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Youngest Kardashians Open Up; `Girls` Star Talks about Success of Show; SHOWBIZ at the Grammys

Aired February 7, 2013 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Tonight, a stunning night of "SHOWBIZ News Maker" interviews, from reality stars to Grammy stars.

First up, keeping up with the Jenners. Kylie and Kendall are right here tonight, and they are spilling big secrets about new Jenner and Kardashian drama.

Plus, I can`t wait for this "Girls" star, Allison Williams is with me, revealing everything you want to know about the hottest show on TV.

Also I am one-on-one with superstar Grammy nominee Ed Sheeran, just days before his big Grammy duet with Elton John.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.

Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer. And we`ve got a must-see special at the bottom of the hour. I am excited to bring you "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys," but first, we`re kicking off a big night of "SHOWBIZ Newsmakers by keeping up with the Jenners.

We know 17-year-old Kendall and 15-year-old Kylie Jenner as the younger sisters of the Kardashians, and there`s so much more that we want to know, that we need to know from them tonight, including all about their brand-new careers as two of the youngest fashion designers in America.

They are just launching their spring collection. It`s called Kendall and Kylie. It`s hitting Pac Sun stores this week. They are here with us in New York tonight to hang out, getting ready for the big snowstorm that`s going to really wreak havoc on this town and hopefully not your plans for your big launch. It`s great to have you guys here.

KENDALL JENNER, KARDASHIAN SISTER: Thank you. Nice to be here.

HAMMER: Of course, everybody is always talking about your family, but lately, of course, everybody is talking about Kim because she`s pregnant. So I need to know about how is she doing and how she`s feeling.

KYLIE JENNER, KARDASHIAN SISTER: She`s doing amazing. Doing great. She`s not too big yet. But -- so it hasn`t really hit me. But she`s doing good.

HAMMER: What`s the experience been like for the family since learning that news, because obviously, it`s really big news. I don`t know if you were expect accommodating it. Maybe not. But has the family just been so over- the-moon excited? I certainly know that your mom is.

KENDALL JENNER: So excited. I have no idea for a while. I think Kylie was, like, one of the first ones to know out of everybody. Or Kourtney and then Kylie.

KYLIE JENNER: No, I was the first one.

KENDALL JENNER: OK. She was the first one to know. I find out Christmas Eve. I have no idea. Then she told me Christmas Eve at our Christmas Eve party.

But yes, we`re really excited. I mean, it`s really good for her.

COOPER: And being an aunt is actually pretty cool, isn`t it?

KYLIE JENNER: Yes, I love it.

HAMMER: At such a young age. You know, that`s mind-blowing to a lot of people. I don`t think I became an uncle until I was in my 30s, which was very recently, of course.

Now unfortunately, you know, we want the best for Kim and I know it`s been stressful for her for a lot of different reasons, but she wants the divorce settled. That is something a lot of people have been talking about, and she`s talked a great deal about it. I watched your mom, Kris, on "The View" saying that the stress is starting to affect her. And I want to watch a bit of that with you, if we could roll that.


KRIS JENNER, REALITY TV STAR: Kim has been going through this divorce. For 72 days they were married, and it`s been months and months and months, a year and a half, you know, trying to do that. So she has been under a lot of stress because of it. And so the doctors just told her. She had a really tough week, and they said, you know, you really -- the stress is going to be a big problem if she doesn`t be careful.


HAMMER: Yes. I have to imagine it`s tough watching your sister dealing with that level of stress. What`s that been like?

KENDALL JENNER: I mean, I think she`s handling it really well. But yes, I mean, it`s just not cool.

HAMMER: Has it been tough for you seeing her go through this?

KYLIE JENNER: I mean, of course. She`s our sister. I just -- I want her to be happy. And I know she doesn`t -- she obviously wants to be divorced. So I feel like I just want it to all work out as soon as possible.

KENDALL JENNER: Because she is pregnant, I don`t want the stress.

HAMMER: Yes, and look, the one thing that we`ve seen about Kim throughout the years is her level of resilience. Right?


HAMMER: I mean, she is somebody who has dealt with some tough stuff in the past and always manages to rise above it. You do want, obviously, for someone not to be stressed out when they`re expecting.

And of course, she`s having a baby with Kanye West. Everybody is more excited about this. This is going to be one of the most closely watched pregnancies, perhaps, in history next to the royal family. Do you think it`s bigger than the royal family?

KYLIE JENNER: I don`t know. Pretty close.

