The 61st annual Grammys Awards will be held on 10 February at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Alicia Keys is set to host the Grammys this year. "As much as it is about me, it's not just about me", said Monae, who gave a powerful speech previous year ahead of Kesha's emotional and striking performance celebrating sisterhood and women's rights.
A few hours before the main 61st Grammy Awards show, Brandi Carlile was already on a roll.
"There's great respect that is deserved to women and you will see that live embodied on Sunday".
Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich told the Associated Press that Grande, who is nominated for best pop vocal performance and best pop vocal album, declined to perform Sunday because she "felt it was too late for her to pull something together". "I hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more", she continued. "We feel this Grammys is going to be different and bigger and better than any other".
Viewers may also be paying close attention to the number of female winners, as a year ago the show made headlines when Alessia Cara was the only woman to nab a solo Grammy.
Carlile told the AP she stands behind Grande's "decision to stand up for herself and her art".
Brandi Carlile, the folk singer nominated for six Grammys including album, song and record of the year, looked to Monae and said: "Girl, I would vote you into presidency".
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"When they don't take home the big prize", he said, "the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent, continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad". "I am truly excited to be here hosting the Grammy Awards this year".
As for other ways to watch the Grammys, you can also tune into American network CBS. Best new artist Alessia Cara was the only woman to receive her own award during the telecast, and Lorde, the sole woman to earn an album of the year nomination, was not invited to perform her own music.
When asked soon after the show about the lack of female winners, academy president Neil Portnow said women needed to "step up" - now-infamous words that instantly drew outrage, and which he said were taken out of context.
Monae was also joined by songwriter Linda Perry, the first women nominated for non-classical producer of the year in 15 years and rapper-singer Tierra Whack, who scored a nomination for best music video for her "Mumbo Jumbo".
Kendrick Lamar and Drake are the two top nominated artists (Lamar leads Drake with eight noms to seven).
Dave Chappelle and "Weird Al" Yankovic picked up early awards ahead of the live show, which was scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m.
Hosted by 15-time Grammy victor Alicia Keys, this year's broadcast features performances by Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes and rapper Cardi B.
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