Bonnie Raitt wins Grammy for song of the year for 'Just Like That'

Song of the Year has always been an important category at the Grammy Awards, but it's a particularly tricky battle at the Feb. 5 ceremony, with several fan-favorites vying for the honor. Beyoncé, for example, would have added to her record-breaking night by winning for "Break My Soul," while Swift was hoping Taylor Swift would take home the trophy for her 10-minute version of "All Too Well." (She won best music video but received nothing during Sunday night's telecast.) Adele, Lizzo and Harry Styles are other artists with significant fan support. However, song of the year went to a dark horse: Bonnie Raitt's "Just Like That."

First lady Jill Biden surprised both the audience and Leiter herself by announcing the major victory. When her name was announced, the blues singer took some time at her dining room table to understand what was going on. But when Leiter walked on stage, the audience stood up and applauded. "Oh my God," she began. "I'm surprised, I don't know what to say. It's just an unreal moment."

Leiter explained that she was inspired by "the love, grace and generosity of people who donate their beloved organs to help another person live," she said. In fact, the lyrics to "Just Like That" tell the story of a woman who met a man whose life was saved by the heart of her late son:

"He sat down and took a deep breath / then looked me in the face / I heard about your lost son / how you disappeared without a trace / I spent years trying to find you / so I finally could Let you know/It was your son’s heart that saved me/You gave us both lives.”

Raitt told American Songwriter that she heard similar stories in the news in 2018. "I just lost it," she said. "It was the most touching and surprising thing. I didn't expect this. I swore right then and there that I wanted to write a song about what it takes."

As Raitt noted during his speech, the music for "Just Like That" was also inspired by the late John Prine, who himself wrote a song about organ donation in 1973.

While Raitt may not be the expected winner for Song of the Year, she has a long history in music — some of her most familiar songs include "I Can't Make You Love Me" and "Something to Talk About." Raitt, by the way, has a lot of love for the other nominees. In fact, she praised several of them in an interview with Forbes last year.

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"I think looking at how poised Adele and Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran are in front of the camera, Billie Eilish, it's like they were born to be in front of the camera... There's nothing wrong with being completely transparent. The loss, I admire that very much," she said.