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Grammy to unveil nominees in prime-time special

October 16, 2008 |  8:15 am

Grammys Call it the Grammy draft special.

This year, the Grammys will broadcast nominee selections in prime time for the first time ever. "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!! - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" will air Dec. 3 on CBS, broadcast live for viewers on the East Coast at 10 p.m.

The triple exclamation point special will reveal nominees in "at least" six categories, according to a press release distributed this morning from the Recording Academy. The one-hour program also promises to showcase a live performance or two from past Grammy winners.

Tickets will be available to the public for the event, which will be held at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, located across the street from Grammys site the Staples Center. The 2009 Grammys are set for Feb. 8.

"This event allows us to spotlight even more once-in-a-lifetime performances by great Grammy-winning artists in anticipation of the 51st Grammy Awards," said Ken Ehrlich, the long-time co-executive producer of the Grammys, in the statement.

Today's announcement does not reveal who will performing or presenting -- to be "announced shortly" -- but tickets will be on sale on the morning of Oct. 27 via all Ticketmaster outlets. Nor does it stipulate that all performers must be living, perhaps setting up a reprise of the duet between Alicia Keys and Frank Sinatra.

Those in the audience will also be treated to a non-televised live performance by one of the artists in attendance. Proceeds for "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live" will go to the Grammy Museum, which, as previously reported, will officially open to the public on Dec. 6.

While the Grammys haven't televised its nomination unveiling in prime time before, the press conference is generally stacked with star power. Last year, for instance, journalists were treated to appearances by the Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift and Linkin Park, among others. In 2006, the nominations were revealed by Mary J. Blige, KT Tunstall, James Blunt, Justin Timberlake and Rascal Flatts.

The Recording Academy had earlier announced that nominations would be unveiled Dec. 4. A spokeswoman confirms that all nominations will be revealed on Dec. 3, but only a handful will be shown on the CBS special. 

-- Todd Martens

Photo: AP

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