Grammy Awards: The 62nd annual Grammy Awards take place in Los Angeles on Sunday night. The Grammy Awards 2020, hosted by Alicia Keys, takes place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, January 26, 2020 and will air at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Lizzo , Billie Eilish , Lil Nas X , Ariana Grande , and Taylor Swift are among the artists nominated for Grammy awards.
LOS ANGELES — Intense drama hangs over the 62nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday night, but not in ways that the Recording Academy, the nonprofit behind the show, would like.
The show will air live from Los Angeles on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.
This year’s event, which will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern, features a fresh crop of stars like Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Ariana Grande competing for the top awards. It was supposed to represent “a new era for the Recording Academy,” one that would be more attuned to pop’s current pulse after years of bruising criticism over the Grammys’ poor record in recognizing women and artists of color in the major categories.
How to watch
The show airs on CBS, but you can also stream the show online, or on a mobile device if you have an CBS All Access account.
That “new era” statement was made just two months ago, when nominations were announced, by Deborah Dugan, the academy’s new chief executive. She had been telegraphed as the bold new leader the Grammys needed, and came armed with an unsparing critique of the academy’s record on diversity by Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, the Time’s Up leader Tina Tchen.
Alicia Keys returns to host the ceremony following last year’s show. But just 10 days ago, Dugan was removed from her position, stunning the industry and plunging the normally cheery pre-Grammy week into mudslinging and chaos that has threatened to overshadow the event itself.
Dugan claimed in a 44-page complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she had been retaliated against for uncovering misconduct including sexual harassment, vote rigging and rampant conflicts of interest. The academy, in turn, said that an assistant had complained about a toxic and bullying work environment, and that Dugan had demanded a $22 million payoff to leave quietly, a charge Dugan has denied.
Along with Eilish and Lizzo, Aerosmith, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Camila Cabello, H.E.R., Jonas Brothers, Rosalía, Tyler, The Creator, Bonnie Raitt, Run-DMC, Charlie Wilson, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato will take the stage.
Their battle may stretch on for months. For the academy itself — and the artists now rehearsing their performances and acceptance speech shout-outs — the show must go on. But the entire music industry will be watching closely for any sign of artist dissent or any crack in the academy’s facade of celebratory glitz.
While artists have largely remained silent, one of the few public comments from a major industry figure came Saturday night from the hip-hop mogul Diddy.
Accepting an award at Clive Davis’s glamorous annual pre-Grammy party, Diddy avoided mentioning Dugan by name but held the academy’s feet to the fire over its failure to recognize hip-hop artists and artists of color in the top categories. Over the last decade, for example, just one nonwhite artist — Bruno Mars — has won album of the year.
Aerosmith is the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs received the Industry Icon Honor at the annual Pre-Grammy Gala on Jan 25.
“Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys; black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be,” Diddy said. “For years, we have allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now.”
He added: “You’ve got 365 days’ notice to get this [expletive] together.”
And in the lead-up to the televised show Sunday afternoon, the news that Kobe Bryant was feared dead in a helicopter crash at 41 led to gasps in the press room. The Grammys take place at the Staples Center, where Bryant played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers; championship banners he helped the team win hang from the building’s rafters.
The Big Contests
For music fans, the Grammys are a television show about splashy performances and, oh yes, a handful of awards scattered across three and a half hours. There may be no mention at all of the academy’s behind-the-scenes crisis.
The biggest contests this year feature some of pop’s most dynamic young faces, many of whom went from obscurity to megastardom over the past year.
Lizzo, a charismatic and outspoken pop and R&B singer who has fascinated fans and critics alike, is this year’s most nominated artist, with eight nods. She and the 18-year-old alternative dynamo Billie Eilish, who has a total of six nominations, are each up in all four top categories — album, record and song of the year, and best new artist.
At the music industry’s schmoozy pre-Grammy parties last week in Los Angeles, the insider chatter has all been about Dugan versus the academy. But, for the most part, the events have been business as usual. Few people expect the show to be affected.
Putting aside some behind-the-scenes drama at the Recording Academy, Sunday’s show belongs to the singers and musicians.Lizzo leads in nominations with eight, including record of the year, album of the year, song of the year and best new artist. Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X follow with six noms each.
See the full list of nominees can be found here.
Still, a top musician signaling a position on Dugan’s claims could change the conversation entirely. Label executives and publicists have been wringing their hands over what their artists might be asked — and what they might say — on the red carpet or onstage.
And while the lineup of performers appears to be steady, the industry was riveted on Friday with reports that Swift would not appear. But why? Was Swift — always an outspoken backer of women — dropping out in protest, or was she simply unprepared or uninterested? Everyone, including fans and the most powerful people in music, was left to guess.
Grammy Awards Live:the 62nd annual Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday. The star-studded ceremony kicks off on CBS at 8 p.m. ET. Viewers without access to television can still watch the show on any smart device by tuning into CBS’ live stream on the network’s website or the CBS All Access app.