Whitney Houston's death casts shadow over Grammys
Feb 12, 2012, 16:14 GMT
People gather near a makeshift memorial for US singer Whitney Houston outside the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California, USA, 12 February 2012. EPA/MICHAEL NELSON
Los Angeles - Whitney Houston's death was expected to cast a somber shadow over the 54th annual Grammy Awards Sunday in Los Angeles, where singer Jennifer Hudson will lead a tribute to the 1980's pop superstar and six-time Grammy winner.
'It's too fresh in everyone's memory to do more at this time, but we would be remiss if we didn't recognize Whitney's remarkable contribution to music fans,' Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich told the Los Angeles Times.
Prior to Houston's death, British singer Adele had been expected to dominate the show.
Not only is the so-called Heartbreak Superstar one of the leading nominees of the night, she has dominated album and singles sales this last year with her album 21 and deeply emotional songs such as Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You.
Adele will also be among the performers taking the stage, an event expected to be an emotional moment after she was forced to cancel her North American tour last year due to a problem with her vocal chords. She's had surgery and marks her return to the stage on Grammy night.
Other performers due to take the stage during the three-hour-plus show include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Bruno Mars.
The awards are decided by approximately 20,000 members of the National Academy of Recording Arts. Adele has garnered six nominations, including for the night's top prize, Album of the Year.
The top nominee is Kanye West, who earned seven nominations, all in the rap category, except his best song salute for All of the Lights. Also earning six nominations was the new prince of pop, Bruno Mars, and the Foo Fighters.
Competing with Adele for Album of the Year are the Foo Fighters for Wasting Light, Lady Gaga for Born This Way, Bruno Mars for Doo-Wops & Hooligans and Rihanna for Loud. Rolling in the Deep will compete for Song of the Year with Bon Iver's Holocene, Bruno Mars' Grenade, Mumford & Sons' The Cave and Katy Perry's Firework.
This year's Grammy Awards will be bestowed in 78 categories, down from 109 last year as organizers consolidated many relatively minor genres in the name of brevity. The change has not been welcomed by many niche artists, and to protest the cancellation of the Latin Jazz prizes, Latin musicians plan to hold a rally outside the Staples Centre venue.
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