LOS ANGELES — Grammys season is officially upon us! But before Jay Z, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams were named this year’s top nominees, the Recording Academy marked the occasion with its annual Nominations Concert on CBS.
Lorde captivated and Robin Thicke blew down the doors, but for those not inside the Nokia Theater on Friday (December 6), MTV News was on hand for everything from Kelly Rowland’s run-in with an “X Factor” castoff, commercial break “appearances” from Pink, Mick Jagger and Aretha Franklin, and Thicke’s surprise post-show set.
Below, find 7 things you didn’t see on the “Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!” Broadcast.
1. Almost Everyone Was Late
Getting into downtown Los Angeles on a Friday night is no easy task, and plenty of locals took their sweet time in arriving to the 7 p.m. event. 15 minutes before showtime, less than half the audience was in their seats as announcer Ellen K’s pleas to clear the aisles became increasingly frantic. (After all, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis would be making their way down those aisles in just a matter of minutes.) Guests were still finding their seats during the commercial breaks, up to 30 minutes into the show.
2. Pink, Aretha And Jay Z In The House
During the commercial breaks, in-house screens played back a slew of iconic Grammy performances, including vintage footage of Pink, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Jay-Z and Aretha Franklin, for the audience.
3. Kelly Rowland had a reunion
The former Destiny’s Child member, after announcing the nominees for Best Country Album (and offering a sweet birthday shoutout to mom!), was spotted hugging a white-haired man dressed head to toe in red. Upon closer examination, said individual was “X Factor” season-three castoff Denny Smith, a.k.a. Santa. How he found himself at the event (and in close proximity to Kelly), however, was not immediately clear.
4. Lorde Receives A Royal Welcome
Well before her nominations were announced, show producer Ken Ehrlich addressed the crowd and offered a special shoutout to the New Zealand singer. “We met Lorde yesterday,” he told the audience, before spotting the 17-year-old in the crowd. “Hi Ella! Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for Lorde,” he shouted. Later, the crowd found themselves captivated by the singer, falling nearly silent during her rendition of “Royals” and responding to its conclusion with deafening applause.
5. Letting The F-Bombs fly
Macklemore may not have been allowed to deliver a certain line during his performance, but the audience made sure his “Thrift Shop” was properly represented. During the chorus, when Macklmore brought the mic away from his lips, the crowd was quick to sing along with a rousing “this is f—-ing awesome!” Before the broadcast, Pink’s “Fun House” played along over the loudspeakers in its full, uncensored glory.
6. Points For Grammar
“Everybody pull out your cell phones and tweet now,” Ehrlich urged the audience, asking those in-house to post using a specific hashtag. While the intent was clear, on-screen graphics instructed tweeters to use #I’mAtTheGrammyNo. (The “ms” is implied.) We didn’t have the heart to tell them that the apostrophe, while grammatically appreciated, defeats the purpose of the hashtag.
7. Robin Thicke’s Bonus Set
We are willing to wager that the speakers’ volume was increased significantly for Thicke’s latest rendition of “Blurred Lines,” alongside T.I. and members of Earth Wind and Fire. After he shook the walls in the place, and the credits on the broadcast had rolled, Thicke launched into an additional five-song set including “Give It 2 U,” “Magic,” and a cover of “Let’s Stay Together,” the latter of which had the entirety of Nokia on their feet and singing along. “This year has obviously been the greatest success of my career,” he said at one point. “Hopefully I can continue to make music that makes people happy.”