HAMMER: What`s it been like having Kanye now a part of the family? I know you guys have known him for years, but it`s a little -- it takes on a different tone when they`re officially in a relationship and now going to be parents together.


KYLIE JENNER: Yes. He`s very caring. I love him. Yes.

HAMMER: What do you think is the biggest thing that would surprise people about Kanye? Because we know him one-dimensionally, you know. We know him from sitting and interviewing him, however much he wants to reveal, but seeing him in that sort of family, what do you think would surprise is?

KYLIE JENNER: He is definitely very family oriented. He fits in great with the family. We like him a lot. He`s very cool.


KYLIE JENNER: He`s a sweetheart.

KENDALL JENNER: Very kind hearted, yes.

HAMMER: A sweetheart.

You guys obviously have to deal with a lot of tough stuff being said about you. Look, it`s part of being in the public eye, right? And you have learned from your family how to deal with that along the way.

You guys, in particular, though, have had to deal with some really unfortunate stuff that I`ve only wondered why people put this out there. Nasty rumors.

And Kylie, you just went on this Twitter rant, slamming those reports about people saying that Bruce Jenner is not really your father, that your parents are about to divorce. Would you mind if I read your tweet? There it is right there.

KYLIE JENNER : Yes, you can.

HAMMER: You said yes, my father is my father. And no, my parents aren`t getting a divorce. You guys can`t believe any of these magazines. It`s all B.S. To whoever took the time to type the words, on to that magazine, did you have a heart?

Good for you.

KYLIE JENNER: No, I just -- like, I don`t even care that much, but to think, like, they go after my sister, Khloe, saying her father isn`t her father. But like, to think someone will, like, legitimately write a story about a 15-year-old, it doesn`t hurt me, but like, if they wrote it about anyone else that`s really sensitive to that stuff. Like, imagine the things a 15-year-old could do.

Like, imagine someone was like -- like to the extreme. Imagine someone was, like, suicidal.

HAMMER: Somebody who doesn`t quite have their stuff together, or... Fifteen is young. You guys have had to learn to be wise beyond your years at a pretty young age.

KYLIE JENNER: I`m used to it. But like, someone who`s not, like imagine if someone was saying your father isn`t your father or even worse. And then they took that to heart and then, like, actually thought that their father wasn`t their father, just -- just it`s like mind-blowing to me.

HAMMER: But you certainly reacted in a way, I think, a lot of people were applauding. But when you do something like that, look, anybody who may not be in the spotlight can go on Twitter and write anything they want. With your family, there`s a bigger consideration. Do you have to go to -- I don`t know, a publicist, a team member, your mom and say, "Hey, look, I`m going to do this"?

KYLIE JENNER: No, I don`t.

HAMMER: Are you going to sign off on it? You just do it yourself?

KYLIE JENNER: It wasn`t like -- it wasn`t for me. It was just for, like, everyone else, too. The divorce rumors, everything, I`m over it. Like the divorce, especially, with my parents, like those rumors have been going for a while. That`s just annoying. So I don`t think any of us have been talking about that until recently.

HAMMER: Well, good for you. I hope you`ll keep telling people how you feel about them. And look, especially, you know -- no kid wanted to hear, I don`t care how famous you are, no kid wants to hear that they`re parents are splitting up, especially when it`s not true.


HAMMER: Let`s take a look at you guys in action. This is a bonus scene from "Keeping up with the Kardashians." Charles, can we roll that?


KRIS JENNER: Kylie, that`s my jacket and my necklace, OK? No. Hugs aren`t going to get you anywhere, doll? I love you, but you can`t continue to take this stuff out of my closet.

What do you have on? Oh, really? My Louis Vuitton sandals? It`s not a store up there. It really makes me mad.

KENDALL JENNER: You`re our mom. Like, we don`t need to hide some things.

KRIS JENNER: Just because I gave birth, you`re entitled to anything that bring into this house? What are you doing, Kylie?

KYLIE JENER: You dress very sexual.


KENDALL JENNER: You don`t dress your age sometimes.


HAMMER: You do speak your mind, don`t you?

KENDALL JENNER: Yes. I mean, we`re just -- I don`t know. She`s our mom. We like to keep her in line.

HAMMER: For the time being, I think that works. You know, you`re kids, but you also have to this big burgeoning career, this exciting new venture coming up with the new fashion line that is launching this week. So I want the two of you to stay right here. We`re going to get into it, along with I want to find out exactly what inspired you to do the whole fashion line. Kendall and Kylie, don`t go anywhere.

I`m firing up another mega news maker interview for you tonight, as well.

