As expected, James Blunt was officially added to the list of performers for Sunday night's Grammy Awards telecast, as was nominated rapper T.I. and country trio Rascal Flatts, who kick off a big tour tonight in West Virginia. I was on the phone this morning with Jason Aldean, who is opening tonight's show for Rascal Flatts and for most of their tour, and he said the Rascals are dashing to LA over the weekend, then rejoining the tour after the Grammys.
Tomorrow's issue of the Seattle Gay News has predictions and picks for 10 key categories, including Album, Record and Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.
Here are the nominees for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration.
For Once in My Life - Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder
One - Mary J. Blige & U2
Always on Your Side - Sheryl Crow & Sting
Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado & Timbaland
Hips Don't Lie - Shakira & Wyclef Jean
Will win: One
You take this year's most nominated artist, Ms. Blige, and a multi-winning Grammy act, U2, and you have an irresistable combo that voters will gladly checkmark on their ballots.
Should win: Hips Don't Lie
The only collaboration that doesn't seem forced in this lineup, with the possible exception of Furtado and Timbaland's groovy duet, is the Latin-tinged sizzler offered by Colombian diva Shakira and ex Fugee Wyclef Jean. I could easily snore through anything Bennett does, the Crow-Sting pairing is interesting at best, and U2 and Blige over-work a great rock classic.