Inside Nashville’s Grammy Nominations Concert

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• December 6, 2012

The Band Perry and Dierks Bentley open the show with "Jackson."

Before cameras rolled last night (12/5) at The Grammy Nominations Live!–Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich extended gratitude to those who helped bring the show to Nashville. “We’re gonna pay tribute to Nashville and the music you’ve given to the world,” said Ehrlich just minutes before the show aired live. “Thanks to this great city, mayor, and governor.”

For the first time, the CBS Grammy nominations show was wooed from L.A., where it found itself competing for primetime ratings against the ABC drama Nashville, which was coincidentally shooting downtown at aVenue simultaneous to the Bridgestone show.

Music City’s numerous genres were represented throughout the show, with local stars Hunter Hayes, Taylor Swift, The Black Keys, Kelly Clarkson and Jack White receiving nominations.

Swift, one of the city’s major supporters and exports, appropriately served as host, reuniting with co-host LL Cool J in her hometown. “You have no idea how excited I am to have you in Nashville,” said Swift. “This is my town.” The two hosted the inaugural 2008 Grammy nom show.

After a welcoming number mentioning the Country Music Hall of Fame, honky-tonks, and Nashville’s wax museum, in addition to a beat-box performance of Swift’s “Mean,” the show was underway.

Johnny Cash, who won 15 Grammys over the years, was paid tribute by The Band Perry  and Dierks Bentley performing “Jackson,” his classic hit with wife June Carter Cash. A video also featured Cash’s 1978 Grammy awards performance, the year the telecast came to Nashville for the first time.

Hunter Hayes announced the Grammy Pop Vocal of the Year category with an acoustic guitar medley of songs from each nominee.

Luke Bryan performs.

Sheryl Crow and Chris Young (who is on vocal rest) announced nominees for Record of the Year, which included Swift’s “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Capitol Record’s Luke Bryan performed “I Don’t Want This Night To End” with the largest stage production, incorporating confetti, CO2 jets and mechanized stage risers. The label’s Little Big Town then sang an a cappella snippet of The Beatles’ “Yesterday” before announcing Best New Artist nominees, which included Hunter Hayes. The newly merged Universal imprint will release the Grammy Nominations album early next year.

The co-hosts spent most of the time on a satellite stage, where they introduced presenters, a pre-recorded set by The Who, and performers including Fun., Maroon 5, and Ne-Yo.

Maroon 5 followed the live telecast with a 20-minute concert for attendees consisting of hits “This Love” and “She Will be Loved.”

MusicRow’s list of nominees can be found here.

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 10 on CBS.

Hunter Hayes reveals nominees.



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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] @EricTParker

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