  • Alfredo — Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
  • A Written Testimony — Jay Electronica
  • King’s Disease — Nas
  • The Allegory — Royce Da 5’9″

Best Country Solo Performance

For new vocal or instrumental solo country recordings.

  • “Stick That In Your Country Song” — Eric Church
  • “Who You Thought I Was” — Brandy Clark
  • “When My Amy Prays — Vince Gill
  • “Black Like Me” — Mickey Guyton
  • “Bluebird” — Miranda Lambert

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

For new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborative country recordings.

  • “All Night” — Brothers Osborne
  • “10,000 Hours” — Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber
  • “Ocean” — Lady A
  • “Sugar Coat” — Little Big Town
  • “Some People Do” — Old Dominion

Best Country Song

A songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the eligibility year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Bluebird” — Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby & Miranda Lambert, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
  • “The Bones” — Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins & Laura Veltz, songwriters (Maren Morris)
  • “Crowded Table” — Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby & Lori Mckenna, songwriters (The Highwomen)
  • “More Hearts Than Mine” — Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis & Derrick Southerland, songwriters (Ingrid Andress)
  • “Some People Do” — Jesse Frasure, Shane Mcanally, Matthew Ramsey & Thomas Rhett, songwriters (Old Dominion)

Best New Age Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental new age recordings.

  • Songs From The Bardo — Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal & Jesse Paris Smith
  • Periphery — Priya Darshini
  • Form//Less — Superposition
  • More Guitar Stories — Jim “Kimo” West
  • Meditations — Cory Wong & Jon Batiste

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter’s name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or tracks only.

  • “Guinevere” — Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah, soloist
  • “Pachamama” — Regina Carter, soloist
  • “Celia” — Gerald Clayton, soloist
  • “All Blues” — Chick Corea, soloist
  • “Moe Honk” — Joshua Redman, soloist

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new instrumental jazz recordings.

  • On The Tender Spot Of Every Calloused Moment — Ambrose Akinmusire
  • Waiting Game — Terri Lyne Carrington And Social Science
  • Happening: Live At The Village Vanguard — Gerald Clayton
  • Trilogy 2 — Chick Corea, Christian Mcbride & Brian Blade
  • Roundagain — Redman Mehldau Mcbride Blade

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new ensemble jazz recordings.

  • Dialogues On Race — Gregg August
  • Monk’estra Plays John Beasley — John Beasley
  • The Intangible Between — Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big Band
  • Songs You Like A Lot — John Hollenbeck With Theo Bleckmann, Kate
  • Mcgarry, Gary Versace And The Frankfurt Radio Big Band
  • Data Lords — Maria Schneider Orchestra

Best Latin Jazz Album

For vocal or instrumental albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. The intent of this category is to recognize recordings that represent the blending of jazz with Latin, Iberian-American, Brazilian, and Argentinian tango music.

  • Tradiciones — Afro-peruvian Jazz Orchestra
  • Four Questions — Arturo O’farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
  • City Of Dreams — Chico Pinheiro
  • Viento Y Tiempo – Live At Blue Note Tokyo — Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée Nuviola
  • Trane’s Delight — Poncho Sanchez

Best Gospel Performance/Song

This award is given to the artist(s) and songwriter(s) (for new compositions) for the best traditional Christian, roots gospel or contemporary gospel single or track.

  • “Wonderful Is Your Name” — Melvin Crispell III
  • “Release (Live)” — Ricky Dillard Ft. Tiff Joy; David Frazier, songwriter
  • “Come Together” — Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins Presents: The Good News; Lashawn Daniels, Rodney Jerkins, Lecrae Moore & Jazz Nixon, songwriters
  • “Won’t Let Go” — Travis Greene; Travis Greene, songwriter
  • “Movin’ On” — Jonathan Mcreynolds & Mali Music; Darryl L. Howell, Jonathan Caleb Mcreynolds, Kortney Jamaal Pollard & Terrell Demetrius Wilson, songwriters

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

This award is given to the artist(s) and songwriter(s) (for new compositions) for the best contemporary Christian music single or track, (including pop, rap/hip-hop, Latin, or rock.)

  • “The Blessing (Live)” — Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Elevation Worship; Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe Carnes & Steven Furtick, songwriters
  • “Sunday Morning” — Lecrae Featuring Kirk Franklin; Denisia Andrews, Jones Terrence Antonio, Saint Bodhi, Brittany Coney, Kirk Franklin, Lasanna Harris, Shama Joseph, Stuart Lowery, Lecrae Moore & Nathanael Saint-fleur, songwriters
  • “Holy Water” — We The Kingdom; Andrew Bergthold, Ed Cash, Franni Cash, Martin Cash & Scott Cash, songwriters
  • “Famous For (I Believe)” — Tauren Wells Featuring Jenn Johnson; Chuck Butler, Krissy Nordhoff, Jordan Sapp, Alexis Slifer & Tauren Wells, songwriters
  • “There Was Jesus” — Zach Williams & Dolly Parton; Casey Beathard, Jonathan Smith & Zach Williams, songwriters

Best Gospel Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded, vocal, traditional or contemporary/R&B gospel music recordings.

