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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 26, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 04
Grammys 2018:
Kesha, Lady GaGa, Elton John with Miley Cyrus, Patti LuPone with Ben Platt, Pink, Sam Smith, and more set to perform; plus predictions and picks for 'Music's Biggest Night'
Arts & Entertainment
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Grammys 2018:
Kesha, Lady GaGa, Elton John with Miley Cyrus, Patti LuPone with Ben Platt, Pink, Sam Smith, and more set to perform; plus predictions and picks for 'Music's Biggest Night'

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

60TH ANNIVERSARY GRAMMY AWARDS
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (NYC)
CBS/KIRO (Channel 7)
January 28 at 4:30pm PST


Two weeks ago, Hollywood's elite used the Golden Globes telecast to address the hot button topic of sexual harassment and discrimination within the film industry, and outside of it as well. From Oprah Winfrey to Natalie Portman to Salma Hayek, women representing the cinematic world boldly stated that #timesup; they're not going to put up with the piggish behavior of their male colleagues any longer.

This weekend, it's the music biz's turn to respond to sexual misconduct allegations that have also affected some of its artists, most notably Kesha. The pop star and devoted LGBT ally will perform her nominated single 'Praying' on the awards ceremony, a song written after her very public legal battle against former producer Dr. Luke, in which she claimed that he sexually, physically, emotionally and verbally abused her during their professional relationship. The song, a powerfully written ballad that proved to be a successful detour from Kesha's usual brand of kitschy electro-pop, became her first #1 hit following a five-year break. The singer-songwriter's performance of 'Praying' will be a highlight of the three-hour Grammy telecast, which will also feature performances by Lady GaGa, Elton John with Miley Cyrus, Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Ben Platt, Pink, Sam Smith, U2, Rihanna with Bryson Tiller and DJ Khaled, Bruno Mars with Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Little Big Town, Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee, Childish Gambino and a special tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival by Eric Church, Maren Morris, and the Brothers Osborne.

Also slated to collaborate on stage at Madison Square Garden, marking the return of the Grammys to New York City in fifteen years, are Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid, who will jointly perform the Song of the Year nominee '1-800-273-8255,' which encourages anyone contemplating suicide to call the titular number for help, connecting them to the National Suicide Prevention hotline. The dramatic music video for the song featured a teenage boy wanting to end his life when those around him disapproved of his sexuality, but ultimately he phones the hotline instead and years later marries his high school boyfriend in a ceremony attended by his father.

In total, there are nearly 20 performances on the docket for Sunday evening's gala with only about 10 gramophone statues being handed out; the other 74 categories will be presented in a pre-telecast ceremony held a few hours before the main telecast. The broadcast and live stream begins at 4:30pm PST on January 28 on CBS/KIRO.

Here are my picks and predictions in 10 key races.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR nominees:
Awaken, My Love! - Childish Gambino | 4:44 - Jay-Z | DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar | Melodrama - Lorde | 24K Magic - Bruno Mars
Will/Should win: DAMN.
Lamar is owed, and I mean owed BIG TIME. But Jay-Z is considered a hip hop trailblazer and Grammy voters might lean in his favor. If voters play it safe, and they usually do (case in point: Adele over Beyonce a year ago), then look for Mars to take it.

RECORD OF THE YEAR nominees:
'Redbone' - Childish Gambino | 'Despacito' - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber | 'The Story of O.J.' - Jay-Z | 'HUMBLE.' - Kendrick Lamar | '24K Magic' - Bruno Mars
Will win: '24K Magic'
Something tells me that all three rap entries will cancel each other out, leaving the gimmicky 'Despacito' and the universally loved '24K Magic' left to duke it out. I'll give Mars the edge.
Should win: 'Redbone'
The slick, stylish hit single from Childish Gambino's latest, and perhaps his very last, album Awaken, My Love! is on a different playing field than its fellow nominees. Not to mention, I always think of Get Out when I hear it.

SONG OF THE YEAR nominees:
'Despacito,' '4:44,' 'Issues,' '1-800-273-8255,' 'That's What I Like'
Will/Should win: '1-800-273-8255'
I'm not picking the Logic tune for sentimental reasons; it's just a really good song that happens to contain a strong, inspiring message.

