The stars, the winners, the gowns – The Grammys. Get ready for the only-tonight performances – Bruno Mars in a tribute to Prince with The Time (purple funk heaven, if you ask me), Chance the Rapper (will there be psychedelic muppets?), maybe (if his wife doesn’t give birth that night) surprise country newcomer Sturgill Simpson. But besides the usual glamour and noise, there is some drama simmering below the surface to look out for at music’s biggest night.
1. Beyonce or Adele?
The buzz over the face-off between pop’s biggest divas has racial overtones in a racially-charged moment. Both are nominated in the big general categories of Record, Song and Album of the Year; Beyonce for “Lemonade” and yeah-ladies-you-better-get-in “Formation” and Adele for “25” and the single “Hello.”
Will Queen Bey, exalted ruler of the pop universe, finally whip the Academy into “Formation”? Or will Adele, the classic pop-soul songstress, take home the big prize?
Will #GrammysSoWhite start trending? And what will Kanye do?
2. Them's fightin' words
Speaking of which, first-time host James Corden, every pop star’s new bestie for Carpool Karaoke, has promised that if Kanye storms the stage on Beyonce’s behalf (as he did at the 2009 VMAs, igniting that nasty and ridiculous tiff with Taylor Swift), Corden will “take him down. He will hit the floor quicker than he has ever known.”
Now that would be a Grammy moment.
3. From beyond the grave
Will dead icon David Bowie, who’s up for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance (and Best Alternative Album!) for his posthumous “Blackstar,” beat the living? They include Radiohead and indomitable punk “Lust for Life” godfather/Miami resident Iggy Pop.
Can you hear us Major Tom?
And if Bowie wins, does that say more about his competition or Recording Academy voters’ nostalgia?
Will former tween idols turned pop queens Demi Lovato or Ariana Grande beat the Beebs and Adele for Best Pop Vocal Album?
5. Let's get political
What will Hillary’s ladies do? Will the normally outspoken Lady Gaga, who’s performing with Metallica, (what that will be like?) get political, as everyone kinda expected her to at the Super Bowl? Because “This Land is Your Land” wasn’t quite the Born-This-Way gender defiance most of her fans were expecting.
And what will recently announced performer Katy Perry do? She hasn’t had a new song since “Rise,” which she performed at the Democratic Convention for Clinton. One outlet has Perry doing a reggae style number with a grandson of Bob Marley.
Some of us hope for something a little more “Roar” for the Resistance.