Love these guys. Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance. Overnight sensation Alabama Shakes shaking things up at the Grammys this year. What is it like to go from playing your high-school gym to playing the Grammy stage in a blink of an eye?

Also, I`m very excited about this one, too. One-on-one with Grammy wonder kid Ed Sheeran. The "A Team" star not only up for best song this year; he`s got an epic Grammy night duet scheduled with Elton John.

It`s "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys." This is SBT, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, on HLN.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who do you (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? I`m looking for a job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, actually, I`ve been hosting at the Whitebread (ph) Club.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re hosting, like, a slam poetry night or, like, an open mike night type thing?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, so people come to the restaurant, you like show them where their table is?




HAMMER: Not that there`s anything wrong with that. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT makes "Girls" news with Allison Williams, who plays Marnie on the award-winning hit HBO show, "Girls."

Allison is right here with us tonight. What a difference a season makes, right?

Allison Williams` character, Marnie, is certainly not enjoying the time of her life right now in the sophomore season of "Girls." I mean, Marnie broke up with her boyfriend. She lost her job. She`s working as a hostess. Again, nothing wrong with that, but she`s at a real loss about what to do with her life.

Thank goodness art doesn`t imitate life all the time, because Allison Williams is a big success right now. She happens to be the daughter of one of the most successful and respected news men on television, Brian Williams, and she`s now the spokesperson for Simple Skin Care line.

It is so great to have you here, particularly as a guy who watched from that very first episode and was cheering you guys on from the start.

ALLISON WILLIAMS, ACTRESS: Thank you so much, then.

HAMMER: And I`m sure you hear that all the time.

WILLIAMS: Well, it`s certainly really exciting. I kind of can`t get over it. It feels like so long ago we shot that first episode, and yet it was just like that.

HAMMER: Just reading your intro there, it really just shows the difference between real life and what your character is going through.


HAMMER: People may think that you might be like Marnie. You`re not really at all like Marnie, are you?

WILLIAMS: I`m not. I think fundamentally some elements of how we are as human beings are pretty similar. I think we`re both Type A. I think we both like to sort of have it all together. We`re very organizationally minded, but I think our approaches to friendship and our approaches to relationships and all of that stuff are a little bit different.

I also think she`s a little bit passionless, and she doesn`t really know what she wants out of life and out of her career and love and all of that stuff. And I`ve always been passionate about acting forever and ever. So that`s something that I had a little bit of trouble identifying with.

HAMMER: Yes. She`s finding herself.

WILLIAMS: Definitely. Well, I don`t think she wants to think she`s finding herself. I think she wants to think she`s got it all figured out already.

HAMMER: That is true.

WILLIAMS: But it`s definitely enjoyable to play someone who`s finding herself.

HAMMER: Well, listen, that`s one of the reasons that so many people, particularly young women in that age range in their 20s, are relating to your show.


HAMMER: You talk about sex, and you deal with life and all of the angst that comes along with it in such a natural way. And I`m imagining you have young woman coming up to you all the time...

WILLIAMS: Definitely.

HAMMER: ... saying, "You guyed nailed it. You got it exactly right."

WILLIAMS: Constantly. Down -- I mean, every single detail, down to the fact that some of us are very modest about our bodies in some scenes, and other women really respond to that Lena is very, you know, open in that way.

HAMMER: Puts it all out there.

WILLIAMS: People really respond to every single aspect of the show. Every time a girl comes up to me, I`m braced, "OK, here we go. It`s going to be one thing or another." Some of them have come up and said, "I can`t stand my boyfriend any more. How do I break up with him?" As if I`m suddenly going to have the answer.

HAMMER: You find yourself giving answers, based on what you`re going through on the show?

WILLIAMS: Well, I`d definitely say Marnie did it while they were in the act, so to speak, and I definitely say I don`t recommend that.

HAMMER: No, not at all. No Post-It notes.

WILLIAMS: Yes, no Post-It notes. None of that.

But it`s really sweet because it`s indicative of the naturalism and realism of the show. I think it`s -- it`s a very meaningful kind of feedback. They call me Marnie. They truly believe that Marnie is just walking around New York City and they`re talking to her. Such a compliment.

HAMMER: It can be a little troublesome, too, at points.

WILLIAMS: Confusing, yes.

HAMMER: People will confuse you. But we saw all of that angst playing out on Sunday night. I was sitting there, right there watching the show, and we see Marnie getting into this huge blowout with her ex-boyfriend about the new girlfriend. She was there. It was a terribly uncomfortable moment. Let`s watch it, shall we?

