Annual music awards return on Sunday

The Grammy Awards rarely prove to show the future of music. In fact, many of the artists and songs recognized through nominations and performances have already reached claw-your-eye-out status for even the most dedicated radio listeners. But even with the several-second delay and the overwhelming mainstream-ness of the event, there still may be a few moments that prove to be entertaining enough to cause you to wait to change the channel.

It has been more than 20 years since the Police reached commercial success comparable to the Beatles, but one of the more anticipated events of the evening will be the group’s reunion performance. The Grammys have always featured hyped performances, but several seem to get more attention than others. Whether it was Madonna and the cartoon band the Gorillaz last year, Prince singing with Beyonce, or Simon and Garfunkel once again strumming out the sounds of silence, viewers love a good oddity, comeback or reunion. The Police might not be kicking off a reunion tour, but one should watch the awards to see whether personal differences or Sting’s lute can be put aside for a song or two.

Taking instruction from Time Magazine and American Idol, the Grammy awards have also made “you” a part of the experience. A contest was held for several months for singers who submitted an audition to win the chance to sing with Justin Timberlake. The winner will be announced on the show after the votes, which are still being accepted, have been calculated by Yahoo! Music. So with the element of surprise, some of the biggest people in the music business present, and the guy who is bringing sexy back, we get a chance to see how well the singer “we” elected does under pressure.

If anyone has missed out on seeing Imogen Heap, this is your chance. A new viewer may be shocked with her avant-garde appearance and harmonies tight with techno-orchestral sound, but chances are you have already heard her work in recent romantic movies. If you are familiar with Heap, at least tune in to observe the best new artist nominee’s originality and see what potted plant she decided to use to create her hairstyle. For everyone else, you will now be able to associate a face with the songs you already know.

And speaking of costumes, Gnarls Barkley is also scheduled to perform at the awards. To say the group only had a hit this summer with the redundancy-fest that was “Crazy,” would be, well, insane. Love it or hate it, “Crazy” was everywhere. Gnarls Barkley gained popularity not only because of the song, but because of the unpredictable choices in attire the group members wear for live performances. They’ve appeared in shower caps and bathrobes and even had Chewbacca playing the drums during a Star Wars-themed performance. To watch them and question “What are they wearing?” could be more interesting than all of the “Who are you wearing?” inquiries on the pre-show red carpet.

As for the winners, who knows? The Grammy Awards has been known previously for its blunders in naming music’s best. Famous point the Grammys will never live down: Jethro Tull being the first recipient of the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance prize. And there are also countless best new artist winners ending up in the one-hit wonder bin. The Grammys may not make or break an artist, but the awards may give a small indication as to where the music business is during a particular year. This year may show that rock music has lost some popularity, with the exception of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who gained six nominations. Singer/songwriters like John Legend or John Mayer and hip-hop favorites like Mary J. Blige may be the ones who indicate what was most popular in this last year. If the performances do not provide you with something to remember, at least you can be nostalgic about the artists getting trophies that night, even if you can’t remember the last time you downloaded their work.