With his new album, Gemini Rights, an endless supply of charm, and a Dead Kennedys-inspired Stylo au Plafond shirt, Steve Lacy has been anointed the “new kind of guitar hero” for his generation. That title was cemented at the 65th Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 5), when the “Bad Habits” singer hit the stage of the Crypto.com Arena to perform his chart-topping hit for all those gathered in Los Angeles and those watching at home. With bass maestro Thundercat by his side, Lacy injected some cool late into the Grammys broadcast.
Steve Lacy performs at the #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/t6GJ4c0NQo
— Leon Carrington (@LeonCarrington) February 6, 2023
Beyoncé enjoying Steve Lacy’s performance at #GRAMMYs.
— Beytan Team (@BeytanTeam) February 6, 2023
Taylor Swift sways along to Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” at the #Grammys. https://t.co/adK5uZhUEF pic.twitter.com/R1Ch4XOYXW
— Variety (@Variety) February 6, 2023
Steve entered the 65th Grammy Awards with four nominations under his belt: Record of the Year (“Bad Habit”), Song of the Year (“Bad Habit”), Best Pop Solo Performance (“Bad Habit”), and Best Progressive R&B Album (Gemini Rights). Before the show began, he won Best Progressive R&B Album in a non-televised, pre-show ceremony.
Congrats Best Progressive R&B Album winner – ‘Gemini Rights’ Steve Lacy #GRAMMYs
🎶 WATCH NOW https://t.co/OuKk34l332
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 5, 2023
Steve has six nominations in total, having scored a pair of Best Urban Contemporary Album nods in 2016 for The Internet’s Ego Death and in 2020 for his debut solo album, Apollo XXI. “It’s hilarious,” Steve told Rolling Stone about scoring a nomination for his first solo album. “I feel like I put maybe two or three percent effort into that album. And I’m like, ‘Oh, damn, I still went to the Grammys. That’s crazy.’ Compared to that album, I put a lot of effort, and care, and time into this one [Gemini Rights]. More than any project I ever did.”
The effort paid off. It topped Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts and reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It received positive reviews, with The Guardian saying Gemini Rights was full of “sweet, psych-tinged songs that are distinctly cosmic and sensual, laced with nods to 70s pop, funk, and soul,” and that he produced “smudged, yearning guitars, delicate piano, and melodies so accomplished they feel as if they’ve always been deep in your bones,” before adding that Steve’s “breathy voice glides with a warm, mellifluous lightness. A sumptuous listen that glows like a freaky summer love.”
The work also resulted in “Bad Habit” topping the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in late 2022. Steve didn’t think the song would be a hit. “I really didn’t,” he told Rolling Stone. “I just knew it was fun. I knew I liked it. … I feel like this is something that everybody probably went through. So, we were just kind of laughing about it. Like, ‘This is hilarious.’ I really had no idea that it would be [successful] like this. I don’t even have that brain. I’m just making stuff constantly, and I’m always chasing that feeling of loving an idea. And I’m really harsh. I had, like, 250 ideas for the album, but I always knew I wanted 10 [songs].”
Steve’s brain has been in high demand. He worked with his band The Internet, on Kendrick Lamar’s Damn., and on Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride, to name a few. “I’ve been at the Grammys since [I was] 17, almost every year,” he told Rolling Stone. “Because it was Ego Death, and then Damn. … And then it was Vampire Weekend, and then it was Apollo XXI. So I’ve been at the Grammys a little bit. But for this album, it definitely feels different. This time, I guess I feel a little more like, ‘Oh, yeah, of course.” Or just more confident this time around.”
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