Grammy-nominee Chris James arrived to the 59th Grammy Awards wearing a tribute to the late-great rocker Prince in the form of a slender, purple silk armband.
James was nominated for engineered album non-classical for Prince's final album, "HITNRUN: Phase 2." He lost the award, which was announced during the pre-show telecast, to another late-great legend, David Bowie.
With that out of the way, James is just relaxing and feeling good to be at the Grammys, representing an artist he loves and an album he is incredibly proud of.
He premiered the persona late last year along with a new single, the name of which we cannot print here (warning: adult language at link). He's evidently using this opportunity to promote the alter ego's official Twitter account, which is not verified and, as of this writing, has 103 followers.
Given that William Bell's now-standard songs “Born Under a Bad Sign” and “You Don’t Miss Your Water” have been performed by artists including Brian Eno, Jimi Hendrix, Linda Ronstadt, Homer Simpson and Carole King, it's a mystery how he could live 77 years without one. His victory for Americana album Grammy caps an illustrious career that got its start during the heyday of Memphis soul label Stax.
Bell was also nominated for traditional R&B song for his "Three of Me," but Grammy voters awarded Lalah Hathaway's "Angel," instead. Bell spoke to The Times in December after he learned he was nominated.
When I did the project, [producer and arranger] John Leventhal and I wanted to just broaden the genre a little bit and try to reach out with soul music. I think we were able to accomplish that. We didn't know if we could or not. I'm just elated that the Americana genre has embraced it, and also the R&B-soul genre has also embraced it.
What's it like being at the preshow? Surprisingly low-key.
The kick off for music's biggest night on Sunday was mellow. Only a fraction of attendees trickled into the Microsoft Theater to see who won the 70-plus awards handed out ahead of the main telecast at Staples Center.
The merch booth and bathrooms had no line, there was no drama getting in and the bar was already closed. And because it was open seating, folks roamed freely between the audience and the lobby.
This year's Grammys might offer some of the biggest award show fashion moments in years. Beyoncé, who's pregnant with twins, and Lady Gaga likely will make their way along the red carpet in downtown Los Angeles at some point this afternoon.
We can't forget that time they joined forces and fashion styles. Who can forget the fashion in the "Thelma & Louise"-themed "Telephone" video, the song from Lady Gaga's 2009 album, "The Fame Monster"?
Kool & the Gang strutted happily down the red carpet, even though they aren't nominated. But the funk legends will be performing at the official Grammys after-party produced by the Recording Academy.
The group, known for such songs as "Celebration," "Jungle Boogie" and "Ladies Night," said they're content to know that pop music is enjoying a moment where their influence can very much be heard, pointing to Bruno Mars as an artist they feel best represents a modern take on their sound.
That's not to say they aren't recording. Six months ago, they cut a track called "Sexy."