The Grammys might be in an “Empire State of Thoughts” for the primary time since 2003 — and never simply because JAY-Z has probably the most nominations.
Music’s largest night time returns to New York Metropolis Sunday, taking on Madison Sq. Backyard, following a 15-year stretch in Los Angeles.
Blame the lengthy break from the Massive Apple on a few causes, together with a spat between former Mayor Giuliani and a previous president of the Recording Academy, and the upper value of manufacturing a present in New York.
However they’re again, and the venue isn’t the one contemporary begin. The 2018 Grammys mark the primary time within the award present’s 60-year historical past white man isn’t up for the night’s prime prize, Album of the Yr.
“In case you have a look at who the Grammys had been honoring even 10 years in the past, they’ve actually carried out an amazing job of creating positive they’re changing into extra inclusive and cognizant of what persons are truly listening to,” stated Jason Lipshutz, editorial director at Billboard.
Lipshutz additionally factors out that rappers have a chance to “actually dominate” the Massive four classes (Album of the Yr, Document of the Yr, Tune of the Yr and Greatest New Artist) — unprecedented given the Grammys’ historical past of favoring rock and mainstream pop.
Hometown hero JAY-Z leads all artists with eight nominations, whereas fellow rappers Kendrick Lamar and Infantile Gambino, together with R&B singer SZA, are additionally being touted as frontrunners for the night’s prime prizes.
Hip hop isn’t the one purpose to tune in Sunday night time. The Grammys additionally operate as a dwell efficiency showcase.
This yr’s lineup displays the extensive spectrum represented by the night’s nominees, with nation, rock, R&B, blues, jazz, dance, pop and even Broadway stars slated to carry out. Highlights embrace Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Girl Gaga, Pink, Kesha, Little Massive City and extra.
Earlier than the celebs hit the MSG stage Sunday, right here’s all the pieces you must know in regards to the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
James Corden is again for the second yr in a row. The “Late Late Present” host acquired heat critiques in 2017 for hilarious gags like his faux-disastrous opening musical quantity the place he scolded backup dancers for ruining his grand entrance.
Preserve a watch out for the return of “Carpool Karoake,” Corden’s profitable recurring late night time section, which took to the aisles final yr with John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Keith City, Religion Hill and Neil Diamond.
Why the present issues:
Detractors might dismiss the awards present as out-of-touch. However Lipshutz says the Grammys are “as very important as ever.”
“It’s the last word honor, particularly as a result of it’s voted on by friends,” Lipshutz stated. “In the identical approach that an artist nonetheless strives to be No. 1 on the Scorching 100 or have a No. 1 album, artists and managers and labels care loads in regards to the Grammys.”
And with the music business extra fractured and divergent than ever earlier than due to applied sciences like streaming, YouTube and SoundCloud, the Grammys supply a uncommon alternative for the business’s prime names to collect below the identical roof.
Lifetime Achievement Award:
Neil Diamond, Tina Turner and Queen are among the many artists receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards this yr, and emotional celebrations of their legacies are anticipated.
If there are any dry eyes left in the home, nation stars Maren Morris, Eric Church and the Brothers Osborne will carry out a tribute honoring the victims of the mass capturing final yr in Las Vegas on the Route 91 Harvest Pageant.
Potential shockers: No clear favorites have emerged, that means every of the key classes are wide-open races, in keeping with Lipshutz.
For Greatest New Artist, the Billboard editorial director is placing his cash on R&B singer Khalid. Nevertheless, SZA or Lil Uzi Vert may rating an upset due to this yr’s love affair with hip hop.
Newcomer Julia Michaels’ “Points” is the darkish horse for Tune of the Yr, however Lipshutz thinks the singer may observe within the footsteps of one other “new pop voice” who gained in 2014: Lorde, who picked up a trophy for her breakout hit, “Royals.”
Document of the Yr is a producer’s award, differing from the songwriter-honoring Tune of the Yr. There was no greater hit in 2018 than “Despacito,” by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and sung largely in Spanish, and a victory for the crossover smash could be a shocking landmark for Latin music. However the Recording Academy loves Bruno Mars, Lipshutz notes, so the funky “24Ok Magic” may give the song-and-dance man his sixth Grammy.
It’s anybody’s guess who will emerge with Album of the Yr. Lipshutz says Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” looks like “probably the most very important album of the yr” and captures an artist “in his absolute prime.” Plus, Lamar’s been nominated on this class for his earlier two albums and been shut out, first by Macklemore in 2014 and most lately by Taylor Swift in 2016.
However don’t rely JAY-Z out, who picked up his first Album of the Yr nomination in his illustrious profession for “four:44.” Might years of overlooking Hova get voters to offer the award to one in every of hip hop’s most enduring figures?
The place to observe: The Grammys kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS. E!’s “Stay from the Purple Carpet” airs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.