The recording academy and Grammy producers have unveiled a flurry of Grammy performers this week, beginning Tuesday with a return to the stage for Adele and a Katy Perry announcement on Wednesday. Today, the curtain was pulled back on one of the telecast’s rock ‘n’ roll acts: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, who are gearing up for a new tour.
Springsteen isn’t nominated for any new works — “The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story” is, however, in the running for best boxed or special limited edition package — and instead has a new album in “Wrecking Ball,” due March 6, to promote. The upcoming tour with the E Street Band will be the act’s first since the passing of his former band mate, the tenor saxophonist Clarence “Big Man” Clemons. While the performance wasn’t announced as such, the Grammy telecast is typically loaded with high-concept medleys and pairing, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of the ordinary to expect Springsteen’s appearance to include a tribute to his late collaborator.
Clemons, whose best-known work can be found on numerous Springsteen staples, including “Born to Run,” “Jungleland” and “Rosalita,” among others, died in June at a Palm Beach, Fla., hospital of complications from a massive stroke he suffered at his Florida home. While Clemons had worked with the likes of Jackson Browne, Ringo Starr, Aretha Franklin and Lady Gaga, among many others, he is most closely associated with Springsteen and E Street Band.
As previously announced, Springsteen will play a string of dates in the U.S. on his 2012 tour with the E Street Band ahead of previously announced shows in Europe, starting March 18 in Atlanta and stopping April 26 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
In The Times’ appreciation of Clemons, Randy Lewis wrote, “more than once, Clemons’ solos were positioned at the end of a song, rather than stereotypically in the middle, Springsteen’s tacit acknowledgment that having expressed himself in words, Clemons’ job was to express the rest of the feeling that couldn’t be contained in words.”
Previously announced performers for the Grammy Awards include Jason Aldean; Kelly Clarkson; Glen Campbell with the Band Perry and Blake Shelton; Coldplay with Rihanna; the Foo Fighters; Bruno Mars; Paul McCartney; Nicki Minaj; and Taylor Swift.
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011. The 2011 awards will be televised Feb. 12 on CBS-TV from Staples Center in Los Angeles.