Sunday night’s 55th Grammy Awards is already jam-packed with a huge roster of talent that includes Justin Timberlake, Fun., Taylor Swift, Jack White, the Black Keys, Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Carrie Underwood. Rihanna performing with Sting and Bruno Mars and Miranda Lambert jamming with Dierks Bentley.
But the show has just added a musical mashup that is sure to blow minds. In an explosive melding of rock, rap and EDM, a supergroup composed of Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, Grammy host LL Cool J, Public Enemy leader Chuck D, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and DJ Z-Trip will get together for a special performance during the broadcast.
While he could not give specifics on the top-secret collabo, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow told MTV News that the idea sprung out of the Academy’s long relationship with Cool J. “LL is part of our family now,” said Portnow of the actor and old-school rap legend who hosted the Grammys last year and has anchored the Grammy nomination TV special for five years . “He’s not a hired gun and last year after we did the nominations show we said, ’let’s do [something] this year’ and he was up for it.”
Given Cool J’s iconic place in the music firmament as a hip-hop originator, Portnow said the idea was to pair LL with a group of other artists in an attempt to celebrate the genre. “He represents so much history with his work in hip-hop … to this day he’s in it, he’s respected for it and we thought, ’gee, it’s right under our noses, let’s do something with LL and have a lot of fun with that.'” Portnow would not give any details on how the unusual group will gel on stage, but said the concept is “not so much a tribute to his [LL’s] music, so much as a celebration of the kind of music he’s been known for and others that have followed.”
Among the other acts recently added to the list of artist playing the show: Miguel with Wiz Khalifa, Hunter Hayes, Kelly Clarkson, the Grammy debut of Frank Ocean, the first-ever televised duet between nominee Ed Sheeran and Elton John, Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys.
John will also hook up with Zac Brown, the Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Mumford, Mavis Staples and T-Bone Burnett to pay tribute to late Band drummer Levon Helm, who passed away in April.
Among the presenters at the show are: Ne-Yo, Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl, Ryan Seacrest, Beyoncé, Hunter Hayes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, Kaley Cuoco, Neil Patrick Harris, Faith Hill, Jennifer Lopez, Tim McGraw, Pauley Perrette, Prince and Keith Urban.