R&B star Jhene Aiko has “bittersweet” memories of the day she landed three nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards, because the news broke as she learned her uncle had lost his battle with Covid-19.
The Worst hitmaker recalls waking up to a flood of phone calls and congratulatory messages on 24 November as her latest release, Chilombo, landed nods for Best Progressive R&B Album, Best R&B Performance for Lightning & Thunder, and the prestigious Album of the Year honour.
However, her joy soon turned into sadness as she grieved the loss of her relative.
“I woke up and I had a bunch of missed calls and text messages so I was like, ‘Whoa, what happened?'” Jhene said on America’s The Late Late Show with James Corden.
“I didn’t remember that the Grammy nominations were happening that day, and when I looked at my phone, I saw all these (texts saying), ‘Congratulations…'”
“At the same time, I was getting messages from my family because I found out that my uncle had passed from Covid that same moment,” she added.
Describing the clash of emotions she experienced as she sat in Carmel, California, Jhene shared, “It was kind of an unreal moment – just a very reflective moment. I was in a room that was overlooking the ocean and I was getting this really great news and this really sad news and it was like an outer body, surreal, bittersweet moment.
“It was kind of reflective of life (and) the ups and downs that come simultaneously sometimes, so yeah, it was unreal for sure.”