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Jon Batiste

A Look At Jon Batiste’s Album Of The Year Win

Jon Batiste
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(CelebrityAccess) — Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste turned heads when he won the Grammy for Album of the Year at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night for his eighth studio album “We Are.”

In winning the trophy for best album, he bested some of the biggest names in music, including artists such as Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Billie Eilish, and Olivia Rodrigo, who Vegas oddsmakers predicted would win the top accolade of the night.

In his short acceptance speech, Batiste demonstrated the humility and genuine affability that, when combined with his raw talent, help to make him a truly stand-out performer.

“I believe this to my core, there is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor,” he told the audience while accepting the trophy for album of the year. “The creative arts are subjective, and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most. It’s like a song or an album is made and it’s almost like it has a radar to find the person when they need it the most.”

“I’d like to thank God. I just put my head down and I work on the craft every day. I love music, I’ve been playing since I was a little boy. It’s more than entertainment for me, it’s a spiritual practice. There’s so many people that went into making this album, my grandfather is on the album, my nephew, my dad is here.”

He then acknowledged his executive producer for the album, Ryan Lynn, calling him to the stage.

“Come on, man, I don’t want to be up here by myself, I didn’t do it by myself,” he said before concluding with “Every single artist that was nominated in this category I actually love and have had out-of-body experiences with your music. I honor you and this is for real artists, real musicians. Let’s just keep going. Be you. That’s it.”

While his win for album of the year probably shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone considering the scope of his talent, even Batiste himself looked taken aback when he was announced as the album of the year winner.

So just how did Jon Batiste win the award for album of the year? It’s hard to say what made the members of the Recording Academy vote as they did but Batiste’s victory certainly suggests his team staged a well-orchestrated Grammy campaign to support his efforts.

Batiste’s role as the bandleader of Stay Human, which became the house band on CBS The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2015,  provides Batiste with opportunities to meet his peers and their teams, many of whom are active voting members of the Recording Academy.

Batiste is also a prolific collaborator, recording with a who’s who of modern music, including the likes of Stevie Wonder, Prince, Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, Roy Hargrove, Leon Bridges and Gary Clark Jr., and Mavis Staples, while giving him deep roots in the industry.

While the networking likely helped, Batiste’s versatility and range as an artist may be what pushed him over the top for the album of the year. For “We Are” Batiste folded in elements of funk, soul, New Orleans jazz, hip-hop, Americana, creating something that appealed to a broad cross section of music fans.

“I think a lot of the music that we make fits into genres, and I wanted to make music that was not going based on that system, and just music that existed, how I heard it, and this music is a representation of genre less music that’s just about the story, and it’s not trying to fit into any box or anything like that,” Batiste told Atwood Magazine in an interview in early 2021.

The win for best album may also be reflective of the modern gestalt. After the last few years of grim tidings, the ray of sunshine and creativity Batiste provided with “We Are” may have been just the thing that music fans and voting members of the Recording Academy were hungry for.

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