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Your Guide to the Grammys, 2020 Edition

Everything you need to know about the 2020 Grammy Awards — from nominees to controversies, we’re breaking it all down here.

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Get your spot on the couch and start popping that popcorn because the Grammys are this weekend. 

As part of awards season, the 62nd annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, January 26. The show is an ode to some of the year’s best music and stacked with chart-topping performers, making this one of the most exciting awards shows to watch. Who could forget a very pregnant and angelic Beyonce perform an emotional melody of songs? I surely could not.

This year’s show is being hosted by Alicia Keys, who also served as host last year when she brought out special “friends” of hers, like Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, for a powerful message. Keys herself has taken home 15 Grammys and is a seasoned vet to the award show. 

So here’s what you need to know:

When and where exactly are the Grammys?

The live show is taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and starts at 8 PM ET on CBS. 


Better question: How do you win a Grammy?


Well first, you have to be your own cheerleader and enter yourself to be nominated. Around 20,000 entries are submitted each year. The first round of votes are cast by members of the Recording Academy, who vote on five choices in each category. Members are comprised of anyone in the music industry in some way—songwriters, directors, engineers, etc. After that first round, a “star chamber” of experts votes on those selections and thus the nominees are chosen. The final choice is voted on by Academy Voting Members and are tightly sealed in those secret envelopes you see on stage. 

If you like diagrams, the Recording Academy made this fun little guide to voting here. 

Who is performing at the 2020 Grammys? 


The Grammys are never short of don’t-miss performances by some of the industry’s top artists. The list for this year is:

  • Lizzo
  • Ariana Grande
  • Billie Eilish 
  • The Jonas Brothers
  • Rosalia
  • H.E.R.
  • Demi Lovato
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Run-D.M.C.
  • Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani
  • Tyler the Creator
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X
  • Camilla Cabello
  • Gary Clark Jr.
  • Joshua Bell
  • Debbie Allen
  • Common
  • Lang Lang
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Ben Platt
  • War and Treaty
  • BTS
  • Diplo
  • Mason Ramsay (yodel kid)
  • John Legend, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, YG and Kirk Franklin tribute to Nipsey Hussle.

And the nominees are…

Some notable nominees in different categories include Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, Post Malone, Lil Nas X, Ariana Grande, and more.  

You can find the full and complete list of nominees here. And if you also have no idea what the difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year is, there’s also a handy FAQ guide to help you become the greatest Grammy expert in music history. 

And then there’s the controversy. 


The Grammy Awards have had its fair share of problems—from long-standing issues like criticism for lack of diversity and inclusion, to other dilemmas like Ariana Grande dropping out as a performer days before the show because of clashes with the show’s producers. 

But this year’s Grammys controversy is more complex than Grande being a no-show. Last week, the Recording Academy’s CEO, Deborah Dugan, was placed on administrative leave after a female employee filed a misconduct allegation against her. In response, Dugan filed her own 44-page complaint against the Recording Academy alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unequal pay. 

The complaint claimed she was sexually harassed by the Recording Academy’s lawyer, Joel Katz, and that the former CEO Neil Portnow was accused of rape by a woman who is a recording artist, (this is alleged to be the reason his contract was not renewed). Portnow has since denied the allegations. 

The Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion called for changes to be made at the company following Dugan’s complaint. 

“The Academy's Board of Trustees and leadership must immediately commit themselves to real reform, take concrete steps to implement all of the Task Force reforms, and transparently and regularly report on their progress -- including transparently reporting on the pending investigations they have announced are underway,” the task force wrote in a statement.