The loudest night of awards season is rapidly approaching and music’s best and brightest are readying their acceptance speeches. CBS is shaking off its spotty Super Bowl coverage and prepping for Sunday’s presentation of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
Speaking strictly as a musicophile, this is my favorite night of the year. It combines the glam of the red carpet with the cheese of the acceptance speech and the energy of a massive live concert. Every year the Grammy’s has incredible performances and surprising pairings as musical legends grace the stage for once in a lifetime mashups and tributes. Proving that if you respect your musical elders you will be rewarded, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt paid homage to Etta James last year, and this year Keys will join Maroon 5 (who gave a nod to the Beach Boys last year) for a special set.
That is what sets the Grammy’s apart from other music awards. It has the biggest names in the business at its disposal and it isn’t afraid to use them. Where else are you going to see the bands that started the reemergence of Americana (Mumford and Sons and The Avett Brothers) take the stage with Bob Dylan? What other stage is going to host a salute to EDM with the Foo Fighters, Chris Brown, David Guetta, Lil Wayne and Deadmau5? Call it A-list star stacking if you will, but it certainly makes for an event that cannot be duplicated by any other show.
The Grammy Awards uniquely celebrates artist collaboration because The Recording Academy is all music, all the time. Unlike the MTV VMA monstrosities that occur multiple times a year, the winners are chosen by their peers. That’s why, as The Recording Academy’s chief marketing officer Evan Greene puts it, “artists giggle when they win other awards, and cry when they win a Grammy.” It just means more, and that makes it more fun to watch.
This year, expect stellar performances from newcomers including fun., The Lumineers and Frank Ocean. Straight off of her Super Bowl blowout, Beyonce will inevitably rock the world like only Queen Bey can, and the rumors have been swirling about a full-on Destiny’s Child reunion performance on the telecast. Between that and Justin Timberlake’s return to the stage, the pop monarchs have given most people reason enough to tune in.
In case you aren’t sold yet, Elton John and Ed Sheeran will partner up, Jack White will inevitably do something weird but great and Rihanna will merge my generation with my mother’s and sing with Sting. The Black Keys will give their first Grammy telecast performance and for the country fans, Miranda Lambert is on the bill as well. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as performers are concerned. There will, without a doubt, be a few surprise additions before all is said and done. Also keep an eye out for Neil Patrick Harris to present, because everything is better with a little NPH added in.
Be sure to follow The Scout on Twitter for a live play by play on Sunday night hosted by yours truly, and watch The 55th Annual Grammy Awards on CBS at 9 pm.