Bay Area’s Bonnie Raitt upsets Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Adele at Grammys
Bonnie Raitt shocked the music world — and certainly herself — by winning the song of the year trophy at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
The California singer-songwriter-guitarist, who splits her time between homes in Marin County and Los Angeles, won for the tender “Just Like That,” triumphing in a category that featured some of the most famous artists on the planet — including Adele, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Beyonce.
And nobody seemed more surprised about the victory than Raitt — who was presumed to be a massive underdog going into the night. Her expression conveyed absolute disbelief when she heard the presenter of the award — First Lady Jill Biden — announce her name inside Crypto.com Arena.
“I’m so surprised,” Raitt said as she picked up the trophy in front of the celebrity-packed audience and the millions of TV viewers watching around the globe. “I don’t know what to say. This is just an unreal moment.
She then thanked the Recording Academy — the organization that presents the Grammys — for surrounding her “with so much support and appreciating the art of songwriting as I do.”
Indeed, that’s what this particular Grammy is all about — honoring the art of songwriting, as opposed to being another award given out to performers. However, in many cases — such as with Raitt and “Just Like That” — the songwriter is also the performer.
Winning this award may change the perception that some have of Raitt, who many think of first and foremost as an interpreter of other people’s songs rather than someone who sings her own compositions. (Of course, she has a long history in doing both.)
Of the 10 songs in the running for this award, “Just Like That” was the sole offering penned by just one writer. The others all had multiple contributors, including a team of nine that fashioned “God Did” by DJ Khaled Featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy.
The song is one of four numbers that Raitt wrote (or co-wrote) on her 10-track 18th studio album, “Just Like That…” (2022).
“I was so inspired for his song by the incredible story of the love and grace and generosity of someone that donates their beloved’s organs to help another person live,” Raitt said. “And the story was so simple and so beautiful for these times.
“People have been responding partly because of how much I love, and we all love, John Prine and that was the inspiration (for this) song.”
Prine is the late great songwriter behind “Angel from Montgomery,” which Raitt covered on the 1974 album “Streetlights” and has since become one of her signature songs.
It was an overall big night for Raitt, who won three of the four categories she was nominated in. Besides triumphing for song of the year, Raitt took home awards for best American roots song for “Just Like That” and best Americana performance for “Made Up My Mind.”
Raitt’s three trophies on Sunday brings her career Grammy total up to 15.