Urban, Miguel prepare for Grammy nomination duet
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2013 file photo, musician Ben Haggerty, left, also known as Macklemore, and Ryan Lewis perform on stage at the Good Morning America Concert Series at Central Park's Rumsey Playfield in New York City. Macklemore and Lewis were among the top nominees for the 56th annual Grammy Awards announced Friday night, Dec. 6, 2013. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It took a few tries, but Keith Urban and Miguel finally got into a groove while preparing for their upcoming collaboration at Friday's Grammy nominations concert.
The country star and R&B singer rehearsed their rendition Thursday afternoon of Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine" inside the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
The pair, who has never performed together, spent most of their rehearsal time working out the kinks for a minimalist performance that features no band — just a cellist, Urban on guitar and Miguel broadcasting the rest of the song from his laptop.
"That's our whole band right there," said Urban, looking cool on stage in a T-shirt and jeans after removing his leather jacket at the beginning of the practice.
While Miguel, who won the Grammy for best R&B song earlier this year for "Adorn," tinkered with the tune on his computer at one point during the rehearsal, Urban and the backup cellist broke into an impromptu rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" underneath the starry scene projected on screens above them.
"I don't have any of that on my laptop," joked Miguel.
FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, singer Taylor Swift performs on the runway during the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York. Swift was among the top nominees for the 56th annual Grammy Awards announced Friday night, Dec. 6, 2013. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
After the duo finished their rehearsal, a giddy Lorde later took the stage to perform a pulsating, stripped-down version of her hit, "Royals." Dressed casually in a flowing white shirt, black jeans and purple lipstick, the breakout 17-year-old singer breezed through the song on her first attempt.
Other artists scheduled to appear at the nominations concert include Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Robin Thicke, who will team up with T.I. and Earth, Wind and Fire to perform "Blurred Lines." The show will also feature pre-taped performances from Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.
The 6-year-old nominations show returns to the Nokia Theatre after being held last year in Nashville, Tenn., at the Bridgestone Arena.
The 56th annual Grammy Awards will take place Jan. 26 across the street at the Staples Center.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang