This afternoon the 2010 Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony is streaming online, and we’re here to live blog the whole thing. The non-televised pre-telecast will feature the presentation of 99 of the 109 Grammy Awards (yes, that only leaves 10 for the main show later tonight.)
The big nominees – Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga – will win the majority of their awards during this pre-show. The pre-telecast will give us an idea who will be the night’s big winner.
We’re sitting through the presentation of the Best Reggae, Best Hawaiian, and Best Liner Notes categories, so you don’t have to. And we’ll offer pointed commentary about which Grammy winners are deserving and which are not.
Ten minutes late, the Grammy pre-show begins. Tia Carrere and Kurt Elling are hosting. Immediately after they take the stage, the live feed on grammy.com cuts out. Just two minutes into the broadcast, and they’re already having technical difficulties. Not a good sign!
The live feed is still down on grammy.com. We’re going to have to get resourceful. We’ve found out that AR Rahman has won the first Grammy of the evening. Best Song Written for a Motion Picture went to “Jai Ho” from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. That track beat out Beyonce’s “Once in a Lifetime” and Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler.” That means Beyonce won’t go 10-for-10!
The live feed is back. Imogen Heap wins for Best Engineered Album. She’s a great artist and her win is well-deserved. She’s wearing a wonderfully bizarre outfit with a lit-up collar and a parasol.
David Guetta wins for Best Remixed Recording. This means he may be a serious threat to challenge Lady Gaga for Best Dance Recording, which will be presented later on the main broadcast. Guetta is present to accept the award and thanks the Academy for recognizing the dance and remix culture.
One of the earlier categories that we missed when the live feed cut out was for Best Boxed Set Package. Neil Young claimed the award. Believe it or not, this is Young’s first Grammy. How lame is it that Young’s first Grammy is an album packaging award?
Bela Fleck wins Best Contemporary World Music Album. Though Fleck’s a great artist, I have to disagree with this one. His album was a celebration of music from African countries like Mali. But why should he win over Amadou & Mariam, a remarkably talented, vision-impaired husband-wife couple who are in fact from Mali?
Best Spoken Word Recording is always a fun category with a lot of big names. Michael J. Fox defeats former President Jimmy Carter to take the award.
Now it’s Gospel time at the Grammys. God gets his first thank you of the night, from Best Gospel Performance winner Karen Clark Sheard. I’m betting it won’t be the last.
Here’s the first marquee award of the evening: Best Dance Recording. Lady Gaga wins for “Poker Face.” She then immediately wins for Best Dance Album for The Fame. Two awards for Lady Gaga already! She was the favorite to take both awards and was clearly the most deserving of the nominees in both categories.
It’s time for the jazz awards. Kurt Elling, co-host of this shindig, wins his first Grammy Award. Chick Corea wins a jazz award. And so does the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Could this be an omen for the Saints in next week’s Super Bowl?
Levon Helm upsets Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Wilco and Lucinda Williams to win Best Americana Album. Steve Martin (yes, the comedian) wins Best Bluegrass Album. Best Contemporary Folk Album goes to Steve Earle. Bad choice there – Tracy Chapman and Elvis Costello were more deserving.
They’ve moved on to the country awards. Taylor Swift captures her first award of the evening for Female Country Performance. “This is my first Grammy, you guys!” she exclaims. I predict she’ll take at least four more before the night is over.
Country Song of the Year goes to “White Horse” by Taylor Swift. This was the one award Taylor was definitely supposed to lose. Now, I have to wonder if Taylor will go 8-for-8 tonight. It’s starting to seem like a possibility.
It’s time for the classical awards, a group of categories that only a certain niche audience cares about. The Grammys manage to liven up this portion of the ceremony by having the legendary Roberta Flack present them.
One awestruck classical award winner says, “Wow… Roberta Flack… my mom is going to freak out!” Flack replies, “At least he didn’t say his grandmother!”
The classical awards are finally over and Recording Academy President Neil Portnow is giving his annual speech about random music industry issues. I can imagine everyone tuning out right about now.
The Gap Band singer Charlie Wilson livens up the pre-telecast with an exciting performance, the first truly noteworthy performance of this ceremony.
Best Rap Solo Performance goes to Jay-Z for “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune).” I would’ve liked to see Kid Cudi win, but at least the overrated Eminem didn’t win it.
Oops, I spoke too soon. Eminem wins for Best Rap Group Performance for “Crack a Bottle” with 50 Cent and Dr. Dre. Eminem also takes Best Rap Album for Relapse. It’s a shame the Grammys keep rewarding Eminem when so many other deserving rap artists (hello, Kid Cudi) get overlooked.
Beyonce wins Best Female R&B Performance for “Single Ladies.” No surprise there – the song was one of the biggest hits of the year. Maxwell takes the corresponding male award.
Beyonce wins Best R&B Song for “Single Ladies.” She also takes Traditional R&B Performance for “At Last” and Best R&B Album, giving her four awards on the evening.
The Black Eyed Peas win Best Music Video for “Boom Boom Pow.” This is a surprise – I thought the Academy would reward the safer choice, Coldplay.
Here’s another marquee award – Best Alternative Album. It goes to French pop band Phoenix, who were co-favorites in the category with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Kings of Leon rightfully win Best Rock Group Performance and Best Rock Song for “Use Somebody.” The song is a favorite for Record and Song of the Year later at the main ceremony.
Taylor Swift won’t go for 8-for-8. She loses Best Pop Collaboration to Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz, who claim the award for “Lucky.”
Brendan O’Brien takes Producer of the Year, and that’s it. The three-hour pre-telecast is over. One hour to go until the televised broadcast!
Live Blogging the 2010 Grammy Awards Pre-telecast: Sources