The 60th Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony kicked off at Madison Square Garden in New York, and for the first time since David Letterman’s departure from “The Late Show,” Paul Shaffer reconvened the World’s Most Dangerous Band.
The hard-working outfit worked with the bandleader and Letterman for decades, and for the daytime installment of the awards ceremony, it’s providing the score for Shaffer’s hosting. He’s handing out 75 trophies over the next few hours.
To open, Shaffer celebrated his city’s role in shaping the sound of American music: “From hip-hop to disco, punk rock to salsa, the whole world tunes in to the rhythms of New York City.”
Both men have sold millions of albums. Both have headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. And both made former President Obama's list of his favorite songs from 2017 — an especially meaningful achievement, perhaps, for two African American artists eager to share their political views (not to mention their scorn for the guy who now holds Obama's old job).
So in a year when hip-hop might finally rule the Grammy Awards, it makes sense that Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar would be the rap kings closest to victory come Sunday night.
With eight nominations, Jay-Z, the assured veteran, leads the field of contenders for music's most prestigious prize, followed closely by Lamar, the upstart phenom, who has seven.