Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Stars align for Grammys, but clouds overshadow music biz


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.

M.I.A. to deliver — in more ways than one at Grammys


Rapper M.I.A. on Thursday was named as a performer at the upcoming Grammy Awards, which will happenmia on Sunday, the same day the British recording artist says she is due to give birth.

“They say that you’re often late the first time, so I’m planning to go,” M.I.A., 31, told the newspaper USA Today. “We’ll see. People are trying to get me to relax and focus on the baby. It’s like being in parallel universes.”

Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson set to sing


USA-POLITICS/(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

Singer Jennifer Hudson is set to perform for the first time since the October shooting deaths of her mother, brother and nephew in Chicago.

Hudson is scheduled to sing on Feb. 6 at the 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year show in Los Angeles, an event leading up to the 51st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 8.The event is to honor Grammy-winning singer Neil Diamond.