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Tag: Grammys (51-60 of 84)

Grammy performers: Radiohead, McCartney, Jay-Z, and more added to lineup

Radioheadtimberlake_lI did not personally select the latest round of performers for the Grammys telecast, but I might as well have, since the Recording Academy seems to have done this using a rough "Simon’s favorite artists" rule: Radiohead, Paul McCartney (backed by Dave Grohl on drums), Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, T.I., and Kanye West will all be playing at the Feb. 8 ceremony in L.A. A Radiohead performance equals automatic must-see TV for me, of course. But I’d probably tune in to see each of the rest of those artists alone, too — something I couldn’t say for the previously announced performers, who were mostly overexposed folks like Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers, blah, blah. Anyone else suddenly feeling a lot more likely to watch the Grammys next month?

More on the Grammys:
Grammy Snubs: The 19 Most Outrageous Omissions!
Grammys ’08: Grading the performances
EW Gallery: Grammys’ 10 Biggest Upsets
Margeaux’s Mix: The Grammys finally get it right in ’09

addCredit(“Yorke: Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Timberlake: Kevin Mazur/WireImage”)

The Grammys are selling -- are you buying?

Once upon a time, if you built it — and handed out lots of heavy, shiny, engraved statuettes on the dais when you got there — viewers would come. These days, however, traditional awards shows like the Grammys and the Oscars face both a numbing glut of competitors (next up, Gaffers’ Choice!) and the increasingly indifferent response of audiences. That’s why the former have taken it upon themselves to sign up the likes of Rihanna, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Lenny Kravitz, and Lil Wayne for a major Recording Academy campaign via TV, print, radio, and the Internet. Billboard talked to the Academy’s chief marketing officer, who said the campaign cost "in the mutli-millions" and is the most the organization has spent on an ad campaign in its history.

How does it work? According to a Grammy spokeswoman, each featured artist was asked to provide 10-20 songs that influenced them; the subsequent lyrics and song titles are then used in the print andtelevision ads. For Wayne, that means showcasing rappers like Jay-Z and Young Buck; for Yorke, it’s more esoteric choices like cultishly adored singer-songwriter Scott Walker, or chaotic post-punk outfit the Liars. You can check out Stevie Wonder’s ad embedded below; does it make you want to tune in? Or would it take a personal invite and a pan of brownies baked by Rihanna herself to to get you there? What else could the Grammys do to get you to watch?

Enter the Fray: Grammys, 'Twilight,' and Noah Wyle is still sexy!

Grammyschenwothswift_lI’m going to start this week’s countdown with a mini-countdown of my own. Don’t worry, it only goes up to two. It’s called the Posts Jean Liked But Was Surprised You Guys Didn’t Comment on More Countdown, or PJLBWSYGDCOMC for short (it just rolls off the tongue, I know). First, Simon Vozick-Levinson brought this brilliant video to our attention: a hilarious tribute to the widely-used Auto-Tune software (and no, T-Pain wasn’t involved). Were we (and the lone commenter) the only ones who found that video hilarious? Second, Noah Wyle made Mandi Bierly tell him how hot he is. Noah Wyle is awesome (duh), he is hot (double duh), and he is Carter. Where’s the Wyle love?

See, the inaugural PJLBWSYGDCOMC was short. Told you so. Now, without further ado, the Fray–let’s Enter it:

10. After rumors about Season 8 began to leak, Michael Slezak wondered if the American Idol gang could change up the process and broadcast the semifinal round live.

9. You guys speculated whether Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart has the chops for her role as rocker Joan Jett in the just-announced Runaways biopic, or if it’s just another move to get away from Twilight‘s good-girl image.

8. HBO eavesdropped on Simon Vozick-Levinson’s family road trip conversation and decided to make a Rome movie. (That’s totally how it happened, you guys!)

7. Mark Shaiman and Adam Shankman made a too-late plea for gay marriage equality in Prop 8 — The Musical, starring, Jack Black, John C. Reilly, Margaret Cho, and lots of other famous folks.

6. Michael Slezak lamented Britney’s half-assed performance on Britain’s X-Factor. But, you know, I’ll take Half-Assed Performing Britney over Nutjob Head-Shaving Britney any day. Plus, I need a new Britney song to replace the ”womanizah womanizah” in my head.

5. Jeff Probst blogged about this week’s penultimate Survivor: Gabon episode.

4. For some reason, the Recording Academy broadcast what Whitney Pastorek dubbed an hour-long ”Tribute To Songs Your Parents Like On That Network With Shows For Old People,” a.k.a. the 2009 Grammy Nomination Special, featuring Taylor Swift.

