Five things to watch for at the 2014 Grammys

NEED TO KNOW
  • Beyonce & Jay Z will perform on Sunday's telecast
  • Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams each have 7 nominations
  • Catch Showbiz Tonight on Monday, January 27 at 12 p.m. live with all the big highlights on HLN
Five things to watch for at the 2014 Grammys

Best New Artist Grammy: History's hits & misses

Best New Artist Grammy: History's hits & misses

Robin Meade sits down with some of the biggest names in music to give you a look behind the scenes of the biggest night in music. It's Backstage Express with Robin Meade, Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on HLN.

1. Music’s power couple is taking the stage

The "surprise" performers that the Grammys tried to keep under wraps before this year's show are none other than music's royal couple -- Jay Z and Beyonce. Unfortunately, the Recording Academy seemingly outed their own surprise when Jay & Bey's appearance was confirmed in a commercial for the awards show that aired last Sunday. While there has been no other confirmation by the Grammys of their performance, we're already ecstatic about the thought of the duo joining forces onstage to debut their newest duet "Drunk in Love" or sing a throwback like "Crazy in Love." Would it be too much to ask for audience shots of Blue Ivy?

2. Jared’s awards show domination continues

Jared Leto is ruling this awards season. He's picked up a Golden Globe, a SAG award, a Critic’s Choice Award and earned an Oscar nomination for his acting chops in “Dallas Buyers Club,” and we can’t forget he’s also got quite the voice as the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars. While most Hollywood actors don’t feel at home on the Grammy stage, Leto falls into both categories and was invited by the Recording Academy to be a presenter this Sunday. Some people might find themselves pondering whether he should focus on film or music, but the only question we’re really concerned with is how he’s going to wear his hair: The messy bun a la Golden Globes or the flowing ombre tresses of the SAGs?! Leto’s locks have stolen our hearts.

3. Beatlemania

The two remaining members of the Beatles -- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- will be on hand to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy nearly 54 years after the band’s formation in Liverpool. Both McCartney and Starr will also be taking the stage to perform, but it’s not clear whether they will reunite in a joint performance on Sunday night. If not, we won’t have to wait long because the Grammys is also honoring them with an upcoming special called “The Night That Changed America: A Grammys Salute to The Beatles” -- a tribute to their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in New York 50 years ago. Also in the spirit of McCartney’s squashed feud with the late John Lennon’s love, Yoko Ono is slated as a Grammys presenter.

4. The men are leading the nominations

If last year was all about the ladies, this year, let’s hear it for the boy. Jay Z leads the pack with nine nominations, including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance (although his album "Magna Carta Holy Grail" was left out of the Album of the Year race). Following with seven nods a piece are rap newcomer Kendrick Lamar, red hot duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Grammy superstar Justin Timberlake, and revitalized singer/producer Pharrell Williams. But that doesn’t mean the men shouldn’t watch their backs in the Record of the Year category or the sole female nominee: New Zealand teen Lorde might steal it out from under them. The “Royals” singer is vying for one of the top awards against Bruno Mars for “Locked Out of Heaven,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I and Pharrell for “Blurred Lines,” Imagine Dragons for “Radioactive” and Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers for “Get Lucky.”

5. Nashville takes Los Angeles

Pull out those cowboy boots, because country music is getting a lot of love on the Grammy stage this year. Country heartthrob Hunter Hayes and Best New Artist nominee Kacey Musgraves will both be performing, as well as the genre's other superstars -- Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. Known for bringing together musicians for dynamic ensemble performances, the Grammys will also have a special performance from Merle Haggard alongside 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Blake Shelton. Don’t say we didn’t warn you -- you just might start two-stepping in your living room.

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