Grammy style: It's all about Lady GaGa. "The World Goes GaGa"

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The early consensus was that everyone was on pins and needles to see what outrageous get-ups Lady Gaga would don for the show. Asked what he was looking forward to most during the show, dancehall reggae star Sean Paul smiled broadly and replied: “Lady Gaga. She has amazing style. I can't wait to see what she'll wear.” A Gaga impersonator also showed up on the carpet, momentarily confusing reporters and photographers. In another outward sign of Gaga's thrall over the celeb-studded crowd, hip-hop crooner Akon was wearing a T-shirt bearing her name and likeness as he made the red carpet rounds. He sneaked up behind Auto-Tune all-star T-Pain and made goofy faces during a televised interview. Asked how he had been taking in all the Grammy week festivities, T-Pain remained characteristically low-key. “It's all good. I didn't pay nothing for a ticket,” the rapper-turned-singer said. With 3 hours to show time, the carpet was a crazy quilt of pop-culture grandees. Sofia Coppola looked slightly pregnant (for good reason) in a metallic blue mini-dress, there to support her husband, Thomas Mars, the lead singer of Phoenix. Lingerie model Marisa Miller was interviewed by Snookie from MTV's “Jersey Shore.” Elvis Costello sported a black pinstriped suit and natty orange porkpie hat and got props from everyone in sight for his television show, “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With ...” And also in the “Um, what exactly is the nature of your business here?” category, there was actress Alfre Woodard. Jason Mraz was up against some heavy hitters in the best male pop performance category: Stevie Wonder and Maxwell, to name but two. But that was news to Mraz, who confessed total ignorance of his competition for the evening. “I haven't even had time to look at the other nominees,” Mraz said an hour before the award show. “I spent the last two and a half years on the road. Which is also proof I didn't vote at the Grammys. I just got here in the middle of this madness.” He continued, breathlessly: “Lady Antebellum's over here. There's Weird Al Yankovic. I love that it brings together all these genres. It's a mash-up of acknowledgment. Of celebrating the gig.”
Party-rap duo LMFAO the group responsible for what is arguably 2009's biggest club banger, “Shots” (featuring Lil Jon) were nominated for best electronic/dance album. Win or lose, the band members have their contingency plans. “If we win, we'll be doing shots!” shouted Redfoo, with barely contained enthusiasm. And if you lose? “We'll probably do some shots too,” he said. His bandmate Sky Blu seconded that emotion, then mimed the action of squeezing a gun's trigger. British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap won a Grammy for best-engineered album, non-classical for her “Ellipse.” She turned heads on the carpet, though, for her quintessentially eccentric and forward-thinking attire. Around Heap's neck: a kind of sculptural cuff with blinking lights, and her purse was a small television. “This necklace has a live Twitter feed,” Heap explained. “I've got a wireless router here, which is heating up my belly nicely. And here's a television with videos my fans are sending to my account. Now they're accompanying me down the red carpet.” Naturally, her outfit, deemed “Immi's Twitdress,” has its own Twitter feed.

Nominated in the best dance/electronic category, the electronica duo the Crystal Method lost out to Lady Gaga, who was awarded her statuette before the broadcast began. The band's Scott Kirkland didn't take kindly to Gaga's choice to not personally accept her Grammy. “We already got the category out of the way. Lady Gaga won and didn't even show up to get the award!” Kirkland exclaimed. “What is that? It's like, if you win the blender, you have to be there to get the blender to win the blender, right? You gotta be there to win the award!” Redheaded rocker Neko Case, nominated for best contemporary folk album for her critically acclaimed release “Middle Cyclone,” seemed happy to take in the spectacle: “I'm so excited to be here but also overwhelmed. I'm so country mouse! I'm pretty excited by the outfits too. There are some amazing-looking ladies.”

Nominated last year for best new artist, R&B diva Ledisi said she had arrived at the ceremony in a state of nervous apprehension. Nominated this year for best female R&B vocal performance, the singer said she felt calmer because she knew what to expect and didn't feel the same burdens placed on her. “This year, I can relax and take everything in,” she said. “I'm a huge Beyonce fan ... and I can't wait to see Lady Gaga!” With just minutes until the award show's kickoff, the carpet became a maelstrom of famous faces, an almost mind-numbing blur of boldfaced names, who naturally did not have time to speak to every reporter. Ricky Martin, “Jersey Shore” breakout the Situation and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made their way through the churning mosh-pit. Carlos Santana, Kid Cudi and Alice Cooper took pictures and gave interviews while married couple Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban cruised by without acknowledging the media scrum. Grammy honcho Neil Portnow grabbed a photo with Ringo Starr. And Katy Perry, in a figure-hugging, beige and gold floor-length dress, was seen running down the carpet shrieking, “I don't know what I'm doing right now!” Among the last to depart the red carpet, Miley Cyrus, dressed in a skin-tight Herve Leger dress, clutched the arm of her fake-tanned mother. “Mom, I can hardly walk in these!” She grimaced, making her way into the Staples Center at a snail's pace as strappy black heels dug into her feet. Los Angeles Times

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