Quel surprise! Justin Timberlake has agreed to perform on the American Music Awards November 24th on ABC. This means, if tradition is observed, Timberlake will not be asked to perform on the Grammy Awards come January 26, 2014. Under famed producer Pierre Cossette the rule was that an appearance on the AMAs meant no Grammy airtime. I can’t imagine that Ken Ehrlich would change the rule now.
This is particularly interesting since Timberlake’s “20/20″ albums were expected to the stuff of many Grammy nominations. The combined two “20/20″ albums were the bestselling CDs of 2013. Timberlake is definitely a would be contender for the albums and for the singles “Mirrors” and “Suit and Tie,” as well as his duet with Jay Z called “Holy Grail.”
The Grammys have always considered the AMA’s the lesser prize, a Golden Globe versus their Oscar. The AMA’s are not run by the Recording Academy but are just a function of Dick Clark Productions like the ridiculous People’s Choice Awards and the Globes.
Until today’s announcement, this year’s AMAs were already featuring artists that likely be wouldn’t be involved in the Grammys, like Macklemore & Lewis, Miley Cyrus and Ke$ha. If Justin Bieber had an eligible record, he’d be there too.
In a way, this means Timberlake cedes the Grammy stage to Robin Thicke. Other likely Grammy performers could be Eminem and Rihanna, Katy Perry, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and so on.
The AMAs are also claiming Lady Gaga and One Direction. This may disqualify them from Grammy appearances as well.
Ehrlich and NARAS may feel that Timberlake was played out from his 20 minute VMAs performance in August and his big showing on this past year’s Grammys. Frankly, I’m surprised. The backstage politics in these things is crazy. Now the Grammys go on the hunt for a centerpiece performer who can produce ratings.