  • 2econd Wind: Ready — Anthony Brown & Group Therapy
  • My Tribute — Myron Butler
  • Choirmaster — Ricky Dillard
  • Gospel According To PJ — PJ Morton
  • Kierra — Kierra Sheard

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded, vocal, contemporary Christian music, including pop, rap/hip hop, Latin, or rock recordings.

  • Run To The Father — Cody Carnes
  • All Of My Best Friends — Hillsong Young & Free
  • Holy Water — We The Kingdom
  • Citizen Of Heaven — Tauren Wells
  • Jesus Is King — Kanye West

Best Roots Gospel Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded, vocal, traditional/roots gospel music, including country, Southern gospel, bluegrass, and Americana recordings.

  • Beautiful Day — Mark Bishop
  • 20/20 — The Crabb Family
  • What Christmas Really Means — The Erwins
  • Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album) — Fisk Jubilee Singers
  • Something Beautiful — Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new Latin rock or alternative recordings.

  • Aura — Bajofondo
  • Monstruo — Cami
  • Sobrevolando — Cultura Profética
  • La Conquista Del Espacio — Fito Paez
  • Miss Colombia — Lido Pimienta

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new regional Mexican (banda, norteño, corridos, gruperos, mariachi, ranchera and Tejano) recordings.

  • Hecho En México — Alejandro Fernández
  • La Serenata — Lupita Infante
  • Un Canto Por México, Vol. 1 — Natalia Lafourcade
  • Bailando Sones Y Huapangos Con — Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez — Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez
  • Ayayay! — Christian Nodal

Best Tropical Latin Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new tropical Latin recordings.

  • Mi Tumbao — José Alberto “El Ruiseñor”
  • Infinito — Edwin Bonilla
  • Sigo Cantando Al Amor (Deluxe) — Jorge Celedon & Sergio Luis
  • 40 — Grupo Niche
  • Memorias De Navidad — Víctor Manuelle

Best American Roots Performance

For new vocal or instrumental American roots recordings. This is for performances in the style of any of the subgenres encompassed in the American roots music field including Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk or regional roots. Award to the artist(s).

  • “Colors” — Black Pumas
  • “Deep In Love” — Bonny Light Horseman
  • “Short And Sweet” — Brittany Howard
  • “I’ll Be Gone” — Norah Jones & Mavis Staples
  • “I Remember Everything” — John Prine

Best American Roots Song

A songwriter(s) Award. Includes Americana, bluegrass, traditional blues, contemporary blues, folk or regional roots songs. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the eligibility year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Cabin” — Laura Rogers & Lydia Rogers, songwriters (The Secret Sisters)
  • “Ceiling To The Floor” — Sierra Hull & Kai Welch, songwriters (Sierra Hull)
  • “Hometown” — Sarah Jarosz, Songwriter (Sarah Jarosz)
  • “I Remember Everything” — Pat Mclaughlin & John Prine, songwriters (John
  • Prine)
  • “Man Without A Soul” — Tom Overby & Lucinda Williams, songwriters (Lucinda
  • Williams)

Best Bluegrass Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental bluegrass recordings.

  • Man On Fire — Danny Barnes
  • To Live In Two Worlds, Vol. 1 — Thomm Jutz
  • North Carolina Songbook — Steep Canyon Rangers
  • Home — Billy Strings
  • The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project, Vol. 1 — (Various Artists)

Best Traditional Blues Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental traditional blues recordings.

  • All My Dues Are Paid — Frank Bey
  • You Make Me Feel — Don Bryant
  • That’s What I Heard — Robert Cray Band
  • Cypress Grove — Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
  • Rawer Than Raw — Bobby Rush

Best Folk Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental folk recordings.

  • Bonny Light Horseman — Bonny Light Horseman
  • Thanks For The Dance — Leonard Cohen
  • Song For Our Daughter — Laura Marling
  • Saturn Return — The Secret Sisters
  • All The Good Times — Gillian Welch & David Rawlings

Best Regional Roots Music Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental regional roots music recordings.

  • My Relatives “Nikso Kowaiks” — Black Lodge Singers
  • Cameron Dupuy And The Cajun Troubadours — Cameron Dupuy And The Cajun Troubadours
  • Lovely Sunrise — Nā Wai ʽehā
  • Atmosphere — New Orleans Nightcrawlers
  • A Tribute To Al Berard — Sweet Cecilia

Best Reggae Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new reggae recordings.

  • Upside Down 2020 — Buju Banton
  • Higher Place — Skip Marley
  • It All Comes Back To Love — Maxi Priest
  • Got To Be Tough — Toots & The Maytals
  • One World — The Wailers

Best Children’s Music Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new musical or spoken word recordings that are created and intended specifically for children.

