James Corden explains how Hillary Clinton saved his Grammys sketch

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The Grammys audience was shocked to see Hillary Clinton pop up as the final participant to James Corden’s Fire and Fury sketch, and, on some level, so was Corden himself. As the host explained on The Late Late Show Monday night, he had to lie his way through the filming process because he wasn’t sure if his wild card player would agree to appear.

Slide 10 of 10: <p>Technical and logistical challenges can often mar televised vocal performances. Not so for R&B breakout and Best New Artist nominee SZA who obliterated the mic when she belted "Broken Clocks," a standout from her stellar 2017 album CTRL. The singer didn't take home the Best New Artist prize but given her enormous talent — and her performance Sunday — she's destined to be a Grammys staple for years to come. —E.R.B.</p>

“We had the idea to do that about 11 days ago,” he said. “We were thinking about different [ideas]. ‘Oh, that’s quite a good idea. But we can only do it if Hillary Clinton is the last person to read. Without that we don’t know what to do.’”

Slide 3 of 10: <p>Add "show-stopping Grammys performance" to Donald Glover's ever-growing resume. With 2016's Awaken, My Love!" — nominated for Album of the Year at this year's event — Glover rebranded his joke-rap act Childish Gambino into a vehicle for fiery funk. But he didn't bring the album's smash "Redbone" or an upbeat cut like "Have Some Love" to Madison Square Garden Sunday. Instead, he opted for the simmering slow-burn "Terrified," showing off golden pipes that much of his television and movies audiences might not have realized he had. —E.R.B.</p>


The sketch saw John Legend, Cardi B, Cher, DJ Khaled, and Snoop Dogg reading excerpts from Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House — the same book that called the president’s mental stability into question, that included damning quotes from former chief strategist Steve Bannon, and that claimed Trump had a nightly ritual with a cheeseburger.

Slide 5 of 10: <p>The 32-year-old pop star's third album 24K Magic — which won Album of the Year — continues to yield chart smashes. Mars performed the latest of those, "Finesse," recently resurgent thanks to a new remix featuring Cardi B, on the Grammys stage Sunday night. With a little help from the New York rapper, Mars brought slick dance moves and plenty of brightly colored '90s throwback garb for a bit that was as fun as it was musically impressive. —E.R.B.</p>

All the celebs had agreed to participate under the assumption Clinton was also involved. Though, at the time, that wasn’t guaranteed.

“We’d emailed [Clinton’s] people and we had not heard anything, but we had to get on and shoot it,” Corden went on. “So, basically, we just lied to everyone. We told Cher, ‘Oh, Hillary’s doing it.’

Slide 8 of 10: <p>Before the #MeToo and Time's Up campaigns sparked a national conversation about sexual misconduct in recent months, Kesha released "Praying," a staggering cut that referenced her own personal turmoil with Dr. Luke. (Kesha has accused the producer of sexual and verbal assault—claims he has vehemently denied.) Clad in white, vocal powerhouses Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Andra Day, Julia Michaels, and Bebe Rexha joined Kesha for a rendition of the deeply resonant song — and earned one of the evening's biggest ovations. —E.R.B.</p>

DJ Khaled, Snoop, Cardi B., they all said yes because they thought that Hillary was doing it and we had no idea whether Hillary would do it or not. We’d shot all the parts without her being there.”

Fortunately for Corden, Clinton ultimately said yes. “That is not a call I want to make to Cher,” he joked.

All the can’t-miss moments from the 2018 Grammy Awards:

Slide 4 of 10: <p>Have we gotten spoiled? Have we started to think there’s no ceiling Pink can’t descend from, no building she can’t scale, and no ribbon she can’t wrap to her will? The good news is, that’s probably all still true — and the better news is, she doesn’t need to do any of it. Sunday night, she performed “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” off 2017’s Beautiful Trauma, in a plain white T-shirt and jeans, standing fairly still behind her mic stand, and still, she dazzled. —M.V.</p>



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