LL Cool J Gears Up To Host Grammy Nomination Show

By ZACH SEEMAYER

December 06, 2013

Once again, the Grammys are proving themselves to be the height of entertainment in America as they prepare to rock the world at their Grammy Awards Nominations Concert!

While most awards shows announce their award nominations in a small, polite press gathering early in the morning, the Grammys have gone a different route, and turned their nomination announcements into a wild, star-studded televised evening of incredible music and celebration.

The line-up includes performances by Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, T.I., Keith Urban, Miguel, Robin Thicke, Lorde, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and members of Earth, Wind and Fire. Musicians Enrique Iglesias and Ed Sheeran, along with talk show host and comedian Arsenio Hall, will present the nominations.

Returning yet again to host the event is rapper and actor LL Cool J, who spoke with ET about the event during prep and rehearsal.

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"The one thing you can always expect from the nomination show is excitement," LL Cool J said. "There is a lot of suspense though. There is suspense at the normal Grammy show, of course, but there's a different level of suspense at this show, because this show basically decides who gets invited."

While there are many shows that celebrate and honor musicians and the music industry, LL Cool J explained why the Grammys are still the pinnacle of prestige in the crowded pool of music awards shows.

"It's an award that just represents the highest levels of success in music. There's been Grammy moments throughout the years that have been stamped and burned indelibly into our brains, and it's just a really important show for musicians," LL Cool J explained.

And he should know, as he has won two Grammys himself. He first won the award for Best Rap Solo Performance for his mega-hit Mama Said Knock You Out in 1992, and again for Hey Lover in 1994.

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"When you're sitting there, and your about to find out who won, you have the butterflies, the anxiety, you feel the ripples in your stomach. You're on the edge of your seat, you're biting your lip… and then when they finally announce your name, it's like you shook up a bottle of champagne, like a thousand bottles of champagne, and popped them all at the same time," said the artist when asked about the experience of winning.

And this massive concert to announce the nominations is just another way to build up that incredible experience.

Neil Portnow, former president of Jive Records and the current National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which produces the Grammy Awards, opened up to ET about the decision to have a televised concert spectacular, instead of a traditional press conference.

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"A press conference is nice, but it doesn’t have the reach that a television show does," Portnow explained. "We're musicians, and we play music. So the most appropriate setting for announcing nominations for music's biggest night is to have it in a venue where music is performed."

Portnow added, "Any time you can put music on primetime television, this is good for our industry, and it's great for the fans."

Check out the video for more from behind-the-scenes of the Grammy Nominations Concert prep and rehearsal, and hear from the people who putting the whole show together.

The one-hour Grammy Award Nominations Concert will air live, Friday, December 6 at 10pm on CBS.



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