Los Angeles (AFP)

The popstar Dua Lipa, the rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Roddy Ricch, the revelation Billie Eilish: it is a firework of stars that will follow on Sunday on the stage of the Grammy Awards in an attempt to transcend a musical year marked by the pandemic and gigantic anti-racist demonstrations.

The ceremony takes place, almost a year to the day after the first US concert hall closures under threat of the coronavirus, "in and around" the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The organizers insist on very strict sanitary conditions and have planned for the only public the artists performing on stage, the candidates and a small number of guests.

The gala evening will alternate live performances and pre-recorded sequences.

With nine nominations, Beyoncé is leading the way.

She is the female artist with the most Grammy nominations to date, 79 overall, tied with Paul McCartney and just behind the all-round recorders: her own husband Jay-Z and the legendary Quincy Jones, who have 80.

His track "Black Parade", released in June in the wake of the gigantic anti-racist protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and other African-Americans killed by the police, is in the running for the prestigious Grammys of the recording this year. the year and song of the year.

But Queen B. will not sing Sunday night and some see it as a bad omen, recalling the multiple setbacks she has already suffered in the past in these generalist categories, the most popular.

Many experts are betting instead on Dua Lipa, 2019 revelation and who successfully released a disco and very dancing album just before planetary containment.

Another strong candidate, Taylor Swift, for her part, released "Folklore", a surprise album with simple and soft accents of mohair sweaters and a return to the earth, in the middle of the pandemic.

- The Weeknd snubbed -

Rewarded last year by a Grammy for his collaboration with the late Nipsey Hussle, the rapper Roddy Ricch with his hit "The Box" is an outsider for the "song of the year".

Like Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift, he is a nominee in six categories in total.

The young Billie Eilish, who caused a sensation last year by winning trophies in the four queen categories, could still strike during this 63rd edition, just like Post Malone or Justin Bieber.

The hot Megan Thee Stallion has a good chance of succeeding him as "revelation of the year" and she could also land a major Grammy with the remix of her track "Savage" which also features Beyoncé.

The specialists also keep an eye on the Californian rocker Phoebe Bridgers who made a lot of talk about her.

Confirmed artist, Fiona Apple, whose album "Fetch The Bolt Cutters" has been described as a "masterpiece" by many critics, is in the leading group of rockers, who monopolize this year a category too often male.

The Black Lives Matter movement and the artists it inspired are also present in force, with Lil Baby and "The Bigger Picture", selected twice, and the anti-racist anthem "I Can't Breathe" by HER which can claim the "song of the year".

Greatly absent noticed, The Weeknd, strangely snubbed by the Grammys as he connects the hits and performed an impressive performance on the occasion of the recent final of the American football championship.

His track "Blinding Lights" became the first to remain for 52 weeks in a row in the Billboard Top 10 and experts cannot explain the treatment inflicted on the Canadian artist.

The Weeknd does not understand any more and, like before him Frank Ocean or Drake, decided to boycott an institution which according to him does not recognize at their fair value black artists and women.

- The audience at the rendezvous?


Will the host of stars who will take turns during this evening succeed in arousing the enthusiasm of an entirely virtual audience?

The bet is high for this festival of music because on the cinema side, the Golden Globes paid the price at the end of February with a catastrophic audience, down 62% compared to the previous year.

Megan Thee Stallion should take the stage as well as Cardi B. who is not selected this year, however.

Not sure that the singers will perform their hit "WAP" on the Grammys stage at prime time, its lyrics delivering very explicit sexual metaphors.

Taylor Swift, Roddy Ricch, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Post Malone and DaBaby will be at the rendezvous, as will the idols of the South Korean boy band BTS, selected in the pop category.

The ceremony, hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, begins Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Los Angeles time (00:00 GMT Monday).

© 2021 AFP