Friday night’s “Grammy Nominations Concert Live” on CBS featured some great performances, some surprising nominee announcements, and a couple of technical gaffes not out of the ordinary for live TV. The show, hosted for the sixth consecutive year by LL Cool J, opened with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (pictured) performing “Thrift Shop.” The duo went on to have a big night. Of the six categories announced during the hour-long telecast, they earned nods in half, including best new artist and album of the year for “The Heist.”
Chatting briefly with LL Cool J mid-show, Macklemore said the night’s nominations provided a “very surreal moment. It’s like we’re not supposed to be here, but we’re here next to LL Cool J at the Grammy nominations.” As for the awards, which will be handed out Jan. 26 during “The 56th Annual Grammy Awards” at L.A.’s Staples Center, Macklemore said, “If we could bring home one of them, that’s the bucket list right there.”
Closing the show were Robin Thicke and T.I., performing “Blurred Lines” with members of legendary band Earth, Wind and Fire. Thicke and T.I., along with collaborator Pharrell Williams, earned nominations for the song in two of the show’s six categories.
Lorde sang her song and record of the year nominee “Royals.” But the young star was left out of the best new artist category, populated by James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
Taylor Swift beamed in her performance of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” done in front of a concert audience in Sydney, Australia. Swift made a small blunder when she thanked the Grammys for the nominations before he name had been announced in any categories. Later in the show, however, her album, “Red,” earned both album of the year and best country album nods.
The show’s other noticeable gaffe came near the end when presenters Melissa Etheridge and actress Pauley Perrette missed their cue, forcing LL Cool J to vamp for a moment with “Victoria’s Secret” model Candice Swanepoel.
LL Cool J also guided viewers through a very brief tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying of the former South African president, who passed away a day before the show, “Mr. Mandela taught us what a difference one person can make.”
Among the more surprising nominations was the inclusion of Sara Bareilles’ “The Blessed Unrest” in the album of the year category, coupled with the omission of Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” from the same category.
Keith Urban and Miguel teamed up to play the 1972 best R&B song winner, Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” with Urban on guitar and Miguel programming music from his laptop.
Before launching into a performance of her song of the year nominee “Roar,” Katy Perry said she decided to record it because it “passed the goose bump test . . . but I didn’t think it would take on such a life of its own,” she added. “I hope the song has inspired you guys, and helped bring out that kind of self strength you need a little bit to go through your days when they get hard.”
Presenters on the show included Sheeran, Enrique Iglesias, Kelly Rowland and Arsenio Hall.
Once the full list of nominees was announced online at the end of the program, Jay-Z emerged as the big winner with nine nominations, followed by Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Timberlake and Williams with seven each. Other top nominees include Drake, Swift, Daft Punk, Lorde and Bruno Mars. A full list of nominees is here
For a gallery of photos from the show, click here