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Tag: Grammys (61-70 of 84)

The live performances that made you see the light

Aliciakeysgrammys_lI’ve always known that Alicia Keys is an amazing talent even if I don’t own any of her albums. But after last night’s Grammy performance of "No One," I will definitely be purchasing one. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a singer (other than Celine — sue me) in such total command of not just a stage but a whole arena. Her voice was so powerful that I actually imagined it forcing all the air to the ceiling and keeping it pinned there, note after note. She was gonna make you hear her. And, I did. (I also pondered what she was wearing on the bottom half of her body and wondered when John Mayer had stopped making all those weird faces — but not the point of this post.)

So, when has a live performance sent you straight to the record store? If you need some inspiration, check out our gallery grading the acts that took this year’s Grammy stage. Keys earned an A- for "No One."

addCredit(“Alicia Keys: : Kevin Mazur/WireImage”)

Live-blogging the Grammy Awards

Aliciakeys_lHello, Grammys-viewing P-Dubs. Welcome to Round 2 of Leah and Annie Cook It Up In Carroll Gardens! Ms. Greenblatt and I have been live-blogging the Grammys red carpet for the past two hours, but we’re more than ready for the real awards to start. We’ve got so many snacks and so much to say, and we’ll try not to let the depletion of that first category affect our output of the second. A key word for this would be "try." Look at us being responsible Internet journalists. We are clearly so ready. START THE SHOW.

Leah: And the show begins! With the latest, the hottest… Frank Sinatra.Kind of a great archival clip. And Alicia Keys is pulling a Natalie-and-Nat-King-Cole "Beyond the Dead" duet.
Annie: I wonder how many times the word "classy" was thrown around during the brainstorming sesh for this number.
Leah: This is actually a tiny bit creepy.
Annie: It really is. Are they harmonizing or not? I mean, yes, but NO in that he does not really exist. What does it all mean?!
Leah: I wonder how many times Alicia will change her outfit tonight? I will say four.
Annie: Five. Preferably in the order of the rainbow… backwards.
Leah: ROY G BIV!


Live-blogging the Grammys red carpet

Grammys_diverse(Alternate post title: Leah and Annie cook it in Carroll Gardens!) Hi everyone — we’re here with assorted snacks and a great attitude (for now) about tonight’s live-blogging marathon. We’re not technically required to cover the red carpet… but we might as well. We’re both present, and alive, and the amazing and unexpected Milano Salame that Leah just plunked onto my coffee table has us almost inappropriately revved up for Fun. Let’s get it started!

Leah: Giuliana is kind of a tool. She’s getting all "down" with NeYo on the red carpet. He’s wearing Banana Republic sunglasses! Good to know.
Annie:  She acts like every phrase out of her mouth is equally thrilling.
Leah: It is, Annie! Tia Carrere? Well, she looks good.
Annie: Dripping in gold. 
Leah: Amy Lee from Evanescance, looking Hot Topic per usual. Ne Yo said he might be working with Lindsay Lohan in the studio, FYI. I’m sure that blew Giuliana’s mind.
Leah: She just called Corinne Bailey Rae "one of the diverse people here tonight."
Annie: This could not get more hein.

It probably will! Stay with us, after the jump…


On the scene: Grammys pre-show

Foofighters_lThe Grammy press room is its usual hotbed of pre-telecast action this year, as the members of the print pool sit at long tables and wait for free sandwiches while conducting short, frequently awkward interviews with the winners of categories like Best Tropical Latin Album. (Juan Luis Guerra seems like a nice guy.) Inside the convention center next door, where the actual pre-show ceremony is taking place, the vibe is closer to high school assembly: Pockets of people whooping and clapping for their friends, the winners expressing genuine joy that most of the world will never see.

