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Grammys Roll Out 50th Anniversary Plans

The Grammy Awards, the music
industry’s most prestigious event, are getting an early start
on next year’s 50th anniversary with plans for a fashion line,
coffee-table book, museum and TV specials, organizers said on

Next year’s ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on
Sunday, February 10, although there might be remote broadcasts
from such music centers as New York and Nashville, said Neil
Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy.

Talks are underway with Grammys broadcaster CBS to hold
some specials later this year, so that next year’s awards show
does not get too weighed down in nostalgia.

“Regardless of what we do 50th-wise, the nominated music
for the year deserves just as much attention at the 50th as any
other year, so we don’t want to give short shrift to that,”
Portnow said in an interview.

The fashion line, which will go on sale in the fall, will
include leather jackets, T-shirts, jewelry and handbags. A
“meaningful portion” of the proceeds will go to music-related
charity endeavors organized by the academy.

The Grammy museum, a 30,000-square-foot
(2,790-square-meter) facility, will be located in an
entertainment complex being built next to the Staples Center,
the Los Angeles sports arena where the Grammys have been held
for the past few years.

It is scheduled to open in September 2008.

The coffee-table book will go on sale in October. It will
primarily feature photos, but Portnow said the celebratory tome
would not ignore low moments in Grammy history, such as when
lip-syncing duo Milli Vanilli was forced to return its award
for best new artist.

The Grammys have suffered in the ratings in recent years,
although this year’s event pulled its best numbers since 2004,
averaging just over 20 million viewers. By contrast, the
blockbuster talent show “American Idol” has been averaging
about 31 million viewers this season.

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