WILLIAMS: Yes, please.


WILLIAMS: I don`t know what the next year of my life is like at all. I don`t know what the next week of my life is going to be like. I don`t even know what I want. Sometimes I just wish someone would tell me, like, "This is how you should spend your days and this is how the rest of your life should look."


HAMMER: Now, I chose not to show a sex scene at this particular time.

Listen, I know people ask you all the time, "What`s it like watching one of those episodes with your father?" So I`m not going to ask you...


HAMMER: ... what it`s like to watch a sex scene with your father. But when you got a sense of how graphic the show was going to be and how exposed you were going to be, how did that conversation go? I don`t care that your dad is Brian Williams, news man. Any parent. How did the conversation go, saying, "Here`s what you`re going to be seeing"?

WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, the truth is I was living on their couch while I was shooting season one. And so every day I would come home from work and I will have shot something, or I had come back from the table or eat, and I`d sort of plop down at the dinner table and be like, "All right, here`s what we`re doing."

And I feel so lucky to have them as kind of my partners in crime. They`ve been there every step of the way, and as a result, they kind of get it. They know that I`m an actor.

And I should have given them more credit, but I was nervous about it, initially. And my first reaction was to just over-inform them and just over-inundate them with information. And so very technically, I would describe the scene as much as it was described in the script. Sometimes I would let them read it.

And they would -- they would kind of react like, "Yes, OK, fine. We don`t need all of that information." And the reaction was always that it was not as bad as they feared it was going to be.

HAMMER: Because you raised the bar so high.

WILLIAMS: Yes. I definitely worried them beyond the fact that they needed to be worried.

HAMMER: And I can`t imagine how divergent what you have to say is when you have the conversations, "What did you do today?"

WILLIAMS: It`s very different, yes. There`s a really terrible situation in Turkey. But also, I`m sure your day having fake sex was weird.

HAMMER: Right. It`s great to meet you and have you here, and I wish you nothing but success with the show. And I think Lena has done an extraordinary thing by casting you, even a bigger thing.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

HAMMER: Be sure to watch "Girls" Sunday nights on HBO, of course.

And get ready for another megawatt news maker interview tonight.


HAMMER: Describe how big you were buzzing when you found out that you were going to be performing with Elton John. The legendary Elton John.

ED SHEERAN, SINGER: Yes, it was a very strange phone call to get.

HAMMER: Yes. Imagine the Grammy newcomer tapped by the great Elton John for what will be a show-stopping duet at the Grammys. I`m one-on-one with "The A Team" star and Best Pop Song nominee Ed Sheeran.

Plus, it`s a woman`s world. The massive showdown between the ladies of the Grammys for Best Pop Solo Performance. Can Adele possibly beat out Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepson to capture the pop title two years in a row?

"SHOWBIZ at the Grammys" coming up. This is SBT, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, on HLN.


HAMMER: They are the youngest members a reality show empire. Seventeen- year-old Kendall and 15-year-old Kylie Jenner, who we`ve seen over the years with their family on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

Well, now these ladies have designed their own fashion collection. It is called Kendall and Kylie. The 26-piece spring collection will be in Pac Sun stores nationwide this week. Kendall and Kylie Jenner back with us in New York.

It`s truly cool having you guys here.


HAMMER: And I love that you have your own fashion line, but at 17 and 15, before you`re even out of high school. Was that really important to just get on this, even before you graduate?

KYLIE JENNER: Actually, it wasn`t even in the plans. We just -- we saw our sisters do their fashion line, even my mom. So we oversaw that and then we -- the opportunity came to us, and we jumped on it.

HAMMER: And it was important for you guys to do it as sisters? Did you guys get together and say, "Hey, we should be doing something like this"?

KENDALL JENNER: Yes. Our other sisters did it as sisters, so we thought why not us?

KYLIE JENNER: And we love doing stuff together.

HAMMER: Yes. The Kardashian Collection from Khloe and Kim has had success, the line that they have at Sears. So I have to imagine you see something like that, and that inspires you to do your own thing.


HAMMER: But it really was a big inspiration for you.


HAMMER: And you know, everybody says working with your family doesn`t always work out so well. Now, that is your family business because of the reality shows and all the other things you do. And I love that you actually sought out some advice, actually, Kylie on one episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." We saw you looking to Kim for sort of how to get along and work as sisters.


HAMMER: I want to watch a bit of that.


KYLIE JENNER: I kind of did the whole thing because Kendall was like shy of whatever. I don`t know, we got in a fight about it.

KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR: Definitely, Kendall`s personality to not be so outspoken and to be shy and not do that. I used to be so shy, and I would like hide behind that, because Kourtney and Khloe were so outspoken. But then they, like, helped me get out of my shyness by, like, having me do certain little things here or there when I really needed to step it up. You totally have to, like, figure out what your strengths and your weaknesses are and you have to meet in the little.


HAMMER: That is actually some great advice. What`s the best piece of advice Kim has given you?

KYLIE JENNER: I feel like, since she is my sister, we come and go for our older sisters so much, like there`s so much advice. But I don`t know. Especially with, like, reading tabloids and all that, just to not pay attention to it and not let it get to you.

HAMMER: Yes. And you guys have been mentioned once or twice, or at least the family has. So that`s probably great advice.

Now, you`re a model. You guys have got your fashion line. You have the reality show thing going on. But have you ever thought, "Maybe at some point I will completely switch gears and, I don`t know, maybe go to school and study philosophy or something like that"?

KENDALL JENNER: I mean, we have our options open. We are still in high school. We`re home schooled now, but we are getting everything done that we need to, just in case we end up wanting to go to college. We`re not really thinking about that right at this moment.


KENDALL JENNER: But we have options open, and we are -- like, we want to be normal kids sometimes. So...

HAMMER: Yes, it`s got to be tough.


HAMMER: Hard balance to strike when you are in the world you guys are in. It`s great to have you here. I wish you the best of luck with the fashion line.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner, always good to see you.

And you can look for their collection, the Kylie -- in Kendall and Kylie collection. It`s in Pac Sun stores this is week.

Well, right now, we are getting ready for the biggest night in music, the Grammy Awards. And we are one-on-one with Alabama Shakes. I love these guys. They`re nominated for three Grammys, including Best New Artist.




HAMMER: Wait until you hear what Alabama Shakes has got to say on the wild world of instant stardom.

Plus, the battle of the rock bands, an all-out war this year between some amazing newcomers and the rock establishment. I`m talking about Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, the Boss himself all vying for the Grammy glory against the Black Keys and Alabama Shakes. We`re going to show you what`s in their arsenals. It`s "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys."



HAMMER: Right now, "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys." What we can`t wait to see. Like Elton and Ed.




HAMMER: Superstar super nominee Ed Sheeran`s revelations to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about his upcoming epic Grammys duet with Elton John. Will the "A Team" hit-maker steal the show?

The battle of the giants. Adele takes on Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Carly Rae Jepson. The female powerhouses fighting to win Best Pop Solo Performance. But who will be the giant winner?

Alabama Shakes shakes things up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blowing up don`t matter, and everybody`s forgot about it, it don`t matter.


HAMMER: Humble and on fire. The best new artist nominees are right here for a headline making SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. SHOWBIZ at the Grammys starts right now.


HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, thank you for watching. This is "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys". Music`s biggest stars are all revved up and ready for what will surely be an amazing night, the 55th annual Grammy Awards, which go down on Sunday, and we cannot wait to see how it all shakes out, literally.

We are one on one with Alabama Shakes. They are nominated for three Grammys this year, including best new artist.

But first, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to prepare you for an all-out party. The best of the best in music are getting ready to be honored and tear up that Grammy stage with knockout showdowns that we could have only imagined in our wildest music dreams. We`re talking about legendary music icons and of course some amazing talent that will be giving the Grammys a lot to sing about.



HAMMER: "We Are Young" is more than a Grammy nominated song. It could be the theme of this year`s Grammy award show.

LYNDSEY PARKER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, YAHOO MUSIC: This year`s crop is a rather youthful assortment, a rather hipster Grammys this year.

HAMMER: In fact, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, out of all the nominees for the night`s two biggest awards -- album of the year and record of the year -- not a single nominated performer is over 40. So we won`t see a repeat of recent years, when old school rockers like Herbie Hancock and Steely Dan walked away with top awards, beating more current chart toppers and causing angry critics to question the Grammys` relevance.

PARKER: The Grammys are a little bit more in touch with what`s going on in current music today.

HAMMER: Speaking of "We Are Young," the group that sings it is one to watch on Grammy night.

PARKER: It`s going to be a fun night.

HAMMER: Pun intended. New York group Fun is tied for the most nominations with six, including nods in all four top categories -- album, record, and song of the year, plus best new artist. One of the few acts in Grammy history to ever pull such a nomination sweep.

PARKER: Whether they even win those, they have already achieved a huge Grammy milestone.

