Eminem, Lil Wayne, Drake and Barker to Team for Grammys

January 28, 2010 12:00 AM ET

Eminem, Lil Wayne, Drake and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker will come together for a "special performance" on this Sunday's Grammy Awards, the official Grammy Twitter revealed this morning. Based on the talent involved, it's safe to assume the rappers will perform a rocked-up rendition of their hit "Forever," which was overlooked in for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. However, the fourth rapper featured on that track, Kanye West, was not added as a performer, even though West is a nominee on three of the five songs that are up for the Best Rap Collaboration Grammy. Perhaps producers feared another "incident." As it stands now, the performance will also likely be Lil Wayne's last major television appearance before he heads off to prison in February.

Check out all of Rolling Stone's essential Grammy coverage.

Sunday night's show will feature Green Day performing alongside the cast of their American Idiot musical, as well as a tribute to guitarist Les Paul featuring Jeff Beck and Imelda May. Elton John, Roberta Flack and Jennifer Nettles have joined the lineup of performers. And the Grammys also announced this head-scratching combo: Jamie Foxx and T-Pain performing with Slash and Doug E. Fresh.

The Grammys have a long history of unlikely collaborations, and last year's ceremony perhaps boasted the most eclectic team-ups in the show's 52-year history. Sometimes the experiment pays off: last year's highlights include Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl performing the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There," Radiohead's "15 Step" with the USC Marching Band, the 11th-hour duet between Justin Timberlake and Al Green, and Coldplay's version of "Lost!" with Jay-Z.

Look back at the 2009 Grammys in photos.

Past Grammys have also featured Madonna teaming with Gorillaz and Kanye West coaxing Daft Punk out for Music's Biggest Night. However, the Grammys have also been guilty of mismatching talents, as last year's awkward Jonas Brothers and Stevie Wonder pairing demonstrated.

Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Green Day, Pink, Dave Matthews Band, Bon Jovi and the Black Eyed Peas will also perform at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, which will also feature a special 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson featuring Celine Dion, Usher and Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson. Commercials on CBS leading up to Grammys also promise a special duet to kick off the show, and rumor has it a Beyoncé/Gaga performance of The Fame Monster's "Telephone" could be in the cards. Beyoncé also kicked off the 2004 Grammys with a special performance with Prince.

Related Stories:
Grammys Recruit Usher, Hudson for 3-D Michael Jackson Tribute
Your 2009 Grammy Highlights: Jennifer Hudson Returns, Coldplay Soar
Grammys Flashback: 2009's Winners, Losers and Big Moments

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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