NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Music’s biggest stars are descending upon New York City for the 60thGRAMMY Awards.
It’s the first time the show has been here in 15 years. As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, Madison Square Garden is going glam, with loads of lights, giant screens and massive sets – turning a cavernous space into a palace.
Host James Corden admitted Friday he’s feeling star struck looking at the lineup.
“I’m really looking to Kendrick Lamar’s performance, I’m really looking forward to Pink, Sam Smith, Lady Gaga – U2 are doing something pretty cool,” he said.
This is the year where hip hop could rule the night. Brooklyn born Jay Z has eight nominations, but West Coast phenomenon Kendrick Lamar is on his heels with seven.
Hometown girl Cardi B is also getting lots of GRAMMY love. The South Bronx native is nominated for best rap song and best rap performance.
Neil Diamond, 77, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He recently announced he’s retiring from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Welcoming the awards back to the Big Apple, instead of Los Angeles, was celebrated Friday at a pre-GRAMMY luncheon inside the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem.
“When the nominations came in, we looked at the list and we saw many of the nominees had a direct Apollo connection – from Bruno Mars, who said it was his dream to perform at the Apollo, and he fulfilled that,” producer Kamilah Forbes said.
“There’s an energy here that’s different than pretty much any other place,” said executive producer Ken Ehrlich.
Local fans are excited too, like actor Erich Bergen, from the CBS drama “Madam Secretary.”
“I’m a born and raised New Yorker, so having this all be here, you can feel the energy in the city this whole weekend,” he said.
Ben Platt, celebrated star of Broadway’s “Dear Evan Hansen,” and other New York theater bigshots, like Patti LuPone, spent the day rehearsing what will be tribute performances to Leonard Bernstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Later Friday night, stars – including Bruce Springsteen, Miley Cyrus and Keith Urban – paid tribute to the one and only Fleetwood Mac.
“It’s an honor. Fleetwood Mac has been a big influence on my music,” Urban told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
Singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks and her fellow bandmates worked the red carpet at Radio City, as they became the first group ever honored as the MusiCares Foundation Person of the Year.
“Individually, they’re so talented. Collectively, they’re so talented,” said CBS This Morning Saturday anchor Anthony Mason.
Former President Bill Clinton presented the band with their award, recognizing their contribution to music and their humanitarian work.
“We’re able to do shows where we’re playing to maybe three generations of people, and you include the equation of time for someone like us who’s been around so long, and it just makes you feel finally that you know you’ve done your job right,” Lindsey Buckingham said.
The tribute is considered one of the most prestigious events of GRAMMY weekend.
Meanwhile, the unsung stars of the show are the NYPD officers and members of other security forces tasked with keeping everyone safe, Carlin reported.
Inside Madison Square Garden, there will be armies of officers – many in uniform, but many not and in plain clothes. Trash cans will be removed, barriers will go up and roads will be shut down to deter truck attacks. Bomb-sniffing dogs and rooftop snipers are also part of the security plan.