Lady Gaga, who was already booked to make an appearance at the Grammys, will now be paying tribute to David Bowie at the awards show. Chic’s Nile Rodgers, who produced Bowie’s Let’s Dance LP, will serve as music director for the performance. Producer Ken Ehrlich told The New York Times that he opened a dialog with the singer and her manager shortly after the singer-songwriter’s death last month. The ceremony will air live on CBS on February 15th.
The producer said he’d received offers from several artists who wished to honor Bowie’s memory, after the news spread. “Some of [them] might have made sense,” he said, not revealing who offered. “The vast majority didn’t.”
Instead, Ehrlich stuck to his idea of a solo performance by Gaga, who is nominated this year with Diane Warren in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category for “‘Til It Happens to You.” “She’s perfect for it,” the producer said in a statement. “So I reached out to Nile and, before long, we were on our way to creating what we believe will not only make a great ‘Grammy moment,’ but one befitting of David.”
Ehrlich told the Times that the tribute would not be the opening performance, but that it would last up to seven minutes and comprise “at least three or four” Bowie songs. The producer hoped the tribute would pay homage not just to Bowie’s music but also to his influence on fashion and pop culture.
The official language promoting the tribute promises “a multisensory testament to [Bowie’s] incredible artistry” and “a chance to experience Bowie’s music once again.”
“I always felt that [Bowie’s] glamour was something he was using to express a message to people that was very healing for their souls,” Lady Gaga recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “He is a true, true artist and I don’t know if I ever went, ‘Oh, I’m going to be that way like this,’ or if I arrived upon it slowly, realizing it was my calling and that’s what drew me to him.”
LL Cool J will host the ceremony, which will also feature performances by several other pop stars. Adele, the Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Ellie Goulding, Sam Hunt and Carrie Underwood are just a few of the artists who will sing at the show. The show will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.