Grammys 2012: Chris Brown, Tony Bennett, Alicia Keys added to bill
The Recording Academy and producers continue their slow unveiling of the lineup for Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony. Following big reveals that Adele, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Paul McCartney would perform at the show, another handful of performance slots have been announced.
Current nominee Chris Brown will return to the Grammy stage as part of a special performance highlighting dance and electronic music. The singer will be joined by Deadmau5, Foo Fighters, David Guetta and Lil Wayne.
Also added to the lineup Tuesday were Tony Bennett with Carrie Underwood, and Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt. Keys and Raitt are set for a musical tribute to soul-jazz legend Etta James, who died last month.
The two had been at a pre-Grammys party before the incident and were both scheduled to perform at that year’s ceremony.
His performance could signal the end of his very rocky road to redemption.
Brown is currently serving five years' probation for the felony attack; fans of Rihanna have expressed disappointment over the singer making a request to reduce a restraining order against Brown to Level 1, which means the two can have contact, provided Brown doesn’t “harass, annoy or molest” her. This, of course, has sparked reconciliation rumors.
Rihanna defended the decision, telling Rolling Stone: "I just didn't want to make it more difficult for him professionally. What he did was a personal thing -- it had nothing to do with his career. Saying he has to be a hundred feet away from me, he can't perform at awards shows -- that definitely made it difficult for him."
Brown’s personal narrative following the assault has been a mixed bag, at best. He spent much of 2010 seeking redemption and the greater part of last year making numerous missteps in the media, including Twitter rants, garnering criticism from GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; a violent meltdown backstage at “Good Morning America”; and the leak of a nude photo. Buzzy performances at the BET Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards and the American Music Awards (Rihanna appeared at none of these), and his 2011 album, “F.A.M.E.,” helped bolster his comeback.
The disc, an acronym for both “Fans Are My Everything” and “Forgiving All My Enemies,” is his first to debut at No. 1. The album, led by Grammy-nominated singles “Deuces” and “Look at Me Now” (up for two nods this year), is full of sexually explicit grooves and supercharged backbeats and returned Brown to radio prominence. The record is vying for R&B album against works by R. Kelly, El DeBarge, Ledisi and Kelly Price. A win Sunday would mark Brown's first Grammy, despite nominations in five of the last six years.
Rihanna is scheduled to appear alongside Coldplay at Sunday's awards show, where they will likely perform their duet, “Princess of China.” She has four nods, including one for album of the year for "Loud."
Previously announced performers also include Jason Aldean; Kelly Clarkson; Glen Campbell with the Band Perry and Blake Shelton; Bruno Mars; Nicki Minaj; and Taylor Swift. Adele will also make her much anticipated first live appearance in nearly five months on the Grammy stage.
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2011. The awards will be televised on CBS-TV from Staples Center in Los Angeles, and will be broadcast live except for viewers on the West Coast.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Chris Brown performs on NBC's "Today Show" on July 15, 2011, in New York. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press.