Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Stars align for Grammys, but clouds overshadow music biz

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Music royalty will gather in Los Angeles on Sunday for the 51st annual neoGrammys but despite a dazzling star line-up, few big labels are throwing the glitzy after-parties of yesteryear given the recession and industry’s years-long malaise.

Some industry watchers even think the Grammys, which have seen viewership slide, need a facelift to revamp several award categories and change the show’s format to stay current with a generation of fans who have long bypassed mainstream music events.

“The Grammys are looking pretty long in the tooth when you consider the fragmentation of the music culture” said Robert Thompson, professor of culture at Syracuse University.

As usual, the broadcast will be performance-heavy, featuring best album nominees; best new artist nominees Adele and the Jonas Brothers; and veterans such as Paul McCartney and U2.
The night’s top contenders are rapper Lil Wayne with eight nominations and British rock band Coldplay with seven.

Britney among those giving back to “Idol” special

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pitt.jpgWith a slicker format,  more stars and better jokes , “Idol Gives Back” showed just how to stage a mass charity fundraiser on its second outing on Wednesday. 

 Jimmy Kimmel’s roasting of Simon Cowell’s nipples (!!), his haircut (“Who parted your hair? Moses?”) and wardrobe;  Annie Lennox’s emotional rendering of “Many Rivers To Cross”, and Fergie’s  handstands across the stage made it a night to remember. Then there was the “Idol” stage manager who, when she had to come onstage to adjust Brad Pitt’s microphone, admitted: “I just needed a reason to touch him.”

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