BEST NEW ARTIST nominees:
Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uze Vert, Julia Michaels, SZA
Will win: SZA
More often than not, Grammy voters give this award to a female artist and of the three nominated here SZA created the loudest buzz.
Should win: Khalid
At the young age of 19, this kid has already proved he's a force to be reckoned with.

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE nominees:
'Love So Soft' - Kelly Clarkson | 'Praying' - Kesha | 'Million Reasons' - Lady GaGa | 'What About Us' - Pink | 'Shape of You' - Ed Sheeran
Will win: 'Praying'
I'm being ballsy and picking Kesha over beloved Grammy darling Sheeran. But I think voters might be swayed by the current #metoo and #timesup campaigns.
Should win: 'Million Reasons'
This category used to be called 'Pop Vocal Performance' and I would then have chosen Kesha, simply for crushing that super high note at the end of the song. But since it extends beyond the vocals, I prefer GaGa's ballad overall, one of her very best singles.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM nominees:
Kaleidoscope EP - Coldplay | Lust for Life - Lana Del Rey | Evolve - Imagine Dragons | Rainbow - Kesha | Joanne - Lady GaGa | Divide - Ed Sheeran
Will win: Divide
Sheeran was surprisingly shut out of the major categories, where he was seen as a shoo-in going into the nominations. But he has enough support from fellow colleagues to pull out a win here.
Should win: Lust for Life
I loved Rainbow and am silently cheering for it to win. But I gotta give credit where it's due and Del Rey made the best album of the year, in my opinion.

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM nominees:
Migration - Bonobo | 3-D The Catalogue - Kraftwerk | Mura Masa - Mura Masa | A Moment Apart - Odesza | What Now - Sylvan Esso
Will win: 3-D The Catalogue
Kraftwerk are electronic legends, nominated against a crop of relatively new EDM artists. They're probably the only familiar name on the ballot that voters will recognize.
Should win: A Moment Apart
Here's hoping Seattle's own Odesza can bring this award home!

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM nominees:
Everything Now - Arcade Fire | Humanz - Gorillaz | American Dream - LCD Soundsystem | Pure Comedy - Father John Misty | Sleep Well Beast - The National
Will win: Everything Now
It isn't their best work, but Arcade Fire is a Grammy favorite and should muster enough votes to capture another gramophone.
Should win: Sleep Well Beast
A better-crafted album by The National will probably not result in them earning the award, but it ought to.

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM nominees:
Free 6LACK - 6LACK | Awaken My Love! - Childish Gambino | American Teen - Khalid | Ctrl - SZA | Starboy - The Weeknd
Will win: Awaken, My Love!
A consolation prize for Childish Gambino for not getting the Album of the Year award.
Should win: American Teen
Khalid's debut album is better constructed, from the writing to the production. Plus, he really shouldn't be sent home empty handed.

BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM nominees:
Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hello, Dolly!
Will/Should win: Dear Evan Hansen
Three worthy nominees, but the race is actually between last summer's Tony Award winners for Best Musical (Dear Evan Hansen) and Best Revival of a Musical (Hello, Dolly!), which gets a boost from Bette Midler. Still, it'll be tough to beat the great collection of modern numbers from Pasek and Paul, who earned another Academy Award nod this week - they won in 2017 for 'City of Stars.'

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Top-notch Frost / Nixon at Strawshop
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ArtsWest's Peerless is fiercely startling and shockingly real
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Get your ticket for Two Trains Running
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Grammys 2018:
Kesha, Lady GaGa, Elton John with Miley Cyrus, Patti LuPone with Ben Platt, Pink, Sam Smith, and more set to perform; plus predictions and picks for 'Music's Biggest Night'

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Diverse Harmony presents 'Pale Blue Dot' concert February 3
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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men
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Marxiano Productions' Bohemia brings a beautiful classical work of erotic art to The Triple Door
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And the award goes to...

The winners of the 2017 Gypsy Rose Lee Awards

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Seattle Humane - Pets of the Week
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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men
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Help create a social and support network for LGBT veterans
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Pearl Jam to combat homelessness with two Safeco Field shows; Erasure headed to Seattle this summer
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Explosive 12 Strong a well-intentioned missed opportunity
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Oscars 2018 nominations announced:

Call Me By Your Name nets 4, Chilean trans movie A Fantastic Woman up for Best Foreign Language Film

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2018 Academy Award nominations
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