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Grammy Nominations

Aired January 4, 2002 - 11:29   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: You're singing your way right into the Grammy nominations. Let's join the nominations in Los Angeles.

Here's India Arie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... nominees for the Best Pop Vocal Album are: Nelly Furtado...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... Janet Jackson. Ooh, this man said he loves my album, Elton John. Oh yes, and 'N Sync, my favorite boy band. Well, they're some men -- I like 'N Sync. And my sister, Sade, for "Lover's Rock."

I didn't read the album titles. You all know "All for You," Janet Jackson. "Songs From the West Coast," Elton John. 'N Sync, "Celebrity." Sade, "Lover's Rock." And Nelly, "Whoa, Nelly."

NELLY FURTADO, SINGER: Hi, thank you. The nominees for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. The nominees are Aerosmith for "Jaded." Coldplay for "Yellow." Dave Matthews Band for "The Space Between." train for "Drops of Jupiter."


FURTADO: And U2 for "Elevation."

JA RULE, RAPPER: Hello, everyone.

OK. Here are the nominees for best R&B album: Alliyah for "Alliyah," Mrs. India Arie for "Acoustic Soul," Mary J. Blige for "No More Drama," destiny's Child, "Survivor," and Alecia Keys, "Songs in A Minor."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How you all doing? For best female rock vocal performance, the nominees are Tori Amos for "Strange Little Girl," Melissa Etheridge for "I Want to be in Love," PJ Harvey for "This is Love," Stevie Nicks for "Planets of the Universe," and Lucinda Williams for "Get Right with God."


All righty. For the best female country vocal performance, the nominees are Sheryl Crow for "Long Gone Lonesome Blues." Jamie O'Neal (ph) for "There is No Arizona," Dolly Parton for "Shine," Lucinda Williams for "Cold, Cold Heart" and Trisha Yearwood for "I Would Have Loved You Anyway."

PAT MONAHAN, TRAIN: Good morning.

I have the nominees for the best male R&B vocal performance. Kiss, for "Missing You." Maxwell, for "Lifetime," Brian McKnight for "Love of My Life," Musiq Soulchild for "Love." My friend Usher for "You Remind Me."

USHER, R&B SINGER: That's good news, isn't it? Well, good morning. All right.

Thank you.

For best rap album, the nominees are: Eve, "Scorpion" -- my dog, holla' -- Ja Rule "Pain is Love," Jay Z "The Blueprint," Atlanta's own Ludracris, "Back for the First Time," and my family, Outkast, "Stankonia."


We are going to tell you the nominees for best new artist, and great artist. We have India Arie, Nelly Furtado, David Gray, Alecia Keys, and Lincoln Park.

JIMMY JAM, PRODUCER: How is everyone this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very well, sir.


Before I read song of the year, I just wanted to mention that the esteemed gentlemen Carl Reiner has received a nomination in best spoken word for "Letters From the Earth, Uncensored Writings by Mark Twain" -- Carl Reiner.

OK, for song of the year, the nominations are "Drops of Jupiter" by Train, songwriter's Charlie Colon (ph), Rob Hodgkiss (ph), Pat Monahan, all right, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood. All right, "Fallen" by Alecia Keys, songwriter Alecia Keys. "I'm Like a Bird," Nelly Furtado, songwriter Nelly Furtado. "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out of" by U2, songwriters U2. And "Video," India Arie, song writers India Arie, Carlos July Brodie (ph) and Shannon Sanders.

Thank you.

CARL REINER: I'm so glad I came this morning.

You know, before I kept on to the record of the year nominees, I heard from an impeachable source that the record of the year, Mr. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have received a nomination for producer of the year.

(APPLAUSE) REINER: and the record of the year, the nominees are, India Arie for "Video," Alecia Keys for "Fallen," Outkast by "Ms. Jackson," train for "Drops of Jupiter," and U2 for "Walk On."


DAVID FOSTER: I would just like to mention, that was some great music. Mike Melbourne (ph), and Mike Staffords (ph) and Brian Bramburg (ph). Very nice, beautiful.

For album of the year, the nominees are, India Arie for "Acoustic Soul," Bob Dillon for "Love and Theft," Outkast for Stankonia, U2 for "All That You Can't Leave Behind," and various artist for the sound track "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou," T-Bone Burnett producer.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we could get a huge round of applause for these folks coming up this morning.


All of the nominations are on So go there for other information, and thank you very much for coming this morning.

KAGAN: We have been watching live from Los Angeles the Grammy nominations. Some of the big win winners so far, just in terms of nominations, because everyone who is nominated is a winner, India Arie, Nelly Furtado, U2, and we are going to try to talk to India Arie, four nominations for this young woman. She's an incredible story. We're trying to get her hooked up.

