There's no guessing at Grammys; music is live

  • Updated: February 11, 2013 - 6:21 PM

LOS ANGELES - Taylor Swift opened Sunday's Grammy Awards with a live performance of her current hit, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

Inside Staples Center, the singer's performance earned loud applause. But to the Twitterverse, the pop and country superstar sang a little bit flat. Swift was dancing in the footsteps of countless artists who have performed live at music's biggest night. Unlike Beyoncé at President Obama's inauguration last month, Swift had no choice: She had to sing and take her chances.

That's because the Grammys have zero-tolerance policy for lip-syncing, requiring all performances be live. The no lip-syncing edict came after pop group Milli Vanilli was stripped of its 1990 best new artist award when the duo admitted that they did not use their actual voices on their album or in performances.

"Since Milli Vanilli, the mandate has been made absolutely unequivocally," said Michael Abbott, the audio director who has helped coordinate the show's live performances for more than 20 years.

Sendak's last book is published

The last completed book we are likely to get from Maurice Sendak remembers a man he often insisted was the real genius of the family, his brother Jack. Sendak died last May at 83 after years of health problems, but had managed to finish "My Brother's Book," published last week. Admirers of "Where the Wild Things Are" will recognize its themes of danger, flight and fantasy. Tony Kushner, a close friend, says that Sendak spoke often of his brother, who died in 1995. The brothers had worked on art projects since they were kids and Maurice illustrated two children's books by Jack, whom Maurice described as "much more talented" during a 2011 interview with the Associated Press.

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    Author Judy Blume, 75

    Michael McDonald, 61

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    Actress Jennifer Stone, 20

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