Grammy Awards more about the performances
MINNEAPOLIS — Do you really care whether Mumford & Sons or fun. wins the Grammy for album of the year? Probably not. The No. 1 reason to tune into "music's biggest night" Sunday is the live performances.
In 31⁄2 hours, fewer than a dozen trophies will be handed out but there will be more than 15 noteworthy performances. Grammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich always concocts some unexpected, and unforgettable, duets.
Remember Prince and Beyonce? He was in purple, she in pink as they mashed up "Let's Go Crazy" and "Crazy in Love" to open the evening. Remember Elton John and Eminem? The gay rocker and gay-bashing rapper built bridges by collaborating on Em's song "Stan" about an obsessed fan.
This year Elton will team up with British newcomer Ed Sheeran. Country stars Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert will duet. And Sting is expected to join Rihanna and Bruno Mars. Will it be must-see TV or another Grammy train wreck? (Who can forget Taylor Swift's off-key moment in 2010, dueting with Stevie Nicks on "Rhiannon"?)
Justin Timberlake, who hasn't released an album since 2007, is slated to perform just because he is Justin Timberlake and will boost TV ratings — wardrobe malfunction or not.
Even if you don't have a horse in any of the Grammy races, you will want to see if Swift can handle singing live (she'll open the show), if Jennifer Lopez's outfit is too much for prime time and if Maroon 5's Adam Levine has any new tattoos. Heck, you might want to hear the soft-spoken Prince present a prize. Wonder if he'll be paired again with Beyonce, who's also a presenter?
Of course, the awards program will be stocked with newer names who aren't as well-known as last year's big winner, Adele. The Lumineers, Frank Ocean, fun., the Black Keys and Mumford & Sons will perform.