fun.'s "We Are Young" Wins Grammy Award for "Song of the Year

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fun. at the Grammy Awards
UPDATE: The band also took home the award for "Best New Artist."

So maybe LL Cool J's joke about "always getting back together" following Taylor Swift's performance of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" fell a little flat, and maybe the Gotye win for Best Alternative felt a little bummer-y, but it was hard not to feel a little Arizona pride when fun., fronted by local-boy-gone-to-NYC Nate Ruess, won Song of the Year for "We Are Young (featuring Janelle Monáe)," the band's monster single from 2012's Some Nights, at last night's 55th annual Grammy Awards.

Following a performance of "Carry On", the band took the stage to accept the award, brazenly. The trio beat out Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," and Miguel's "Adorn."

"If this is in HD, everyone can see our faces and we are not very young," Ruess joked, while guitarist Jack Antonoff pointed out that the band has been at it for 12 years -- counting stints in bands like Steel Train, Anathallo, and The Format -- while shouting out his ladyfriend, Lena Dunham, creator and stars of HBO's Girls.

Congrats to Ruess and co. We've gathered up some of the pieces we've written about Ruess, fun., and The Format over the years. Enjoy.

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Jason P. Woodbury
fun. performs at Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center.

fun. @ Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center| 5/31/12 -- By Jason P. Woodbury
fun. frontman Nate Ruess wears his heart on his sleeve, and that's why it's so easy to get into his head. His lyrics -- part stream of consciousness ("My friends are in the bathroom, getting higher than the Empire State"), part diary entries ("So this is it? I miss my mom and dad for this?") -- practically invite you in.

The guy's got something on his mind, and he wants to tell you what it is.
His lyrical transparency isn't the only reason for fun.'s total domination of the Ikeda Theatre stage at Mesa Arts Center last night. No, keyboardist Andrew Dost's piano pop melodies and guitarist Jack Antonoff's classic bar rock affectations had a lot to do with it, too (as did the live band: bassist Nate Harold, drummer Will Noon, and guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist, saxophonist, all-around-charmer Emily Moore). But Ruess is the centerpiece, the guy bouncing around the stage, the guy telling jokes about Glendale's cat killers, the guy pouring it all out.

The guy, most clearly, who felt very, very happy to be home.

Read the rest of the fun. @ Mesa Arts Center review.

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Jason P. Woodbury
Nate Ruess and fun. perform at Zia Records in Chandler.

Q&A: Nate Ruess of fun. @ Zia Records in Chandler -- By Jason P. Woodbury

While the GOP presidential candidates debated in Mesa last night, folks at Zia Records in Chandler gathered for a different kind of spectacle: NYC-based pop band Fun. (featuring Nate Ruess formerly of Tempe rockers The Format) played an acoustic set and signed autographs for about 400 fans.

​Up on the Sun: You guys played Conan last night. How did it go?

Nate Ruess: It was a disaster. A mad disaster.

Really? It didn't look a disaster.

That's the magic of television [Laughs]. That was our third take that we had to do, because our drum machine was breaking on stage, so it was just like...I was fuming. Just because I didn't want to waste everyone's time there. I was like, "Fine, give them the second take." But they let us to a third take, then I felt uneasy about performance of that. So I'm not ever going to see that. I don't want to look [Laughs]

Did you meet Conan?

Yeah, very briefly.

Had you ever met him or seen him around?

No, no. That was my first time, and it was [pauses] He was pretty weird. I think he's super friendly, but I might have been giving off a vibe that I was too cool for school or something. But my vibe inside was, "Holy shit, I can't believe I'm doing this." I was trying not to sweat all over the camera. So he was like, "You don't have to be cool," and I was like, "No no, trust me, I'm not cool. I'm freaking out."

Read the entire interview with Nate Ruess of fun.

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4 comments
Julie Sprinkmann Rhodes
Julie Sprinkmann Rhodes

best grammy's i've seen in years, thanks to julian i knew more and enjoyed more entertainers. music brings generations together, doesn't get better than that. loved the tribute to marley and also to levon helm.

Crystal Keller
Crystal Keller

Is this the guy that my kid likes so much that can't sing without auto-tune?

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