Grammys set a date

Awards to be held on Feb. 10

The 50th Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 10 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, seven months before the Grammy Museum opens at the entertainment complex across the street from the arena.

In addition, Aretha Franklin will be honored as the MusiCares person of the year at a gala to be held Feb. 8.

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow oversaw Tuesday’s launch event, held at Staples Center’s Arena Club, for the 50th annual ceremony.

The 30,000-square-foot Grammy Museum is now slated to open in September 2008 at L.A. Live, AEG’s entertainment complex being built across from Staples Center (Daily Variety, Sept. 26). The museum will celebrate legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process and the history of the Grammys.

What remains to be determined is which building will house the pre-telecast. Grammy officials have been hopeful that the Nokia Theater, a 7,100-seat venue being built during the first phase of L.A. Live, will be operating at the time of the telecast. It had been scheduled to open this fall.

For the last several years, the Academy had held its pre-telecast, the MusiCares gala and the post-kudocast party at the Convention Center. Prior to this year’s ceremony, there was talk of moving some of those events into L.A. Live facilities.

Quincy Jones, who attended Tuesday morning’s announcement along with singer Joss Stone, will serve as the official ambassador of the 50th Grammys and will be given the Grammy Foundation Leadership Award at Starry Night, a benefit concert and dinner on July 28. Award is in recognition of Jones’ dedication to social, cultural, economic and educational issues.

Jones will also contribute a foreword to a Grammy coffee-table book that will be published in October and sold exclusively through Borders Books.

Portnow unveiled the poster for Grammy’s 50th by mosaic artist Roy Feinson and Grammy Brand, a high-end fashion collection.

The announcement of the 50th Grammy nominations will be made Dec. 6.

The Recording Academy was founded in May 1957, and the first awards were handed out a year later at a dinner.

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