Not many surprises so far, to my knowledge, although Patti Austin was so shocked to win Best Jazz Vocal Album, she came to the stage wearing Crocs. (Patti later announced that she plans to be ”such a bitch” from now on.) Kanye West swept pretty much every rap category; Barack Obama won Best Spoken Word Album; the Muppets won Best Musical Album for Children. Lupe Fiasco’s mom and sister carried pictures of the Best Urban/Alternative Performance winner to accept the award on his behalf. The White Stripes’ Icky Thump won a bunch of stuff, but everybody kept pronouncing it ”Icky Thumb.” Eddie Vedder and Miranda Lambert both got robbed — though Carrie Underwood startled presenter Michael W. Smith by actually being in the room to grab her Best Female Country Vocal statue. (”You couldn’t keep me from actually getting this myself,” she said, grinning.) George Strait missed what has to be like the 4,000th chance to win his first Grammy when Keith Urban took the category instead; Keith did not materialize, although Brad Paisley showed up to accept his first-ever Grammy, for Best Country Instrumental. And the Foo Fighters (pictured) get my undying love for breaking up the usually boring march to the end of this thing — when the winners are all too famous to show up (talking to you, Springsteen) — by bounding down the aisle to collect Best Hard Rock Performance. (Grohl thanked his daughter for inspiring him to write. Aww.)

The big ceremony is getting started soon; the sandwiches had better get here right quick. Stay tuned to PopWatch for all the news that can’t wait until later, and check out Annie Barrett and Leah Greenblatt’s live blog of the broadcast. Grammy fever! Catch it!

addCredit(“Foo Fighters: Vince Bucci/Getty Images”)

Tune in for the Grammys!

Amywinehouse_lThe Grammys (Sunday, 8 p.m. CBS) are finally here, and so is the post detailing our coverage! We’ll have Whitney Pastorek on the scene, Annie Barrett and Leah Greenblatt live-blogging the telecast, and, courtesy of Clark Collis and Simon Vozick-Levinson, your morning-after gallery grading the night’s big performances.

Speaking of performances, there are tons of ‘em planned. The latest lineup: Kanye West, Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, BeBe Winans, and pasting from the press release Beyoncé and Tina Turner, Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban, Eldar, Feist,Fergie and John Legend, John Fogerty with Jerry Lee Lewis and LittleRichard, Foo Fighters (with special guest conductor John Paul Jones),Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang (conducted by famed maestro John Mauceri),Alicia Keys, Kid Rock, Dave Koz, Brad Paisley, Keely Smith, CarrieUnderwood, 2008 MusiCares® Person of the Year Aretha Franklin, theClark Sisters, Israel and New Breed, and Trin-I-Tee 5:7 in a specialgospel segment, the casts of The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil and Across the Universe in a special Beatles segment, and Rihanna with areunited The Time in a special 50th anniversary segment.

Who are we rooting for?

addCredit(“Amy Winehouse: C Flanigan/FilmMagic”)

Grammylicious: Tina Turner and Beyoncé

We could use some good news around here. Just a day after the Writers Guild decision not to picket the 2008 Grammy Awards comes word that next month’s CBS telecast will feature a Tina Turner-Beyoncé duet. In a word? Genius.

There’s no question Beyoncé can hold her own with Tina — unlike Cher, who caterwauls her way into this 1970’s variety show duet with Turner and sounds occasionally out of breath trying to keep up:

But what’s Cher got to do with it? The question at this point is: what will Tina & Beyoncé sing? Imagine Miss Tina schooling the hip-pop princesson "Nutbush City Limits" or "River Deep, Mountain High." (As long asB’s "Check on It" is left out of it, I’ll be happy.) PopWatchers, are you as crazy in love with this news as I am? What do think we’ll hear from the two divas Feb. 10?

