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BACKSTAGE BITS: ALESSIA, LOGIC, STAPLETON, MORE

Logic explained that seemingly extemporaneous message he delivered on “1-800-273-8255” toward the end of the Grammy telecast. “I was asked by the Recording Academy to give a speech. I didn’t want to spew out just anything; I wanted it to come from the heart. I’m not Tupac or some prophetic dude—I just want to make music and have fun.

“However, I have a power that a lot of people in the world don’t and I was given a stage that the 1% get. I wanted to spread a positive message, [to say] the world isn’t equal. I thought I’d take a moment to fight toward that.”

Best New Artist winner Alessia Cara says album #2 is “almost done. I’ve been writing for a while—it’s really honest.” Don’t expect another “Stay.” “I don’t think, sonically, I would have been that bold, but it inspired me to let go and try new things.”

Cradling his three Grammy Awards backstage just minutes after performing a Tom Petty tribute with Emmylou Harris, Chris Stapleton shared his thoughts on Petty, Justin Timberlake and Sturgill Simpson, who joined him on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live.

On Petty: “Wildflower is my favorite album of all time. Sonically and song-wise, I kind of judge all other things by that. I got to play three shows on tour with him last summer and had a brief conversation with Tom. Last thing he said to me was, ‘I hope we can do more of this.’ That was a thrill for me, because I’m such a fan of all of his work and The Heartbreakers, too—Mike Campbell is a big influence on me.

“It was really a hard thing to do tonight. I was tearing up before I went out. By getting up there and doing that, maybe somebody found some relief or peace.”

On JT: “I went out to Los Angeles to write songs with him. It’s a very fluid process with him, so he says, ‘OK, you hop in there and take a verse.’ Um, OK. It came out great. I had a blast with him. He’s a great creative force. I was around for a lot [of the recording]. I co-wrote the song Alicia Keys is on and I wrote another one. The first sound you hear on ‘Filthy’ is me playing a Jazzmaster on a delay pedal.”

On Sturgill: “We know each other, have fun together, play music sometimes. It just happened to happen on Saturday Night Live but there are no other plans.”

Donald Glover didn’t get into specifics about the future of Childish Gambino—in July he said he was retiring it, this month he signed a deal with RCA—but did offer “I’m still making another project, but I like endings and I think they’re important to progress. I think endings are good because they force things to get better.

When “Redbone” broke in the States, Glover was in London and he didn’t initially experience the phenomenon. He credited producer Ludwig Göransson for helping create “something that just felt good.”

“What  Bruno [Mars] said is so true—music is the most hypnotizing medium. I always aim to please 6-year-olds and 60-year-olds; my grandmother digs ‘Despacito’ and so does my son. It’s nice just to be part of a moment in culture. I’d like to thank Ludwig for aiming for that with me. We both try to do that all the time, making something that lives through the ages.”

After Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 won the Traditional Pop Vocal Album trophy for son Dae BennettTony Bennett, now 91, said he has no plans to stop. “I like to perform for people; I like to make them feel good. I’m still in top shape, I’m not forever retiring, and I’ll keep going till I cut out.”

The expected Gaga question came in and Tony spoke glowingly about with son/manager Danny Bennett, adding that Gaga “told us after she played her last concert at Citi Field, we’re helping her with her audience—they’re getting older.”

 “Feel it Still,” the Portugal. The Man song that beat “Despacito” and others for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, was “written in an hour,” said bassist Zach Carothers. “Things are going really well in the last year—we’re a 12-year-long overnight success.” 

While various hot-button issues were discussed during the show, Dear Evan Hansen was the rare winner that had a social message at its core—suicide. Star Laura Dreyfuss spoke about working with issue-oriented material. “This shows that it’s always OK to push. It’s really important to get a message out to people, to let them know they’re not alone. I hope it inspires people to talk about things that are really scary to talk about.”

2020 MIDYEAR MARKETSHARE SCORECARD
The competition is fierce. (7/7a)
POP SMOKE SET
FOR BIG DEBUT (UPDATE)
A "Moon" shot. (7/6a)
U.K. GOVT. OKS £1.57B ARTS RESCUE PACKAGE 
Fingers crossed for indie venues to return. (7/6a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH:
LADIES FIRST
Latifah, Lauryn, Missy, Lil Kim, more. (7/7a)
JUICE WRLD'S LEGENDS NEVER DIE DUE FRIDAY
Juiced with a big D2C initiative. (7/7a)
THE 2021 CONCERT RUSH
Would you like some Swiss cheese with your nachos?
ALEXANDER HAMILTON
Oh, sorry--we were just singing to ourselves.
MARY TRUMP
Family is everything.
K-POP STANS
Are they coming for Kanye? Yes.
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