Word on the street was that Justin Timberlake was sick, but MTV News found out another one of the night’s big performers was also under the weather. So who used to perform Lionel Richie songs at talent contests, and what exactly did Christina Aguilera say about private parts?
Check out what we discovered by poking around backstage where the cameras didn’t go at the Grammys:
· The night before the big show (see “Timberlake Rocks; Blige Weeps; Chicks, Chilis Clean Up At Grammys” ), Justin Timberlake was feeling chatty during Grammy rehearsals and sat down at the piano to treat everyone in the room to an impromptu, slowed-down rendition of “Di– in a Box.”
· Quentin Tarantino walked the red carpet with fellow martial-arts enthusiast RZA. The two were making inside jokes and cracking each other up.
· Just after Black Eyed Peas finished interviews on the red carpet, Will.I.Am broke loose and chatted with everyone in sight, including Chris Brown, who checked out Will’s diamond-encrusted ear cover and asked, “Where did you get that? I have to get one” (see “Justin And T.I.’s Suits Show Up Ladies’ Sequins On Grammy Red Carpet” ).
· Beyoncé hit the press room early and revealed that she was suffering from the stomach flu. But B wasn’t fazed until her publicist cut her off just as she was starting an interview to change the look of the shot. Beyoncé said, “Now I feel all self-conscious!”
· When a reporter told John Legend some people say he’s the next Marvin Gaye, Legend smiled and responded, “Some people need to slow down. He’s an idol of mine. If you hear some of him [in me], I stole it from him.” Legend also said he keeps his Grammys “on my piano in my apartment in New York.” Later, Legend watched Lionel Richie perform “Hello” and remarked that he used to perform that song at talent contests. Someone asked, “Did you win?” Legend replied, “Of course.”
· Christina Aguilera talked backstage about her tour, possibly getting into acting and, of course, performing James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” “I was thrilled, completely flattered that they would think I could pull off a James Brown song,” she said, adding that she researched her performance by watching old Brown DVDs. “I saw his spins — I didn’t do the spins. I didn’t want to trip on my heels or something.” When one reporter noted that Aguilera has always managed to enter and exit limos without incident, she laughed, “Are you setting me up to say, ’Keep your legs closed?’ There’s a way to make sure privates are kept private.”
· Carrie Underwood walked around backstage with two Grammys in her arms and said she felt a little bit more relaxed about taking the stage at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party after she saw a few people perform and realized no one was going to throw anything at her when she got up to sing (see “Aguilera, Hudson Play For Clive Davis; FOB Rock Roots’ Grammys Eve Jam” ).
· At least she’s not label crazy. In the press room, Natasha Bedingfield drew a blank, telling a reporter she was wearing, “A red dress … a red dress which I can’t remember [who designed it] because I threw it on when I got offstage.”
· Chamillionaire pranced around the hallways, super-hyped about his win for “Ridin,” while Krayzie Bone announced to those gathered in the press room that the victory was a great jump-start for the return of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. “This is a perfect kickoff. Last time we got a Grammy was, like, ’97.” Krayzie also said “Ridin” attained a level of success “way beyond” what he and Chamillionaire had expected.
· Ludacris held onto his two Grammys and told reporters he performed “Runaway Love” during the show because “it was time for change, time to start talking about different things.” “This is pretty much the best day of my life,” he gushed. “No words can explain how I feel. This is my fifth studio LP and I’ve been nominated every year — this is my first time winning. Earth, Wind & Fire (he and Mary J. Blige performed with them at the show) were just as big of fans of mine as I was of theirs.” He also said he’s cleared his schedule for Monday (February 12) because he’s going to party all night.
· “My Grammy Moment” winner Robyn Troup revealed backstage that it’s her birthday. She added that she looked at Blige the entire time she was performing with Timberlake because Blige’s face was warm and welcoming, and she feared looking elsewhere would make her nervous.
· Dixie Chick Natalie Maines said this was by far the most amazing awards-show experience she’d ever had, adding, “But it’s funny, I’m not that angry,” in response to talk that the band’s album was defiant.
The show’s over but there’s plenty of Grammy hotness here on MTVNews.com. Check out photos of the hottest red-carpet and onstage action; join our reporters as they hit all the Grammy week parties; and let us know what you think about the performers, winners and losers. Plus see videos of all the nominees on MTV.com and check out exclusive video footage from the big night right here.