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Grammys ’12 FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Music’s Biggest Night

Adele's Grammy poster

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards are tonight and you are rightfully filled with questions: Will the show go on despite Whitney Houston’s death? Will Bon Iver be the so-called Arcade Fire of 2012? Will the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences trample on any legends’ reputations? SPIN has the answers:

When and Where Are the Grammys Taking Place?
The Grammys will air live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center tonight, Sunday, February 12th, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. You’ll be able to watch the pre-telecast ceremony starting at 4 p.m. on

Where Can I Find Amazing Coverage of This Very Important Event?
Right here at at SPIN! We’ll be liveblogging starting 7:50 p.m. tonight!

Who’s Performing?
Adele, who hasn’t sang in public since undergoing surgery on her vocal cords in the fall, plus Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Coldplay with Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Kelly Clarkson with Jason Aldean, Tony Bennett with Carrie Underwood, Glen Campbell with the Band Perry and Blake Shelton, Bruno Mars, the Civil Wars, Diana Krall, Maceo Parker, and Joe Walsh. Also, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt are heading up the Etta James tribute.

But wait, there’s more — Foo Fighters will be teaming up with the never-shoulda-been-invited Chris Brown, Deadmau5, David Guetta, and Lil Wayne for a performance in a tent highlighting dance music. Oh, you heard us.

What’s Very Noticeably Missing Here??
Lady Gaga. Kanye West. A tribute to Amy Winehouse.

Who’s Performing to Honor Whitney Houston?
So far, Jennifer Hudson is the only confirmed singer, though there were rumblings about Chaka Khan joining her.

Are There Any Legends Performing With Unfortunate “New” Bands?
Sadly, yes. All surviving original members of the Beach Boys will be reuniting on the Grammy stage… with Maroon 5 and Foster the People. If Brian Wilson says the words “Moves like Jagger,” we’re done here.

If Bon Iver Win, the Indie World Has Made the Big Time, AmIRite?
Not really! Here are 21 times the underground has infiltrated Music’s Biggest Night.

Who’s Presenting?
Marc Anthony, Lady Antebellum, Ryan Seacrest, Dierks Bentley, Jack Black, Drake, Fergie, Miranda Lambert, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Roots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, and Ringo Starr.

Who’s Hosting?
Mr. LL Cool J who just happens to star in a show on CBS! Amazing how that works!

Who’s Nominated?
Kanye West has the most nods: seven. Adele, Bruno Mars, and the Foo Fighters scored six each. Lil Wayne and Skrillex have five. Drake, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Cee Lo Green, Mumford & Sons, Radiohead, and Bon Iver have four. And Lady Gaga picked up three. Full breakdown here!

Who Will Win?
Adele, most likely. But rather than tell you who will win, wouldn’t your rather chew on who should win? Good, because that’s what we did:
Grammys ’12: Who Should Win the Major Categories
Grammys ’12: Who Should Win the Categories You Actually Care About

Who’s Getting Lifetime Achievement Awards?
Diana Ross, Gil Scott-Heron, the Allman Brothers Band, Glen Campbell, Antonio Carlos Jobim, George Jones, and the Memphis Horns. Steve Jobs is getting a Grammy, too — he’s one of the Trustees Award honorees alongside Dave Bartholomew and Rudy Van Gelder.

Will Anyone Be Protesting This Year’s Ceremony?
Yes! Some of the 23,000 folks who signed a petition asking the NARAS to reinstate the categories they cut from the lineup — including Latin Jazz honors — will be staging a protest near the Staples Center.

What’s the Eligibility Period?
Albums and songs released between September 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011 were eligible — which means no Drake or new Black Keys could make their way onto the ballot, but songs that seem ancient (like Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”) are fair game.

Who Picks the Winners?
Members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and record companies can submit songs and albums for consideration, which are then passed on to its 12,000 voting members — folks who creatively involved in making recordings. The first round of voting determines nominations, the second one decides the winners.

See Also:
Everything You Need To Know About the 54th Grammy Awards Nominations
Whitney Houston’s Four-Decade History at the Grammy Awards
Award Tour: 21 Times the Grammys Saluted the Underground
The 2012 Grammys Are Costing Brands a Fortune