19 facts about the 2022 Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are upon us once again, after a three-month delay due to the surge of Covid cases in the US.

The star-studded ceremony is traditionally billed as “music’s biggest night” – which covers both the scale of the event and its mind-numbing length.

The first awards will be handed out in Las Vegas at 12:30 on Sunday, a thrombosis-inducing eight hours before the album of the year prize is presented at 20:30 local time (04:30 in the UK).

There are 70 categories in total, with everyone from Lady Gaga to Barack Obama on the nominations list.

Unlike last year’s smaller event, which featured a mixture of live and pre-recorded performances, the 2022 ceremony will be a more normal show – with Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Carrie Underwood, Silk Sonic and Olivia Rodrigo all taking to the stage at the MGM Grand Arena.

Comedian Trevor Noah will host for the second time.

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Here 19 facts about the ceremony to get your ready…

1) Voters had to listen to A LOT of music
Almost 22,000 songs and albums were submitted for consideration this year, resulting in shortlists for the main categories being expanded from eight to 10 nominees for the first time.

“We’re living in a time of extraordinary growth in music,” explained Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason, Jr. “Over 60,000 songs a day are being released. With so much more music available. There’s a lot more excellence to recognise and celebrate.”

2) Olivia Rodrigo is the one to beat
Olivia Rodrigo
Disney actress turned pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo is nominated in all of the top four categories – and she has a decent shot at a clean sweep.

The 19-year-old is practically a lock-in for best new artist; and her classy break-up ballad Drivers License is a strong contender for song of the year (which recognises the music and lyrics) and record of the year (which rewards the production, performances and engineering).

The one category where she might encounter trouble is album of the year; where her smart and peppy debut album Sour is up against more complex, musically-intricate works by Jon Batiste, Kanye West and H.E.R.

If Rodrigo takes home all four prizes, she’ll be only the third artist in history to do it, after Christopher Cross and Billie Eilish.

3) A song from 1934 is up for record of the year
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett
Yes, you read that right. Cole Porter’s I Get A Kick Out Of You is one of the 10 songs in the running for record of the year, thanks to a new cover version by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.

It’s part of a hallowed Grammy tradition of recognising the old guard – regardless of whether their latest release helped define the year in music.

In Bennett’s case, it’s a fitting tribute to a career that has spanned eight decades in clubs and concert venues. The star announced his retirement last year at the age of 95, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

4) There’ll be tributes to Stephen Sondheim and Taylor Hawkins
What Would We Do Without You? Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim will be remembered in song during Sunday’s ceremony, with performances featuring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ben Platt and West Side Story star Rachel Zegler.

There are also plans to honour Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins at the show – a week after his untimely death at the age of 50.

“We will honour his memory in some way,” CBS executive vice president of music Jack Sussman told Variety magazine. “We want to figure out what is the right thing to do that is respectful to everyone involved. We’re patient. We’ll be planning right up until the very end.

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