Coco Jones is basking in her recent feat of earning five Grammy nominations for 2024. The Disney alum is up for Best New Artist, Best R&B Performance, Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Album, and Best R&B Song. Two of her nods stem from her chart-topping ballad, “ICU,” and despite its meteoric success, Jones confessed to being “initially hesitant” to release it as a single.
“I thought it aged me,” she revealed to Teen Vogue. Jones would’ve preferred to make “pretty girl club music,” which mirrored her real life. She continued, “I was like, ‘Y’all, please, I want to do choreo. I cannot dance to this.’ I wrote about one heartbreak, but I’m like, ‘Girl, I really enjoy a lot of aspects of my life. I don’t want to have to harp on that.’”
However, “ICU” occupied a pocket within the R&B that had been vacant since Jazmine Sullivan’s “Hurt Me So Good.” Jones was concerned that praise from her loved ones wouldn’t translate into mainstream success.
“I had a feeling it was something special, but I swear, I had made special songs my whole life,” explained the Bel-Air star. “I was like, ‘Maybe this will be another time where I give it everything and they don’t care.’” However, everyone cared when Jones stopped R&B lovers and skeptics alike in their tracks with “ICU.” The single peaked No. 16 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and scored Jones her first break into the Billboard Hot 100.
When speaking with VIBE back in May about the emotional weight behind “ICU,” the 25-year-old noted that it went beyond the surface. “When you bare your heart like that as an artist, it’s hard for it to not affect you whenever you sing a song because you know exactly what you need. But also, I get so grateful when I can hear the crowd. So, to hear them sing, just like at the top of their lungs, is just always… It reminds me of how long my journey has been,” she expressed. Jones and “ICU” are also up for six Soul Train Awards: Best New Artist, Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Video of the Year, and The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award.