3. Amy Wilkinson speculated that Leona Lewis’ ”Bleeding Love,” the song of the summer, could be the song of the year.

2. Speaking of those Grammys, Joshua Rich has the list of nominees here.

If you’re sick of Twilight, quit reading here. We’re done. See ya next week!
If not, read on for this week’s No. 1 post:

1. We make our ideal casting picks for the bad-guy Volturi vamps in the Twilight sequel. Kristin Chenoweth, anyone?

addCredit(“Kristin Chenoweth: Jewel Samad/Getty Images; Taylor Swift: John Shearer/WireImage”)

Lady Antebellum: The scoop on Grammy's surprise 'Best New Artist' nominee

Ladyantebellum_lOf all the names on Grammy’s list this year, perhaps the most confusing–for non-country fans, at least– was Lady Antebellum, up for Best New Artist. Time for learning: They’re not a dance act, and this nom’s not so out of left field, either. The Nashville-based threesome of Charles Kelley (blond guy), Dave Haywood (brown-haired guy), and Hillary Scott (chick) are your reigning ACM and CMA new artists of the year, due largely to the strength of "Love Don’t Live Here," the first single off their self-titled debut. To assist in the information disseminating process, we got Kelley on the phone from Las Vegas, where the group played the Fremont Street Experience last night. They found out about their two nominations — they’re also up for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group — between sets. And they are now staying a well deserved extra night in Vegas.

Well, I think the biggest question is, Who the hell are Lady Antebellum?
Oh my gosh! Well, certainly not Duffy or Adele!

What’s the easiest way to tell the difference?
They’re famous, and we are not?

What made you ripe for the nomination?
I don’t know. I hope there’s some kind of artistic cred there that people are seeing, because as far as our careers, we’re not there yet. Even the ACM and CMA wins—I feel like these things are coming before we deserve them. I guess people are hoping for big things. We’re out here at the shows, and they’re connecting, but it’s not like we’re on Perez Hilton.

That may be a good thing.
Until Perez Hilton blogs about you, I guess you’re not famous yet.

[After the jump, more about their music, the shocking truth about who Dave Haywood is most looking forward to meeting on Grammy night, and their CMA performance of "Love Don’t Live Here."]


2009 Grammy Nominations Concert: Non-nominees perform old songs!

Taylorswift_lOkay, so I think I just figured out what’s wrong with almost every major televised awards ceremony in this country, but especially the Grammys: They spend so much time reminding us of how important and magical and woven into the fabric of a life we can barely understand in these crazy digital times their television program has been over the last half-century, they forget that the whole point of the ceremony in the first place is to celebrate the best of what is happening in our culture right this very second. And so while I think we can all agree that an Album of the Year race comprised of Coldplay, Radiohead, Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, and Plant/Krauss is nothing to sneeze at, there was absolutely no need to announce the nominees in that or any other Grammy category during an hour-long Tribute To Songs Your Parents Like On That Network With Shows For Old People, designed to highlight the opening of an actual museum devoted to the aforementioned important magic.

Yes, last night’s telecast was basically the equivalent of historically landmarking a Taco Bell Express, with performances from Celine Dion, Foo Fighters, and the most overexposed blond since Lady Godiva, Taylor Swift. And there were also nominations, both positive– I’m sorry, did you say "Paper Planes"? are you sure?– and not so much. (See the major categories here.) We’re putting up a gallery of the worst snubs later today, but feel free to share yours in the comments. (I’m saving my controlled rage about Sugarland for the end of this article — only five paragraphs away…) Let’s begin, shall we?

addCredit(“Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images”)


Grammy nominations announced!

Grammy_lThe nominations for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards were announced in a live television special on Wednesday night. Lil Wayne was the most honored artist with eight nominations. Coldplay garnered seven nods, while Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, and Kanye West had six each. Trophies will be handed out on Feb. 8, 2009.

Nominees in most of the major categories are listed after the jump. And, of course, PopWatchers, now it’s your turn to sound off!


