Lang Lang Gets a Grammy Duet Partner: Metallica

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 12:56 PM

James Hetfield of Metallica and Lang Lang James Hetfield of Metallica and Lang Lang (

One is known for his big, emotive stage gestures; the other, a signature brand of headbanging and fist-pumping. 

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that the Chinese pianist Lang Lang and the heavy metal band Metallica will perform together at the 56th annual Grammy Awards on January 26 in Los Angeles.

There were no further details on the performance itself. Lang Lang last performed at the Grammys in 2008, in a duet arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Herbie Hancock. For Metallica, this is their first Grammy performance since 1991.

Metallica has been linked to classical music in the past. In 1999, the band released "S&M," a 2-CD set that features the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by Michael Kamen. In the liner notes for "S&M," the late conductor wrote that the collaboration was not instantly harmonious. "The first contact with the audience was a frightening, deafening roar which terrified the orchestra," he said. He added that they were "soaking through their tuxes and black formals from the exercise."

The Grammy Awards will take place at the Los Angeles Staples Center and will be broadcast live at 8 pm ET on CBS.

Weigh in: What do you think of the collaboration? Inspired or train-wreck in the making?


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