Grammys show aims for spectacle, not drama
LOS ANGELES, United States - The music world gathers in Los Angeles on Sunday (Monday, February 11, in Manila) for the Grammys, with veterans like Elton John and Sting joining the latest stars -- including oddly named indie pop band "fun.", hoping to win big.
Security could be even tighter than usual for the industry's biggest awards show, as LA police watch out for a fugitive suspected cop killer, on the run for 3 days after threatening to murder more officers.
Organizers hope to avoid drama which the Grammys seem to attract -- last year with the death of Whitney Houston on the eve of the show; and a few years before, the infamous Chris Brown-Rihanna domestic assault.
Rihanna is among the stars set to take the stage Sunday night at the Staples Center, along with the likes of Frank Ocean, The Black Keys, Jack White, Kelly Clarkson and Gotye.
But New York band fun. topped nominations announced in December, shortlisted in 6 categories including the key ones of best album ("Some Nights"), song ("We are Young"), record (for producers of "We are Young") and best new artist.
Rap artist Frank Ocean also scored 6 nominations, including for best album (the critically acclaimed "Channel Orange"), record of the year ("Thinkin Bout You"), best new artist and best urban contemporary album.
Also vying for best album are 3-time Grammy winners The Black Keys for "El Camino," British rock-folk group Mumford & Sons for "Babel" and rocker Jack White for "Blunderbuss."
Record of the year contenders also include The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."
Last year's Grammys were dominated by British soul songstress Adele, who collected 6 awards, including album of the year for "21" -- only the second woman in Grammy history to collect so many awards in a single go.
Nominated for best song this year were British balladeer Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," Miguel's "Adorn," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" and Clarkson's "Stronger," alongside "We Are Young."
In the Grammy show's traditional In Memoriam segment, Elton John will join fellow British stars Mumford & Sons and others in paying tribute to Levon Helm, the late drummer and singer with The Band.
Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar, who died in December, is set to receive a posthumous lifetime achievement Grammy. US singer-songwriter Carole King, known for hits like "You've Got a Friend," is also honored for her whole career.
And Chris Brown could not steer clear of drama, wrecking his Porsche in Beverly Hills, and blaming paparazzi for the crash, police said.
No one was injured in the crash, and Brown was photographed being hugged by Rihanna, his on-again Barbadian-pop star girlfriend, after the incident.
LA police already were due to be out in force to protect the stars and crowds -- but also on the lookout for former cop Christopher Dorner, accused of killing 3 people and threatening to kill more officers, in a chilling online manifesto.
A vast manhunt has been under way since Thursday, but he has so far evaded capture. Former LA deputy police chief John Miller said Dorner could be attracted to the large concentration of police.
"There will be the Grammys Sunday in Los Angeles, where you will have a major police command post," said Miller.
"One problem is, can they get enough cops to police the Grammys, when they have had everyone out deployed on this?"
On the eve of the show, a leaked letter from US television network CBS -- which broadcasts the Grammys live -- warned stars not to reveal too much skin on stage Sunday night.
"Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered... Thong-type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare flesh under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack," it said. - Rappler.com