HAMMER: Looking to spoil Fun`s fun, 2012 breakout artist Frank Ocean, who like Fun has six nominations, including album of the year for "Channel Orange," and its single, "Thinking About You," is up for record of the year. Also in the album of the year category, the Black Keys` "El Camino," Jack White`s "Blunderbuss" and Mumford and Son`s "Battle."

PARKER: I think all of those artists have a chance and all of them you could make a strong argument that all of them deserve it.

HAMMER: Some of the songs you couldn`t stop singing over the past year are also up for big Grammys. Kellie Clarkson`s "Stronger" is up for both record and song of the year. And because Grammy voters probably still can`t get it out of their heads either, Carly Rae Jepsen`s "Call Me Maybe" is also up for song of the year.

The other big race is for best new artist. Heavyweights Fun and Frank Ocean will square off against young country star Hunter Hayes, folk rockers the Lumineers, and rockers Alabama Shakes, a nomination that surprised some.

PARKER: When I found out that Alabama Shakes was in the running, I was so excited. Did not see that coming.

HAMMER: But the best reason to watch the Grammy Awards is the performances. And there are some big ones in store this year. Justin Timberlake, who is looking good with his new song, "Suit and Tie," is returning to the Grammy stage for the first time in four years to preview his long-awaited studio album. Plus, all five album of the year nominees are scheduled to perform.

PARKER: I am obviously looking forward to Fun and the Black Keyes. They will both be making their Grammy debuts.

HAMMER: Also on the Grammy set list, nominees Rihanna and Taylor Swift. Plus, look for a big team up featuring Grammy nominated British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.

PARKER: The one I am personally the most excited about is Elton John teaming up with Ed Sheeran. He is clearly going to have this whole new American audience that is going to check him out, and it`s nowhere but up from there.

HAMMER: So look for a galaxy fill of new music superstars to set the Grammy stage on fire.


HAMMER: Wow, I can`t even imagine how anxious Grammy nominee Ed Sheeran must be right about now. Not only is he performing with Elton John, but he`s also nominated for song of the year for his massive hit, "The A Team." And I just spoke with Ed while he was here in New York about getting a phone call from Elton John to set the wheels in motion for their big duet. Got to watch what he told me.


SHEERAN: It was a strange phone call to get. You know, you get a phone call from Elton just being like, you know, I tried to get you on the Grammys to perform solo, but they preferred--

HAMMER: He called you?

SHEERAN: Yes, he called me, and said I tried to get you on the Grammys to perform solo, you know, but they would like you to perform with me. How would you feel about that? And I was like, well, I`m sure I could fit that into my schedule somewhere.

HAMMER: Was that the first time you had ever spoken with him?

SHEERAN: No, no, I speak to him quite a lot, probably on a weekly basis.

HAMMER: Well, I imagine, though, it`s still, to be able to perform with him and on the Grammy Awards, has a great significant importance, because I think anybody who listens to your music and listens to what you do lyrically, has to know that you grew up listening to this guy.

SHEERAN: Definitely. Like, I mean, I think most people grew up listening to Elton John. He`s been able to like -- the people he`s dueted with at the Grammys have been Eminem and Lady Gaga. And--

HAMMER: Pretty good company to be in.

SHEERAN: Good company to be in, yes.

HAMMER: Ed Sheeran, Grammy nominee. Just hearing that. What does that mean to you?

SHEERAN: You know, it`s quite nice to be accepted by the American industry in such a cool way. You know, it`s not like any -- it`s not like any other awards show, is it? It`s the biggest award show on the planet. So to be able to be part of that and part of that kind of ilk of musicians, it`s quite humbling.

HAMMER: And you are just 21 years old. So at what point in your life, and you`ve been playing music for a long time, but at what point did you become aware even of what a Grammy is and hey, that`s something I want to get one day?

SHEERAN: The funniest thing, I first became aware of the Grammys in the Simpsons. And every episode of the Simpsons that the Grammys are named in, it`s always him going, ah, Grammy! And he throws it in the bin. So yes, that was the first time, and then seeing Michael Jackson`s "Thriller." And I think, did he win 12 Grammys for that, I think?

HAMMER: He won a thousand Grammys.

SHEERAN: But like, for the album, and I (INAUDIBLE).

HAMMER: As many as humanly possible. That was the big sweep that year it came out, absolutely.

SHEERAN: So I remember seeing that and just being like, oof.


