Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl, and special guest Lindsey Buckingham will give the closing performance at the 56th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night, SPIN can exclusively reveal.
“We’re incredibly excited about this number,” Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich said in a statement. “There’s nothing better than when the Grammys can rock out, and to have these artists all together on one stage, doing a number that, when they presented it to us, knocked us out, is going to turn out to be one of those Grammy moments that people talk about for a long time. Long live Trent, Josh, Dave and Lindsey and these great bands!” It will be the first-ever Grammy telecast performance for Nine Inch Nails and QOTSA.
Thirteen-time Grammy winner Grohl, as usual, is the connective tissue, having performed extensively with both bands, most prominently on QOTSA’s 2002 LP Songs for the Deaf and Nine Inch Nails’ 2005 album With Teeth. Fleetwood Mac guitarist/singer Buckingham, of course, is the wild card, and his role — singing a kickass version of “Tusk” or “The Chain,” maybe his solo hit “Go Insane”? — remains to be seen. However, it’s not as random as it might seem: Buckingham guested on Nine Inch Nails’ latest LP Hesitation Marks and also appears in Sound City: Real to Reel, the Grohl-directed documentary about the legendary, now-shuttered L.A. studio where many classic albums were recorded; his Fleetwood-Mac-mate, Stevie Nicks, appears in the film and also joined Grohl on the Sound City Players album and tour last year.
While the Foo Fighters did not release any new music during this year’s window of eligibility, Grohl has two nominations, both connected to Sound City: Best Rock Song for “Cut Me Some Slack” (with Paul McCartney and the other surviving members of Nirvana, a group often dubbed “Sirvana”), and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media; separately, he appears as a songwriter (again, with Nirvana) on a Best Rap Song nominee, Jay-Z’s “Holy Grail.” Queens are up for two awards: Best Rock Album (for …Like Clockwork), Best Rock Performance with the album’s “My God Is the Sun,” and, indirectly, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Two-time Grammy winners Nine Inch Nails’ Hesitation Marks is nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. Buckingham is not nominated but is featured on the Delta Rae song “If I Loved You,” which garnered Rob Cavallo a shot at Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.
While there’s no official word yet on the latest rumor – that Madonna and Beyonce will perform on the show – Sunday’s telecast, to be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, already boasts formidable star power: The most recent official additions were Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr — who will accept a Lifetime Achievement Awards for the Beatles — plus performers Jay Z and Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Keith Urban, and Sara Bareilles (with Carole King). They follow previously announced performers Daft Punk (with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and several Random Access Memories session players), Kendrick Lamar (with Imagine Dragons), Lorde, Metallica (with pianist Lang Lang), Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink (with fun.’s Nate Ruess), Robin Thicke (with Chicago), and multiple country legends (Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson, with current nominee Blake Shelton).
The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Stay with SPIN all week for much more on the show, the performers, the parties and beyond.