Bonnie Raitt makes a remarkable comeback on the Billboard charts this week following her surprise win at the Grammys a little more than a week ago. Since the show, fans have been rushing to listen to and buy her newly-honored tune “Just Like That,” which was largely unknown before its moment in the spotlight.
The singer-songwriter’s song “Just Like That” debuts at the top of Billboard’s Rock Digital Song Sales ranking this frame thanks to a surge in interest in the cut. The unexpected success grants Raitt her second No. 1 hit on any Billboard list, and it marks the first time she has topped a sales chart. “Just Like That” also marks Raitt’s third career top 10 on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart.
The 2023 Grammys was a surprising moment for Raitt, who was not predicted to take home the Song of the Year trophy by most music industry experts. Her nomination, let alone the win, came as a shock to many. “Just Like That” became Raitt’s second big win in the “big four” categories, the first being Album of the Year in 1990 for her full-length Nick of Time.
Raitt’s Song of the Year win has helped “Just Like That” make its way onto various charts, including the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, Hot Rock Songs, and the all-genre Digital Song Sales lists. The success of the single has brought Raitt her first top 10 win and just her second placement on the Digital Song Sales chart. This fact is not entirely shocking, as the chart was introduced after Raitt’s heyday, when MP3 sales became popular.
Raitt’s success with “Just Like That” marks just the second time she has topped a Billboard chart. The first instance of her running the show was back in 1998, when her single “One Belief Away” reached the No. 1 spot on the Adult Alternative Airplay ranking.
The newly-honored song was first released on Raitt’s album of the same name, which came out in 2022. In addition to claiming Song of the Year, “Just Like That” won the Best American Roots Song category, while her other track “Made Up Mind” took home the Best Americana Performance Grammy. In order to claim Song of the Year, Raitt’s single beat out several high-profile nominees such as Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” Adele’s “Easy on Me,” Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” and even Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.”
Watch the blues-rock legend discuss her 2012 success, fans Katy Perry & Adele, feminism, launching her own label and more.
Bonnie Raitt – singer, guitarist, Grammy winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer – has seen her share of great music years, and 2012 has been one of her best. With the success of “Slipstream,” her first new album in seven years and self-released on her new label Redwing Records, a massive 80-date tour, and even a lifetime achievement award for performance from the Americana Music Association all coming to pass this year, Raitt ( @TheBonnieRaitt) sat down with Billboard editorial director Bill Werde ( @bwerde) for an in-depth seven-part video interview.
The wide-ranging conversation found Raitt discussing how she crafted “Slipstream” with Joe Henry and others, giving her thoughts on how much famous fans like Katy Perry and Adele mean to her, sharing memories from her start learning from blues legends like Son House while she was studying at Harvard, and more. The blues-rock legend goes on to talk candidly about the meaning of feminism, and look back on the pivotal moment of 1989’s “Nick of Time” and forward to a future for which she’s already got new songs (via Joe Henry) and world tour plans (Australia, New Zealand, England) afoot.
“When I hung out with these blues guys it was just such an incredible gift,” Raitt says. “I was right at their feet. . . I told the [Harvard] admissions people, ‘I’m going to take a semester off and hang with these guys. They’re in their later years I want to be able to learn from them.'”
Part One: Leaving Harvard after meeting Son House to work in the music business; deciding to be a full-time musician during the 60s blues revival; getting signed. Part Two: Early days on Warner Bros. with no pressure for hits; success of 1972 album “Give It Up.” Part Three: “Nick Of Time” success and Grammy wins. Part Four: Feelings about Katy Perry, Adele, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and others being fans of her music; working with Joe Henry on “Slipstream.” Part Five: Feminism, politics and activism. Part Six: The making of “Slipstream” after the deaths of many close to her. Part Seven: Launching her label Redwing Records, world tour plans.
“There was a whole blues revival going on,” she explains. “Butterfield, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, the British invasion. . . I didn’t really look at it in terms of male and female. But I think because I played bottleneck guitar and Robert Johnson songs and there weren’t other women doing that I really got my foot in the door.”
In the beginning, Raitt says she thought, “I like being an album artist. I’m not going to go after hit singles. . . I don’t care about being a star.” She adds that in those days Warner Bros.’s Joe Smith told her, “‘We make our money from Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, and we fund the Meters and Allen Toussaint and Little Feat and the Grateful Dead and people like you. . . We don’t expect any of you to have hit singles.’ They never told me what to record or when or with whom. No pressure.”
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