  • All The Ladies — Joanie Leeds
  • Be A Pain: An Album For Young (And Old) Leaders — Alastair Moock And Friends
  • I’m An Optimist — Dog On Fleas
  • Songs For Singin’ — The Okee Dokee Brothers
  • Wild Life — Justin Roberts

Best Comedy Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings.

  • Black Mitzvah — Tiffany Haddish
  • I Love Everything — Patton Oswalt
  • The Pale Tourist — Jim Gaffigan
  • Paper Tiger — Bill Burr
  • 23 Hours To Kill — Jerry Seinfeld

Best Musical Theater Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings. Award to the principal vocalist(s) and the album producer(s) of 51% or more playing time of the album. The lyricist(s) and composer(s) of a new score are eligible for an Award if they have written and/or composed a new score which comprises 51% or more playing time of the album.

  • Amélie — Audrey Brisson, Chris Jared, Caolan McCarthy & Jez Unwin, principal soloists; Michael Fentiman, Sean Patrick Flahaven, Barnaby Race & Nathan Tysen, producers; Nathan Tysen, lyricist; Daniel Messe, composer & lyricist (Original London Cast)
  • American Utopia On Broadway — David Byrne, principal soloist; David Byrne, producer (David Byrne, composer & lyricist) (Original Cast)
  • Jagged Little Pill — Kathryn Gallagher, Celia Rose Gooding, Lauren Patten & Elizabeth Stanley, principal soloists; Neal Avron, Pete Ganbarg, Tom Kitt, Michael Parker, Craig Rosen & Vivek J. Tiwary, producers (Glen Ballard & Alanis Morissette, lyricists) (Original Broadway Cast)
  • Little Shop Of Horrors — Tammy Blanchard, Jonathan Groff & Tom Alan Robbins, principal soloists; Will Van Dyke, Michael Mayer, Alan Menken & Frank Wolf, producers (Alan Menken, composer; Howard Ashman, lyricist) (The New Off-Broadway Cast)
  • The Prince Of Egypt — Christine Allado, Luke Brady, Alexia Khadime & Liam Tamne, principal soloists; Dominick Amendum & Stephen Schwartz, producers; Stephen Schwartz, composer & lyricist (Original Cast)
  • Soft Power — Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Alyse Alan Louis & Conrad Ricamora, principal soloists; Matt Stine, producer; David Henry Hwang, lyricist; Jeanine Tesori, composer & lyricist (Original Cast)

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

Award to the artist(s) and/or ‘in studio’ producer(s) of a majority of the tracks on the album. In the absence of both, award to the one or two individuals proactively responsible for the concept and musical direction of the album and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as applicable. Award also goes to appropriately credited music supervisor(s).

  • A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood — (Various Artists)
  • Bill & Ted Face The Music — (Various Artists)
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga — (Various Artists)
  • Frozen 2 — (Various Artists)
  • Jojo Rabbit — (Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack For 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, video games or other visual media.

  • Ad Astra — Max Richter, composer
  • Becoming — Kamasi Washington, composer
  • Joker — Hildur Guðnadóttir, composer
  • 1917 — Thomas Newman, composer
  • Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker — John Williams, composer

Best Song Written For Visual Media

A songwriter(s) award. For a song (melody & lyrics) written specifically for a motion picture, television, video games or other visual media, and released for the first time during the eligibility year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Beautiful Ghosts” [From Cats] — Andrew Lloyd Webber & Taylor Swift, songwriters
  • (Taylor Swift)
  • “Carried Me With You” [From Onward] — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile)
  • “Into The Unknown” [From Frozen 2] — Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel & AURORA)
  • “No Time To Die” [From No Time To Die] — Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas Baird O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
  • “Stand Up” [From Harriet] — Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo, songwriters
  • (Cynthia Erivo)

Best Instrumental Composition

A composer’s award for an original composition (not an

adaptation) first released during the eligibility year. Singles or tracks only.

  • “Baby Jack” —  Arturo O’Farrill, composer (Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra)
  • “Be Water Ii” — Christian Sands, composer (Christian Sands)
  • “Plumfield” — Alexandre Desplat, composer (Alexandre Desplat)
  • “Sputnik” — Maria Schneider, composer (Maria Schneider)
  • “Strata” — Remy Le Boeuf, composer (Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly Of Shadows Featuring Anna Webber & Eric Miller)

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

An arranger’s award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Bathroom Dance” — Hildur Guðnadóttir, arranger (Hildur Guðnadóttir)
  • “Donna Lee” — John Beasley, arranger (John Beasley)
  • “Honeymooners” — Remy Le Boeuf, arranger (Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly Of Shadows)
  • “Lift Every Voice And Sing” — Alvin Chea & Jarrett Johnson, arrangers (Jarrett Johnson Featuring Alvin Chea)
  • “Uranus: The Magician” — Jeremy Levy, arranger (Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

