Even though the Recording Academy framed its Sunday (March 7) announcement of 22 performers on the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, set for March 14, as a “full performer lineup,” you had to know they might have a surprise or two up their sleeve.
And sure enough they did. On Tuesday (March 9), Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, who as the duo Silk Sonic have a budding hit with the soulful “Leave the Door Open,” announced that they will be joining the lineup.
— lil Hercules (@AndersonPaak) March 10, 2021
It was pretty obvious they were going to be added to the lineup on Sunday when Mars, an 11-time Grammy winner who has performed on the Grammy telecast five times, publicly released an appeal to the Academy politely asking them to consider adding Silk Sonic.
Mars’ “appeal” was a model of dry, understated comic writing.
“Dear Grammys, If you can see it in your hearts to allow two out of work musicians to perform at your show, we would really appreciate it. We just released a song and could really use the promotion right now. We have a lot riding on this record (and the Pelicans game next week, but that’s another story).”
He promised that Silk Sonic would follow all safety protocols and even joked that they’d be willing to audition for the spot.
“We haven’t been able to perform for a while and we just want to sing. We’ll send in an audition tape and take as many covid tests as we need to. I promise we won’t be extra. We just really want a gig again. I hope you’ll consider this request and give us the opportunity to shine.”
“Leave the Door Open” was released on March 5 and has already entered Billboard’s Pop Airplay (at No. 35) and Adult Pop Airplay (at No. 37).
In his five previous Grammy telecast performances, Mars has collaborated with such diverse artists as B.o.B and Janelle Monáe (2011, “Nothin’ on You” and “Grenade”); Rihanna, Sting and Damien and Ziggy Marley (2012, a reggae spot that doubled as a tribute to Bob Marley, “Locked Out of Heaven”); The Time (2017, a tribute to Prince); and Cardi B (2018, “Finesse”). He also performed solo on two occasions – “Runaway Baby” (2012) and “That’s What I Like” (2017).
Anderson .Paak has performed on the show once, in 2017, in a spot with A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes and Consequence in which they performed three A Tribe Called Quest songs.
Anderson .Paak is a three-time Grammy winner who is up for two more awards this year – best melodic rap performance and best music video, both for “Lockdown.” He was a 2016 nominee for best new artist.
Since the Grammys’ “full performer lineup” wasn’t as final as implied, what are the chances of seeing Beyoncé on the show? She has nine nominations, more than any other artist this year, but, like Mars and .Paak, wasn’t on the list of performers. Will she perform? Place your bets.