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First batch of Grammy perfs announced

THE PLOT THICKENS: The Recording Academy may be under pressure to explain how it managed to muck up the Grammy noms (see the latest bit of intrigue immediately below), but the show must go on, and the org has just released the initial list of first set of performers confirmed for the 1/26 telecast. Imagine Dragons, who were left out of the Best New Artist field—and who performed on the AMAs—will nonetheless appear on the show (a smart move considering that performances mean more than wins in terms of Grammy spikes). Also on the list is Interscope labelmate Kendrick Lamar, who picked up noms in two of the biggies: Best New Artist and Album of the Year. Daft Punk (but with what vocalist?), P!nk and Fun.’s Nate Ruess will also perform, Merle Haggard (in his Grammy debut, believe it or not), Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Blake Shelton will team up for a “Grammy Moment,” as they bill it. The Academy also confirmed that LL Cool J will be back as host. (12/19a)

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