An arranger’s award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Asas Fechadas” — John Beasley & Maria Mendes, arrangers (Maria Mendes ft. John Beasley & Orkest Metropole)
  • “Desert Song” — Erin Bentlage, Sara Gazarek, Johnaye Kendrick & Amanda Taylor, arrangers (Säje)
  • “From This Place” — Alan Broadbent & Pat Metheny, arrangers (Pat Metheny ft. Meshell Ndegeocello)
  • “He Won’t Hold You” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier ft. Rapsody)
  • “Slow Burn” — Talia Billig, Nic Hard & Becca Stevens, arrangers (Becca Stevens Featuring Jacob Collier, Mark Lettieri, Justin Stanton, Jordan Perlson, Nic Hard, Keita Ogawa, Marcelo Woloski & Nate Werth)

Best Recording Package

  • Everyday Life — Pilar Zeta, art director (Coldplay)
  • Funeral — Kyle Goen, art director (Lil Wayne)
  • Healer — Julian Gross & Hannah Hooper, art directors (Grouplove)
  • On Circles — Jordan Butcher, art director (Caspian)
  • Vols. 11 & 12 — Doug Cunningham & Jason Noto, art directors (Desert Sessions)

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package

  • Flaming Pie (Collector’s Edition) — Linn Wie Andersen, Simon Earith, Paul McCartney & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)
  • Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 — Lisa Glines & Doran Tyson, art directors (Grateful Dead)
  • Mode — Jeff Schulz, art director (Depeche Mode)
  • Ode To Joy — Lawrence Azerrad & Jeff Tweedy, art directors (Wilco)
  • The Story Of Ghostly International — Michael Cina & Molly Smith, art directors (Various
  • Artists)

Best Album Notes

  • At The Minstrel Show: Minstrel Routines From The Studio, 1894-1926 — Tim Brooks, album notes writer (Various Artists)
  • The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital Of The West, 1940-1974 — Scott B. Bomar, album notes writer (Various Artists)
  • Dead Man’s Pop — Bob Mehr, album notes writer (The Replacements)
  • The Missing Link: How Gus Haenschen Got Us From Joplin To Jazz And Shaped The Music Business — Colin Hancock, album notes writer (Various Artists)
  • Out Of A Clear Blue Sky — David Sager, album notes writer (Nat Brusiloff)

Best Historical Album

  • Celebrated, 1895-1896 — Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Richard Martin, mastering engineer (Unique Quartette)
  • Hittin’ The Ramp: The Early Years (1936 – 1943) — Zev Feldman, Will Friedwald & George Klabin, compilation producers; Matthew Lutthans, mastering engineer (Nat King Cole)
  • It’s Such A Good Feeling: The Best Of Mister Rogers — Lee Lodyga & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Mister Rogers)
  • 1999 Super Deluxe Edition — Michael Howe, compilation producer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer (Prince)
  • Souvenir — Carolyn Agger, compilation producer; Miles Showell, mastering engineer (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark)
  • Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions — Béla Fleck, compilation producer; Richard Dodd, mastering engineer (Béla Fleck)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

An engineer’s award. (Artists’ names appear in parentheses.)

  • Black Hole Rainbow — Shawn Everett & Ivan Wayman, engineers; Bob Ludwig,
  • mastering engineer (Devon Gilfillian)
  • Expectations — Gary Paczosa & Mike Robinson, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Katie Pruitt)
  • Hyperspace — Drew Brown, Andrew Coleman, Shawn Everett, Serban Ghenea, David Greenbaum, Jaycen Joshua & Mike Larson, engineers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer (Beck)
  • Jaime — Shawn Everett, engineer; Shawn Everett, mastering engineer (Brittany Howard)
  • 25 Trips — Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Adam Grover,
  • mastering engineer (Sierra Hull)

Producer Of The Year

A producer’s award.

  • Jack Antonoff
  • Dan Auerbach
  • Dave Cobb
  • Flying Lotus
  • Andrew Watt

Best Remixed Recording

A remixer’s award. (Artists’ names appear in parentheses for identification.) Singles or tracks only.

  • “Do You Ever (RAC Mix)” — RAC, remixer (Phil Good)
  • “Imaginary Friends (Morgan Page Remix)” — Morgan Page, remixer (Deadmau5)
  • “Praying For You (Louie Vega Main Remix)” — Louie Vega, remixer (Jasper Street Co.)
  • “Roses (Imanbek Remix)” — Imanbek Zeikenov, remixer (SAINt JHN)
  • “Young & Alive (Bazzi Vs. Haywyre Remix)” — Haywyre, remixer (Bazzi)

Best Engineered Album, Classical

An engineer’s award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.)

  • Danielpour: The Passion Of Yeshua — Bernd Gottinger, engineer (JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus)
  • Gershwin: Porgy And Bess — David Frost & John Kerswell, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (David Robertson, Eric Owens, Angel Blue, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus)
  • Hynes: Fields — Kyle Pyke, engineer; Jesse Lewis & Kyle Pyke, mastering engineers (Devonté Hynes & Third Coast Percussion)
  • Ives: Complete Symphonies — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers; Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, mastering engineers (Gustavo Dudamel & Los Angeles Philharmonic)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, ‘Babi Yar’ — David Frost & Charlie Post, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Producer Of The Year, Classical

A producer’s award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.)

