Grammys: Host James Corden Calls Out Trump in Opening Rap
"Live it all up, because this is the best / And with President Trump, we don’t know what comes next!" the host said during the annual music awards.
James Corden opened Sunday's Grammys by recovering from a string of technical difficulties and rehearsal mishaps — or so the Late Late Show host wanted the audience and viewers watching to think.
Rising through the stage, Corden's elevating entrance suffered a snag and the host was seen only from the waist up. After crawling his way up, he then rolled down the flight of stairs, losing one of his shoes and his mic pack in the process.
"What has happened, people? We have rehearsed this, and rehearsed this, and rehearsed this!" he said before dismissing his dancers from the stage. "We cannot allow these sort of mistakes, this is the Grammys, people, isn't it?"
He then launched into a rap about being in over his head and mentioned some of the upcoming night's highlights, including: "Beyonce performing, the queen is here dummy / Slay the whole stage with twins in her tummy."
But the lines that earned the most praise from the audience called out President Donald Trump.
"Live it all up, because this is the best / And with President Trump we don't know what comes next," he rapped. "We sit here tonight no matter our race / Or where we were born or color of face / Using this art remember forever / We can survive by sticking together."
On the red carpet ahead of the show, Corden spoke to E!'s Ryan Seacrest about his day-of jitters and teased the opening number as part of the act.
"You wake up, you throw up, you get in the car and you throw up again," he said, "Then you come in and do a rehearsal to time, starting at 11 a.m. But that didn't go completely to plan, so you literally finish 20 minutes ago."
While teasing the opening number, Corden stayed humble.
"I would hate to get peoples' expectations up," he said. "It's quite a difficult room to do a traditional monologue, so we try to do something slightly different with that. I come up through the floor, which I'm very excited about."
About his goals for the night, he said the pressure of pulling off a successful Grammys show has much higher stakes than pulling off his weeknight Late Late Show.
"We make a television show that's on in the middle of the night — people only realize it's on when they've woken up and realize they've left the television on," he said. "I'm really trying to not let anybody down and make it a really fun show, that's what I'm trying to do."
Adele, who picked up two awards during the Grammys pre-show and is up for three more, opened the show with "Hello."
Later in the show, Corden presented one award pantless and said he was contractually bound by CBS to appear on the show with a "Carpool Karaoke"-labeled car so viewers could recognize him from his popular Late Late Show singing sketch series.
Moving his car around the audience, Corden recruited J.Lo, Jason Derulo, Ryan Tedder, John Legend, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Neil Diamond to sing a group rendition of Diamond's "Sweet Caroline." Beyonce's daughter Blue Ivy ran over to the group for the final lyrics.
Corden instructed those watching at home to tweet along with the show using the hashtag #GRAMMYs. Several tweets from viewers were then shown on screen, posting Mean Tweets-style posts aimed at the host.
Included in the scroll was one positive tweet — from Trump's personal Twitter account.
"Just as I predicted, Corden doing a GREAT job as host. Terrific," read the tweet from @realDonaldTrump.
He then warned, "Any negative tweets that you see are fake tweets, OK? They are not real tweets. The negative ones are fake."
Artists, including The Weeknd, Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars and Metallica, performed when Corden hosted the 59th Annual Grammy Awards at L.A.'s Staples Center on CBS Sunday night.