Upcoming Grammys promise to entertain with big name collaborations

David Lee, Blogger

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Sunday, and I could not be more excited. Each of the three major awards shows — the Emmys, the Oscars and the Grammys — has its own style and flair, but the Grammys is the most entertaining simply because it is the least focused on the awards themselves.

Who could forget when Pink performed her hit, “Glitter in the Air,” while flying around the stage on trapezes? What about when Eminem performed a duet of his hit single, “Stan,” with Elton John after being criticized for his homophobic lyrics? Even as recently as 2012, Adele won a record six awards and then sang a perfect rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” shortly after undergoing vocal chord surgery. These are the moments the Grammys produce, and there are sure to be more this year.

The major attraction is a performance featuring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving members of The Beatles. The duet is the most likely to have historic implications, as the pair will be honored at the Academy’s Special Merit Awards the night before and will be featured in a performance special the night after. They have not performed together since 2009, so this performance is bound to be a big deal.

The Grammys will also host performances from more contemporary artists. Performances including Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Jay Z, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lorde, Taylor Swift, John Legend and Robin Thicke – basically a who’s who of current artists –  will satisfy the masses with renditions of their 2013 hits. 

However, as was the case with Eminem and Elton John, Grammy performances really shine when the platform produces music that would not exist otherwise.

This year’s lineup contains several unique combinations of artists.  Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson will partner with Grammy-nominated artist Blake Shelton to give a country performance featuring the genre’s major music innovators of the 20th century.

Sara Bareilles, who is nominated for two awards, will perform with Carole King. This is the only pairing for which I have zero expectations. Bareilles has a tendency to bore me with her music, and her songs just aren’t good enough to create the emotional response they strive for. I really hope they prove me wrong.

The final grouping has me the most excited: Metallica will perform with Grammy Cultural Ambassador to China and Virtuosic pianist Lang Lang.  The last time Metallica gave its music a classical twist, 1999’s “S&M,” I listened to the album so much that my conservative Christian mother told me that it was bad for my health.  The band’s lead guitarist, Kirk Hammett, told Rolling Stone their Grammy performance “is gonna be completely insane.” I’m in.

With a lineup like this, I am positive that at least one standout performance will have Twitter and Facebook ablaze. And who knows, maybe one of them will even win something.

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