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Taylor Swift, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and more added to Grammys performance roster

Prizes, shmizes.

The 56th annual Grammy Awards ceremony is shaping up to be one giant all-star luge race of live performances –the latest names to be added are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Keith Urban, and Sara Bareilles with Carole King. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who will accept the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award for the Beatles, will perform as well.

They join a roster that already includes Lorde, Katy Perry, Daft Punk with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, and Stevie Wonder; Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons;Metallica and Lang Lang; P!nk and Nate Ruess of fun.; Robin Thicke and with Chicago, and a special performance with Merle Haggard Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton.

The show airs Sunday, Jan. 26 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST/PST (meaning that it will be live on the East coast but delayed on the West, for those in the Pacific Standard Zone gagging for spoilers and/or wishing to avoid them on social media).

Taylor Swift talks favorite Christmas songs, next album

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You hear music as you enter the Sunset Marquis hotel on a chilly December afternoon.

You briefly think it’s a recording, but quickly realize that isn’t right. The music is too present and singular. You round the corner into an expansive suite and see Taylor Swift, playing a piano, with a roaring fire in the background. It’s like a scene from a holiday card sent by the seven-time Grammy winner rather than an actual room you can enter. You want this moment to go longer — a private show! — but she immediately bounds to her feet, full of bright energy, and says a warm hello.

Some celebrities in person look like what you expect and others appear quite different; Swift looks like herself. Her outfit is purple-ish, with a long modest skirt. She glances around for a place to sit and this is a brief dilemma. She decides to ignore all the furniture and instead sits on the floor by the fireplace, asking you: Is that okay? So you both sit cross-legged by the fire. It’s all very congenial and Christmas-y, which is appropriate since you have some holiday music questions on your list. There is just one awkward moment that cracks the mood — you forwardly ask a Miley Cyrus question (can’t blame a reporter for trying, right?). Swift scrunches her nose, like she just caught a whiff of a unsavory question, and politely asks to skip that one (“we have so little time,” she says).

We’re here to talk about Swift’s new song “Sweeter Than Fiction,” which is accompanying the release of the heartwarming British comedy One Chance (trailer here). The film is based on the true story of an amateur opera singer who won Britain’s Got Talent. She also just received a Golden Globe nomination for the track. But we manage to get in some other questions too. READ FULL STORY

American Country Awards: See the winners here!

Blake-Shelton-Review

Artist of the Year
Winner: Luke Bryan
Jason Aldean
Florida George Line
Blake Shelton

Artist of the Year: Male
Winner: Luke Bryan
Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Eric Church
Blake Shelton

Artist of the Year: Female
Winner: Miranda Lambert
Kelly Clarkson
Sheryl Crow
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Artist of the Year: Duo or Group
Winner: Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist
Winner: Scotty McCreery
Lee Brice
Hunter Hayes
Randy Houser
Justin Moore

Artist of the Year: New Artist
Winner: Florida Georgia Line
Kip Moore
Kacey Musgraves
Cassadee Pope
Thomas Rhett
READ FULL STORY

'The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!': Katy unplugs, Taylor strips, Lorde twitches

Every year, the Grammys broadcast fills its three hours with performances, so much so that the actual winners of the prizes tend to get overshadowed by the combinations on stage. The producers must have figured that if it works well for the actual awards show, it might as well work for the nominations special.

Such was the case with tonight’s Grammy Nominations Concert Live! Though there were some surprises in there (check out all the nominees here), it was hard to figure out exactly who was being rewarded with so much stuff happening on stage in Los Angeles (and in the case of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, on stages that were not even in the country).

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis kicked the show off from outside the Nokia Theatre, with some funny gags about security. They made their way into the Buckyball prison that was the stage and ripped through a relatively spry version of “Thrift Shop.” Macklemore has some natural charisma that he tends to coast on, but all props to his band of Robin Thicke jacket-wearing backup dancers and that dude walking and playing the trumpet at the same time. READ FULL STORY

Tonight's Grammy nominations: Who will go home happy tonight?

Not everyone can expect to win a Grammy. But as Scooter Braun demonstrated last year, some artists—like Braun’s ward Justin Bieber—count at least on a nomination. The fact of which provides a faint veneer of drama for tonight’s frantically-titled ceremony The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!, airing at 10 PM tonight (Dec. 6) on CBS.

Likewise, the hope that a beloved, non-ubiquitous artist might win some publicity with a placement in one of the major categories should carry us into tonight’s show. LL Cool J will once again host—with a little buddy, Ed Sheeran, along as presenter—and Miguel, Keith Urban, Lorde, Robin Thicke, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry will perform (Swift and Perry via satellite). In the meantime, here are some thoughts on the big categories and the artists in play.

