50th Grammy awards hope to bring back glamour

February 17th, 2008 - 1:35 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Amy Winehouse
Los Angeles, Feb 9 (DPA) As Hollywood award seasons go, this year is an unmitigated flop. Thanks to the screenwriters’ strike, the Golden Globes were effectively cancelled, while many of the glitziest Oscar parties have been called off for fear that the same fate could befall Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.

That could be a blessing for Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, which received a waiver from the disgruntled scribes. That means that the royalty of rock music, country, hip-hop, pop, jazz, R&B and just about every musical genre with any commercial power will gather to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the recording industry’s premier awards.

The roster of competitors, performers and announcers reads like a who’s who of the music world, though there’s no guarantee they’ll all show up.

The biggest question mark - hanging over British retro-soul diva Amy Winehouse, who’s nominated for six awards - straightened into an exclamation point when it was announced late Thursday that she was denied a visa by the US State Department, apparently over her marijuana arrest last year in Norway and generally open drug abuse.

Currently in rehab, Winehouse may now perform via satellite.

The other big rumour in circulation is that Michael Jackson is planning to offer a comeback performance to drum up interest in the 25th anniversary re-release of his hit album Thriller. As if anyone cared anymore.

Even without Wacko Jacko, there should be no lack of excitement for viewers interested in seeing the primo stars of the music world strut their stuff.

As usual, the most intriguing vignettes will feature once-in-a-lifetime collaborations that can only happen at the Grammys. Beyonce will team up with the grandmother of sexy soul singers Tina Turner, Fergie will be duetting with John Legend, Josh Groban will mix it up with Andrea Bocelli and Aretha Franklin will go head to head with Mary J Blige.

One other pairing that could make up for having to watch the droning monotony of acceptance speeches is the collaboration between Cirque Du Soleil’s Beatles tribute, Love, and the cast of last year’s acclaimed movie based on Beatles songs, Across the Universe.

If that’s not enough to entice you to the three-hour show, maybe you’ll find something to like in a performance roster that also features Kid Rock, Rihanna, Feist, The Foo Fighters with John Paul Jones, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, Tony Bennett, Cher, Nelly Furtado, Quincy Jones, Prince, Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, Taylor Swift and Stevie Wonder.

Further stretching the scheduling is a plan to intersperse the broadcast with classic moments from Grammy history. Just hope that producers have the good taste to leave out the notorious kiss from a few years back between Madonna and Britney Spears, who now languishes in a mental ward.

Then there are the awards themselves - a whopping 110 of them.

Thankfully, most will be handed out long before the live telecast starts rolling. But in the main categories, it’s anyone’s guess who will take home the trophies.

Kanye West, who has been snubbed in the past by Grammy voters, is up for a leading eight awards, including album of the year and best rap solo performance. A win or a loss for West could spell mayhem - given the hissy fits that have followed his previous failures.

Other top Grammy contenders include the Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, T-Pain and Timbaland, each with five nominations.

But nobody watches the Grammy for the prizes. That’s almost like watching a Victoria’s Secret fashion show for the fancy stitching.

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