HAMMER: He`s going to be right there this year, and there is still so much more that we cannot wait to see at the Grammy Awards, including the battle of the divas. Music`s biggest female stars are duking it out to win best pop solo performance. It is a nearly unbelievable fight this year, between Adele, Rihanna, Katie Perry, Kellie Clarkson, and of course Carly Rae Jepsen. Who will come out on top?


HAMMER: I love these guys. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S one on one with this year`s most talked about Grammy newcomers, Alabama Shakes. They are truly shaking up the Grammys, and we are revealing why this man became an overnight sensation. Now, "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys". Fun performs the title track from their Grammy nominated album, "Some Nights," and talks to us about what big-time fame feels like.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s really frightening and it`s really new, but our intentions are no different than they were when we were 16 and started playing in bands, which is to play live music and to make records that we`re proud of.



HAMMER: Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys". And one of the most anticipated showdowns on Sunday night is going to be for best new artist. This is a category known for its upsets and stunners over the years. So will this year`s pick be another shocker? We are in for a serious nail biter with nominees Frank Ocean, the Lumineers, Hunter Hayes, Fun is nominated, and so is Alabama Shakes.


HAMMER: Yeah, you know that song. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going one on with Alabama Shakes. They are nominated for a total of three Grammys. It is so great to have some of the band members with me right now from Hollywood. Brittany Howard and Steve Johnson. And guys, right off the top, I have got to tell you, I am all about your music, so I am so happy you are here with us.

BRITTANY HOWARD, ALABAMA SHAKES: So good to be here. Thank you for having us.

HAMMER: Oh my goodness, congratulations on the your three Grammy nominations. How incredible. I have to imagine you were jut out of your minds when you got the news that you were nominated. I don`t know if you two might scream on such occasions, but can you kind of reenact what happened when you learned you were Grammy nominees?

Kind of stunned silence. I get it, all right. Let me play a bit more of "Hold On." Count me among the millions of people that fell in love with this song. It is the one that got you the best rock performance nomination. Roll that.


HAMMER: Come on. That passion is undeniable. Listen, guys, I was checking out the comments section on the video`s YouTube page. I want to show you something that I noticed from a fan named Case Dowdy (ph). I think she just nails it with this comment. Can we put this up, Charles? "Holy freaking crap. I want to crawl inside this song and live there forever. " Perfect, right?


HOWARD: That`s a 2 minute 55-second song. That`s not a very long lifespan.


HAMMER: I suppose yes, you could look at it that way. How did you feel? I mean, being a Grammy nominee is the dream of so many artists. What was your true feeling when you found out?

JOHNSON: Disbelief. Yes. Speechless. And time to party.

HAMMER: Time to party is right.

HOWARD: I have to say I was pretty shocked. Because getting a Grammy nomination was not anything we ever worked for or dreamed of having. So it was like one of those things. Just like, wow. You know, this is my life, I guess.

HAMMER: And you guys, look, you have come a long way from relative obscurity not all that long ago. You went from playing the clubs to suddenly you`re playing Conan O`Brien a year ago, and then David Letterman. You are playing "Saturday Night Live" later this month, and of course you are going to be at the Grammy Awards. So Brittany, you are saying getting a Grammy nomination was never part of the dream. Was getting to this level something that you ever saw yourselves doing or was it just an amazing result of following your passion?

HOWARD: No, of course not. I never saw myself doing this at this level, you know, whatever that might mean. Maybe it means selling out theaters, touring across the world. That wasn`t anything I ever saw in the cards for myself, speaking for myself. But now that it`s happened, it`s almost as if people took a liking to us and kind of ran with it. It wasn`t -- it seemed to happen all by itself. I`m sure that`s not true, of course, but that`s what it seemed like.

I`m excited about the opportunities, because now when we write a song, it`s going to be like now we have this chance to put this song out. It`s not like -- I don`t know. It`s not like, oh, we wrote this song but nobody will ever hear it, which is kind of how it was like two years ago. Now it`s like, we write a song, people get to hear it.

HAMMER: Well, it certainly put the name Alabama Shakes on so many people`s lips, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck at the Grammy Awards. Brittany and Steve, it is so great having you here. Thank you so much.

HOWARD: Thanks very much.

JOHNSON: Thanks, Hammer time.

HAMMER: So when Alabama Shakes waits to hear if they are going to win for best rock performance, they are going to waiting along with some pretty incredible talent that`s up against them this year. Mumford and Sons, Bruce Springsteen, the Black Keys, also Coldplay is nominated. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that the battle for best rock performance is a showdown we can`t wait to see.


HAMMER: And we still can`t wait to see the amazing battle of the pop goddesses. Listen to this.