Best New Artist
More than anyone, Lorde’s got that Best New Artist smell: She’s young (17) and contrarian, a perfect vessel for fantasies about a new pop order that better accommodates coastal American hipster ideals. (Even though she’s from New Zealand and befriended the “flawless” Taylor Swift.) My own coastal American hipster picks would be the more openly aspirational, less coolly outsiderish Kendrick Lamar and Kacey Musgraves. And of course, I love Ariana Grande … READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry added to Grammy nominations show performers list

This Friday’s The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!  is shaping up to be nearly as big a spectacle as the actual Grammy Awards, which won’t actually be handed out until the end of January.

LL Cool J is hosting, Ed Sheeran is presenting, and producers just announced the addition of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry to the list of previously announced performers, including Lorde, Robin Thicke, and Miguel & Keith Urban.

“But wait,” you may be saying to yourself, “neither Swift nor Perry will even be in this country on Friday night, let alone at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, where this is taking place!” Such is the magic of satellite technology: LL will be throwing to live performances in Canada (for Perry) and Australia (for Swift). Expect accented fireworks!

The one-hour special, which will air on CBS at 10 PM this Friday, December 6, will also, incidentally, roll out the nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which will be handed out just across the street at the Staples Center on Sunday, January 26.

Music released between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013 is eligible, and based on sales, cultural exposure, and general Grammy warmth, expect Justin Timberlake to rack up a ton of nominations. Lorde is pretty much a lock for Best New Artist, and you have to assume both Kanye West and Jay Z will make some noise as well.

Who else’s name deserves to be called this Friday night? And which performances make you the most curious? Let us know in the comments.

Katy Perry, John Mayer reveal romantic 'Who You Love' cover art

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The couple who sings together, smolders together.

At least that’s how it looks for Katy Perry and John Mayer. The two unveiled the cover art for their duet “Who You Love” from Mayer’s recent album Paradise Valley, showing them posing seductively in a black-and-white photo. Perry is draped across the couch, gazing at the camera from behind Mayer, who sits on the floor in the foreground strumming his guitar.

“‘Who You Love’ is here,” Mayer tweeted with the photo Tuesday. “Proud of this song, proud of this artwork, proud of this girl.”

Of course, Mayer’s not one to shy away from crooning sweet melodies with his Celebrity Ladyfriends. Remember 2010’s “Half of My Heart” with Taylor Swift? Swift did, and (allegedly!) chronicled their doomed relationship with the takedown “Dear John.”

Perry, on the other hand, told EW that her beau inspired the soaring love ballad “Unconditionally,” her second single off Prism. “It’s just a simple message about loving someone and accepting them,” she said. “You don’t have to be so self-conscious, you don’t have to fear, because essentially, everybody has their stuff.”

It certainly seems that way — a black-and-white photo means a black-and-white relationship in pop star world, right? In the meantime, if you need a refresher, listen to their duet below: READ FULL STORY

AMAs 2013: See the complete winners list

Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus made big splashes on the red carpet and on stage, but it was Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake who each continued to break out of their respective genres Sunday night, taking home American Music Awards across several categories. Rihanna was honored with an AMA Icon Award (at only 25!) and country stars Lady Antebellum took away the night’s biggest country category prize.

See the full list of winners below! READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy to perform at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Well, these weren’t three things I planned on hearing in the same sentence today: Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy and lingerie.

Both artists will be performing on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (lingerie status, unknown), joining the ranks of past performers like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. Rising indie pop band A Great Big World, and Neon Jungle, a U.K. girl group who just finished touring with Jessie J, are also on the VS Fashion Show lineup, scheduled to take place this Wednesday at the Lexington Armory in New York.

Jack Sussman, Executive VP Specials and Events at CBS, said of choosing Swift: “If a mad scientist were asked to create the perfect combination of the beauty of a Victoria’s Secret Angel with the ultimate talent and creativity from today’s music scene, the answer would be simple — Taylor Swift.”

Sure, Swift will look right at home with tall, svelte Angels like Adriana Lima and Karlie Kloss, but will she strut down the runway with them like Rihanna did in 2012? Maybe not, but she probably has an easier height differential to deal with than Fall Out Boy.

The Victoria Secret Fashion Show airs December 10th at 10:00 p.m. on CBS.

CMA Awards: Best and Worst of the Broadcast

The real winners were announced Wednesday night at the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards. But here are a few more honors from the telecast you should feel free to weigh in on:

Best “Suck it, haters” Taylor Swift moment ever: So not only did George Strait, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts — all people for whom Swift opened at the start of her career — come out onstage to present the 23-year-old with the Pinnacle Award, there was also a video including kind messages from Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake, Carly Simon, Julia Roberts, and Ethel Kennedy, among others. Watch it below. It’s might have been the best acceptance speech of Swift’s career, as she paid respect to each of the artists onstage with her.  READ FULL STORY

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