Entertainment behind the scenes
He’s leader of the pack in terms of BRIT nominations tonight, but can London rapper Tinie Tempah convert them into prizes when the awards ceremony is held on Feb. 15? Bookmakers would have us believe that British pop’s biggest night could be one of disappointment, not delirium, with Ladbrokes backing the 22-year-old to scoop just one of his four nods, and arguably the least prestigious of them all — Best Breakthrough Act.
Not that the category is unimportant — a BRIT is a BRIT after all, and, after a Grammy, perhaps music’s most coveted statuette. But when you think that Tempah is in the running for best male solo, best British single and, most important of all, best British album, a Breakthrough prize alone may not be enough to keep him happy.
Elsewhere, the highlight of the nominations has to be Robert Plant, 40 years Tempah’s senior but a giant of rock as Led Zeppelin lead singer and, shockingly, a first-time BRIT nominee, according to the organisers. Given the huge success of his solo career after Led Zeppelin ceased to be, it seems almost scandalous. Not a whole lot of love for the singer among voting members, obviously, and the possibility of a heartbreaker if he doesn’t win. Or could it be celebration day? Enough bad Led Zeppelin puns.
Videogames like Rock Band and Guitar Hero may be one of the few bright lights in the flailing music industry, but real-life guitar heroes like Jimmy Page and Jack White are unimpressed.
“If you start with the first track on the first (self-titled Led Zeppelin) album, “Good Times Bad Times,” and you think of the drum part that John Bonham did there, how many drummers in the world can actually play that? Let alone Dad on a Christmas morning? There might be a lot of alcohol to be consumed over Christmas, he still ain’t gonna get it,” Led Zeppelin founder Page told journalists at a Beverly Hills news conference on Friday.
The ex-Led Zeppelin frontman was the big winner at the Grammys 10 days ago, scooping five prizes for his collaboration with bluegrass queen Alison Krauss. And yet the Englishman notched precisely zero nominations at the BRITs, the showcase for British music.
Music royalty will gather in Los Angeles on Sunday for the 51st annual Grammys 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.
Led Zeppelin fans praying for good news on a rumored reunion tour would not have been encouraged by guitarist Jimmy Page at a Toronto film festival press conference where he was promoting the documentary film “It Might Get Loud”.
The film, a love letter to the electric guitar, features Page, U2 guitarist The Edge, and White Stripes frontman Jack White discussing their musical backgrounds and jamming with each other on a soundstage.