LeVar Burton to Host Grammys’ Pre-Telecast Premiere Ceremony, With Performers Including Jimmie Allen, Allison Russell

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LeVar Burton will host the Grammys’ “premiere ceremony,” the pre-telecast afternoon event during which the vast majority of winners will be announced April 3.

The Grammys-before-the-Grammys will get underway at the the MGM Grand Conference Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 ET. The early unveiling of winners be available for streaming on the Recording Academy’s YouTube channel as well as at live.grammy.com.

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With fewer than 20 categories typically being announced on the air during the prime-time CBS telecast, that means more than three-quarters of the night’s 86 winners will likely be announced during the afternoon event.

A number of performances will be sprinkled into the premiere ceremony, as is customary, with country star and best new artist nominee Jimmie Allen and thrice-nominated Americana artist Allison Russell among those set to lend a tune in the ballroom. Fellow nominees Ledisi, Mon Laferte and Curtis Stewart will perform as well.

The pre-telecast will open at 12:30 with a multi-nominee performance featuring Madison Cunningham, Falu, Nnenna Freelon, Kalani Pe’a, John Popper and the Isaacs.

The list of presenters has also been announced. It includes Allen, as well as Recording Academy stalwart Jimmy Jam, best new artist nominee Arlo Parks, Nate Bargatze, Nnenna Freelon, Pierce Freelon and Sylvan Esso.

The emphasis on current nominees in the ceremony’s newly announced lineup extends all the way to the host: Burton, a previous winner, is up again this year for best spoken album, for “Aftermath.” He faces competition in the category from Barack Obama, Don Cheadle, J. Ivy and Dave Chappelle & Amir Sulaiman.

In a statement, Burton noted that the category he’s up in consists of exclusively Black authors and performers.

“I’m excited to host this celebration of the best performers across genres and art forms,” said Burton. “I am incredibly honored in particular to be represented in the Best Spoken Word category this historic year, with a cohort of five other outstandingly talented Black men, along with the words of the late great Congressman John Lewis.”

The 64th annual Grammys will be broadcast live that night on CBS and Paramount Plus from 8–11:30 p.m. ET/5–8:30 p.m. PT.

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