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Grammys wanted The Rolling Stones to open the show

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RS

The Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 4, featured some standout performances, but if producers had their way there would have been another huge act in the lineup.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Grammy executive producer Ben Winston reveals that while Dua Lipa opened the show, they initially wanted The Rolling Stones to kick off the festivities.

“It was either going to be The Rolling Stones doing ‘Angry’ or Dua Lipa,” he says. “That’s what I was thinking. I tried — I had a conversation with the Stones. It didn’t work out this time.”

The Stones’ “Angry,” from their recent album Hackney Diamonds, was nominated for Best Rock Song, but wound up losing to boygenius‘ “Not Strong Enough.”

As for one of the other iconic moments in the show, Joni Mitchell‘s performance of “Both Sides Now,” Winston says it was almost a year in the making.

Brandi Carlile said to me, about six months before the last Grammys, ‘Joni’s performing again a little bit; she’s gonna do a few festivals with me. Do you think maybe we could get her to sing at the Grammys?’” he said. “And I was like, ‘Wow, that would be amazing.’” 

Nothing really came of it until he saw Joni perform at the Hollywood Bowl in October and decided he needed to make it happen. And in the end, Winston says Joni had a great experience. 

“She enjoyed the adulation she got,” he says. “She sat there on this throne in her dressing room. People came to greet her — Olivia Rodrigo came and paid her respects.”

In addition to her performance, Joni won a Grammy for Best Folk Album for Joni Mitchell at Newport Live. It was her 11th Grammy win.

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