Expect Smooth Moves From Host, Country Favorites, and Black Keys' Performance

By Andy Argyrakis, contributing writer, uptv.com
Mon, 01/28/2013 - 3:45pm

Cool for LL
After making a name for himself as one of hip-hop’s early innovators, LL Cool J went on to even wider pop culture attention as the star of many movies and “NCIS: Los Angeles” as special agent Sam Hanna. The two-time GRAMMY winner did such a bang-up job hosting last year that he’s back to narrate the festivities with his suave style. Fans of any style are sure to remember his impromptu prayer for Whitney Houston last year, which was especially classy considering her passing the night before was unexpected and not included in the original program notes.

Boot scootin’ boogie
Since country music continues to soar at the commercial level, many eyes will turn to “Best Country Album,” which blends a few traditional artists with several contemporary stars. From the younger class, Zac Brown Band’s Uncaged, Hunter Hayes’ self-titled debut, Miranda Lambert’s Four the Record and Jamey Johnson’s Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran step up to the plate, alongside The Time Jumpers’ self-titled collection. If the tides turn towards the traditional, chances are super group The Time Jumpers (including Vince Gill and several of Nashville’s top session cats) will add to their already overflowing trophy case.

The Black Keys rev up
On yet another Black Keys note, the two-time winners and current five-time nominees are slated to make a debut performance during the telecast. It’s practically a given that the duo, comprised of frontman/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, will turn in something off El Camino, which has a good chance of winning over the uninitiated, thanks to its blustery blues and grungy garage rockin’ repertoire.

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