Officially-sanctioned events leading up to Sunday's live show kicked off on Wednesday, and a Grammy Career Day event was punctuated by a live performance from nominated artist, Sara Bareilles.

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Bareilles -- she's up for best female pop vocal performance -- sang her hit "Love Song" at the second annual Grammy In The Schools Live - A Celebration of Music & Education on Wednesday night in front of students and industry leaders on the University of Southern California's campus.

The singer is fresh back from an overseas trip, and says she's giddy and ready for Sunday's showdown, which has her going head-to-head with top acts Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Norah Jones and Katy Perry.

"My preparations have been getting the dress. That's the main thing! That's the first thing everyone asks," she said. "Other than that, I just got back from being abroad on a whole promo tour over there. I've been really distracted with work, which is really good because I haven't had time to get nervous."

And how does she feel about being recognized with such heady competition?

"Honestly? It is a huge honor. It feels like validation. The Grammys have been around forever and ever, and it's something that I was aware of as a little kid. As an artist…it still feels like this is the pinnacle. That's the ultimate," she said. "But the women in my category are pretty fierce. Being nominated and in their company feels very special to me."

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