Kanye West has been tapped to perform at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, the Recording Academy announced Friday (February 8).
According to reports, the Chicago rapper, who leads this year's pack with eight nominations, has been in rehearsals performing his hit "Stronger" from his recent album, Graduation, along with "Hey Mama" from his sophomore effort, Late Registration.
It's widely believed that West will honor his mother, the late Donda West, with his Grammy performance. On November 10, Donda died of a heart attack related to pre-existing health conditions and complications from plastic surgery.
Kanye performed the same two songs overseas during his Glow in the Dark Tour as a tribute to his mother. During a stop in Paris a week after his mother's death, however, West was visibly shaken and couldn't finish "Hey Mama." He cut the song short after being unable to continue and ended the show with "Stronger."
The very next tour date, however, in Belgium, West was able to pull himself together and gave a stirring speech dedicated to his mother. In online videos of the performance, West proudly proclaimed, "[These songs are for] problems that we're going through ... hard times. Who would ever have thought that these same songs would have to help me?"
West also included a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " as a part of the tribute.
Inquiries made by MTV News to representatives for the Grammy Awards and Def Jam were not returned as of press time.
West's performance, along with a strong critical buzz for Graduation are leading many to predict that this is the year the beleaguered rap star will finally win the coveted Album of the Year award. He's hardly bitten his tongue in the past regarding his desire — and right — to win.
"I really believe I can take home that Album of the Year award at the Grammys," West told MTV News in July. "I've won my awards, but they've always been a category: 'hip-hop,' 'rap.' I wanna win Song of the Year, Album of the Year. I wanna deliver this album."
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