Ah, the Grammys ... A magical night, full of stars, songs and swagger -- plus a few awards and performances, too. The biggest names in music have flocked to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and after a few hours spent walking the red carpet, they've taken their seats and are ready for the big show to begin.
And it promises to be a pretty interesting show, for sure. Because, for the first time in years, there's plenty of drama tonight: Can Lil Wayne win Album of the Year (and how will he manage to keep his tuxedo pants up?), or will Grammy-faves like Coldplay or Alison Krauss and Robert Plant swoop in and steal the night's biggest award? Will one stage be big enough to contain all the swagger in the "Swagga Like Us" performance? Can the Jonas Brothers take Best New Artist? What do surprise presenters Blink-182 and Green Day have in store for us? And--most importantly--will Thom Yorke wear Gucci or Prada (or just some free-trade, hemp sweatpants?)
All will be answered as the evening unfolds ... and I'll be here with you, live blogging it all from the comfort of my office at MTV's Times Square HQ (we have free coffee!) So sit back, relax, and let the Grammy Magic begin.
8:00 We're LIVE! From the Staples Center in Los Angeles (where there's always a boat show next door -- sorry, LA joke) for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards! Just to get you up to speed on what's happened so far ... Lil Wayne, Coldplay, Radiohead, Kanye and Jay-Z all won Grammys during the pre-televised award ceremony (the Kings of Leon, the Mars Volta, Adele and Duffy did too), and neither Chris Brown or Rihanna will be attending the show tonight, due to either a car crash or a possible felony assault.
8:07 U2 kick things off with a performance of their new single "Put On Your Boots." Bono removes his shades--is he wearing mascara?!?!--and then announces Whitney Houston! She gets a standing ovation (and shows off some leg, too) then announces the nominees for Best R&B album ... very. very. slowly. seriously. this. is. taking. forever. Jennifer Hudson wins Best R&B album. She fights back the tears and thanks "God who has brought me through, and my family in heaven."
8:11 The Rock cuts a mean promo (just like his WWF DAYS! Can't wait for the People's Elbow!) and then tosses to Justin Timberlake, who makes a terrible pun about a general store (crickets ... crickets) and intros Boyz II Men, Keith Urban and Al Green. Oh, and he performs with them, too (JT can do everything!). This goes on for a while ...
8:16 Our first commercial break! My first coffee break!
8:27 We're Back! That dude from "The Mentalist" intros Coldplay ... AND JAY-Z! He and Chris Martin do their "Lost" duet, and then we've officially gone medley as the rest of the band join them (not Jay, he left already), for "Viva La Vida." It bears mentioning that Coldplay's outfits are now color-coordinated and make them look like foot soldiers in the Fruit Stripe Gum army. Martin has "42" written on his shirt. Perhaps he's a big fan of "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy."