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How did so many fails happen at the 2011 Grammys?

- January 22nd, 2014

The 56th annual Grammy Awards are around the corner. This is true. The performance by Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder should be awesome. But before we celebrate the year in music, let’s jump back in time, to three years ago. Don’t worry – this will be a fun history lesson.

Most people remember the 2011 Grammys as the year that Arcade Fire surprised everyone by snagging the Album of the Year award, or the year that Esperanza Spalding enraged hordes of Beliebers by winning Best New Artist, or the year that Lady Gaga hatched from an egg.

But it should also be remembered as the year of the fail.

Was there something in the air at the Staples Center that night? Even though cringe-inducing moments happen at every awards show, there seems to be a deluge of Internet-famous examples from that event. Here are my three favourites.

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CHRISTINA AGUILERA
It was tough week for Christina Aguilera. She had just flubbed the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. And after delivering a powerful tribute to Aretha Franklin at the Grammys – accompanied by Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride and Florence Welch – Aguilera lost her balance and nearly fell to the ground. That epic final note was just too much.

JUSTIN BIEBER’S BACKUP DANCER
Wow, Justin Bieber’s grown a lot in three years. Remember when he wasn’t making it rain at strip clubs? Three years ago, the then-16-year-old delivered a medley of three songs at the Grammys – Baby, Never Say Never and Usher’s OMG – that will forever be remembered by Bieber bashers as the performance where his backup dancer fell off of a stage riser. My back hurts just watching this. Little did Bieber know that he’d grow up to face much bigger issues in the future (note to Bieber in 2011: Stay away from mop buckets, spray cans, eggs and rappers with the word “Lil” in their names).

SERENE BRANSON (REPORTER)
She had the look and the enthusiasm, but not the words. Reporter Serene Branson became immortalized on the Internet after she slurred through a live TV hit about the Grammys. Her embarrassing moment – using nonsense words like “burtation” – resulted in some hilarious online parodies. It feels slightly wrong laughing at this, though, when it’s obvious that Branson was having some sort of medical emergency at the time. It turns out that she was suffering from “migraine with aura”, which produces stroke-like symptoms. She’s okay now.

One thing’s for sure – watching people fail while wearing fancy clothes is entertaining. Why else would the 2011 show have the best viewership numbers in a decade? Let’s pray for more wince-inducing moments on Sunday.

Jack White recording follow-up to Grammy-nominated ‘Blunderbuss’

- February 11th, 2013

Jack White never slows down.

According to Rolling Stone, the busy rocker is deep into the recording process for the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated 2012 solo debut, “Blunderbuss.”

“I’ve got about 20 to 25 tracks I’m working on right now – a lot of songs,” White told the magazine. “It’s a good time for writing for me.”

He has been in the studio once again with his separate backing male and female bands, the Buzzards and the Peacocks, and says the sound varies from track to track.

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“It’s definitely not one sound,” he says. “It’s all over the place. After going out on the road with two bands, my influences have just spread out even more.”

As for when it will see the light of day, White says: “I don’t know if it’ll come out this year or not,” he adds. “The last one kind of came together so strangely, I was in the middle of making it and I didn’t realize I was doing it, you know? I was just doing it because I needed to get these songs down and then I realized I was making a record.”

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Check out his performance from last night’s Grammy Awards below:

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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