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The most memorable Grammy performances

- February 7th, 2013

Rihanna. Frank Ocean. Taylor Swift. Alicia Keys. Jack White. These are just a few of stars that are set to potentially shine on stage for the 55th annual Grammy Awards Sunday night.

So what better way to prep for the biggest night in music than by running down some of the most notable performances ever on the big awards show.

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As you will see, not all of the infamous ones on this list were because the artist killed it. Some lip-synched. Some (soy) bombed. Some were jaw-droppers. And some just plain awesome.

Here’s ten that made the grade for differing reasons:

Madonna/Gorillaz/De La Soul, “Feel Good Inc.”/”Hung Up,” 1996

If anyone asks what the first ever hologram band was, you can tell them it was Gorillaz. The cartoon group teamed up with De La Soul (who aren’t even mentioned) and Madonna for a mish-mash of musical samplings which culminated in an unforgettable Grammy showing.

Radiohead, “15 Step,” 2009

Thom Yorke and co. pulled out all the stops by bringing along the USC Trojan Marching Band for the 2009 Grammy Awards. With all the people on stage, it could have been a disaster but turned out to be a match made in heaven.

Bob Dylan, “Love Sick,” 1998

Bob Dylan was in his glory after taking home the 1998 Grammy for Album of the Year for “Time Out of Mind,” but it was an attention seeker that will always be remembered during his performance. A shirtless man with the words “Soy Bomb” painted on his chest began gyrating around the stage in a bizarre dance, while an unfazed Dylan played on. The man, later known as Michael Portnoy, was escorted away by security after about a minute. It was later revealed that he was hired to dance behind Dylan during the performance, but changed the plan. So what does “Soy Bomb” mean? “Soy represents dense nutritional life,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Bomb is, obviously, an explosive destructive force. So, soy bomb is what I think art should be: dense, transformational, explosive life.”

Alrighty then…

Marvin Gaye, “Sexual Healing,” 1983

It was the year and moment that soul legend Marvin Gaye’s comeback was complete. After being hitless for years, Gaye turned up the heat on this night, putting in a stellar performance of “Sexual Healing” (despite some feedback), and taking home two Grammys to boot. Sadly, a year later, he was shot and killed by his own father after an argument at the family home.

Milli Vanilli, “Girl You Know It’s True,” 1990

They’ll always have their night in the Grammy sun. They “sung” in front of millions and right after, took home the award for Best New Artist. You know the rest.

Trust me, watching the video is worth the effort once you see the priceless reaction on Ozzy Osbourne’s face after it’s over.

Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror,” 1988

Michael Jackson was known for his over-the-top performances, but on this night, it was a stripped down and moving rendition of his hit song had the audience on their feet.

Eminem/Elton John, “Stan,” 2001

This much-hyped (and gripping) duet had tongues wagging at the time. Slim Shady was being targeted by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation due to his homophobic lyrics, and had actually protested outside the Grammy Awards in 2001 because of his participation. What’s the best way of thumbing your nose at the protests? Get Elton John to help you out.

Tina Turner/Beyonce, “Proud Mary,” 2008

Tina Turner and Beyonce teamed up for a blistering rendition of the Creedance Clearwater Revival song, blending two different generations of soulfulness. No Ike needed.

Pink, “Glitter in the Air,” (2010)

Pink gets her Cirque on by getting wrapped up in a sheet, getting soaked in water, and getting high in the sky.

Kanye West/Jamie Foxx, “Gold Digger,” 2006

The twosome get the usually conservative star-studded audience out of their seats for this high-energy version of a tune that usually gets the party hoppin’.

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Elton John guests on Queens of the Stone Age record

- February 7th, 2013

Add Elton John to the list of stars that are lending their talents for the upcoming Queens of the Stone Age album.

Sir Elton let the news out during an interview with Dave Grohl, who is guest hosting on Chelsea Lately this week.

“I played on Queens of the Stone Age’s new album… I flew from Vegas to L.A. (to record a duet with Engelbert Humperdinck). He had wrote a great song and he’s 76 and has a great voice and I couldn’t say no… I sang the duet with him and I drove three blocks… and went from Engelbert to Queens of the Stone Age. Which was a bit of a mind f**k. I love that band so much.”

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The group has returned to the studio for the first time in six years, and they have been joined by part-time members Dave Grohl, Nick Oliveri and Mark Lanegan, as well as Nine Inch Nails rocker Trent Reznor and Scissor Sisters star Jake Shears.

The album is expected to be released this summer.

Watch the interview below:

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The Strokes release new song ‘One Way Trigger’

- January 25th, 2013

The rumours, after all, were true.

New York City rockers the Strokes released a brand new song, “One Way Trigger,” a short time ago via their official website.

The propulsive track has less of the high-powered guitar strumming we’ve come to know and love from Albert Hammond Jr. It’s heavy on synthesizers, with lead singer Julian Casablancas deftly keeping pace with the frenetic keys, while hitting some high notes that would make Elton John (circa “Bennie & the Jets”) proud.

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A few weeks ago, a Seattle radio station claimed to have received a brand new track, titled “All the Time,” from the band’s label, RCA Records.

As previously reported, the band are hard at work on their still untitled fifth studio album, which is expected to be released sometime this year.

You can download an mp3 of “One Way Trigger” HERE, or listen to it below, then tell me what you think in the comment section.

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Jack White added to Grammy Awards lineup

- January 24th, 2013

The lineup continues to expand in rapid numbers for next month’s Grammy Awards.

Grammy nominees The Lumineers, Carrie Underwood and Jack White are all scheduled to take the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.

Song of the Year nom Ed Sheeran is also tapped to duet with six-time Grammy winner Elton John, and country stars Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert will also pair up for the 55th annual event.

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Other performers already announced include The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, fun., Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

White, who has nine Grammys on his bookshelf already, is nominated in three different categories: Album of the Year, Best Rock Album (“Blunderbuss”) and Best Rock Song (“Freedom at 21″ – watch below).

The show airs Feb. 10 from 8-11:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Yours truly as well as fellow scribe Mark Daniell will be giving instant reviews of each and every act on Grammy night. Follow us on Twitter: @johnwillms and @markhdaniell.

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