Feb 14, 2011

Grammys 2011: 15 Things You Didn't See on TV

Not all of the excitement at the 2011 Grammy Awards happened on the stage. Here's 15 memorable moments that you didn't see on TV.

1. Arcade Fire was in quite the celebratory mood over its Album of the Year win for "The Suburbs." The group entered the press room singing the graduation anthem "Pomp & Circumstance" and cracked about the shocker win, "Were we more surpsied than [award presenter] Barbra Streisand or less surprised?" Singer Win Butler also touched on the significance of winning an award for an album "in the age of the iPod." "We really believe in records," he said. "Records really changed our lives. When we make a record, we really put all of our soul into it. To be recognized for that [by] this group of people, in the age of the iPod or in the age of the single or whatever it is, we still really care about records so it means a lot to us."

2. Lady Antebellum, who led all winners with five Grammys, is already "about halfway done" with its next album. "We feel really great about what we've done so far," said Charles Kelley, who added that after winning Record of the Year for "Need You Now," he and bandmate Dave Haywood "looked at each other and we kind of had this moment where we said, 'We've got a lot of work to do.' It did put a little extra pressure [on us] in a good way -- this is our moment to really make this thing and make a good record." Of the country trio's big wins, Hillary Scott said, "We really wanted to make Nashville and the country music community proud tonight. I think it just shows that country music is relevant and it's relatable. I just hope they think we're flying the flag right."

3. As Usher was casually fielding questions backstage about winning the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for "There Goes My Baby," a white suit-clad Justin Bieber stunned the room by running out and jumping on the R&B singer's back. Bieber was in high spirits even though he had just lost the Best New Artist honor to jazz artist Esperanza Spalding. "I'm really happy for her," the singer said. "I had a great night. I got to perform with my mentor." Meanwhile, Usher dished out his Valentine's Day plans. "I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day," he said. "My kids do. I'll be celebrating with them."

4. Two biggest exclamations in the press room: a cheer for Arcade Fire when they won Album of the Year and a gasp of disbelief when Esperanza Spalding was named best new artist. Spalding insisted, "I didn't beat [Justin Bieber] -- that's not the way it works. I take this (trophy) home and tomorrow we return to being colleagues like we were before today. He still has great hair and I have great hair ... He's gonna have many more years and many more nominations, so I think he'll be straight."

5. Apparently, there's more music to come from the Black Keys' 2009 hip-hop project, "Blakroc," recorded with such guest rappers as Raekwon, RZA and Mos Def. The Keys' singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach said backstage at the Grammys that there's about half an album's worth of music from the sessions that hasn't been released. It could be released as part of a deluxe album package, he says. "There's some good stuff," Auerbach says, noting that the tracks feature performances by Jay Electronica, Wiz Khalifa and Currency.

6. R&B singer John Legend, who won three Grammy Awards, has tapped Kanye West to help him work on his next album. Legend told reporters backstage that he and West are already "off to a good start" and reconvene in March for a two-week recording session in the studio. The singer hopes to be done with the set by spring. Meanwhile, will there be a Volume II of Legend's recent collaboration with the Roots? "No, we didn't record extra songs," the singer says, noting that he and the collective recorded different versions of the songs but only released the best ones.

7. First-time Grammy winner (Song of the Year, for "The House That Built Me") Miranda Lambert's Valentine's Day plans surely involve her fiancee Blake Shelton, but that's not the first thing that popped into her mind while chatting with press backstage. "I'm going to celebrate Valentine's Day by kissing my Grammy," the country star said. "Except I won't get to take it home, because they rip it away as soon as you win." Lambert also said getting her award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (for "The House That Built Me") from pals Zac Brown and Dierks Bentley made it extra sweet. "It's so great to get something that means the world from friends."

8. India.arie, who won best pop collaboration with vocals for her "Imagine" duet with Herbie Hancock, says there's a "very interesting" project for her on the horizon. "It's a bilingual album in English and Hebrew and it's called 'Open Door,' " she explained. "I'm doing it with one of Israel's brightest stars, Idan Raichel -- I met him while on vacation in Israel, I heard his music and I felt like it was my music, too." On the timetable for the album, she said, "Our goal is for it to be out in the summer."

9. Elly Jackson, one-half of the British synth-pop act La Roux, sported an unusually conservative hairstyle at the 2011 Grammys. Backstage after winning Best Electronic/Dance Album for its 2009 self-titled debut, the group -- which also consists of producer Ben Langmaid -- briefly touched on the musical direction they'll take with their next album. "We want to expand from what we started and make it bigger, more epic," Langmaid said.

10. Ray LaMontagne has never seen an episode of "American Idol," but he does have thoughts on the experience of hearing others perform his songs. "If you wrote a song and other people want to sing it, it's nice. It means it has legs, it has life. I was in Atlanta once and after a gig we went to a small club to hear a local band and they played 'Jolene' with all these great harmonies. I thought they sang it better than I did. That was the Zac Brown Band long before anyone knew who they were."

11. Train's Pat Monahan reinforced the band's decision to license "Hey Soul Sister" -- winner of the pop performance by a duo or group Grammy -- to Reebok, Apple and Samsung, saying that "visual (elements) mean something for people. It's hard for people" to latch onto a song without a visual component. He then suggested, perhaps tongue in cheek, perhaps not, "we're looking for a diamond company for our next single 'Marry Me.'" The band also said it would be open to sporting Lady Gaga's red carpet look one day. "Absolutely -- we love eggs," cracked drummer Scott Underwood.

12. "Empire State of Mind" co-writer Jane't Sewell-Ulepic has no idea what attracted Jay-Z or Alicia Keys to the song she wrote with Angela Hunt and Alexander Shuckburgh. "We've never spoken with them. We're pretty introverted. Once we're done we move onto the next thing. Maybe we'll see them soon."

13. Actress-singer Tia Carrere got hot under the collar when asked for an opinion on a recent New York Times article that the Hawaiian music industry is splitting into factions over traditional vs. contemporary styles, island acts vs. mainlanders. "I was ashamed," she said, discouraged that many musical acts she felt would show traditionalists have a role in contemporary Hawaiian music were left out of the article.

14. The final of the four music performances staged to break up the pre-telecast ceremony featured a fiery rendition of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" that started with Cyndi Lauper singing the lines made famous by Howlin Wolf and then Koko Taylor. Betty Wright, Maria Muldaur and Mavis Staples entered the stage on successive verses while guitarists Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Buddy Guy added gritty solos. Staples and Guy both won Grammys.

15. Unlike the CBS show, the pre-telecast uses a revolving cast of hosts. When comedian Kathy Griffin took a turn announcing nominees and winners, she took full advantage of the lack of TV cameras. Political correctness was tossed aside as she cracked jokes about organ transplants and Native Americans, cursing at anyone who did not get to the stage quickly to pick up their Grammy.

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