Ray Charles Tribute, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Grammy Awards.
The Recording Academy announced that Kanye West, currently nominated for 10 Grammys, will perform on the 47th Annual Grammy Awards telecast with a group of soul, R&B and gospel artists including newcomer John Legend, R&B great Mavis Staples, and current nominee the Blind Boys Of Alabama. In addition, Bonnie Raitt and Billy Preston will perform in honor of Ray Charles, and Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, members of the definitive Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and legendary musicians Dickie Betts (the Allman Brothers Band) and Elvin Bishop will appear in a special tribute to Southern rock. The Academy also announced that Norah Jones, Ludacris, Mark McGrath, and Gary Sinise will present.
Kanye West is nominated for Best New Artist; Album Of The Year (as an artist on The College Dropout and as a producer on The Diary Of Alicia Keys); Best Rap Album (The College Dropout); Best Rap Solo Performance ("Through The Wire"); Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Slow Jamz" with Twista and Jamie Foxx, and "All Falls Down" with Syleena Johnson); Song Of The Year and Best Rap Song ("Jesus Walks"); and Best R&B Song ("You Don't Know My Name"). Staples is being honored this year with the Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Blind Boys Of Alabama are nominated with Ben Harper for their collaborative effort: Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album ("There Will Be A Light") and Best Gospel Performance for the album's title track.
Nine-time Grammy-winner Bonnie Raitt and two-time Grammy-winner Billy Preston are slated to perform in a segment honoring the late Ray Charles. Charles is posthumously nominated for seven Grammy Awards: Record Of The Year ("Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones); Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album ("Genius Loves Company"); Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals ("Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" with Elton John and "Here We Go Again"); Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ("Sinner's Prayer" with B.B. King); and Best Gospel Performance ("Heaven Help Us All" with Gladys Knight).
The Grammys tribute to Southern rock will feature the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration of current nominees Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Gretchen Wilson with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and musicians Dickie Betts and Elvin Bishop. Tim McGraw is nominated for two awards, Best Country Album (Live Like You Were Dying) and Best Male Country Vocal Performance ("Live Like You Were Dying"). Keith Urban currently holds two nominations: Best Country Album (Be Here) and Best Male Country Vocal Performance ("You'll Think Of Me"). Newcomer Gretchen Wilson is nominated for four awards: Best New Artist, Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song ("Redneck Woman"), and Best Country Album ("Here For The Party").
Newly announced presenters include five-time Grammy-winner Norah Jones, Rap artist Ludacris, Emmy-winning actor and star of the CBS show "C.S.I.: New York" Gary Sinise, and recording artist and "Extra!" co-host Mark McGrath who also is serving as an Honorary Member of The Recording Academy's What's The Download Interactive Advisory Board. Norah Jones currently holds five nominations: Record Of The Year and Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals ("Here We Go Again" with Ray Charles), Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Sunrise"), Best Pop Vocal Album (Feels Like Home), and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals ("Creepin' In" with Dolly Parton). Ludacris is nominated for Record Of The Year and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Yeah!" with Usher and Lil Jon).
These superstar artists join previously announced performances by Green Day, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw, and U2; presenters Ellen DeGeneres, Christina Milian, and John Travolta; and host Queen Latifah.
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