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James Corden to Host Grammy Awards (EXCLUSIVE)

James Corden will host the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, Variety has learned.

The star of “The Late Late Show” on CBS, which broadcasts the yearly music-awards show, Corden will take over Grammy-hosting duties from hip-hop artist and “NCIS: Los Angeles” star LL Cool J, who departs after a five-year run. Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment on “The Late Late Show” has featured some of music’s biggest stars, including Adele, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Sir Elton John and Justin Bieber.

“Thanks to ‘Carpool Karaoke,’ we’ve all been on some incredible rides with James, and The Recording Academy couldn’t be more excited to welcome his passion and enthusiasm for music, both as an entertainer and a fan, to the Grammy stage on February 12,” said Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow. “He’s got big shoes to fill after the magnificent run we had with LL Cool J, but James Corden is a commanding, dynamic showman who, we believe, is perfect to host the Grammy Awards.”

Corden added, “I am truly honored to be hosting The Grammys next year. It’s the biggest, most prestigious award show in music and I feel incredibly lucky to be part of such an incredible night.”

Corden earned stellar reviews for his work hosting the Tony Awards on CBS in June. His “Late Late Show,” which he joined as host in 2015, earned an Emmy Award in September for outstanding interactive program. “Carpool Karaoke,” which features Corden side by side with well-known artists, singing hit songs while driving, has been a record-breaking segment on YouTube, garnering nearly 2 billion views and boosting the show’s YouTube channel to more than 8 million subscribers. Apple in July bought a spinoff series based on the segment to distribute through its Apple Music platform.

“James Corden’s remarkable range of talents makes him a star on any screen and every stage,” said Jack Sussman, executive vice president, specials, music and live events, CBS Entertainment. “We see it every night on CBS, every day on YouTube and audiences are still talking about his acclaimed performance hosting the Tony’s last June. We look forward to bringing James’ exceptional showmanship, infectious energy and his undeniable kinship with music to the Grammy stage. At the same time, everyone involved with the Grammys tips their hats with gratitude and respect to LL Cool J for an outstanding five years as host. LL was a dynamic host who guided our broadcast to great success with charisma, gravitas and poignancy when the moment called for it. His contributions — both on-air and behind-the-scenes as our valued collaborator — will be long remembered and always appreciated.”

Grammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich added, “James Corden is a captivating host, and I have no doubt that his musical background, personal charm and comedic instincts will resonate with our audience. For the past five years, we’ve been fortunate to have had LL Cool J host our show, and I trust that James will bring the same professionalism and charisma to Music’s Biggest Night.”

The Grammys are set to be broadcast live from Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT. The telecast is being produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for the Recording Academy, with Ehrlich serving as executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz as director, and Ben Winston as a producer. David Wild is serving as a writer with Ehrlich.

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