Sunday’s broadcast will include performances by New Orleans area artists Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (joining the Black Keys) as well as Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Kenny Garrett playing tribute to Dave Brubeck; and LL Cool J himself joining Travis Barker, Chuck D, Tom Morello and DJ Z-Trip in a hip-hop throw-down. Zac Brown, T Bone Burnett (as musical director), Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard, Elton John, Mumford & Sons and Mavis Staples will perform a tribute to Levon Helm of the Band. Other performers will include Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift and Fun.
Among the nominees with local connections are New Orleans-born R&B singer Frank Ocean, Breaux Bridge native turned country-pop singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes, both nominated as best new artist. Dr. John's much-acclaimed "Locked Down," produced by Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach, is up for best blues album. No New Orleans artists turned up in the best regional roots music album category, a new, compilation category that the Rebirth Brass Band won during the 54th Grammys.
Presenters will include New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres, Kat Dennings, Johnny Depp, John Mayer, Kelly Rowland, Super Bowl 2013 everywhere-guys Pitbull and Neil Patrick Harris, Super Bowl 2013 halftime star Beyoncé and many others.
Plus an army of thousands tweeting their thumbs off. Last year’s Grammys registered 13 million social-media comments, an increase of more than 2,300 percent over the previous year’s Grammys.
Social media have “had a remarkable effect” on the Grammys, Ehrlich said.
“The world has changed,” he continued. “I believe it has affected the nominations as well. If you look at artists who are nominated now, I don’t think you can find one that hasn’t risen to the top without strong social-media presence, and that effect then translates to what we do on the air.”
Including partly accounting for the presence of @llcoolj, who has 3.2 million Twitter followers. The Twitter account, @Grammys, has more than half a million.
“You get instantaneous feedback, which is sometimes one of the most wonderful things about social media or the most annoying things about social media,” he said. “If people like the performance, you know. If they like the joke, you know. If they like whatever is happening on stage or on television, you know instantly. And that is a useful tool for the next year, because you get to incorporate (what you’ve learned), and you get to figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and a lot of times why.
“What social media has done is it has taken everyone out of the vacuum. It’s hard to operate in a bubble. You can’t live in a bubble anymore. You can’t pretend to like something and just power through with marketing dollars behind something that really isn’t working to the public, because they are going to let you know.”