LOS ANGELES -- The folks who planned tonight's
(Feb. 21) Grammy telecast (8 p.m. ET on CBS)
have given Faith Hill a big job.
Because the country singer has great crossover
has a prime spot in the big show's
running order. Hill's performance of "Breathe" --
nominated for Song of the Year
and Country Song
of the Year -- comes right at the end of the first hour
and carries over slightly into the second hour.
theory is that Hill, with her broad-based
popularity, can dissuade viewers from reaching for
the remote to tune to West
Wing or Who Wants to
Be a Millionaire, airing on competing networks.
U2's performance of "Beautiful Day"
immediately after Hill; if the Grammy TV committee
has guessed right, many in the audience will be
for a second hour by the tasty lure of the two acts.
Tuesday morning, during rehearsals at the Staples Center, Hill
for her role. Her slender shoulders draped in an orange shawl, she sported jeans,
and her hair was pulled
back in a single, chopped-off ponytail. Her request for
Tylenol sent stage crew and handlers scurrying to find some, but
her did not affect her ability to deliver a stirring performance of "Breathe."
On Monday, Macy Gray
ran through "I Try" so many times that she went 40
minutes over her allotted practice slot. Hill, in contrast, had her
down in just three tries, clocking in at 45 minutes.
Her appearance on tonight's show will go something
like this: A lighted platform,
concealing Hill, will fold down to create a walkway to her microphone. A 14-piece
section will play on her right; Hill's 10-piece band and backing vocalists will
be stationed to her left. On a large screen
behind her, an ever-changing tableau
of abstract art will provide a colorful backdrop, sort of like a highbrow light show.
looks great up here!" Hill exclaimed at one point during rehearsal.
Before and after her performance, Hill will join
husband Tim McGraw in the
audience. Seating charts tend to change, but Tuesday the couple's designated
seats were next
to CBS sitcom stars Kevin James (King of Queens) and Ray
Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) and across the
aisle from Trisha
In other curious juxtapositions, Emmylou Harris sits next to Beach Boy Brian
Vince Gill is adjacent to Paul Simon; songwriters Mark D. Sanders and
Tia Sillers are on the same row as the Blue Man Group;
Bentley and Holly Lamar are between Kid Rock and MTV personality Carson
collecting Grammy Week awards Tuesday. She was named Best
Acoustic Guitarist Female at the 2001 Orville H. Gibson Guitar
afternoon ceremonies at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Alabama's Jeff Cook
was named Best Country Guitarist
Male; Shelby Lynne, who once was a country
artist, took Best Country Guitarist Female.
"The guitar has meant so
much to me," Harris said as she accepted her award.
"The mystery of music and the beauty of music was never really unlocked
until I came into contact with the guitar."
The "romantic image of women with guitars" appealed to her, Harris
went on to
say, but eventually she had to learn to play. She got a book and learned three
chords. "I'm really grateful
for this award, because I still don't know more than
Cook showed great emotion accepting his award.
"I can remember searching
pawn shops all over Chattanooga, Birmingham, looking for a guitar I could afford,"
"I've won a lot of things with Alabama, but this is the first thing, recently,
that I've gotten on my own."
his award to the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. After the
ceremony, he named James Burton, the Ventures, Danny Gatton
and Jerry Reed
among his major influences.
Lynne did not attend the Gibson awards luncheon, but she will be on hand
for the Grammys. The former country singer is nominated for Best New
Artist. She will perform "The Difficult Kind" with
Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley will appear together in the final half hour of the
show. Parton will
perform "Travelin' Prayer," Paisley will do "We Danced" before
the duo pairs up to hand out the Best Country Album honor.
Ann Womack will join Jimmy Jam to present 20 awards in pop and R&B
categories during the pre-telecast ceremony. Womack,
Gill and Gloria Estefan
will hand out the Grammy for Latin Pop Album at the beginning of tonight's third
the many nominees attending a reception in their honor Tuesday night at
the California Science Center were first-time nominees
Riders in the Sky, Ray
Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, Steve Wariner and his son, Ryan Wariner, and
banjo ace Alison
By the time Elton John and Eminem give the final performance of the night
tonight, they all will know their