In the countdown to the 60th Grammy Awards, producers on Wednesday rolled out a few more heavy hitters to add to its performance roster. Scheduled to take the stage at Madison Square Garden in New York later this month will be Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, British R&B crooner Sam Smith and Irish rock gods U2.
The acts will join already announced artists including Cardi B, Childish Gambino, Luis Fonsi, Kesha, Little Big Town, Pink and SZA at the ceremony.
Also unveiled on Wednesday is a collaborative performance by pop star Miley Cyrus and superstar piano-rocker Elton John. The two will team to play an unnamed classic by John and his longtime writing partner, Bernie Taupin. A few days later, John and Taupin will receive the Recording Academy President’s Merit Award during a tribute concert.
Lamar, who is nominated for seven Grammys for work from his album “Damn.,” has a history with U2. He collaborated with the band on his song “XXX,” and a few months ago U2 returned the favor by including a spoken-word Lamar interlude on its song “Get Out of Your Own Way.”
Considering that U2 isn’t nominated for any Grammys this year, that connection offers the producers ample reason to include Bono and company in the ceremony.
Apparently a connection wasn’t necessary, though. Smith isn’t nominated this year, either. His sophomore album, “Thrill of It All,” was released too late in 2017 to be considered for nominations.