Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort, nervousness

Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort, nervousness

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Trevor Noah is feeling more comfortable hosting the Grammy Awards for a third straight year, but the former “The Daily Show” host still has some nerves about leading the ceremony with big acts like Beyoncé, Adele and Harry Style look up.

“The nerves kick in because you’re not only standing in front of some of the best, but also some of the biggest artists in the world,” the Emmy winner said. Noah expects his diligent preparation to see him through Sunday’s performance.

“Nervousness is part of what I do,” the comedian said.

Noah returns for his third hosting at the Grammys, which airs live from Arena on CBS and Paramount+ on Sunday. The ceremony returns to Los Angeles after moving to Las Vegas for the first time ever due to increasing COVID-19 cases and omicron variant.

“I was relieved that Trevor came back because it makes my job more fun and easier,” said Ben Winston, the show’s executive producer. He called Noah an “absolute pro” who he says can turn gracefully on a night that celebrates music’s best.

“He reassures me on a stressful night when a set isn’t built on time and I say to his ear ‘Sorry about that. I need you to go an extra 90 seconds because Lady Gaga’s band isn’t in.’ He would just flow naturally, make a joke, get up and sit at somebody’s table and talk to them,” Winston said. “It’s a very difficult task that very few people can do – and certainly not with his comedy and charm that Trevor has.”

Noah said that each year of hosting the Grammys has offered a different experience because of the logistical challenges stemming from the pandemic. But he said the intimate but socially distanced in-person awards show in 2021 helped him build a relationship with music stars — especially when he was telling his jokes.

Last year’s ceremony in Las Vegas was a hybrid model that included fans.

“Every year I notice that I develop a different relationship with the people in the room,” he said. “It opens you up to a few more jokes and a few more conversations in a way where people understand the context of who you are in relation to them. It means you can have a bit of fun without anyone feeling like you’re wearing them down.”

As a music fan, Noah is looking forward to watching the popular artists that will hit the stage including Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, Lizzo, Steve Lacy and Brandi Carlile.

Beyoncé enters the ceremony with a leading nine nominations, including record and song of the year for her song “Break My Soul.” Kendrick Lamar has the second most nominations with eight, while Adele and Carlile enter the show with seven nods.

Styles, Blige, Future, DJ Khaled, The-Dream and master engineer Randy Merrill each received six nominations.

“We love having Trevor because he’s so damn good at it,” said Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. “He’s so personable, he’s so funny. I don’t know how he does what he does. He never stumbles, he never hesitates. He is always so serious and sincere. He is also a music man. You see him when he’s not on camera. He sings, he dances, he raps. I feel he is one of us now.”


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