If the Recording Academy is trying to lure Eminem into accepting its invitation to perform at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards next month, it has offered up one of his favorite targets as fellow-performer bait.
'NSYNC, the subject of several of the controversial rapper's Marshall Mathers LP disses, have been added to the list of performers at the February 21 ceremony that includes U2 and Madonna. Pop sensation Destiny's Child and country stars Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton will also perform, Recording Academy President Michael Greene announced Monday (January 29).
Carlos Santana, last year's runaway Grammy winner, was among the first award presenters announced. R&B singer Erykah Badu and "Everybody Loves Raymond" actor Ray Romano were also named Monday.
'NSYNC, who performed Sunday in the Super Bowl halftime show, are nominated for three Grammys, including Best Pop Vocal Album, for 2000's top-selling No Strings Attached, and Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal, for "Bye Bye Bye".
Destiny's Child, whose Beyoncé Knowles tied Dr. Dre for the most nominations, received five nods, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best R&B Song, for "Say My Name" (see "Dr. Dre, Beyonce Lead Grammy Nominees").
Best New Artist Nominee Paisley will duet with Parton, who garnered nominations for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for "Travelin' Prayer," and Best Bluegrass Album, for The Grass Is Blue.
Badu, who will launch a North American tour next month, is up for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, for "Bag Lady", the first single from her acclaimed Mama's Gun.
The Recording Academy has asked Eminem to perform, but his spokesperson at Interscope Records said the rapper has not decided if he will be among the 10 to 12 performers at the ceremony, which will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on CBS (see "Madonna, U2 Playing Grammys; Eminem Undecided").
Eminem won two Grammys last year but skipped the ceremony and later rapped, "Do you think I give a damn about a Grammy?" in the hit "The Real Slim Shady".
On Eminem's hit "The Way I Am" he raps, "I'm not Mr. 'NSYNC/ I'm not what your friends think/ I'm not Mr. Friendly/ I can be a prick." On "I'm Back," he quips, "And by the way, 'NSYNC, why do they sing?/ Am I the only one who realizes they stink?"
For more Grammy news, check out the MTV News Grammy Archive.