Another stupid Grammy feud: Aretha vs. Beyoncé

Franklinbeyonce_lHell hath no fury like an R&B diva scorned, especially at the Grammys. First there was Natalie Cole opening fire on Amy WInehouse. Now, in a statement released Tuesday, Aretha Franklin revealed that she, too, was incensed at a young upstart: she didn’t appreciate that Beyoncé, in her introduction of Tina Turner at Sunday’s awards show, referred to Turner as "the Queen." There’s only one Queen of Soul, Franklin implied, and she was not amused. Though she concluded her statement with, "Love to Beyoncé anyway," Beyoncé’s father/manager Mathew Knowles called Franklin’s remarks "ridiculous… childish… [and] unprofessional." Ouch!

No word on what Turner thought of all this, or whether Franklin is angry at her, too, but surely even Turner would admit that Franklin, who’s all but trademarked her regal title, deserves to keep it exclusively. At the same time, if there were anyone else who deserved such a title, it would be Turner.

What say you, PopWatchers? Do you think Beyoncé meant to diss Aretha? Do you think Franklin overreacted? And who really deserves to be called "the Queen"?

addCredit(“Aretha Franklin; Beyonce: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Mark Sullivan/WireImage”)

Natalie Cole whines about Winehouse

Colewinehouse_lSo, Natalie Cole told People at a Grammy afterparty on Sunday night that the Recording Academy shouldn’t have given Amy Winehouse five Grammys because it sends the wrong message, rewarding the British singer’s "bad behavior." I’m not sure who out there thinks Winehouse is a role model in her personal life (as an artist, sure), but c’mon, there have been plenty of non-saintly artists who’ve won Grammys. And judging strictly by Winehouse’s music, she certainly belongs among Grammy company, just as Cole, who’s acknowledged her own battles with drug abuse, has deserved to be among the Grammy elite since her own Best New Artist win 33 years before Winehouse’s. (According to the New York Daily News, Ringo Starr overheard Cole’s complaint about Winehouse and said, "Man, those are some grapes.") It’s the Grammys’ job to recognize excellence based strictly on what’s on the disc, not to send any kind of moral, social, or political message. Now, being rewarded for capitalizing on the fame of your more-renowned father by recording duets with his unwitting corpse, that’s a better message to send, apparently.

addCredit(“Natalie Cole and Amy Winehouse: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images; Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images”)

On the Scene: Dierks Bentley's All-Star Grammy Hoedown

Dierksbentley_lSkipped most of the Grammy pre-party hoo-hah this year, PopWatchers, as it tends to all sound the same after a while (and by "the same" I mean "like the Black Eyed Peas"). But there was one gig I couldn’t pass up: Country music purveyor and Bud Light poster child Dierks Bentley’s show Friday night at L.A.’s Knitting Factory. My 2007 Grammy date was nominated again — Long Trip Alone, both the album and the single, were up in three different categories, though he ultimately came away emptyhanded — providing the perfect excuse to set up Nashville West for the weekend. Dierks kicked things off with a 45-minute set of hits and new tracks, then welcomed a parade of special guests to the stage that whipped the crowd of VIPs, radio contest winners, and at least one Friday Night Lights star (hey, Tim Riggins!) into a frenzy.

The whole thing was broadcast live on iClips.net, and I think they’re going to put it up again later. Meanwhile, after the jump: appearances from Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Mike McCready, Dwight Yoakam, and those adorable Paramore kids. They’re from Tennessee, ya know.

addCredit(“Dierks Bentley: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage”)


On the Scene: Backstage at the Grammys and EW's Grammy Party

Herbiehancock_lAnother Grammy weekend behind us, PopWatchers, and, like the four that came before it, my 2008 experience was a combination of soaring highs and crushing lows. (My life is very much like Wide World of Sports.) And while I may not have been called on to live-blog the action or take a late-night limo ride with a rock star this year, there’s still plenty to tell, from a Friday night all-star country music jamboree (no bears involved, but it deserves its own post) to a long but ultimately sort of fulfilling afternoon in the Grammy press room to our very own EW party last night, co-hosted by L.A. Reid.

After the jump, a complete rundown of all the Sunday fun, plus more informative press room nuggets than you can shake a stick at. Here’s one to get you started: Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins are the writers of "Before He Cheats," which won Best Country Song at yesterday’s pre-telecast awards ceremony. But before Chris could make it to the Staples Center this weekend, he first had to go see Ozzy Osbourne’s doctor and get "three shots in the ass" of some sort of superdrug in order to beat a deadly case of the flu. Furthermore, although they originally started writing "Before He Cheats" for Gretchen Wilson, Chris was confident that Carrie Underwood could handle the tune. Why? Because he watched her whole season of American Idol. Why? Because he used to be in a band with Bo Bice. IS YOUR MIND BLOWN YET?


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