Home Celebrity Grammy Notes: Bonnie “Raitts,” Elton Conquers, Sting Swings

Some notes from backstage and all around the Grammys: Bonnie Raitt won Best Americana album during the afternoon for her “Slipstream” recording. It’s a blues album she and Joe Henry produced in his home studio, it’s some of the best work she’s ever done. Bonnie released it herself and sold 250,000 copies, which is quite an achievement. “We won!” she said when we met on the Grammy red carpet afterwards. (Her award was given off camera during the pre-show.) Bonnie “raitts.” She is a true artist, a great musician, and lovely person…

…Elton John had two victories at the Grammys. First he was at the top of the show with newcomer Ed Sheeran. Then he led the Levon Helm tribute. Has anyone noticed that every couple of years Elton, now in his fifth decade of an amazing career, joins a new guy on the Grammys. They come and go, he remains. His piano playing is like Stevie Wonder’s harmonica. It brings texure and depth to everyone else’s compositions…

…Sting got the last laugh on the Bruno Mars thing–by joining in with Bruno in the medley last night, Sting scored big time. Mars’s song “Locked in Heaven” is an homage to Sting’s big hits with the Police. Or a rip off. But Sting, ever the canny gentleman, sang along with “Locked” on stage, then forced Bruno to back him up on “Walking on the Moon.” Now everyone knows where “Locked” came from, and Sting didn’t have to say a word. When Sting started playing “Walking” the entire arena went nuts, and the whooshing sound of applause and screams was quite amazing. A real rock star, a real hit, and a point nicely made…Backstage, members of the Mars band and Bob Marley’s family all came by to have their pictures taken with Sting, who obliged a couple dozen people graciously…

In the Governor’s Room, a small sort of clubhouse backstage where dinner is served for the elite, Sting and wife Trudie Styler mixed and mingled with Lumineers and a few other of the acts who came and went. But they were the central attraction, bringing star power to a room full of execs from various record companies, as well as Billboard’s number 1 ranked entertainment attorney Joel Katz. While the jazz segment of the Grammys aired on the big TVs in the room, Styler confessed to loving Miles Davis and John Coltrane, but no Mingus. “Too complicated,” she declared…

Mavis Staples emerged in the long backstage hallway right off the stage from the Levon Helm tribute in fine form. She met her sister Yvonne, who also used to be a Staples Singer. Now they’re Staples Singers in the Staples Center. Hmmm…Mavis and Yvonne are the best sisters in contemporary music. true stalwarts and real tributes to their late dad, Pops Staples…

…Lots of stars crossed paths backstage, starting with Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, who shared a nice moment before going in opposite directions…

…Rihanna, who is simply gorgeous if not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, got a huge security team  to walk with her wherever she went. Ironically, they should have been protecting her from seatmate, Chris Brown…

Adele must get a stylist and advice for her Oscar appearance. She looked like a sofa someone threw away in 1979. Her disarming and truly charming personality overcome everything, but still. Everyone wants more for her…

…Carole King missed the whole Grammy show and Special Merit Awards because of longstanding concert dates in Australia. She owes Kelly Clarkson big time. Kelly’s rendition of “Natural Woman” peeled the paint off the walls. I was sitting about four feet from her while she sang, and I can tell you, the audience is still gobsmacked. She’s the real deal…

And yes, the rain was real for the group fun. It was limited to just their stage, and to them, but everything got wet…

Many kudos to folks from both AEGLive (Arlyne Lewiston) and Live Nation (Alicia Geist) this weekend. The two concert agencies are rivals, but boy, they are run so well, so organized and cheerfully under pressure. Randy Phillips and Arthur Fogel are doing the right things.

 

 

 

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