HAMMER: The great Adele, she is taking on Kellie Clarkson, Katie Perry, Rihanna and Carly Rae Jepsen in the category of best pop solo performance. This is a battle of the giants, but can anyone beat Adele`s incredible voice?

Now "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys". Newcomers the Lumineers perform their hit, "Ho Hey," for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and they talk to us about their wild year of instant stardom.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been such a crazy year. We went to sleeping in people`s friends` houses and then going to six people to a hotel room, to now, like, Grammy nominations. It kind of -- doesn`t follow any sort of logic.



HAMMER: Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ at the Grammys". And right now it`s the battle of the divas. The race for best pop solo performance pits some of the biggest voices in music today against each other. I am talking about Adele with Kellie Clarkson, Katie Perry and Rihanna. And it also gives newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen a shot at a huge win. But who has the edge in this fierce fight?

At last year`s Grammy awards, we saw an Adele sweep, with the songbird winning all six of the Grammys she was nominated for. But this year, Adele is nominated for just one Grammy, best pop solo vocal performance, for her live recording of "Set Fire to the Rain." If Adele wants to repeat, she will have to get past the other four superstars nominated in this category.

Grammy newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen is nominated for "Call Me Maybe," one of the biggest songs of the year. Katie Perry is nominated for her track, "Wide Awake." Despite Katie`s multi gazillion record sales, she has yet to win the big prize.

Katie`s one time BFF Rihanna has won four Grammys. And she is nominated for a fifth in this year`s best pop solo vocal category for her song, "Where Have you Been." Two-time Grammy winner Kellie Clarkson is the fifth nominee for her smash hit, "Stronger." So it`s Clarkson versus Adele. Rihanna versus Katie. Or maybe Carly Rae will be the one of these five superstars called to the stage on Grammy night.

There is such stiff competition in this Grammy category, but you have to wonder if Adele is once again going to set fire to the Grammy show. What a classic this has already become. Watch.


This is a performance category, and wow, what a performance. With me now in New York, Carlos Greer. Carlos is a reporter for "People" magazine, and "People`s" latest cover story features Grammy nominee Kellie Clarkson right there on the cover. So, Carlos, obviously Kellie Clarkson is an amazing vocalist, but she is up against Adele among the other really strong vocal competition in this category. Do you think Kellie can take it?

CARLOS GREER, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: You know what, they are both huge vocal powerhouses, but you know, Adele is an Academy darling. She won every single award in every category she was nominated in last year, but again, Kellie had a great year. She had somewhat of a comeback album last year, so it`s going to be a tossup between the two. It`s definitely some stiff competition.

HAMMER: Yes, and she won the Golden Globe and she`s going to win the Oscar for best song.

GREER: That`s highly -- yes, most likely.

HAMMER: From "Skyfall," so it`s a different song, but still, I think it`s hers to lose as well perhaps. But what I love about this category is you have friends competing against each other. You have Rihanna and Katie Perry going head to head. Watch this.


HAMMER: OK, these two ladies are friends, both (INAUDIBLE) a lot of radio play, obviously. What are their chances of scooping up the Grammy?

GREER: You know, Katie, she can`t seem to catch a break when it comes to getting a Grammy. She`s never won an award. This song was a huge single for her. Rihanna, on the other hand, she`s won before, the academy loves her, but this was not the song to be nominated. She had a much bigger single with "We Found Love."

HAMMER: That`s what I thought too.

GREER: But if that was up against this, she would take it.

HAMMER: Everybody is eager to see what`s going to happen with Carly Rae Jepsen. Of course, "Call Me Maybe," one of the most played songs on the radio last year. The charm of her story is that pop stars played a huge role in her success, like Bieber and Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale, who all lip-synched their versions of "Call Me Maybe," and it went viral.


HAMMER: All right. Any chance Carly Rae can take it away from a powerhouse like Adele or the others?

GREER: I think there is a chance. Who doesn`t know this song? Even our president was singing this song. So this was a song that was in everybody`s head all summer long and all year.

HAMMER: Do you think it`s hers to lose?

GREER: She could win it, actually.

HAMMER: All right, Carlos, great to have you here, thank you so much. And be sure to pick up "People`s" latest issue with Grammy nominee Kellie Clarkson right there on the cover.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ at the Grammys. Thank you so much for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. You will definitely now want to check out the Grammy Awards when it airs Sunday night on CBS, and be sure to watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We are going to take you behind the scenes and we will have all of the big Grammy surprises Monday night at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, right here on HLN.