A guide to everything you need to know for the 64th annual awards on Sunday night.
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It’s been a tumultuous few months for the Grammy Awards.
First, at a meeting just 24 hours before the nominees were announced in November, the Recording Academy decided to expand the big four categories — album, record and song of the year, and best new artist — from eight to 10 slots, netting nominations for Taylor Swift and Kanye West. A few days later, Drake, without offering an explanation, dropped out of the two rap categories in which he was nominated.
In mid-January, amid an uptick in coronavirus cases caused by the Omicron variant, the 64th annual Grammy Awards, originally scheduled for Jan. 31, were postponed and then moved to Las Vegas for the first time.
Last month, Kanye West, who is up for five awards, was told he is no longer welcome to perform at the ceremony following troubling behavior on social media. Then, two of the seven members of the K-pop group BTS, which is up for best pop duo/group performance for the second straight year, tested positive for the coronavirus, leaving their performance status in limbo. And this week, Foo Fighters, who are up for three awards this year, also bowed out after their 50-year-old drummer, Taylor Hawkins, died on tour on March 25.
While producers were juggling lineup changes, Covid protocols and the usual stresses of preparing three and a half hours of live network television, something else happened at the Oscars on Sunday night that likely got their attention.
Obstacles aside, Sunday’s ceremony at the MGM Grand Garden Arena is a return to a large-scale production with a big audience following last year’s bare-bones, intimate, largely outdoor affair. The contenders include Tony Bennett, 95, who is nominated for his collaboration with Lady Gaga on the Cole Porter tribute album “Love for Sale,” and Olivia Rodrigo, 19, who is up for all four of the biggest trophies; Jon Batiste, perhaps best known as the bandleader for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” leads all nominees with 11 nods.
Here’s how to watch — and what to expect at — Sunday’s ceremony.
What time do the festivities start?
The ceremony, which will air live on CBS and the streaming service Paramount+, will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific. You can also watch on CBS.com or through the CBS app if you have a cable subscription.
Cord cutters can watch the show on any live TV streaming service that offers CBS, including FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Paramount+, YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream, many of which are offering free trials. It will also be available on demand on Paramount+.
If you want to pregame, you can check out the premiere ceremony, when about 76 of the 86 awards are handed out. That begins at 3:30 Eastern, 12:30 Pacific and will be available to watch on grammy.com and the Recording Academy’s YouTube channel. LeVar Burton will host, and Allison Russell, Jimmie Allen, Ledisi and Mon Laferte will perform.
Is there a red carpet?
Yes. E! will have red carpet coverage beginning at 4 p.m., and “Live From E!: Grammys” starts at 6 p.m. Arrivals will be streamed at grammy.com beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Who will be hosting?
Trevor Noah, of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, is back for a second year.
How is the competition shaping up?
Batiste leads the pack with 11 nominations, covering American roots music, classical, jazz and R&B. He’s followed by Doja Cat, H.E.R. and Justin Bieber, all with eight nods. Billie Eilish (“Happier Than Ever”) and Rodrigo (“Sour”) earned seven nominations apiece, including for record, album and song of the year. (Rodrigo is also up for best new artist.)
Joining Rodrigo in the best new artist category are the Kid Laroi, whose ubiquitous pop radio single “Stay” features Bieber; Saweetie (“Best Friend” featuring Doja Cat); and Finneas, Eilish’s producer brother. (Learn about all the best new artist nominees here.)
Can we talk about Bruno?
We regret to inform you that once again, we cannot. The Grammys, which are voted on by more than 11,000 members of the Recording Academy, recognize music released from Sept. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, meaning more recent smashes like Adele’s “30” or Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” will have to wait until next year.
Who’s going to perform?
The lineup includes J Balvin with Maria Becerra, Batiste, Brothers Osborne, Brandi Carlile, Eilish, Lady Gaga, H.E.R., John Legend, Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow, Rodrigo, Silk Sonic, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood. As of now, whether BTS will take the stage is unclear. While Foo Fighters are no longer performing, producers have said they’re working on a way to honor Hawkins during the ceremony. Something else to look forward to, especially if you’re a musical theater fan: a tribute to the composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who died in November at 91, featuring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ben Platt and Rachel Zegler.
Who will be presenting?
Joni Mitchell — who was honored at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute show, an annual pre-Grammys event, Friday night in Las Vegas — is making a rare public appearance on the Grammys stage. Other presenters include Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Questlove, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Lenny Kravitz, Billy Porter, Avril Lavigne and Ludacris, as well as Jared Leto and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez and the actor Anthony Mackie.
What else is new this year?
The expansion to 10 nominees in the big four categories isn’t the only change. The Grammys dropped nominating committees — expert panels that determined the ballot in many categories — after complaints from prominent artists, including the Weeknd, that they were unfair. The Grammys also removed the requirement for album of the year that writers play a role in at least a third of an LP to be recognized as contributors. Now, anyone who contributed to a single album, whether as a featured artist, engineer, producer or songwriter, is eligible — so if Bieber’s “Justice” wins, for instance, dozens of people will earn Grammys. There are also two new categories being awarded this year: best global music performance and best música urbana album.
Who could make history?
Rodrigo could become just the third artist, after Christopher Cross and Billie Eilish, to win all of the top four awards at a single ceremony. Taylor Swift could become the first artist to win album of the year four times, and BTS could become the first K-pop group to win a Grammy. Eilish, who won an Oscar with her brother, Finneas, for “No Time to Die” last week, could become the first person to win record of the year three times in a row.
Who do we think will win?
Our critics and pop music editor debated the 10 nominees up for record of the year … and didn’t come to much consensus. Grammys are famously hard to predict.
Remind me again, what’s the difference between the record and song of the year categories?
Record of the year, essentially the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ best picture award and regarded as the top prize, recognizes the recording of a single track, focusing on both the artist’s performance and the efforts of audio engineers, mixers and producers. Song of the year also recognizes a single track, but it’s awarded solely for writing. (Think of it as the equivalent of the academy’s screenplay award.)