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Music world celebrates its big event of the year

The Associated Press, Thursday, January 28, 2010, 8:42pm (PST)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Two weeks ago it was the Golden Globes. Last weekend it was the SAG Awards. Now, it's the music world's turn to spread a little weekend excitement around town as it celebrates the industry's biggest event of the year — Sunday's 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. Here's a sampling of what's going on:

PREPPING FOR A PRE-PARTY: Music mogul Clive Davis likes to wait until after the Grammy nominations are announced to decide on the talent for his exclusive pre-Grammy party — but he's not always looking for the top nominees to fill the bill.

"I think about who was robbed?" he said on Thursday during preparations for Saturday's annual event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. "Who didn't get Grammy nominations? Who should be part of the celebration of music of the year?"

There will likely be a mix of top talent at the gala — past performers include Whitney Houston, Kanye West, Annie Lennox, Kelly Clarkson, the Foo Fighters, Johnny Mathis and Aretha Franklin.

Davis usually keeps the list of performers close to the vest, but he did reveal one name — Harry Connick Jr., who was with him to talk about the party.

Connick, who worked with Davis on his recent album "Your Songs," said he's looking forward to the bash because he usually doesn't mix with his fellow music colleagues.

"I don't have a lot of close friendships in the industry because I don't go out much," said Connick. "I don't go to a lot of parties, I'm usually working."

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SUITE OF SWAG: Leery of looking gauche, some celebrities shy away from having their photo taken when they hit up gifts suites and get free swag.

All-American Rejects singer Tyson Ritter is not among them.

He happily posed for photos Thursday as he visited the Grammy's official gift suite for talent, put on by Distinctive Assets.

"Who gives a (expletive)? You gotta give something back. Why would you just get something for free?" he said.

Ritter said the gift suites, where celebrities are showered with free goods ranging from beauty products to electronics, are the highlight of awards week.

"It's the best part, because the people who are doing this ... they're like, here, take this free. I'm like, all right, we both know what we're doing, we're both whores. I love it."

Also in the gift suite Thursday was George Clinton, sporting a multicolored hairstyle, and Grammy nominee Charlie Wilson. He was there with his wife, who shared her input on his choices.

"She gets a chance to tell me what not to get. 'Don't get that, that's ugly. Get that purse, because I want it,'" Wilson said, laughing.

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A RAPPER'S WRAP: More names have been added to the already star-studded list of presenters and performers for Sunday's Grammys — including Lil Wayne in what could be his last public performance for a while. The rapper, who's due to be sentenced next month to a year in prison on a weapons charge in New York, is scheduled to perform with Eminem and Drake, along with rocker Travis Barker. Both Eminem and Drake are nominated for Grammys.

Other Grammy nominees due to perform are Jamie Foxx and T-Pain, whose "Blame It" was one of last year's hottest songs. There will also be a special tribute to guitar great Les Paul featuring Jeff Beck and Imelda May, and Green Day will perform with the cast of the their rock opera, "American Idiot."

The Recording Academy also announced additional presenters, including Wyclef Jean, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Colbert.

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AP Entertainment Writer Alicia Quarles contributed to this report.

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