This year’s Grammy Awards are shaping up to be like none we’ve ever seen before.
The show will look different, swapping out the Staples Center stage for outdoor sets at the Los Angeles Convention Center, as well as remotely from other places. We’ll see newcomers to the Grammys stage, including BTS and Silk Sonic, and welcome back artists such as Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish.
We could watch Beyoncé become the most-winning artist in Grammy history: With 24 trophies already, she needs eight wins to beat conductor Georg Solti’s record of 31. Queen Bey needs just four to become the most-winning female artist (Alison Krauss is the current record holder with 27).
Will previous new artist winner Dua Lipa get her first album, record or song of the year win? Will Megan Thee Stallion get good news? Will Sturgill Simpson win for best rock album after winning best country album just a few years ago?
From the breakout nominees to the surprising snubs, here’s everything you need to know going into this year’s Grammys.
What time are the Grammys?
The hybrid show airs live at 8 ET/5 PT on Sunday, March 14 on CBS. The awards were initially slated for Jan. 31 at LA’s Staples Center but were postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The show will now be held at the smaller Los Angeles Convention Center, as well as remotely from other places.
How can I watch or livestream the Grammys?
If you have regular TV, you can tune into CBS. If you don’t, the show will stream live on new service Paramount+. You can also access the show if you have a TV packages through services such as YouTube TV and Hulu live TV.
Early award presentations and arrivals will stream on grammy.com starting at 3 p.m. ET.
Some of the biggest and most exciting names in music today are lined up to perform this year.
Taylor Swift will return to the stage for the first time since 2016, when her first official pop outing “1989” won album of the year. Fellow album of the year nominees Dua Lipa, Haim, Post Malone, Black Pumas and Coldplay’s Chris Martin are slated to perform.
BTS, Bad Bunny, Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Mickey Guyton, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Lil Baby, John Mayer, Megan Thee Stallion, Maren Morris, Roddy Ricch, Harry Styles and Silk Sonic (the new duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) round out the performer list.
Notable 2021 Grammy nominees
Beyoncé is the one to beat with an eye-popping nine nominations, including two record-of-the-year nods for “Black Parade” and her “Savage” remix with Megan Thee Stallion.
Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch and Taylor Swift trail Beyoncé with six nominations each.
Dua Lipa, who won best new artist at the 2019 awards, is a contender in the record, song and album of the year categories.
Ricch is this year’s leading male nominee, with nods in major categories such as record and song of the year. (Other record of the year contenders include “Colors” by Black Pumas, “Say So” by Doja Cat and “Circles” by Post Malone.)
Swift is up for album of the year for “Folklore” and song of the year for “Cardigan.” If she wins album of the year, Swift will become the first female solo artist to win that honor three times. (She previously won for “Fearless” and “1989.”)
“Chilombo” (Jhené Aiko), “Black Pumas” deluxe edition (Black Pumas), “Everyday Life” (Coldplay), “Djesse Vol. 3” (Jacob Collier), “Women In Music Pt. III” (Haim) and “Hollywood’s Bleeding” (Post Malone) round out the best album hopefuls. Also nominated for best song are “Circles” (Post Malone), “I Can’t Breathe” (H.E.R.) and “If The World Was Ending” (JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels).
This year’s new artist hopefuls are Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Noah Cyrus, D Smoke, Doja Cat, Kaytranada and Megan Thee Stallion.
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Who got snubbed?
Super Bowl halftime show headliner The Weeknd was curiously shut out of the nominations, causing backlash and raising questions about voting transparency. Perhaps there was some confusion over where to place the genre-fluid artist, whose songs, including chart-dominating “Blinding Lights,” incorporate elements of pop, R&B and hip-hop. It’s a head-scratcher we’ll be talking about long after the awards are handed out.
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The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks) have a dozen Grammy wins but were paid dust this year, with no nominations for “Gaslighter,” their first album in 14 years, save a producer nod for Jack Antonoff.
The Grammy dry spell continues 13-time-nominated Katy Perry, who scored no nominations for her polarizing 2017 effort “Witness.” Her latest album, “Smile,” was hardly a critics’ favorite, but it could have snuck into a fairly wide-open pop field with its hooky title track and introspective “What Makes a Woman.”
Run the Jewels, the rap duo of Killer Mike and El-P, gave us one of 2020’s most urgent and incendiary albums in “RTJ4,” released amid the protests against police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The fact that the album was snubbed across the board, including in all rap categories, shows how painfully out of touch Recording Academy voters still are.
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Who’s hosting the Grammys?
Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show” and one-time Grammy nominee (for best comedy album), is taking the master of ceremonies reins for the first time.
“Despite the fact that I am extremely disappointed that the Grammys have refused to have me sing or be nominated for best pop album, I am thrilled to be hosting this auspicious event,” he said about hosting the show.
In a tribute to independent music venues impacted by the pandemic, Grammys have tapped employees of the Troubadour and The Hotel Café in Los Angeles, New York’s Apollo Theater and Nashville’s The Station Inn to present awards throughout the night.
Contributing: Patrick Ryan