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Grammys: Big Show a Go After Writers Say They Won't Picket

January 23, 2008 11:07 AM ET

The music industry has avoided a Golden Globes-like fate after the Writer's Guild of America announced yesterday that the striking union would not picket the event, clearing the way for brother union the Screen Actor's Guild (whose roster includes many musicians) to attend and participate in the event. The announcement comes one week after the WGA said it would not issue a waiver allowing SAG actors to cross the picket line, putting actor/musicians like the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Beyoncé in the uncomfortable position of guaranteeing their presence at the Grammy broadcast. Now, SAG members like Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah and the White Stripes' Jack White can show up, as well as the usual ten to twenty actors who typically attend to promote their current films. (Variety adds T.I. to that list of actor/musicians who can now attend, but we all know that is definitely not the case.) With their big night now strike-free, the Recording Academy promised that the lineup of performers would be announced soon.

Even though no official performances have been announced outside of the Foo Fighters playing "The Pretender" with the My Grammy Moment winner, that hasn't stopped various sources from predicting who will appear on stage. Today's rumor says the big surprise performance is a duet between Beyoncé and Tina Turner. Mark Ronson told us last week that he and Amy Winehouse planned to hit the Grammy stage, but that was before the whole video incident. A Kanye West/Amy Winehouse duet was also supposedly planned. There are also whispers about Britney Spears somehow getting in shape in time to appear at the Grammys and make amends for her horrific VMA performance, though a "highly placed insider" tells Gatecrasher that "Britney is banned from the building."

Related Stories:
Beyonce, Foo Fighters RSVP for Grammy Awards
Music Biz Waits and Worries: Grammys to Air Despite Strike, But What Will Be Left?
Timberlake and Others Asked to Skip Grammys

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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