Big night for Nate Ruess

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, February 12, 2014
“My head is on fire, but my legs are fine, after all, they are mine.”

-Fun., "Carry On"

Nate Ruess, who has family scattered all over West Liberty including his grandmother Geraldine Ruess, had two nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Ruess was nominated for "Song of the Year" and "Best pop Duo/Group Performance" for the duet "Just Give Me A Reason," a power ballad with pop star, Pink.

While Ruess didn't take any grammys home, his performance at the show Jan. 26, added another plaque to his wall of fantastic performances.

Lorde's "Royals" took "Song of the Year" and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" won "Best Pop Duo," but Ruess was never far behind. His performance, on a stage that's been dominated by history's greatest musicians, was a highlight of the night.

It began with Pink, a prominent presence in the music world since 2001, descending from the roof of the building in Los Angeles while performing her single "Try." Through aerial silk acrobatics she swung around the auditorium, eventually landing on the stage.

During Pink's short hiatus for a wardrobe change, Ruess took the stage in dynamic fashion as he started "Just Give Me a Reason" with all the quirk and style that's come to be expected from the wide-ranged tenor.

"I'm sorry I don't understand where all of this is coming from, I thought that we were fine," he sang, "Your head is running wild again, my dear we still have everything, and it's all in your mind."

Ruess, with the confidence of any seasoned frontman, moved across the stage where he was joined by Pink seconds later. The two harmonized together before breaking out into the song's chorus.

While flash and dance often dominate the grammy stage, their stripped-back vocal performance was filled with heart, a battle between two conflicted lovers. After a powerful ending, they walked off the stage together.

The song is the third single from Pink's 2012 album "The Truth About Love." It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Collaboration, and sold 4,321,000 copies in 2013 in the United States according to Yahoo Music. It's been met with success around the world.

The song was written by producer Jeff Bhasker, Pink and Ruess. It was intended to be a solo piece for Pink; however, Pink felt the song needed two voices to portray the somewhat combative nature of love.

"Nate is a very intense, incredible vocalist and great songwriter, and we just sort of were tooling around and we wrote this first verse, the three of us," she told Spotify during a track by track discussion of her album.

"It was interesting, you know, he was like, 'I'll just do the demo because I don't know about duets,' and I totally tricked him into doing it. I'm so glad I was able to, because no one could have done it better."

Last year Ruess and his band 'Fun.' won a grammy for "Best New Artist" while their first major single "We Are Young" took the grammy for "Song of the Year." The group performed "Carry On" that night, halfway through the performance rain poured on Ruess as he sang.

The group has put out two albums, the second album entitled "Some Nights" has been met with commercial success. The album spent several months low down on the Billboard Top 100 list until it peaked in late September of 2012.

Before that Ruess, who was born in Iowa City and later moved to Arizona, was part of a group known as The Format from 2001 to 2008.

In September of 2013 Fun. performed with Queen during the iHeartRadio show in Las Vegas, where Ruess led the classic "Somebody to Love." Adam Lambert joined him for "Fat Bottomed Girls."

Ruess is also featured on "Headlights," a track on Eminem's album "The Marshall Mathers LP 2," and he helped write "Die Young," a lead single performed by pop artist, Ke$ha.
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