(Upbeat techno music) – Okay, so the Grammys is
the biggest night in music. Here to break it all down is pop culture expert, Chris Witherspoon. – My love!
(crowd cheering) – It’s great seeing you. You look amazing. – No, it’s so great to see you. Every time we get together we Kiki. – It’s a Kiki! Every time.
Every time we Kiki y’all. – So let’s get into this, alright. Alicia Keys is the first
female to host in 14 years. – This is a really big deal you guys. It’s the first time we’re having a woman host the Grammys in 14 years. Last time was Queen Latifah back in 2005. – Queen!
– And Alicia Keys really is the perfect person because she embodies so much female empowerment. – Yes.
– And this year we have a record breaking number of women that are nominated for grammy awards. And Alicia Keys really is trying to show folks a different side. She has this YouTube channel–
– What? – Where she is taking you behind the scenes to when she first
found out she was hosting. Her telling her husband while he’s laying in bed, telling her kids also. I mean she really wants us to see that she can be a little
bit more amped up. I think we’re going to see a difference– – You know I miss Alicia.
Don’t try and miss Alicia– – I want some new music.
– Not that she’s gone. You know what I mean,
– Yes. – But I definitely feel that she’s being more into the family vibe. So I’m very glad that I’m going to see her out at the Grammys show. – And you know what, I’m glad that the Grammys is choosing her because, one, she is an R&B legend. She’s
won 15 Grammy awards y’all. (crowd cheering) So she knows what it’s
like to be on that stage. And you have so many newcomers that need that kind of mentorship that
Alicia Keys can provide. – Now, I have to ask
your opinion about this. – Yes.
– How do you feel about JLo doing the Motown tribute, love. – This one is a very controversial topic. – I know!
– Probably the most controversial thing heading
into the Grammy awards is Jennifer Lopez
performing a Motown tribute. So Motown is celebrating its
60th anniversary this year. They’ll been doing a
lot of Motown tributes throughout the year, but
the big one Sunday night it’s been announced that
JLo will be performing. No word yet if she’ll
be joined with anyone. But it’s kind of interesting
because you have these icons, like Gladys Knight, and Lionel
Richie, and Smokey Robinson. And folks that were signed to Motown, they could do the tribute, you know. – It’s no tea, no shade towards JLo because I actually am a
huge JLo fan, I love her. But I don’t think she
would have been my first choice either in thinking of Motown. – Yes, and there’s also–
– What about Jazmine Sullivan? – Right, Jazmine Sullivan, Fantasia. I mean the list goes on and on. I get that they want someone more current probably, someone more younger. But you have NE-YO who
was signed to Motown. You have Boyz II Men that
were also signed to Motown. So I’m a little bit surprised. I’m hoping that she’s
calling everybody she knows, and being like girl, will
you come on stage with me? Because she needs to have
someone black with her. Motown was a difinitave–
– They need Chris Brown to get out there and dance.
Y’all know he would kill it! – And JLo needs me. I’ll be out there. I’ll do a doo wop in the
background. I ain’t scared. I will do it. I will do it.
(audience laughing) – Okay, so Ariana Grande. She’s canceled her performance, which I am very surprised by.
– Yes y’all. I hope we have a teakettle somewhere because I’m going to give
you a bunch of tea right now. Yes, I’m going to give you
a bunch of tea! Here we go. So Ariana Grande, her album
came out today, Thank U, Next. She has the number one song in the country right now with 7 Rings, it’s my jam. – My best friend Tayla Parx wrote on that. – Oooh! Come on, come on. So she was scheduled to
perform at the Grammys but decided to pull out due
to artistic differences. So she wanted to perform the
whole entire song 7 Rings, but the Grammy producers said no. And then they decided to
allow her to do 7 Rings, but if only she does a medley
of their choosing afterwards. And she said, “Thank you, next. “Bye Felicia, I ain’t doing it.” But this happened also last
year with Lorde, the singer. Not the one up in heaven,
but Lorde the singer. She was nominated for album of the year, and the Grammys wanted to
instead do a song from her album, to perform a song as a
tribute to Tom Petty. And she said, “You know what, “I’m going to be petty,
and not do anything.” And she didn’t perform,
she didn’t perform. But I’m curious. I’m curious
one because you know Ariana. Is she easy to work with?
What’s she like to work with? – I love Ariana, you know
we did Scream Queens– – Because you worked with
her on Scream Queens. – Yah, we did Scream Queens together. We also tested out of school together. Me and Ariana go way
back. So I feel like this; as an artist it’s all about what you want to put out in your brain. You have to be precious with that because once it’s there, it’s there. So if they were asking her to do something that she strongly didn’t agree with, I actually feel like girl,
you better go on ahead. Because you said no– I’m saying it’s good because you actually said you know what, this is the Grammys but they don’t want to show me in the way I want to be shown. So, I’m going to say no. And that takes a lot of strength because most people
would say, “Well it’s the “Grammys. Let me do what I gotta do.” But imagine getting a
huge platform like that, and getting out there and doing something that you really weren’t
happy with. That’s worse. – I agree. As long as she
was doing her own songs. And again, her album is out today and it’ll probably be
number one this weekend. It’s just good press. I would’ve gone out there
and done Thank U, Next or whatever the little medley is– – Her saying no was the
press. That’s the gag. – That’s the gag!