Meanwhile we will take a break and be back after this.


KAGAN: Listening to a video from Nelly Furtado, one of the artists just mentioned for the nominations. Nelly Furtado receiving three nominations. The awards show will be on February 27th. Let's get some insight on the nominations, who's in and who didn't make it, and bring in Alan Light from "Spin" magazine.

Alan, good morning.

ALAN LIGHT, "SPIN" MAGAZINE: Good morning, Daryn.

KAGAN: Let's start with one of the big names, India Arie, a young who I think a lot of people haven't heard of her, but boy, is she going to make an impression on Grammy night.

LIGHT: Well, I think the think you have to take away from this list of nominees is, boy, what a strong crop of new artists emerged this year, especially new female artists. India Arie ended up with a bunch of nominations this morning already. That was a bit of a surprise. I think people expected Alecia keys to really be the juggernaut, and that you wouldn't see the other new artists honored as much, but the Grammy voters obviously made a decision that the story this year is much more about developing talent than established superstars.

KAGAN: Isn't one of the knocks on Grammys that they do tend to go older, so to speak, than some of the more enlightened or more emerging award shows.

LIGHT: That's certainly has usually been the knock, that, you know, for obvious reasons, if you have a cross section of voters, it's going to be the most mainstream, and the biggest names will float to the top.

But this year, you know, there weren't those sort of consensus superstars, and I think probably the right thing to do is look at the emerging stars and really try to put the momentum behind them.

KAGAN: Here is a group that for those of us who are a little bit older that might not follow the emerging talent, U2. They're a high school band. They've been together 20 years. Eight nominations we are hearing for them.

LIGHT: It's an extraordinary thing. They were the big winners last year. They won three awards just from their first single "Beautiful Day" last year. They got nominations, vocal, record of the year, song of the year for three different songs. It's been an amazing year for them. We just named them band of the year for "Spin's" year-in-review issue. And to see them with so many nominations last year and again this year from the same project is really remarkable.

KAGAN: Good choice, I might just chime in on that.

And what's interesting about U2 is band of the moment, in that if you saw their elevation tour before September 11th, and then you were lucky enough to see it when they were on tour again. In a lot of ways, it was the same music, but it just seems to mean so much more. It's incredible to think so many songs they wrote, how applicable they are to the world today.

LIGHT: Well, that's absolutely right. The meanings of all of those songs changed, and you realized there's nobody out there doing with the same ambitions and reaching a community in the same way that U2 does, and that's why you don't see really other rock bands today in the Grammy nominations. Still, the think that spoke to people the loudest was this U2 album, which came out a year ago November, and that still has more resonance than the other rock records released this year.

KAGAN: And back to the emerging talent. Alecia keys, everything I was reading up until these nominations, as you were pointing out, expected her to be the woman of the night. It's not like she was dissed. She is definitely in there with a number of nominations, but why do you think it was for India Arie to come in and kind of steal the thunder there.

LIGHT: I still think when it comes down to who's actually going to win these awards, I wouldn't bet against Alecia Keys. I think she hits so many of the right notes with her classical training, her hip- hop sensibility, and I think everybody thought if they put their weight behind Alecia that India Arie and Nelly Furtado and some of these other new artists might not get as much emphasis. Instead, they all got nominations.

KAGAN: What happens to the artist that are really bringing in the big bucks, the people like N'Sync, Britney Spears, the boy bands, the girl bands, why don't you hear their names mentioned?

LIGHT: Well, the last few years, the Grammys has made a clear statement that they're not going to really endorse the teen pop bubble gum stuff. I mean, this year, a lot of those acts actually lost some of their momentum. But even the last couple of years, when they were really the story and absolutely center stage, I think there is a sense that that stuff is a little too manufactured, a little too produced, and in the end, the Grammys really are about song writing. Even when they err on the side of being conservative, it's because they like the craftsmanship, and singer-songwriters, and that's what you see with India Arie, Alecia Keys and these sort of people being honored, and not the N'Syncs and Britneys.

KAGAN: A couple of technical things here, explain to me the difference of record of the year and album of the year.

LIGHT: I knew you were going to ask. It comes up every year. Song of the year is for song writing, best song as written. Record of the year is for the song that is the best total package -- the performance, production of one song. And then album of the year is for a full CD, a full album-length project.

KAGAN: And how do the Grammys get around this problem, they're clearly not as hip as the MTV Awards or some of the other awards that are passed out, so you might not capture that audience, but you know, I will tell you right now, a lot of our viewers are sitting at home listening to these list of artists, and they're going who; they don't know who these people are.

