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2019 Grammy Awards: Everything you need to know

By Nardine Saad • Feb 9, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Cue the music! Because there will be lots of it when the 61st Grammy Awards air Sunday night.

We’ve logged all the pertinent info you need to know, so here we go:


The Recording Academy’s annual show caps off a week of music-related events. The Grammy Awards will be doled out in two ceremonies: The first is a pre-telecast event during which the majority of awards will be given; and a second, live broadcast on CBS that will feature a star-studded musical lineup peppered with the awards for new artist, record, album and song of the year, among others.

The televised 61st Grammy Awards will return to their local haunt — Staples Center in Los Angeles — and will be broadcast live on CBS starting at 8 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.

The show, again produced by longtime producer Ken Ehrlich, honors the best recordings released between Oct. 7, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018. So if your favorite artist wasn’t nominated (and we’re not talking about those who were snubbed), you might want to double check when their singles or albums dropped.

Before that show gets underway, the bulk of the nominees and winners will attend the Grammy Award Premiere Ceremony, which takes place next door at Microsoft Theater from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern. Recording artist Shaggy will host the festivities, which will be streamed live internationally on grammy.com.

After that, the academy will host a red-carpet live-stream that begins at 5 p.m. Eastern.


The Grammys have tapped a big-name host — unlike, you know, the Academy Awards — and it’s 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys. The show has previously been hosted by rapper LL Cool J and “The Late Late Show” star James Corden.

“I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy,” Keys said last month. “I’m so excited to be the master of ceremonies on the biggest night in music and celebrate the creativity, power and magic. I’m especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year! It’s going UP on Feb. 10!”

Recently the academy also announced a sweeping inclusion initiative focused on correcting gender inequity in the music industry.


Drake, Brandi Carlile, Cardi B and the soundtracks to “Black Panther” and “A Star Is Born” lead the nominees this year across 84 categories. Given the heft of the nominees list — and the fact that the major categories have expanded from five to eight nominees — it’s no surprise the Grammy Awards are split into two shows.

The televised ceremony itself always includes the big four: New artist, record, album and song of the year. Additional categories are included but only nine or so winners are announced during that ceremony, which is geared toward live performances rather than dispensing accolades.

The Grammy Awards are voted on by members of the Recording Academy, which is made up of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers and other music professionals.

Here’s a look at the general field in the marquee categories:

Record of the year

“I Like It” — Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin

“The Joke” — Brandi Carlile

“This Is America” — Childish Gambino

“God’s Plan” — Drake

“Shallow” — Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

“All the Stars” — Kendrick Lamar & SZA

“Rockstar” — Post Malone featuring 21 Savage

“The Middle” — Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Album of the year

“Invasion of Privacy” — Cardi B

“By the Way, I Forgive You” — Brandi Carlile

“Scorpion” — Drake

“H.E.R.” — H.E.R.

“Beerbongs & Bentleys” — Post Malone

“Dirty Computer” — Janelle Monáe

“Golden Hour” — Kacey Musgraves

“Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By” — Various artists

Song of the year

“All the Stars”

“Boo’d Up”

“God’s Plan”

“In My Blood”

“The Joke”

“The Middle”


“This Is America”

New artist

Chloe x Halle

Luke Combs

Greta Van Fleet


Dua Lipa

Margo Price

Bebe Rexha

Jorja Smith


What’s a Grammy Awards ceremony without some wild pairings? Here’s who’s expected to perform and with whom.

Some headliners include Cardi B, Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monáe, Post Malone, Dan + Shay, H.E.R., Shawn Mendes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chloe x Halle and Super Bowl halftime show performer Travis Scott.

Meanwhile, Ariana Grande dropped out of the show earlier this week due to a conflict with producers and is no longer expected to attend the ceremony.

Camila Cabello will open the show with J Balvin and Young Thug, Ricky Martin and Arturo Sandoval. And pop star Dua Lipa is slated to perform with St. Vincent.

Country-music icon Dolly Parton, who was named the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year, will return to the Grammy stage for the first time since 2001. The singer-songwriter will perform music from her “Dumplin’” soundtrack to the heartwarming Netflix film.

Parton — the subject of a new Grammy Museum exhibit — will be featured in a special tribute segment during the broadcast showcasing her classic hits. Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry will do the honors, and Parton’s goddaughter Miley Cyrus is expected to join the festivities.

Motown legend Diana Ross will also take the stage in a tribute that “will honor the icon and celebrate the rich history of her greatest musical accomplishments,” according to Grammy producers. Jennifer Lopez is among those who’ve been tapped to perform in a number celebrating the Motown label’s 60th anniversary. And the late, great Aretha Franklin will be saluted by Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day.


This year’s presenters are a mix of current and previous Grammy winners and nominees as well as talent from a variety of genres. A few notable mentions include Keys’ husband Swizz Beatz, veteran comic Bob Newhart, Patriots football star Julian Edelman and South Korean pop group BTS. Cedric the Entertainer, Nina Dobrev, Anna Kendrick, Jada Pinkett Smith and Wilmer Valderrama are among the actors who will take the stage, too.

Here’s the list:

Kelsea Ballerini

Leon Bridges

Luke Combs

Charlie Wilson

Alessia Cara

Julian Edelman


John Mayer

Bob Newhart

Smokey Robinson

Swizz Beatz

Meghan Trainor


Cedric the Entertainer

Nina Dobrev

Anna Kendrick

Jada Pinkett Smith

Wilmer Valderrama


Yes! The Times’ music team will be covering everything Grammys leading up to, through and after the big show.

Stay tuned and visit latimes.com/entertainment/grammys for the latest news.


©2019 Los Angeles Times

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