  • Blanton Alspaugh
  • David Frost
  • Jesse Lewis
  • Dmitriy Lipay
  • Elaine Martone

Best Orchestral Performance

Award to the conductor and to the orchestra.

  • “Aspects Of America – Pulitzer Edition” — Carlos Kalmar, conductor (Oregon Symphony)
  • “Concurrence” — Daníel Bjarnason, conductor (Iceland Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Copland: Symphony No. 3” — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
  • “Ives: Complete Symphonies” — Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
  • “Lutosławski: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3” — Hannu Lintu, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording

Award to the conductor, album producer(s) and principal soloists.

  • “Dello Joio: The Trial At Rouen” — Gil Rose, conductor; Heather Buck & Stephen Powell; Gil Rose, producer (Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Odyssey Opera Chorus)
  • “Floyd, C.: Prince Of Players” — William Boggs, conductor; Keith Phares & Kate Royal; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Florentine Opera Chorus)
  • “Gershwin: Porgy And Bess” — David Robertson, conductor; Angel Blue & Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
  • “Handel: Agrippina” — Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor; Joyce DiDonato; Daniel Zalay, producer (Il Pomo D’Oro)
  • “Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg” — Donald Runnicles, conductor; David Butt Philip & Elena Tsallagova; Peter Ghirardini & Erwin Stürzer, producers (Orchestra Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin; Chorus Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin)

Best Choral Performance

Award to the conductor, and to the choral director and/or chorus master where applicable and to the choral organization/ensemble.

  • “Carthage” — Donald Nally, conductor (The Crossing)
  • “Danielpour: The Passion Of Yeshua” — JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass & Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann & Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus & UCLA Chamber Singers)
  • “Kastalsky: Requiem” — Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Charles Bruffy, Steven Fox & Benedict Sheehan, chorus masters (Joseph Charles Beutel & Anna Dennis; Orchestra Of St. Luke’s; Cathedral Choral Society, The Clarion Choir, Kansas City Chorale & The Saint Tikhon Choir)
  • “Moravec: Sanctuary Road” — Kent Tritle, conductor (Joshua Blue, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Dashon Burton, Malcolm J. Merriweather & Laquita Mitchell; Oratorio Society Of New York Orchestra; Oratorio Society Of New York Chorus)
  • “Once Upon A Time” — Matthew Guard, conductor (Sarah Walker; Skylark Vocal Ensemble)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

For new recordings of works with chamber or small ensemble (twenty-four or fewer members, not including the conductor). One award to the ensemble and one award to the conductor, if applicable.

  • “Contemporary Voices” — Pacifica Quartet
  • “Healing Modes” — Brooklyn Rider
  • “Hearne, T.: Place” — Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods & Place Orchestra
  • “Hynes: Fields” — Devonté Hynes & Third Coast Percussion
  • “The Schumann Quartets” —  Dover Quartet

Best Classical Instrumental Solo

Award to the instrumental soloist(s) and to the conductor when applicable.

  • “Adès: Concerto For Piano And Orchestra” — Kirill Gerstein; Thomas Adès, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas” — Igor Levit
  • “Bohemian Tales” — Augustin Hadelich; Jakub Hrůša, conductor (Charles Owen; Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks)
  • “Destination Rachmaninov – Arrival” — Daniil Trifonov; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor (The Philadelphia Orchestra)
  • “Theofanidis: Concerto For Viola And Chamber Orchestra” — Richard O’Neill; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony)

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album

Award to: vocalist(s), collaborative artist(s) (Ex: pianists, conductors, chamber groups) producer(s), recording engineers/mixers with 51% or more playing time of new material.

  • American Composers At Play – William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto — Stephen Powell (Attacca Quartet, William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto, Charles Neidich & Jason Vieaux)
  • Clairières – Songs By Lili & Nadia Boulanger — Nicholas Phan; Myra Huang, accompanist
  • Farinelli — Cecilia Bartoli; Giovanni Antonini, conductor (Il Giardino Armonico)
  • A Lad’s Love — Brian Giebler; Steven McGhee, accompanist (Katie Hyun, Michael Katz, Jessica Meyer, Reginald Mobley & Ben Russell)
  • Smyth: The Prison — Sarah Brailey & Dashon Burton; James Blachly, conductor (Experiential Chorus; Experiential Orchestra)

Best Classical Compendium

Award to the artist(s) and to the album producer(s) and engineer(s) of over 51% playing time of the album, if other than the artist.

  • Adès Conducts Adès — Mark Stone & Christianne Stotijn; Thomas Adès, conductor; Nick Squire, producer
  • Saariaho: Graal Théâtre; Circle Map; Neiges; Vers Toi Qui Es Si Loin — Clément Mao-Takacs, conductor; Hans Kipfer, producer
  • Serebrier: Symphonic Bach Variations; Laments And Hallelujahs; Flute Concerto — José Serebrier, conductor; Jens Braun, producer
  • Thomas, M.T.: From The Diary Of Anne Frank & Meditations On Rilke — Isabel Leonard; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer
  • Woolf, L.P.: Fire And Flood — Matt Haimovitz; Julian Wachner, conductor; Blanton Alspaugh, producer

Best Contemporary Classical 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.) Award to the librettist, if applicable.

  • “Adès: Concerto For Piano And Orchestra” — Thomas Adès, composer (Kirill Gerstein, Thomas Adès & Boston Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Danielpour: The Passion Of Yeshua” — Richard Danielpour, composer (JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus)
  • “Floyd, C.: Prince Of Players” — Carlisle Floyd, composer (William Boggs, Kate Royal, Keith Phares, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
  • “Hearne, T.: Place” — Ted Hearne, composer (Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods & Place Orchestra)
  • “Rouse: Symphony No. 5” — Christopher Rouse, composer (Giancarlo Guerrero &
  • Nashville Symphony)

Best Music Video

Award to the artist, video director, and video producer.

  • “Brown Skin Girl” — Beyoncé; Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & Jenn Nkiru, video directors; Lauren Baker, Astrid Edwards, Nathan Scherrer & Erinn Williams, video producers
  • “Life Is Good” — Future ft. Drake; Julien Christian Lutz, video director; Harv Glazer, video producer
  • “Lockdown” — Anderson .Paak; Dave Meyers, video director; Nathan Scherrer, video producer
  • “Adore You” — Harry Styles; Dave Meyers, video director; Nathan Scherrer, video producer
  • “Goliath” — Woodkid; Yoann Lemoine, video director
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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Here’s the lineup for day two of 88Nine’s It’s Alive! Album Festival

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It’s Alive! is a music festival on 88Nine. Two days. Twelve stages. All live albums on 88Nine on Oct. 9 and 16.

Last week Justin Barney, Jordan Lee, Tyrone Miller, Sarah Fierek, Tarik, DJ Kenny Perez, Kima, Kat, and Nate booked their stages. Check that line-up here. This week it’s the headliners. Dori Zori, Marcus Doucette, and Ayisha Jaffer have booked their stage with their favorite live albums. Here is the lineup for day two!

Dori Zori’s stage

6 a.m. – INXS – “Live at Barker Hangar”

7 a.m. – Depeche Mode – “Live Spirits Soundtrack”

8 a.m. – Aretha Franklin – “Live at Filmore West”

9 a.m. – Beyonce – “Homecoming”


Marcus Doucette’s Stage

10 a.m. – Fela Kuti – “Live! with Ginger Baker”

11 a.m. – Bill Withers – “Live at Carnegie Hall”

Noon – Bob Marley – “Live!”

1 p.m. – Kraftwerk – “Minimum-Maximum”


Ayisha Jaffer’s Stage

2 p.m. – Etta James – “Rocks the House”

3 p.m. – LCD Soundsystem – “The Long Goodbye”

4 p.m. – The Ramones – “It’s Alive”

5 p.m. – Little Richard – “Live”


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Four days of people-powered programming

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Here’s the lineup for 88Nine’s It’s Alive! Album Festival

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It’s Alive! is a music festival on 88Nine. Two days. Twelve stages. All live albums on 88Nine on Oct. 9 and 16. All of your favorite DJs have booked their stage with their favorite live albums. Here is the lineup for day 1!

Justin Barney’s stage

6 a.m. – Sam Cooke – “Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963”

7 a.m. – Sylvan Esso – “With” (2020)


Jordan Lee’s Stage

8 a.m. – Vulfpeck – “Live at Madison Square Garden” (2019)


Tyrone Miller’s Stage

9 a.m. – Erykah Badu – “Live” (1997)


Sarah Fierek’s Stage

10 a.m. – Donny Hathaway – “These Songs for You, Live!” (2004)


Tarik Moody’s Stage

11 a.m. – Sade – “Lovers Live” (2002)

Noon – D’Angelo – “Live at the Jazz Cafe, London” (1998)


Kenny Perez’s Stage

1 p.m. – Boogie Down Productions – “Live Hardcore Worldwide” (1991)


Kima Hamilton’s Stage

2 p.m. – Lauryn Hill – “MTV Unplugged 2.0” (2002)


Kat’s Stage

3 p.m. – Billie Joel – “2000 Years: The Millenium Concert, Live from Madison Square Garden” (1999)


Nate Imig’s Stage

4 p.m. – Daft Punk – “Alive in 2007”

5 p.m. – Jimi Hendrix – “Live at the Fillmore East” (1969)

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Eddie Van Halen, guitar hero, dies at 65

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Eddie Van Halen, the guitarist and songwriter who helped give the radio-rock band Van Halen its name and sound, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 65.

