LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The 51st annual Grammy Awards were under way Sunday night. Here's what AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang was seeing from the audience.
The mood was festive and loose during the pretelecast section of the Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center where trophies for such things as best polka album and best new age album are handed out.
Contributing to the looseness could have been the fact participants knew they weren't getting on TV as they accepted their awards from pre-show co-hosts Wayne Brady and Tia Carrere.
Despite pandering to the Grammys by naming her album "For Your Consideration," actress-comedian Kathy Griffin was beaten out in the comedy category by George Carlin, who died last year. Carlin's daughter, Kelly Carlin-McCall, accepted the award and promised to take better care of it than her dad did after he won his first Grammy in 1972. She said her father dismantled that one while in a "chemical-induced state."
Many of the pretelecast winners, including Juanes and Kirk Franklin, are not present, giving many of the winners who are, including Blind Boys of Alabama and Hilary Hahn, ample time to thank everyone.
Uh oh. Terence Blanchard has stepped out of the pretelecast ceremony just before his name is called for jazz instrumental solo. Friends in the audience scream from their seats that he is on his way to the stage.
"'Well, where is he?' presenter Yolanda Adams asks. "On I-10 (freeway)?"
The audience for the pre-telecast isn't exactly packed with household names, but there are a few. While the classical album awards are being handed out, Carrie Underwood and her entourage roll in and camp out in the last row. Only 21 awards to go until her category!
She stuck around! Carrie Underwood wins for female country solo.
"There's no way on this planet that this could ever get old," she says, accepting the trophy.
The pretelecast ceremony is still going on, but the doors to the televised Grammy show next door at the Staples Center have opened.
Not to worry, it's black-tie dress code isn't stopping several attendees from noshing on hot dogs and popcorn in the lobby.
First Celebrity Sighting: beefy mixed martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell going through security.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Robert Planet, Blind Boys of Alabama and LL Cool J are scrambling to take their seats as U2 opens the show.
Not Trace Adkins, though. He's been sitting in his seat for almost half an hour.
Justin Timberlake, Al Green, Boyz II Men and Keith Urban not only receive a standing ovation, but the crowd is on its feet for their entire performance.
During the first commercial break, stagehands are frantically setting up Coldplay's instruments. A piano for Chris Martin has been wheeled out onto the small circular stage in the middle of the audience.
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