Every single one of the conversations on the Grammy red carpet matters to fans. I mean, we all want to know how the nominees are feeling, who they are wearing and where they're going after the show. But what matters most to country fans are the interviews that make country music (and the stars who make it) the main topic.
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So I took notes when Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Ed Sheeran, Kacey Musgraves and Hunter Hayes were interviewed on the E! Live From the Red Carpet show on Sunday (Jan. 26) before the 56th annual Grammy Awards.
And these were my moments that mattered:
1. When Ryan Seacrest and Swift were talking about her Red album's nomination for album of the year, he asked her about how it's the oldest album in the category. "I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the fans have given almost every song on the album a life of its own," she said. "Whether it was a country single or a pop single or a single in the UK or just a viral music video, they've really created longevity I didn't expect."
2. And then when Seacrest had the chance to catch up with his American Idol buddy, Urban, they talked first about his performance of "Cop Car" with blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. "He's just a soulful cat, and I've been dying to play with him for a long time," he said. Then the talk turned to Idol. Urban said he loves the new vibe and that the heart of the show is really strong this season. "I think everybody can see it," he said. "People always say, 'What's it like off camera?' and I go, 'It's the same.'"
3. When Giuliana Rancic asked Sheeran about his next album, he told her Swift had already given him some advice. "She was just giving feedback on what songs could work on American radio and what songs couldn't," Sheeran said. "I didn't want to make a whole album of just radio songs. I just wanted to get four. Four that would have the approval."
4. Then when it was Musgraves' turn for time with Rancic, she talked about what a huge honor her best new artist nomination was. "It's blowing my mind, still. I mean, it just kind of validates the hard work that we've all put into this year," she said, adding that it was her first Grammy show. She was there with her mom, who'd never been to Los Angeles. When Rancic asked her what her face would look like if she won a Grammy, she just said, "It will probably be covered in tears." Musgraves went on to win two of them.
5. Hayes talked about his new song "Invisible" that he'd be performing during the broadcast. "They said, 'Actually, we'd love for you to introduce that song to the world right here on the Grammy stage.' It's pretty spectacular," Hayes said. "I think last year I came here like this might be my one chance to go to the Grammys. So being back this year, it's like, 'Wow. OK.'"