LIGHT: That is the risk with being the biggest game in town, is you can't really take those same sorts of chances. I think the other side of that is something like the MTV Awards, it's really about the event and the spectacle, and you know, people can't even tell you who won those awards by the time the show is over. The awards are very incidental to all of the hoopla.

With the Grammys, even though everybody year after year dissed them for being too safe and too conservative, there still is some weight and some magnitude to a Grammy Award that all the others award shows just haven't captured yet. There is still some history there that does actually carries a little bit more than all of the other challengers and other award shows that have popped up.

KAGAN: Alan, I will have you stand by here. We are going to talk to a young woman who I know you would like to listen in, and maybe we will even have you pop in with a question or two. India Arie is joining us now from nominations. India, Daryn Kagan from CNN in Atlanta. Let me be among the first to say congratulations for a phenomenal list of nominations.

INDIA ARIE, SINGER: Thank you very much.

KAGAN: Were you expecting -- you probably were expecting a couple maybe, but among them, best R&B album, also record of the year, plus five others. Were you expecting anything like that?

ARIE: No. I wasn't nominated for anything all year, until today.

KAGAN: This is your first time. Never even been nominated for a Grammy before.

ARIE: No, or anything else. So I was just like, did they just say my name five times? That wasn't real. Then when I was off stage, they said there was a couple more.

KAGAN: Yes, like seven. Have they told you seven?

ARIE: Yes, seven.

KAGAN: It is your morning, definitely.

Some people not familiar with your music, America just getting to know you. How would you describe your style?

ARIE: My album is called "Acoustic Soul," because that's what I call my music. I write all my songs on the guitar, so they are all, you know, formulated with the guitar, vocal and lyrics first, and then production is added under it. It's kind of like in the tradition of Bill Withers, like church music, but with acoustic guitar, and Stevie Wonder, like, inner vision, kind of like that, and I have really strong belief in the power of words and sounds. So the things I say are affirmations and lessons that I have learned and lessons I'm learning. It's just real very story oriented. I grew up on like James Taylor, and Stevie Nicks who is here.

KAGAN: Is that the first time for you, meeting Stevie Nicks?

ARIE: Yes, I went to the bathroom and she was there, and she told me she loved my album, and I was like...

KAGAN: Didn't you just die? You went to the lady's room with Stevie Nicks.

ARIE: Yes, she was standing right there, and I was cutting my eyes for a long time like -- She told me she loved my album. That was special.

KAGAN: A big morning.

Hey, India, we have with us also Alan Light with from "Spin" magazine. Want him to jump in and get a quick interview. Any questions of India.

LIGHT: Just want to ask, you know, everybody going in was talking so much about Alecia and Alecia Keys as the expected big winner today. To see, her and you and Nelly Furtado, and all of these young women getting all of these nominations, how does that make you feel just about the direction of where music is going?

ARIE: I mean, I think it's obvious to everyone that people are choosing to artists are choosing to -- artists are choosing to be more important, and more sincere and honest with their lyrics. Whatever we are talking about is our experiences. That's kind of common thread that me, and Nelly and Alecia all have.

And to, you know -- does art follow life, or does life follow art? It's a beautiful thing to see that -- especially everything that happened this year, that albums that have a high, high level of sincerity are getting the recognition that they deserve. I'm really happy for Nelly. I was hugging her tight, and I was hugging -- I was like Nelly again, oohhh. We were hugging. It is just like really beautiful to me, because especially black music, and the '80s and part of '90s, there was some stuff that was cool, but it wasn't necessarily from a spiritual place or a very sincere place; it was just like party music, which is cool, too, but to see the story song coming back, and the sincerity coming back with Jill, and music, and Nelly, and Alecia and all that good stuff, even like Hollister and Donnell Jones. It's really inspiring to me. And R Kelly with "I Believe I Can Fly" and "The World's Greatest." Those songs makes you feel good, and it's good that they're getting the recognition they deserve.

KAGAN: Now it is you getting the recognition. And, India, I have one kind of girlfriend question for you. I saw an interview with you where you said your mom makes all your clothes, is that right?

ARIE: Yes.

KAGAN: Is she going to make your outfit for Grammy night?

ARIE: Yes. Nobody else will make me look the way I want it look.

KAGAN: Mom better get busy. It's going to be a big, big night.

India Arie, congratulations once again, seven Grammy nominations, from zero to seven. We will let you run off and start the celebration, and we'll look for you on Grammy Night, February 27th.

ARIE: Thank you, thank you.

KAGAN: India Arie joining us from Los Angeles from the Grammy nominations. Alan Light from "Spin" magazine, thank you as well for your insight on the topic.




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