Q: I need an award show to tide me over until the Oscars. Something with music, preferably. Are the American Music Awards on soon?
A: No, but the Grammys are. They're just like the American Music Awards but without the patriotism.
Q: Who's performing?
A: Patti Labelle will join Pink, Mya, L'il Kim and Christina Aguilera for "Lady Marmalade." When asked how the new version stacks up to her original, Labelle said, "It's a lot like mine, except really slutty." Also look for a tribute to the O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack performed by Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Slipknot and Afroman.
Q: Will there be any boy-band performances this year?
A: 'N Sync will perform with Nelly. After their appearance at the Olympics Closing Ceremonies and the announcement of Lance Bass's plans to travel into outer space, it's been quite a week for the boys. Nelly has been busy, too, finally beating Metal Gear Solid 2 while on the tour bus between Atlanta and Tampa.
Q: Who are this year's front-runners?
A: Expect U2 to take home the Grammy for their return-to-form album, All That We Left Behind In 1987 But Thankfully Got Back This Year. However, U2's "Walk On" may lose the Best Song category to "Ms. Jackson," OutKast member Dre's plaintive ode to his torrid affair with soul singer Mahalia Jackson.
Q: What's the most competitive category this year?
A: The Best New Artist category is a close race between Alicia Keys, India.Arie and Nelly Furtado. But that's nothing compared to the battle royale that is the Best Pop Instrumental Album category. Unconditional by Kirk Whalum is the current front-runner, but don't count out Voice by Journey guitarist Neal Schon. He who counts out Neal Schon does so at his own peril.
Q: Why does India.Arie spell her name that way?
A: It is a symbol of her individuality and creative spirit. Her father Ralph.Simpson named her India because she was born on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. She later adopted the last name of her grandmother, hotgirl7_Arie.
Q: Will security be tight for the awards?
A: The Grammys are taking every precaution this year to protect the musicians, including metal detectors at every entrance and random searches of Suge Knight.
Q: Will the show run over three hours?
A: Hopefully not. Taking a cue from the Oscars, exit music will commence when the winner's acceptance speech runs long. Should the boys from 'N Sync go over their allotted time, the producer will cue up "Bye, Bye, Bye." If Pierre Boulez of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra starts rambling after winning Best Orchestral Performance, expect "White Lines (Don't Do It)."
Q: Are the Grammys really an accurate representation of the best of the past year's music? Don't they tend to favor aging boomer-friendly acts such as U2 and Bob Dylan over younger and fresher artists? What qualifications does the NARAS base their nominations on? Where's the recognition of the burgeoning indie music scene?
A: There will also be a performance of "Drops of Jupiter" by Record of the Year nominee Train.