At the 45th annual Grammy Awards back in 2003, Norah Jones was nominated for her first five Grammy Awards and won all five, thanks to her ubiquitous and beloved debut album Come Away With Me and its breakout single “Don’t Know Why.” So what does the singer remember from that life-changing night, 19 years later?
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“I was starving,” she laughs in the latest Billboard Pop Shop Podcast for our special 2022 Grammy preview episode (listen to the full show below). “We got there early for the pre-telecast because I had one award in that. It was definitely pre- or right after lunch. I just remember I didn’t really eat dinner and then we went to the afterparty and I had a giant martini. And I was like, ‘Can someone feed me?!’”
At the 64th annual Grammys — airing live from Las Vegas this Sunday — Jones is nominated once again, with her ‘Til We Meet Again (Live) up for best traditional pop vocal album. In a time when fans and musicians alike were deprived of live music, Jones and producer/engineer Jamie Landry listened back to recordings of her concerts around the world, and the musician found herself drawn to the audience she desperately missed playing for.
“The sound of the audience made me so giddy,” she recalls. “We did end up picking the version where the audience was the most loving, I’ll say. Because what I missed that I was getting from hearing these recordings from Brazil – which is probably the most loving audience in the whole world, no offense everyone else, but they just are – but we really sort of leaned toward the ones where you could feel the room and we could hear the audience and know what they looked like and see the smiles on their faces.”
She’s now a nine-time winner and 18-time nominee, but there’s one photo fans are most likely to associate with Jones and her almost two-decade history with the Recording Academy: the singer juggling five golden gramophones at her first awards ceremony. “There was another photo of me dropping one because I couldn’t keep them all in my arms,” she laughs. “They’re heavy! You don’t want that on your toe.”
In a full-circle moment, Jones is now revisiting Come Away With Me for a 20th-anniversary deluxe edition, out April 29 via Blue Note/UMe. The 44-track reissue includes 22 previously unreleased tracks and pages of new liner notes written by Jones herself.
“When the label was like, ‘It’s gonna be 20 years! You need to do something special!’ I was like, ‘Well, only if we have something special to do. I’m not gonna do it just to do it,’” she says. “And then once we started really getting into it, I couldn’t believe how much special stuff there was. I was so excited about it.”
Jones says the deluxe edition (which will be available as a four-LP vinyl set or a three-CD set) “shows the evolution of where I was, where I was going, where I ended up, where I went back to, and where it all ended – I mean, it didn’t end there, but it ended for the record there.” She likens the experience to “time traveling. It was very healing, in a way.”
So it’s fitting that she’s back in the mix at the Grammys, the show that really kicked things into overdrive for her career and for Come Away With Me, which spent four nonconsecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 albums chart, including its final week at No. 1 following the 2003 Grammys. “Just when I thought it couldn’t go [any higher], the Grammys happened, and it just went into the stratosphere,” she says. “So yeah, the Grammys changed my life.”
Also on the show, Katie & Keith discuss the tragic death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and how the industry is remembering the beloved rocker. Plus, we checked in with Billboard awards editor Paul Grein for his predictions on the Big Four Grammy categories ahead of this Sunday’s show. Find his full predictions here.
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard‘s deputy editor, digital, Katie Atkinson and senior director of Billboard charts Keith Caulfield every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)
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