The strike may mean star-free awards shows

Stewart_lHow will the writers’ strike affect all the upcoming movie awards shows? On the plus side, no groaner gag-lines ("Oprah, Obama. Obama, Oprah.") for returning Oscar host Jon Stewart. On the minus side, Stewart and most of the likely honorees may stay home rather than cross the picket lines. The only show that won’t be affected is the Screen Actors Guild awards, since the unionized writers have granted their fellow labor stalwarts a pass for that one. Still, the rest of the shows could look like those from previous strike years, such as the 1988 Oscars, when the presenters wrote their own painful gags, or the 1980 Emmys, when almost no one showed up to collect their trophies. Kinda ironic, since the 2007 Oscars made a point of celebrating the work of screenwriters.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Will you watch star-free or nearly star-free awards shows? Does the SAG awards ceremony suddenly loom large on your winter calendar? Should stars show up anyway on awards night to celebrate artistic achievements that should exist in a larger context than the current labor strife? Should the writers grant all the shows a waiver for the same reason? Or should the writers and actors stick to their guns and not help support events that are, essentially, a promotional tool for the producers the writers are striking against?

addCredit(“78th Oscars: Michael Caulfield Archive/WireImage.com”)

Grammy nominations: Who got snubbed?

Fergie_lFull disclosure: In preparing for today’s Grammys announcement, the team at EW.com pulled some photos of folks we thought would get top nominations. Amy Winehouse, for instance (she got six). Rihanna (yep, she picked up a couple, for the ubiquitous "Umbrella" [ella ella]). And…Fergie.

Don’t get me wrong: I do not particularly love Fergie, especially the cheerleader-hop of "Fergalicious" (dear God, why did she have to go and mess with "Supersonic"?). But even I have to admit that she has been very productive this year, spinning out single after single, including the shockingly decent "Glamorous" and "Clumsy." So I was expecting her to pick up a nod for Record of the Year, the category that always has room for silly songs that everybody can shake their groove thangs to, but no! Though she did get recognized for Female Pop Vocal Performance, for "Big Girls Don’t Cry," the Dutchess was snubbed in the big categories. Now, whether this was a smart decision or a bad one on the part of the recording academy…well, I leave that up to you to debate in the comments section below.

Who were you surprised to see left off the nominees list?

Walk the Lyin': The Milli Vanilli biopic

What have Jamie Foxx and Joaquin Phoenix wrought? Now that Hollywood sees music biopics as gateways to critical acclaim and Oscars, any singer is game — even ones that never really did their own singing. According to Variety, Universal Pictures is developing a biopic about Milli Vanilli, the vocal duo that infamously had to give up their 1990 Grammy for Best New Artist after it was discovered they lip-synched their way through catchy hits like "Blame It On the Rain" and "Girl You Know It’s True." And it definitely sounds like a wannabe prestige project: screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, who first explored the world of cons and chicanery in the Leo DiCaprio/Steven Spielberg vehicle Catch Me If You Can, is set to write, and has secured the help of alumnus Fabrice Morvan (partner Rob Pilatus OD’d in 1998).

Between the music, the drugs, the robbery, the jail time, and the attempted comebacks, I’d say the film is destined for awards. Until, of course, it’s discovered that the two leads didn’t really act out their parts and relied on stand-ins. Speaking of which, whom would you cast in a Milli Vanilli movie? Are there other "artists" more deserving of the biopic treatment?

Dixie Chicks reflect on their Grammy sweep

If the Dixie Chicks seemed a bit unprepared for their multiple acceptance speeches at the Grammys (unlike Mary J. Blige, who had a list of more than 50 people to read off), that wasn’t feigned humility. "We were like deer in the headlights!" said fiddler Martie Maguire when PopWatch caught up with her after the show. "I know when we watch it back, the camera will show how shocked we were. I thought maybe we would get country album, but the others, no way." (For the record, they swept the multi-genre categories of best record, song, and album, as well as winning in two country categories.)

"How do you get record of the year, without airplay?" Maguire asked, possibly not even rhetorically. PopWatch opined that their triumphant "Not Ready to Make Nice" was the first true Internet hit — a song that everyone read about or heard about on the news, but couldn’t find on the radio, and thus had to stream. "I’d agree with that," said Dan Wilson, the ex-Semisonic leader who cowrote the tune, sitting nearby. "But VH1 helped a lot," added Maguire, "making us cool with that audience."


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