His death was announced by his son, Wolf Van Halen, on Twitter.

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this,” the statement said, “but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”

Eddie Van Halen | Michael Ochs Archives

In a band known for its instability — due in part to a rotating cast of lead singers that most notably includes David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar — Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex remained constants, appearing on 12 studio albums that reached across five decades and sold tens of millions of copies.

No matter the singer, Eddie Van Halen’s high-flying guitar sound — heavy on tapping, with both hands on the neck of the instrument — was deeply influential, but also hard to imitate. He grew up obsessed with Eric Clapton, only to himself become a lodestar for generations of guitarists.

In 1972, with Alex on drums, Eddie Van Halen formed the band that would become Van Halen. By 1974, it had the lineup that would make it one of the biggest groups in rock history: the two Dutch-born brothers, plus bassist Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth. From there, Eddie Van Halen stood at the center of an era-spanning — but unmistakably volatile — rock-and-roll juggernaut.

Throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s, Van Halen became increasingly successful. Early hits such as 1979’s “Dance the Night Away” eventually gave way to the best-selling 1984 — the band’s sixth album — which spawned the chart-topping “Jump,” as well as flamboyant hits like “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.” Peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard albums chart, 1984 was held back only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller, whose iconic “Beat It” just happened to feature a guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen.

But 1984‘s success only intensified tensions between the Van Halen brothers and David Lee Roth, who left the band in 1985 for a solo career that capitalized on his cheerful, outsize persona. The remaining members of Van Halen regrouped around former Montrose frontman Sammy Hagar, who helped the group top the charts with its next four albums: 5150 (1986), OU812 (1988), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991) and Balance (1995).

From there, the band’s output slowed. Hagar left Van Halen in 1996, citing creative differences, which led Roth to rejoin briefly — only to give way to former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone, whose one album with Van Halen (1998’s Van Halen III) was a critical and commercial disappointment. Hagar and Roth both rejoined the group at various points since, with the latter presiding over Van Halen’s final album, 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth.

Long known for his reclusiveness, Eddie Van Halen battled an assortment of issues with his health in recent years, including hip-replacement surgery in 1999, a bout with tongue cancer in the early 2000s, a history of drug and alcohol abuse that led him to enter a rehabilitation facility in 2007, and surgery for diverticulitis in 2012.

Though the guitarist often had contentious relationships with bandmates — particularly Roth and Hagar, each of whom criticized him heavily in books and interviews — Eddie Van Halen remained extremely close with family. In addition to a lifelong working relationship with his brother Alex, he tirelessly championed his son Wolf, who joined Van Halen as bassist after the departure of Michael Anthony in 2006.

Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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Wisconsin music venues to get $15 million in relief

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Gov. Tony Evers announced $100 million in relief today to Wisconsin institutions funded by the federal CARES Act.

Wisconsin music venues will get $15 million. $10 million will go to movie theaters, and $10 million will go to non-profit cultural venues.

You can read a statement from Evers’ office below.

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How TikTok and a Fleetwood Mac song helped me deal with 2020

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Let’s face it, this year is beyond awful. It is has been nothing less than a dumpster fire. I never felt so many highs and lows in my entire life. This pandemic made me realize how lonely I am, which didn’t help with my anxiety and depression. Even as an introvert, I miss human contact. Then there were the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmad Aubrey that added to my already tumultuous emotional state. Then I ended up in the hospital overnight with chest pains. I also had some highs like connecting Milwaukee’s The Tandem to Jose Andres World Central Kitchen, my radio show Rhythm Lab Radio expanding to Norfolk, and working on a podcast about systemic racism.

I tried many things to cope with my emotions from walking to cooking to playing video games, but most of the time I wasn’t in the mood to do any of it. On most weekends, I would just lie in bed most of the day. There was a point I didn’t even feel anything. I tried my best to put on a smile, but deep down it was exhausting. Then just to do something, I started to check out TikTok thanks to the news of its potential ban in the country. To be honest, I never took the app seriously. I never understood the fascination. I even joked about it.

Then just like that, I became engrossed by the dances, the lip syncs, the cute animals. It actually brought me a little joy in the world of uncertainty. I couldn’t even explain it. Up until now, I was embarrassed that this app was bringing me a little happiness in my life. I even started to walk a little bit and cook more. I’m not sure if there is any correlation between me indulging in videos on TikTok and the shift in my emotions, but hey, I’ll take it.

