by Nicole Eisenberg
The Grammys are an awards show without many awards these days. More and more performances are inching their way into the program, turning music’s biggest night into music’s biggest concert.
For starters, Sunday’s 59th annual music ceremony will be hosted by British comedy phenomenon James Corden. We can expect the host to both sing for us and unveil another of his now-famous “Carpool Karaoke” segments.
We also can expect creative collaborations, which are sure to get people talking as they push the norms in the music world. Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl is set to team up with the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest and the up-and-coming sensation Anderson Paak. Similarly, new collaborations are being formed between The Weeknd and Daft Punk from their work on the hit album Starboy.
Some of the performances are likely to be tributes to music giants who are no longer with us to take the stage. The audience could expect tributes to David Bowie, Prince and George Michael, all of whom challenged the stereotypical masculinity in music.
Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, was nominated for several awards at this year’s Grammys. This is obviously a bit unusual as Bowie will be unable to collect his awards if he wins. However, this is not the first time this has occurred. In 2001, R&B artist Aaliyah died suddenly in a plane crash while finishing her album, which her family later released to the public. The album was nominated for several Grammy awards.
When Adele and Beyoncé step onstage, it will be because these music superstars headline the nominations. Beyoncé and Adele are battling for the gramophones in the bestowed categories of record, song and album of the year. Beyoncé leads the pack with nine nominations followed by Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nominations. Chance the Rapper is not far behind with seven nominations, including Best New Artist.
One current star who will not be performing is Frank Ocean because he’s choosing to boycott the Grammys this year. Ocean’s long-anticipated album Blonde was not nominated for any awards because of his decision not to submit the album for consideration. This was intentional, as Ocean is protesting what he sees as the Grammys’ historical failure to recognize black artists.
This year’s Grammy Awards ceremony continues the trend toward fewer awards, shifting the focus toward entertaining musical performances. Nevertheless, there are sure to be jaw-dropping moments beyond the glamorous dresses sparkling on the red carpet this Sunday.