– That’s the gag! Who are you excited to see perform? I know I got some people
I’m excited to see. – Okay, Cardi B, Cardi B, Cardi B y’all. (crowd cheering) I like to say a Cardi B trust. She’s just a national treasure right now. And you got to think back to last year. She had a little small moment
with Bruno Mars, with Finesse. But now she is like nominated
for 5 Grammy awards, and she might make history y’all. She could become the first woman to win the best rap album ever in the history of the Grammys. So if she wins that award I might cry. – I’m shocked by that because I thought maybe Lil’ Kim had one, but I guess not. – She’ll be the first one to win it. And she’s worked so hard this year. She did the Pepsi commercial
for the Half-Time. She’s really killing it. Along with Cardi B,
your girl, Dolly Parton. Your formal co-star,
who I am in love with. Please text her after this
and say I’m your biggest fan. But Dolly Parton has been named the MusiCares person of the year. She’ll be joined on stage with Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, also Little Big Town– – Miley’s not performing with her? – No, Miley is doing a
separate, a solo performance. – Because you know
that’s Miley’s Godmother? – Oh it is? You better
come up with the tea! The inside family tea!
(Crowd cheering) But I’ll tell you guys who I’m
so excited for, Diana Ross. Diana Ross is going to be performing. Listen, so she turns 75 on March 26th. – She turns 75!
– Yes. – Wait a minute. Let’s hold the press. 75 and looking like that!
(Crowd cheering) – We need a pointer to go over the work that she has not had done because I don’t see any work done. That is just a natural, fierce 75. But she’s celebrating her
birthday on the Grammy awards, doing a medley of all her songs from Motown, which will be amazing. (crowd cheering) – They have to be joining her together someway with the Motown. – And can I tell you,
I’m proud of the Grammys. Often times they overlook the legends. I feel like they focus too
much on younger singers. But I think about people
like her and Tina Turner, and the ones that really paved the way for these younger artists. And I’m proud of them
for giving them homage– – I’m happy that we’re
going to get a little more hip-hop recognition at the awards. Because when I think about hip-hop, it kind of reminds me of how Rock and Roll was back in the
day, you know what I’m saying? Rock and Roll was underground, people didn’t really want
to be bothered with it. And then came the biggest thing ever. That’s really what happened with hip-hop. Hip-hop was underground
and now it’s the biggest genre of music out right now. It influences every kind of music and they should be getting
their shot at the Grammys. – You better preach Keke! You
better preach to the Lord! – It does.
– No, but listen. This is a big year for hip-hop you guys. Kendrick Lamar is
nominated for eight awards. He’s leading the pack across all genres. I mean Black Panther, that
movie, that soundtrack. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Also Drake’s nominated
for album of the year. – After he stole my name…
– I’m mean I got one question. Keke, Keke do you love
me? Keke, do you love me? (crowd laughing) Also with Childish Gambino and Cardi B nominated for five awards. But I’m curious. Do you feel, like you know, this shift of the hip-hop
awards being shown some love to artists, like Jay-Z
and Kanye, who spoke out against the Grammys in the
past for not being inclusive? – Absoletely, and I
think it’s hard for them to deny what the culture is doing. You cannot continue to
deny what is so obvious. What was the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Great Gatsby, where
Jay-Z is the soundtrack? When you have stuff like that happening, you realize that the influence
of hip-hop is global. So you have to appreciate
the people that created it. – Can we do a hip-hop album?
I’ll pop, I’ll do it all. I’m ready.
– Wait a minute. Let’s get into some snubs. I know there was some snubs this year. There’s always snubs y’all
(crowd booing) – I don’t know how I feel about this. But Queen B and Jay-z, they’ve
been snubbed in a big way. Now they put out their
album Everything Is Love, but apparently everything
ain’t love at the Grammys because they were not nominated
for record of the year, album of the year, any
of the big categories. They got three nom’s, but they were not– – Can I say something that’s crazy? And people might be like, whoa. Okay, first of all let me say this. Awards aren’t everything. You
don’t always need accolade. Because you do what you
do because you love it. But if you feel that
you go to an award show each and every year to be snubbed, or whatever you may feel, don’t go. Don’t go.
– Yah. And you know what to your point– – If you feel that way and you feel like you’re not being
respected time and time again, with the Oscars, with the Grammys, specifically people of color are always feeling as if you know,
hey I’m not getting the respect or the recognition I deserve when I have the fans and the audience. It’s all here, it’s all
right there. Don’t go. Go to where you’re supported. Go the NAACP awards. Go to the BET awards. – And you’re so right. And I think that Jay-Z
last year probably had, you know an a-ha moment. He was nominated for eight awards and didn’t get one of them. And then Beyoncé a couple of years back, Lemonade changed my life, and she did not get album
of the year. Adele did. And Adele even got on stage and said, “Girl, this is your award.
This belongs to you.” She was overlooked in a big way. – Go where you’re loved
– One other person who got snubbed is Nicki Minaj.
– Nicki! – We love the Queen
album. It went platinum. But she’s been known for this year for her beef instead of her beats.
– I know. – I mean she’s more about the beats. But I think that she is an icon. – I live for Nicki!
Nicki changed the game. – Yes, yes. And I think that
she’ll be back in future years. – I love Nicki.
(audience applauses) There’s so much more that me and you could go back and forth on, love. – We could Kiki on and on girl. – But we gotta get out of here. So, I want to thank you
so much for being here. But you, you can watch the
61st annual Grammy awards this Sunday night at eight on CBS. (upbeat disco music)