Run-DMC will perform with Aerosmith at the Grammy Awards on January 26, a source close to the situation tells Variety. The duo are not expected to perform with the Boston group for their entire set — which makes it seem likely that the band will perform a career-spanning medley, as artists often do on the show, and Run-DMC will join them for “Walk This Way.”
Originally released in 1975 on Aerosmith’s classic third album “Toys in the Attic,” the song reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 early in 1977. But it found a whole new audience (actually, no longer so new) a decade later when producer Rick Rubin teamed up the two acts for a revamped version of the song, and in the process created the first rap-rock hit single: It peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September of 1986 and paved the way for the ultimate rap-rock album, the Beastie Boys’ smash debut “Licensed to Ill” (which was also produced by Rubin). The two acts have reunited several times over the years to perform the song (as above, at a 1999 charity concert in Boston).
Even though the revamped “Walk This Way” was probably the first rap song that many rock fans ever heard, let alone liked, it wasn’t even Run-DMC’s first foray into the genre: That would be 1984’s “Rock Box,” which featured wailing guitars from Eddie Martinez.
Aerosmith were among the first 2020 Grammy Awards performers to be announced, along with Billie Eilish, Lizzo and a duet between Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani; Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato have both been confirmed as well.
The Grammy Awards, again hosted by Alicia Keys, will be broadcast live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.