In the days leading up to Sunday's Grammy Awards, which Pop & Hiss will be covering live, this blog will tackle various Grammy artists, personalities, categories and just plain oddities. For even more Grammy info, check Awards Tracker and The Envelope.
There’s plenty of suspense sealed up in the envelopes at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, but the true winners and losers on Sunday night will be determined during the performances — the show’s global stage can create a pivot point in the life of an artist.
“To perform at the Grammys is a relief because you know you’ve finally made it to the summit after running so hard, so fast and so long,” said will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas as he watched rehearsals on Thursday at Staples Center. “But then there’s a whole new set of anxieties: ‘I hope my performance goes off well, this is going to define me as an artist and a performer.’”
The Peas aren’t on this year’s show — the six-time Grammy winners had their world-is-watching moment last weekend at the Super Bowl halftime show — so they can sit back and watch other acts look for the risk and reward of plugging into the amplifier of pop culture during the CBS broadcast. There are plenty of storylines to keep track of this year, here’s a look at some burning questions that follow some key performers into the glare of this year’s Grammy spotlight.
Will Rihanna call in sick? The singer has been fighting a nasty flu bug and there’s been considerable anxiety that she might not be ready for her microphone moment — which would only qualify as the second-worst Grammy weekend of her life considering her horrific 2009 night when she was assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown on the eve of the show. On Friday, though, she soldiered through her (literally) fiery performance of “What's My Name” with Drake and looked determined beneath an especially impressive explosion of red curls.