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Grammys 2019: how to watch and what to expect

Kendrick Lamar leads the nominations, and slated performers include Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, and Lady Gaga.

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Kendrick Lamar performs at the Coachella music festival in 2018.
Kendrick Lamar — nominated for eight awards at the 2019 Grammys — performs at Coachella in 2018.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella
Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

It’s time for the 2019 Grammy Awards, the biggest night in music and arguably the flashiest of all awards shows. The 61st annual ceremony will be held on February 10 at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific, airing live on CBS.

This year, 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys takes over the hosting reins from James Corden, who helmed the show in the previous two years. And it’s going to be a long night, bursting with performances from a glittering array of musicians, including Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, H.E.R., Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dan + Shay, Post Malone, Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson, Dua Lipa, St. Vincent, Chloe x Halle, Travis Scott, and more.

Additionally, Diana Ross will give what’s being billed as a “very special performance” in honor of her own 75th birthday. And Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Andra Day will perform a tribute to soul legend Aretha Franklin, who died in August 2018.

As for the actual awards, the four biggest honors of the night are Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist, all of which are open to music and performers from any genre.

Kendrick Lamar leads the nominations with a total of eight, including Album of the Year for the Black Panther soundtrack; the other 2019 Album of the Year nominees are Drake’s chart-topping album Scorpion, Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, Janelle Monáe’s sci-fi dystopia Dirty Computer, Kacey Musgraves’s Golden Hour, Brandi Carlile’s By the Way, I Forgive You, and Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys.

The 2019 nominees for Best New Artist are Chloe x Halle, Luke Combs, Greta Van Fleet, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha, and Jorja Smith — notably absent is Cardi B, who, despite her breakthrough success in the past year, is ineligible for the title because she was nominated in other categories at the 2018 Grammys.

Due to Grammys’ offset eligibility period — the window for the 2019 Grammys runs from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018 — some of this year’s nominees might seem a bit odd in terms of their timing. As Aja Romano previously noted for Vox, the 2019 Grammys cover “music like Taylor Swift’s Reputation, which was released on November 10, 2017, but not the Star Is Born soundtrack, which was released on October 5, 2018.”

Yet one song from the Star Is Born soundtrack — Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” — is in the running, thanks to its release as a single on September 27. “Shallow” is up for both Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and is one of two songs that are nominated for Grammys this year that are also up for Best Original Song at the 2019 Oscars. The other is Kendrick Lamar and Sza’s “All the Stars,” from Black Panther, which is nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Rap/Sung Performance.

One final casualty of the 2019 eligibility window is Ariana Grande’s hit single “thank u, next,” which was released days after the window closed (although the singer is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance for “God Is a Woman” and Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetener). Grande was originally slated to perform at the ceremony but pulled out after reportedly clashing with producers over which songs she would perform, and Variety reported on February 6 that she is no longer planning to attend the ceremony at all.

If you want to watch the 2019 Grammys live, here’s how you can do it.

How to watch the 2019 Grammys, online and on TV

The 2019 Grammys will air Sunday, February 10, at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific on CBS. You can live-stream the ceremony on CBS All Access or YouTube TV. Both services are subscription-based but offer free trials. Highlights from the ceremony will also be available throughout the night via Facebook Watch on the Grammys Facebook page and the CBS Facebook page.

If red-carpet fashion (or the potential for red-carpet gaffes) is more your speed, you can watch it online starting at 5 pm Eastern/2 pm Pacific on Facebook Watch via the Grammys Facebook page, the CBS Facebook page, or On your actual television, E!’s red carpet coverage begins at 6 pm Eastern/3 pm Pacific, and CBS’s red-carpet coverage begins at 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific.

Alternatively, you can use an over-the-top device or subscription streaming service that carries CBS — including Fubo, Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, and Hulu’s live TV service to stream the awards. And keep in mind that many subscription streaming services will allow you to sign up for a free trial period, provided you’re a new customer — so if you don’t already have a subscription to a service that carries CBS, signing up for a trial is your best bet to live-stream the awards for free.

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