With a bit of controversy brewing, the 61st Annual Grammy Awards is already shaping up to be a very interesting broadcast.
It will have 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys as host, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Diana Ross as a special performer for the show that airs 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 10 on CBS.
Airing live from Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Grammy Awards are presented by the membership of The Recording Academy to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences.
Many are thrilled that Motown legend Ross will take the Grammys stage on “Music’s Biggest Night” in honor of her 75th birthday and celebrate her life’s greatest musical achievements.
But, there was an immediate backlash following the announcement that Jennifer Lopez — who has no connection to the historic record company or its legacy — would be performing a tribute to Motown.
Social media exploded with confusion and outrage over the fact that the Latina, though talented, should not have been chosen over original Motown artists such as Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson (who will actually be in the building as a presenter) who are all still actively performing, and most recently, Bruno Mars.
Many consider it a slap in the face that an African-American wasn’t chosen, particularly during Black History Month.
A highlight of the evening will be a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, performed by Andra Day and gospel great Yolanda Adams, along with Fantasia, who early in her career, received a ringing endorsement from the Queen of Soul.
Artists slated to perform include Cardi B., Janelle Monae, Camila Cabello, Dan + Shay, Malone, Shawn Mendes, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, H.E.R., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chloe X Halle, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, St. Vincent, Travis Scott, J. Balvin, Little Big Town, Post Malone, Ricky Martin, Maren Morris, Dolly Parton, Arturo Sandoval and Young Thug.
The diverse list of presenters includes Kelsea Ballerini, Leon Bridges, Luke Combs, Charlie Wilson, Alessia Cara, Julian Edelman, Eve, John Mayer, Bob Newhart, Smokey Robinson, Swizz Beatz, Meghan Trainor, Kane Brown, South Korean pop sensation BTS, Cedric the Entertainer, Nina Dobrev, Anna Kendrick, Jada Pinkett Smith and Wilmer Valderrama.