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Eric Clapton to get Lifetime Grammy

The British rocker will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy along with David Bowie on February 8.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 16:49 IST
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The Grammy Awards - the music industry's equivalent of the Oscars - are notoriously hard to predict, probably because they are chosen by whimsical musicians.

The event will attract the world's premier divas, rockers, rappers and crooners at Los Angeles' Staples Centre onFebruary 8: Seminal British rockers David Bowie and Eric Clapton are to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards along with country icon Merle Haggard, late bluesman Robert Johnson and late comedy innovator Richard Pryor.

 The world's most- awaited music event, to be held at Los Angeles' Staples Centre, will have premier divas, rockers, rappers and crooners vying for honours.

Seminal British rockers David Bowie and Eric Clapton are to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards along with country icon Merle Haggard, late bluesman Robert Johnson and late comedy innovator Richard Pryor

The nominations race is led by Mariah Carey, Kanye West and newcomer John Legend all with eight apiece

Even more exciting is the prospect of Madonna, 47, opening the 48th annual Grammy show in a joint performance with the Gorillaz - the virtual band that will appear in what is touted as a revolutionary 3D animated format.

Yet for all the great technology on display, organisers and participants will be keenly aware that their industry is at an unprecedented crossroads largely due to the impact of new technology.

Album sales have dropped in four of the last five years largely due to the prevalence of file sharing technologies that have seen millions of music lovers download their tunes for free.

In the last year legal download sites like iTunes have experienced phenomenal growth and grossed a total of $1.1 billion in sales, but industry revenues for the year were still down two per cent.

Other technological challenges include the wide variety of entertainment options that are distracting attention from the music world. In addition, home recording technologies and websites like myspace.com are bypassing the traditional studio and marketing systems. All this sounds ominous for the industry, but illegal download levels are finally falling and the huge popularity of ring tones for cell phones is a sign of the opportunities that technology is presenting to the industry.

There is also still huge interest worldwide in the premier music award show in the US, and keen belief in the industry that it remains as relevant as ever.

The nominations race is led by Mariah Carey, Kanye West and newcomer John Legend all with eight apiece. Following them with six nods each are 50 Cent, Beyoncé, William of the Black Eyed Peas' and Stevie Wonder. Other notable nominees include Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Gwen Stefani and U2 (five each), and Common, Destiny's Child, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Neptunes, Brad Paisley, Phil Tan and Gretchen Wilson (four). Paul McCartney is hoping that his three nominations yield his 14th Grammy.

Carey, West and McCartney will battle it out in the album of the year category, with The Emancipation of Mimi, Late Registration and Chaosand Creation in the Backyard". Also competing for the award is Gwen Stefani with Love, Angel, Music, Baby and U2's How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Carey, West and the Gorillaz are considered favourites for the record of the year but face strong competition from Green Day and Stefani.

Legend is up for the best new artist award along with Ciara, Fall Out Boy, Keane and Sugarland.

Just as interesting as the awards are the 12 musical performances, including some intriguing collaborations, and an all-star tribute to soul icons Sly and the Family Stone.

Viewers will see R&B diva Mary J. Blige join U2 for the first time while country superstars Keith Urban and Faith Hill will also perform together.

Other collaborations include Oscar winner Jamie Foxx with Kanye West and Grammy nominees Christina Aguilera and Herbie Hancock, who will hit the stage for what is being touted as "an intimate performance".

Springsteen, Coldplay, Sugarland and Ciara are also scheduled to perform, while the list of presenters looks like a veritable who's who of entertainment royalty, including Destiny's Child, James Taylor, seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, Matt Dillon, Tom Hanks, Terrence Howard, Queen Latifah and Ludacris.

First Published: Feb 04, 2006 13:32 IST