This year’s top Grammy Awards nominee is planning to show his skills in a monumental way during next month’s 47th annual ceremony. Kanye West, who is up for a leading 10 honors, including best new artist, will stage a performance incorporating the talents of R&B legend Mavis Staples, celebrated vocal group Blind Boys Of Alabama and R&B newcomer John Legend.
Staples is among the Recording Academy’s 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees, while the Blind Boys are nominated with Ben Harper for “There Will Be a Light” (Virgin) in the best traditional soul gospel album category. The set’s title track is up for best gospel performance.
The Feb. 13 show at Los Angeles’ Staples Center will also feature a tribute to the late Ray Charles by contemporary blueswoman Bonnie Raitt and storied soul artist Billy Preston.
Another newly planned performance is a landmark Southern rock jam featuring members of genre stalwart Lynyrd Skynyrd joined by former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickie Betts, Elvin Bishop and country artists Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Gretchen Wilson.
They join previously announced performances by U2, McGraw, Alicia Keys and Green Day.
Norah Jones, Ludacris, Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath and actor Gary Sinise have signed on as presenters for the show, which will be hosted by Queen Latifah and broadcast live on CBS.