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Grammy Nominations and Performances Previewed

Aired February 9, 2013 - 14:30:00   ET



A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": 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 due yet with Elton John. Will the hit-maker steal the show?

The battle of the giants, Adele takes on Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Carly Rae Jepsen, the female power houses fighting to win best pop solo performance. But who will be the giant winner?


HAMMER: Alabama Shakes, shakes things up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blowing up don`t matter. If everybody forgot about us, it don`t matter.

HAMMER: Humble and on fire, the best new artist nominees are right here for our headline making showbiz making interview. "Showbiz at the Grammys" starts right now.


HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer. This is "Showbiz at the Grammys." Music`s biggest stars are revved up and ready for what will surely be an amazing night, the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. We can`t wait to see how it all shakes out literally. We are one-on-one with Alabama Shakes nominated for three Grammys this year.

But first, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to prepare you for an all-out party. The best in the best in music are getting ready to be honored and to tear up the 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 new 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 show.

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

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you out of all the nominees for 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 top awards, beating more current chart toppers and causing angry music critics to question the Grammy`s relevance.

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

HAMMER: Speaking of we are young, the group that sinks it is one to watch.

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, they`ve 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, Jack White`s "Blunder Bus" and Mumford & Sons "Babel."

PARKER: I think all of them you could make a strong argument all of them deserve it.

HAMMER: Some of the songs you couldn`t stop singing over the past year are also up for big Grammies. Kelly 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 best new artist.

PARKER: When I found out the Alabama Shakes were 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`m obviously looking forward to Fun and the Black Keys. They`ll both be making their Grammy debuts.

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

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

HAMMER: So look for a galaxy full 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 performing with Elton John but also nominated for song of the year for his massive hit "The A Team." I just spoke with Ed with getting a phone call from Elton John to set the wheels in motion for their big due yet. Got to watch what he told me.


ED SHEERAN, SINGER: It was a very strange phone call to get, you know, you get a phone call from Elton just being like I tried to get you on the Grammys to perform a solo.

HAMMER: He called you.

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

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

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

HAMMER: I imagine it`s still to be able to perform with him and on the Grammy awards has a great importance because I think fib 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. I think most people many grew up listening to Elton John. The people he`s dueted with at the Grammys have been Eminen and Lady Gaga.

HAMMER: Pretty good company to be in. 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 -- it`s not like any other award show, is it? It`s the biggest award show on the planet. So to be able to be part of that kind of ilk of musician is quite humbling.

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

SHEERAN: The funniest thing, I first became aware in the Simpsons and every episode of the Simpsons that the Grammys are named in, it`s always him going, oh, a Grammy.


SHEERAN: So yes, that was the first time. And then seeing Michael Jackson`s "Thriller," and I think did he win 12 Grammys for that album.

HAMMER: As many as humanly possible, absolutely.

SHEERAN: I remember seeing that and being like whoa.


HAMMER: And now from a first time Grammy award nominee to a two-time Grammy award winner, L.L. Cool J is back at the helm of the big show hosting now for a second time. And while music fans, of course, love the show itself, they can`t seem to get enough of L.L.


L.L. COOL J: I`m L.L. Cool J. I`m the host of the Grammys this year, 55th annual Grammys. And today, we are actually having a tech run through, a technical run through where we check out all the cues, make sure that the speeches that are notice teleprompter for the various presenters aren`t either too long or too short. We have stand-ins up on stage helping us run through it. We just want to make sure that everything`s running smoothly.

I`ve been talking to Ken Ehrlich, the executive producer. He`s the little guy over there running. He`s walking. He has his back to us. And we`ve been conversing about just what we want do this year to make this show more fun for you guys, more exciting and more entertaining for you guys.

We have some spectacular people coming. We have Beyonce, J. Lo, Frank Ocean, Miranda Lambert, Bruno Mars, Faith Hill, just some of the biggest most exciting artists in the world. It`s going to be an amazing night. That is our goal, to give you Grammy moments, to give you amazing performances, and to give you the highest level of excitement we can, because we know that the music fans out there come to the Grammys and watch the Grammys for that reason.

It`s a lot of fun. I`m going to do my best to make sure the show is seamless and smooth and that you guys have a great time. So I hope you enjoy it, 55th annual Grammies. Much love behind the scenes.


HAMMER: There`s still so much more we cannot wait to see at the awards, including the battle of the diva divas. Music`s biggest female stars are duking it out to win best pop solo performance. It is an unbelievable fight this year between Adele, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Who come out on top, after this.