“You are soooo dirty brother!” Said Kimba #humor #funny #catsoftiktok #cat #kitten #dribbletothebeat

Michaele 😸Cali Cat Lady😺 (@michburk) has created a short video on TikTok with music Kitty slurping time. | “You are soooo dirty brother!” Said Kimba #humor #funny #catsoftiktok #cat #kitten #dribbletothebeat

Then recently two videos that featured Fleetwood Mac’s classic song “Dreams” grabbed my attention. The first one came from @callmechoko, a content creator that makes interesting dance videos usually dressed in a cowboy hat and huge fake mustache. The video that made me stop and watch over and over featured a friendly dance-off between two trios of cowboys dancing or better yet thrusting to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

How To End Racism 😎. #internet #fyp #foryoupage #tiochoko #vibes #chokothrusts ft @mattjcutshall @baffmasta

Callmechoko (@callmechoko8) has created a short video on TikTok with music Dreams (2004 Remaster). | How To End Racism 😎. #internet #fyp #foryoupage #tiochoko #vibes #chokothrusts ft @mattjcutshall @baffmasta

My first impression, I didn’t expect to hear that particular song to the visuals. But something about the combination not only made laugh at loud, but I started to think about the good memories throughout my life. I sat there with my eyes watering and a smile on my face. I thought to myself, am I losing it. Then, I realized I wasn’t. I was dealing with my emotions and I realized everything is going to be alright.

doggface208 skating to Fleetwood Mac's Dreams
Tik Tok user 420doggface208 skating to Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams

The second video just gave me hope. It was one man (@420doggface208) skating down on a highway in Idaho also playing Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” while drinking some cranberry juice. Once again, I started tearing up, but this time the tears were about hope and taking time to enjoy the simple things. I began thinking about my parents and how they have been there for me during the good times and the bad times. Even though I was alone, I felt their love from all the way in Montgomery, Ala.

Morning vibe #420souljahz #ec #feelinggood #h2o #cloud9 #happyhippie #worldpeace #king #peaceup #merch #tacos #waterislife #high #morning #710 #cloud9

doggface208 (@420doggface208) has created a short video on TikTok with music Dreams (2004 Remaster). | Morning vibe #420souljahz #ec #feelinggood #h2o #cloud9 #happyhippie #worldpeace #king #peaceup #merch #tacos #waterislife #high #morning #710 #cloud9

Besides craving cranberry juice, I have been playing Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” non-stop all this morning and I guess I’m not alone. Thanks to @420doggface208’s video, the sales of “Dreams” have tripled. Maybe, I’m not the only one that feels the way I do. Just remember, “Thunder only happens when it’s rainin’.”

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Linda Diaz, 2020 Tiny Desk Contest winner: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

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Linda Diaz is the winner of the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest. Due to the pandemic, NPR is not currently filming Tiny Desks at NPR headquarters, so we brought Diaz and her band to the top of New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and produced a socially distanced concert in front of the city’s skyline. Here’s the story of how this concert came together, in her own words.


Linda Diaz plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert.

Winning the Tiny Desk Contest has been a surreal experience for me, not only because it’s a big, big honor, but because it’s all happening in the midst of a global pandemic. Even just shooting my Tiny Desk (home) concert has been a wild ride: getting the band together, getting the NPR team together, figuring out how to shoot safely with everyone in New York City. At one point, we finally had everything set and ready to go. Then, days before the shoot, I tested positive for Covid-19. I will spare you all the details (lots of tears, lots of phone calls), but I am so grateful for my band, the NPR Music team and the Javits Center for going above and beyond for me, the human as much as me, the musician.

Even though I couldn’t be at the Desk, I’m feeling lucky to have been able to share some extra little parts of my personality with my (home) concert. Like, how dope is it to be able to say that I’m not only the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest winner, but that we were the first musicians ever to perform on the top of the Javits Center?! In more ways than one, this concert is a victory and a dream come true for me.

Through this whole process, it has felt weird to be celebrating, but what has been reiterated time and again is that it is more than OK to be Black and celebrate and mourn and organize and rest and any other number of things. Black joy is radical because it actively opposes defeat. It is necessary.

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SET LIST

  • “Magic”
  • “Green Tea Ice Cream”
  • “Honesty”

MUSICIANS

  • Linda Diaz: vocals
  • Jade Che: keys
  • Matt Fishman: bass
  • Bianca B. Muniz: vocals
  • Jacqueline A. Muniz: vocals
  • Andrés Valbuena: percussion

CREDITS

  • Producers: Kara Frame, Pilar Fitzgerald, Bob Boilen,
  • Videographers: Kara Frame, Tsering Bista
  • Audio Engineers: Nickolai Hammar, Josh Rogosin
  • Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
  • Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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Tame Impala plan rescheduled Fiserv Forum date for October 2021

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Tame Impala were set to play Fiserv Forum this May, but like literally every other concert scheduled for May it was canceled in the wake of the coronavirus. But today the band announced their plans to hit the road again next year.

Tame Impala plan to kick off their rescheduled tour in Mexico City on July 22, and it includes a rescheduled return to Milwaukee on Oct. 8, during the final stretch of the tour. All tickets for the canceled show will be honored at the new date. Ticket holders for this May’s canceled show can also request a refund.

Tame Impala | Photo credit: Neil Krug

It remains to be seen, of course, if this new tour can go on as scheduled — next summer is on the early end of when health experts say it could be safe to attend arena events again — but here’s hoping.

You can watch Tame Impala’s video for “Is It True” below.

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