The return of Kanye vs. Taylor Swift? 7 things to expect at the Grammys
In this Sept. 13, 2009 file photo, singer Kanye West takes the microphone from singer Taylor Swift as she accepts the 'Best Female Video' award during the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. (AP Photo / Jason DeCrow, File)
Graham Slaughter, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, February 14, 2016 7:19PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 14, 2016 7:56PM EST
It may be considered the biggest night in mainstream music, but the 2016 Grammy Awards appear poised to offer a night of strange performances, simmering feuds and musical reinvention.
Here are seven new twists to keep an eye out for at 8 p.m. EST Monday.
Johnny Depp on guitar
Yes, Edward Scissorhands is in a rock band.
The 52-year-old actor is set to jam out on the electric guitar alongside bona fide rock stars Alice Cooper and Joe Perry in their band, Hollywood Vampires. Make no mistake, the band is no joke; they even have a self-titled album of rock cover songs they dropped last fall.
Depp’s Grammy debut will reportedly include one of the band’s original tunes, “As Bad As I Am,” followed by Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.”
A 'live music video'
Gwen Stefani has been lighting up on Twitter about the Grammy performance of her new single “Make Me Like You,” which is being billed as a “live music video.”
What exactly a “live music video” entails is yet to be seen.
Broadway steals the spotlight
In another first-ever for the Grammys, a stage performance will be broadcast live from Broadway. Songs from the smash musical “Hamilton” will be live-streamed from New York City’s Richard Rogers Theater to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The musical, which tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton through the unexpected lens of hip hop music, has earned wide critical acclaim and is already nearly sold out for 2016.
Remembering Rocket Man
Billed as an “experimental performance,” Lady Gaga is set to perform a musical tribute to David Bowie, whose death in January rocked the music world.
Few details of the performance have been released, but Gaga appears to be taking the responsibility pretty seriously. She posted a photo on Snapchat Saturday night showing her getting a tattoo of Bowie’s face from the “Aladdin Sane” album.
She titled the image “It begins.”
Kanye vs. Taylor
The week before the Grammys marked a return to bitterness between Kanye West and Taylor Swift after West mentioned Swift in a particularly lewd lyric on his new album, “The Life of Pablo.”
West defended the profane reference, saying he’d run it by Swift, but Swift later refuted the claims.
I did not diss Taylor Swift and I’ve never dissed her…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
First thing is I’m an artist and as an artist I will express how I feel with no censorship— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
2nd thing I asked my wife for her blessings and she was cool with it— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
3rd thing I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
Judging by the pair’s track record for airing grievances at award shows, and considering Swift’s near-inevitable acceptance speech for her album “1989,” sparks are expected to fly.
He began as YouTube’s mousy, sugar-pop sweetheart. He later evolved into a mini-Justin Timberlake with a flair for reckless debauchery. And now, judging by a recent GQ interview and some social media stunting, Justin Bieber may be ready to rebrand himself yet again.
Bieber is set to perform at the Grammys, and images of the rehearsal appear to show a bare-bones set-up of a guitar and a microphone.
Such a gig would be a drastic about-face from Bieber’s usual spectacle (i.e., dancing in an indoor downpour at the 2015 American Music Awards) and more in tune with his intimate acoustic show at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall last December.
When Ellen DeGeneres tweeted Bieber with an old photo to remind him to “remember where you came from” during the Grammy performance, he replied with a curt note: “Thank you I won’t.”
Thank you I won't https://t.co/CwVz1klj8q— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 14, 2016
Will Rihanna 'Work' without Drake?
Rihanna dropped her eighth studio album, “Anti,” just a few weeks before the Grammys, and her Monday night performance will be her first live show of the much-awaited music.
Speculation has been brewing about whether she’ll perform the album’s single, “Work,” which features Canadian rapper Drake. But Drake, who has been busy with ambassador duties at Toronto’s NBA All-Star Weekend, has been crystal clear that he won’t be performing at the Grammys.
I am not performing at the Grammy Awards...but hey it's the thought that counts.— Drizzy (@Drake) February 8, 2016