A “surprised” and “totally humbled” Bonnie Raitt received the Grammy Award on Sunday for song of the year.
The legendary singer appeared stunned when she won the prize for her song “Just Like That” and got a standing ovation from the crowd at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena. During her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to renowned folk musician John Prine, who died in April 2020 of COVID-19 complications.
Throughout her decades-long career, Raitt has been a Grammys darling — amassing 13 wins and dozens of nominations. In his 2023 Grammys predictions, Times pop music critic Mikael Wood called 73-year-old Raitt “stiff competition” in the song of the year category with “a moving and complex tale of a mother’s encounter with the recipient of her late son’s transplanted heart.”
The 2023 Grammy Awards winners list
The 2023 Grammy winners were revealed in 91 categories. Beyoncé became the most-decorated Grammy musician ever.
Nominated alongside “Just Like That” in the song of the year category were “abcdefu” (Gayle), “About Damn Time” (Lizzo), “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” (Taylor Swift), “As It Was” (Harry Styles), “Bad Habit” (Steve Lacy), “Break My Soul” (Beyoncé), “Easy on Me” (Adele), “God Did” (DJ Khaled) and “The Heart Part 5” (Kendrick Lamar).
Raitt also took home this year’s Grammy Awards for American roots song (“Just Like That”) and Americana performance (“Made Up Mind”).
Below is her full acceptance speech.
Oh, my gosh. Oh, I’m so surprised. I don’t know what to say. This is just an unreal moment. Thank you for honoring me, to all the academy that surrounds me with so much support and appreciates the art of songwriting as I do. I was so inspired for this song by the incredible story of the love and the grace and the generosity of someone that donates their beloved’s organs to help another person live, and the story was so simple and so beautiful for these times.
And people have been responding to the song partly because of how much I love and we all love John Prine, and that was the inspiration for the music for this song and telling a story from the inside. … I don’t write a lot of songs, but I’m so proud that you appreciate this one and what this means for me and for the rest of the songwriters. …
I would not be up here tonight if it wasn’t for the art of the great, soul-digging, hard-working people that put these songs and ideas to music. So I thank my team for helping me get this record out. And thank you so much. I’m just totally humbled. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Jazz and blues fests are everywhere now, and Americana is going strong on college radio. What I'm hearing is an appreciation of real music.
I speak my mind and come from a place of conscience, as well as have fun as a musician.
I don't know if I'm a heroine; I'm just somebody that can cheer the troops by singing to folks, and have receptions after the show, and tithe a dollar of every ticket sale for all kinds of different great charities and social action groups.
Quakers are known for wanting to give back. Ban the bomb and the civil rights movement and the native American struggle for justice - those things were very, very front-burner in my childhood, as were the ideas of working for peace and if you have more than you need, then you share it with people who don't.
The consolidation of the music business has made it difficult to encourage styles like the blues, all of which deserve to be celebrated as part of our most treasured national resources.
I think my fans will follow me into our combined old age. Real musicians and real fans stay together for a long, long time.
I grew up in Los Angeles in a Quaker family, and for me being Quaker was a political calling rather than a religious one.
I just play the music that I love with musicians that I respect, and fortunately, I'm in a position where people are willing to play with me, and perhaps I can do something to help them.
I never saw music in terms of men and women or black and white. There was just cool and uncool.
Solar power is the last energy resource that isn't owned yet - nobody taxes the sun yet.
Religion is for those who are scared of hell, and spirituality is for those who have been there.
Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste.
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Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2, the anticipated new John Prine tribute record from Oh Boy Records, is out today. Stream/purchase HERE.
Created as a celebration of Prine’s life and career, the album features new renditions of some of Prine’s most beloved songs performed by Brandi Carlile (“I Remember Everything”), Tyler Childers (“Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You”), Iris DeMent (“One Red Rose”), Emmylou Harris (“Hello In There”), Jason Isbell (“Souvenirs”), Valerie June (“Summer’s End”), Margo Price (“Sweet Revenge”), Bonnie Raitt (“Angel From Montgomery”), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (“Pretty Good”), Amanda Shires (“Saddle in the Rain”), Sturgill Simpson(“Paradise”) and John Paul White (“Sam Stone”). Proceeds from the album will benefit twelve different non-profit organizations, one selected by each of the featured artists.
Bonnie Raitt - Write Me a Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues
60 years anniversary celebration of Arhoolie
December 10, 2020
Arhoolie Foundation celebrates it's 60th anniversary (1960-2020) with an online broadcast.
Bonnie Raitt - Shadow of Doubt
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
October 3, 2020
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass celebrates it's 20th anniversary with an online broadcast titled “Let The Music Play On”.
Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs - You Don't Know Like I Know
Farm Aid 2020 On the Road
Sam & Dave classic written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.
Sheryl Crow & Bonnie Raitt - Everything Is Broken
[Eric Clapton’s Crossroads 2019]
Eric Clapton, one of the world’s pre-eminent blues/rock guitarists, once again summoned an all-star team of six-string heroes for his fifth Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2019. Held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, the two-day concert event raised funds for the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, the chemical dependency treatment and education facility that Clapton founded in 1998.
'A Tribute To Mose Allison'
Celebrates The Music Of An Exciting Jazz Master
Raitt contributed to a new album, If You're Going To The City: A Tribute To Mose Allison, which celebrates the late singer and pianist, who famously blended the rough-edged blues of the Mississippi Delta with the 1950s jazz of New York City.
NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Bonnie Raitt about her friendship with the Mose Allison. They're also joined by Amy Allison — his daughter, who executive produced the album — about selecting an unexpected list of artists to contribute songs to the album.
Recorded on tour June 3, 2017 - Centennial Hall, London - Ontario Canada