HAMMER: I love these guys. One-on-one with this year`s most talked about Grammy newcomers Alabama Shakes. They feel are truly shaking up the Grammys and we`re revealing why this band became an overnight sensation.

Now, "Showbiz at the Grammys," Fun performs the title track from their album "Some Nights" and talks to us what big-time fame feels like.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s really exciting and it`s really new. But our intentions are different than they were when we were 16 and started playing in bands which is to is it play live music and make records that we`re proud of.


HAMMER: Welcome back to "Showbiz at the Grammys." 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: Yes, you know that song. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going one-on-one with Alabama Shakes. They`re 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. Guys, right off the top, I got to tell you I am all about your music. I`m so happy you`re here with us.

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

HAMMER: My goodness, congratulations on your three Grammy nominations. How incredible. I have to imagine you were just out of your minds when you got the news that you were nominated. What`s particularly cool is you guys aren`t just showing up at the Grammys but Brittany, you`re part of this incredible tribute planned for Lee Von Helm at the show and sharing the stage with the iconic Elton John. Tell me about the experience of preparing to perform with Elton. I mean, come on.

HOWARD: And well, first off, I`m super honored to be doing this tribute for the late great Lee Von Helm. He was a favorite of all of ours and to be a part of it, sing one of his songs, that makes me feel really great. And just the fact that like someone Elton John is going to be there, Mavis Staples, those are a couple of my favorites. So I`m just going to try not to be too shy or be fancy. I`m just going to try to treat them like normal people.

HAMMER: Anybody, of course, that has experienced fame knows it comes with some degree of baggage. I know you guys right now are really enjoying the ride, particularly the fact that you can get your music out there. For you two, what`s been the best part of the experience of getting so well-known so quickly?

STEVE JOHNSON, ALABAMA SHAKES: Oh, man, we`ve gotten a chance to sees a lot of great musicians this year and meet a lot of new people, been exposed to a lot of new music that I might not have heard otherwise. So that`s been the best part for me, along with the traveling and the food. Oh, so good.

HOWARD: 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 how it was two years ago. Now it`s like we write a song, people get to hear it.

HAMMER: People are paying attention. I wish you nothing but the best of luck at the Grammy awards. Thank you so much.

So when Alabama Shakes waits to hear if they win for best rock performance, they are going to be waiting along with pretty incredible talent up against them this year, Mumford & Sons, Bruce Springsteen, The Black Keys, also Coldplay is nominated. We can tell you the battle for best rock performance is a showdown we can`t wait to see.


And we still can`t wait to see the amazing battle of the pop god yeses. Listen to this.


HAMMER: The great Adele is taking on Kelly Clarkson, Katy 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?

Newcomers the Lumineers perform their hit "Ho-Hey" for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. They talked to us about their wild year of instant stardom.



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



HAMMER: Welcome back to showbiz at the Grammys. 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`m talking about Adele, with Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry and Rihanna. And it also gives newcomer Carl I ray Jepsen a shot at a huge win. But who has the edge?


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

Carly Rae Jepsen is nominated for "Call Me Maybe," one of the biggest songs of the year. Katy Perry is nominated for her track "Wide Awake." Despite Katy`s multi-gazillion record sales, she has yet to win the big prize. Katy`s one-time BFF Rihanna has won four Grammys. And she`s nominated for a fifth in this year`s best pop so vocal category for her song "Where Have You Been?"

Two-time Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson is the nominee for her smash hit "Stronger." Either one of these five superstars will be called to the stage on Grammy night.


HAMMER: 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.


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

CARLOS GREER, REPORTER, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: I think they both are huge vocal powerhouses. But Adele is an academy darling. She won every single award in every category she was nominated for last year. But again, Kelly had a great year, somewhat of a comeback album last year. So it`s definitely some stiff competition.

HAMMER: And she won a golden globe and going to win the Oscar for best song.

GREER: That`s highly --

HAMMER: From "Sky Fall." It`s a different song but it`s hers to lose, as well perhaps.

But what I love about this category, you have friends competing against each other, Rihanna and Katy Perry going head to head. Watch this.


HAMMER: These two ladies are friends. Both songs got a lot of play. What are their chances?

GREER: Katy can`t seem to catch a break when it comes to getting a Grammy. This song was a huge single for her. Rihanna, on the other hand, has won before. The academy loves her. This wasn`t the song to be nominated. She had a much better sing with "We Found Love."

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


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

GREER: I think there`s 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.

HAMMER: Thank you so much. Be sure to pick up "People`s" latest issue with Grammy nominee Kelly Clarkson right there on the cover.

And that is it for "Showbiz at the Grammys." Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer.