By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Jazz composer and bandleader Jon Batiste and rapper Nas are among performers named this week to perform on Sunday’s Grammy telecast. Others include R&B star H.E.R. country artist Chris Stapleton and rockers Foo Fighters. The ceremony will also include an “In Memoriam” segment featuring Stephen Sondheim songs performed by Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ben Platt and Rachel Zegler. These five new performers were announced last week by the Recording Academy.
Previously announced performers are Brothers Osborne, BTS, Brandi Carlile, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow and Olivia Rodrigo.
Trevor Noah is set to host the show, which will air live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Sondheim, who died in November at age 91, was an eight-time Grammy winner. His ballad “Send in the Clowns” from “A Little Night Music” won the 1975 Grammy for song of the year. It was the third and most recent Broadway song to take that honor.
Sondheim also won eight Tonys, an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other top-tier awards. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975 and received that organization’s top prize, the Johnny Mercer Award, in 1999. By having a tribute to Sondheim on this year’s Grammys, the show will beat the Tonys to a posthumous salute to one of Broadway’s greatest talents. The Tonys are set to air on June 12.
Zegler stars in the second film version of the landmark Broadway musical “West Side Story” (for which Sondheim teamed with Leonard Bernstein to write the songs). Odom and Platt are both Grammy nominees this year, for One Night in Miami and Dear Evan Hansen, respectively.
Batiste is this year’s leading Grammy nominee with 11, including album of the year for “We Are” and record of the year for “Freedom.” H.E.R. has eight nominations, including album of the year for “Back of My Mind” and song of the year for “Fight for You,” last year’s Oscar winner for best original song. Foo Fighters have three nominations, including best rock album for Medicine at Midnight. Stapleton also has three nominations, including best country album for Starting Over. Nas has two nods, including best rap album for King’s Disease II.
The Grammys air Sunday night on WTVF-5 at 7 p.m.
This will be the second appearance on a major awards show in the space of seven days for both Zegler and H.E.R., both of whom are set to present on the Oscars.
The 64th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
The show is produced by Fulwell 73 Productions for the Recording Academy. Raj Kapoor serves as showrunner and executive producer, alongside Ben Winston and Jesse Collins as executive producers and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay as co-executive producer. Hamish Hamilton returns as director and Eric Cook as supervising producer with Tabitha D’umo, Patrick Menton, Fatima Robinson and David Wild as producers.