By: Jaimee Jakobczak
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will be thrust upon us this Sunday, February 12, live from the Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The star-studded event is always met with rich enthusiasm from nominees and viewers alike, and while it’s fun to see who takes home the awards at the end of the night, we know the real draw to the show is always the performers. We’ve got your lowdown on the mostly highly anticipated collaborations and performances you’ll want to be sure to tune in for!
CHANCE THE RAPPER
This 23-year-old from Chicago has quickly gained widespread popularity since his latest album “Coloring Book” was released on Apple Music last year, which made history by being the first ever streaming-only album to receive a Grammy nomination. The young rapper has made waves with his impressive self-promotion-sans the aid of a record label-and is sure to put on an energetic set at the star-studded ceremony. Chance is up for a whopping 7 Grammys this year including Best New Artist and Best Rap Song.
THE WEEKND & DAFT PUNK
The elusive French duo, Daft Punk, will be making their return to the Grammy stage, which also happens to be their first live performance since they appeared at the 2014 awards. This time around, they’re teaming up with Canadian R&B artist, The Weeknd; the two collaborated on The Weeknd’s massive, Starboy. While The Weeknd’s latest album has received critical acclaim, it was released after this year’s entry deadline so he’s only nominated as a contributor to Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” which is no small feat in itself. Daft Punk haven’t released a follow up to 2013’s “Random Access Memories,” so they’re also off the nominations list but their performance with The Weeknd is one you’ll definitely want to watch.
This year marks Bruno Mars’ 5th return to the Grammy stage, and his first appearance in the last four years. It’s easy to understand why the Hawaiian native keeps getting asked to return-the man is in a league of his own when it comes to performing. With the unmistakable success of his latest full length release “24k Magic,” Bruno is sure to dazzle and dance his way into your hearts this Sunday, if he hasn’t already done so. Mars’ name is noticeably absent from the nominees list this year, because like The Weeknd, “24k Magic” didn’t make the release deadline, but that just means we’ll probably be seeing him again next year; Mars is however nominated as a contributor to Adele’s “25.”
Beyonce is leading the way with nominations this year, boasting an impressive 9 nods including Album of the Year for “Lemonade.” The visual album had heads turning when it was released and we have no doubt in our minds that Bey has been cooking up something special for us this Sunday. The singer recently announced that she is pregnant with twins, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she won’t be bringing her A-game! If history is any indicator, this will be the most talked about performance for weeks to come, so don’t miss out!
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST & ANDERSON.PAAK
Hip hop fans will be pleased to see A Tribe Called Quest grace the stage with Anderson .Paak. The two collaborated on Tribe’s latest “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service” album, which isn’t up for any awards this year, but we predict we’ll see a nomination for it at next year’s event. Anderson .Paak, on the other hand, is a strong contender in the Best New Artist category, despite being well recognized in the hip hop scene for the last couple of years. It wasn’t until the release of “Compton” and now developing as Dr. Dre’s protégé that we’re really starting to see attention turning to .Paak…but believe me when I tell you, it was a long time coming. While it was previously reported that the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl would be joining Tribe and .Paak, the committee recently recanted saying they had “announced prematurely” before Grohl signed on to the idea. Rest assured, this mash up of the legendary Tribe and the dynamic .Paak is definitely going to be a worthwhile listen.
Adele’s “25” was the biggest selling album of both 2015 and 2016-and now it’s up for Album of the Year. While the Grammy’s don’t necessarily choose the winners based on album sales, they do often impact the final votes so we’d be surprised if Adele went home empty handed this Sunday. Adele is poised to perform at least one song off the popular release, and fans have got their fingers crossed that we don’t see her falling victim to any pesky technical glitches like we witnessed at last year’s ceremony. Adele has been outspoken about her at times crippling stage fright, but we’re confident she’s going to pull of this performance without issue, and we’re insanely excited to hear those powerhouse vocal chords in action again!
ALICIA KEYS & MAREN MORRIS
Country music is well represented at this year’s awards, which is set to feature performances by Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and breakout star, Maren Morris, who will be hitting the stage with Grammy veteran, Alicia Keys. Morris is up for 4 awards this year including Best New Artist and Best Country Album for her debut “Hero.” Morris and Keys have collaborated previously on CMT Crossroads and we’re sure that they’ve been fine tuning something special for us. Keys isn’t nominated this year, but as a 15 time Grammy winner, we’re sure she’s been giving Morris some solid advice for her first appearance and we’re in for a powerful collab.
It’ll be an eventful night for music’s biggest superstars and personally, we can’t wait to see and hear what they’ve been preparing for us!
Edited by: Rebecca Besnos
Jaimee Jakobczak is a budding Canadian writer whose work has been published in The Huffington Post and various online media publications. She holds a diploma in Audio Production and Engineering from Metalworks Institute and spent several years working as a studio recording engineer and live technician. Not one to be tied down to one avenue, her passion for politics, health, and pop culture have driven her to pursue a career in writing and she is currently putting the finishing touches on her first fictional novel.