Six weeks after Kanye warned of the Grammys, "Do not let me get up on that stage and do not not let me get up on that stage, either way, we going crazy," the Recording Academy has decided to take its chances.
Regardless of whether he wins any of the eight awards for which he's nominated, West will take the Grammy stage as a performer — and it was announced early Wednesday (January 18) that Mariah Carey and John Legend, who like West have eight nominations apiece, will be performing at the show as well (see "Mariah Carey, Kanye West, John Legend Lead Grammy Nominees").
It's not yet known which songs will be performed at the event. In West's case, "Gold Digger" earned the most nominations, including Record of the Year, but "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" also earned a nod, and "Heard 'Em Say" and "Touch the Sky" have both been released as singles in recent weeks. Carey's "We Belong Together" is her most-nominated hit, earning both Record of the Year and Song of the Year nods, but "It's Like That" and "Mine Again" also got a nomination apiece, and "Shake It Off" and "Don't Forget About Us" have been released as singles since the window for Grammy consideration closed. Likewise, Legend's biggest hit of the year was "Ordinary People," but he was also recognized for "Stay With You" and "So High."
And considering West's extensive involvement with both artists — Legend is signed to West's label, West and Legend guested on Common's "They Say," and West also produced Mariah's "Stay the Night" — a medley and/or collaboration, always popular at the Grammys, is a strong possibility.
West has made it clear since before the nominations were even announced that winning Album of the Year is his priority (see "Kanye's At It Again: 'If I Don't Win Album Of The Year I'm Gonna Have A Problem' "). His debut, The College Dropout, earned an Album of the Year nomination in 2005, but the rapper lost to Ray Charles and had to settle for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for "Jesus Walks" (see "Kanye Steals The Show, But Ray Dominates Grammy Winners' Circle").
"It's like [Michael] Jordan," West said of his quest to win. "That first year when he comes out and they win a championship it's like, 'OK, yeah, that's good.' But that second year he has to set new goals, he says, 'No, I want this, I'm going for this.' So when I worked on [Late Registration] I kept on saying to [producer] Jon [Brion], 'Are you ready to win Album of the Year?'
Kanye's Grammy Warning
"If I don't win Album of the Year, I'm gonna really have a problem with that," he said.
Kanye has since backed down a bit on his campaign (see "Kanye Still Pretty Sure About A Grammy, But There's A Catch"), even noting that winning isn't everything.
"When I make music it's to help people, it's to help the fans, it's not just to help myself," he said recently. "So many people feel good about Mariah, about John [Legend], about all the people that got nominated, and it's these times where we should say, 'Damn, we're bringing some type of joy to the world.' "
The Grammys will be held February 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The show's over, but there's still plenty of Grammy goodness right here on MTVNews.com. Check out photos of the hottest green-carpet and onstage moments, find out what went down at the celeb-packed parties, and share your thoughts on the performers, winners and losers.
[This story was orignally published at 3:13 p.m. ET on 01.17.2006]