American singer Olivia Rodrigo arrives at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas for the Grammy Awards ceremony, April 3, 2022 (AFP / ANGELA WEISS)
Confirmed superstars, rising stars and even a nonagenarian crooner: all generations are represented on Sunday for the 64th edition of the Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, where the eclectic jazzman Jon Batiste, who has already won four awards, and the revelation Olivia Rodrigo leave favorites.
The ceremony was to take place on January 31 in Los Angeles, as tradition dictates, but the pandemic passed through there and the organizers had to postpone the event and fall back on Las Vegas, a city of parties and games accustomed with sequins and stars.
The main ceremony is due to start at 5:00 p.m. local time (00:00 GMT) but the stars have been parading since midday on the red carpet and are being presented with the first awards, during a pre-gala.
The big favorite is the talented jazzman Jon Batiste, with eleven nominations in total. He has already won four Grammys, including that for the music of the animated film “Soul” for which he received an Oscar.
Jon Batiste, jazzman, big favorite of the Grammy Awards (AFP / ANGELA WEISS)
Photographed on the red carpet, he told AFP he felt “so happy”.
Virtuoso pianist, conductor, composer and anti-racist activist, Jon Batiste is also well known to the general American public: since 2015, he has been musical director of the popular television show “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.
Heir to a long line of musicians from New Orleans, the 35-year-old artist defends his album “We Are” and the title “Freedom” in the major categories at the Grammy Awards, but he competes in almost all styles ( R&B, jazz, classical, etc.)
Canadian megastar Justin Bieber, social media darling, is nominated in eight categories, as are Grammy darling HER and rising star Doja Cat, at this ceremony hosted by comedian Trevor Noah.
Another darling of the Academy, Billie Eilish, who has just obtained an Oscar with the song of “James Bond” “No time to die”, seeks seven trophies but risks finding on her way Olivia Rodrigo, even younger than she with only 19 years old.
Some recording professionals predict that the great pop sensation launched by the Disney series “High School Musical” is able to repeat the grand slam achieved by Billie Eilish two years ago, by winning the four most prestigious trophies.
It is in any case given as an ultra-favorite in the category “revelation of the year”.
– Kanye vs. Taylor –
With six nominations, the improbable duo formed by pop diva Lady Gaga and crooner Tony Bennett, aged 95 and absent from the evening because he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, could create a surprise with the cover album “Love For Sale”.
Combination photos showing Lady Gaga (L) at the BAFTAs in London on March 13, 2022, and crooner Tony Bennett in Everett, Massachusetts on August 8, 2019 (AFP / Tolga Akmen)
The whimsical Kanye West will also be in the running with his album “Donda”. He will take on Taylor Swift’s “Evermore,” whose microphone he rudely snatched from her hands in 2009 as she took the stage to receive an award at the MTV Music Awards.
The singer did not wish to compete this year with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”, a re-recording of her 2008 album which had already won four trophies.
Among rappers, the competition opposes Kanye West to the veteran Nas, to J. Cole and to Tyler, the Creator but Drake, who was selected, asked the Academy to withdraw his two candidatures, without giving a reason.
Singer Taylor Swift in New York on November 12, 2021 ( GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Dimitrios Kambouris )
His hit album “Certified Lover Boy” had been royally ignored in the generalist categories during the nominations and the artist, very influential and among the most listened to, has repeatedly taken the beak with the Grammy Awards. He accuses them of confining him to the category of rappers because he is black.
The explosives Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, who ignited the Grammy stage last year by rubbing against each other, legs apart on a giant bed for a duet on the hit “WAP”, will be for this times opponents in the “best rap performance” category.
BTS, sacred monster of K-pop, will defend its planetary success “Butter” but it is its only nomination for the Grammy Awards, where the South Korean group is struggling to impose itself.
He will perform on stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, along with Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Jon Batiste, HER, Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow.
American rapper Kanye West in Beverly Hills on February 9, 2020 (AFP / Jean-Baptiste Lacroix)
And Kanye West? As named, he is invited to the room but the media think he is no longer welcome on stage. In question, attacks on social networks against comedian Pete Davidson, in a relationship with his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, and Trevor Noah which earned “Ye” a brief suspension from Instagram.
Trevor Noah spoke out against the decision to exclude him from the evening.
The organizers of the Grammy Awards will be keen to avoid an incident, just a week after the resounding slap of Will Smith at the Oscars, which eclipsed the party and the artists rewarded.
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A galaxy of stars sparkle in Las Vegas for the 64th Grammy Awards