Grammy Awards promise tributes, showdowns Monday night
Will victory go to the Swift? Or to the rap of the “Butterfly”?
Or is everybody waiting for The Weeknd?
Monday night’s 58th annual Grammy Awards will feature a showdown between Taylor Swift, who received seven nominations; “To Pimp a Butterfly” artist Kendrick Lamar, who topped all performers with 11 nods; and The Weeknd, who equaled Swift’s tally.
Swift was nominated in all Big Three categories — album of the year, song of the year and record of the year — for her album “1989” and song “Blank Space.” Lamar will compete against her for album (“Butterfly”) and song (“Alright”); The Weeknd is also up for album (“Beauty Behind the Madness”) as well as record (“Can’t Feel My Face”).
It’s an interesting mix in what has become an interesting year, and the Grammys are making the most of it.
The list of performers is long and varied: In addition to Swift, Lamar and The Weeknd, the stage will also be open to Adele, Justin Bieber, Ellie Goulding, Alice Cooper, Pitbull, Skrillex, Little Big Town, Meghan Trainor and Rihanna.
The cast from the Broadway smash “Hamilton” is scheduled to perform a number — a notable presentation for the Grammys, which usually leaves the musical theater performances to the Tonys.
Moreover, Lady Gaga will pay homage to David Bowie with an “experiential tribute” and “multisensory testament,” and Eagles Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit and Bernie Leadon, joined by “Take It Easy” co-writer Jackson Browne, will salute Glenn Frey.
Bowie and Frey died in January.
The show also plans to honor the late Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire as the band’s surviving members present the award for record of the year. White died February 4. The Grammys just announced that Earth, Wind & Fire will receive one of its Lifetime Achievement Awards, at a seperate ceremony in the spring.
Lionel Richie will be honored as the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year.
And, oh yeah, there are other awards — though only a handful of the 83 categories will be presented in prime time. (Sorry, fans of liner notes and orchestral performance.)
The big one, album of the year, features not only Swift, Lamar and The Weeknd but also bluesy rockers Alabama Shakes (“Sound & Color”) and rising country singer Chris Stapleton (“Traveller”).
Who will win the race? Only the envelope knows.
The 58th annual Grammy Awards will be hosted by LL Cool J. The show, which will take place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, airs 8 p.m. Monday on CBS.