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Attendees dial down the garish

The wild and woolly days are largely a thing of the past, as music stars take a page from the glitzier movie-award shows. (Yawn.) But there are some notable exceptions.

February 09, 2004|Hilary E. MacGregor | Times Staff Writer

Remember back when musicians were like gods, and they wore the most far-out outfits? Well, on the red carpet at the Grammys, it wasn't like that. There was a lot of glamour, but there wasn't a lot of funk.

"It's finally happened!" lamented Joan Rivers. "They now have stylists for the Grammys."

Yes, that makes it boring.

"Thank God for George Clinton," she said. "Thank God for Lil' Kim. She still looked funky and way-out and full of zip."

Hold on, here were some musicians with panache. But who were they?

It was Yerba Buena, the Afro-Cuban hip-hop band from New York (with an emphasis on Afro, Cuban and Hip-Hop, said one member). Andres Levin, "El Padre," wore a red newsboy cap. "El Chino" had crazy dreads, a white suit and a wide chili pepper-pattern tie. Bass player Sebastian Steinberg had a Willie Nelson thing going on with his braided hair. Cucu Diamantes wore a clingy midnight-blue dress (she's their fashion consultant and nutritionist, said Steinberg), and Xiomara Laugart had a crazy big out-there 'fro. It was their first visit to the Grammys, so maybe no one told them they needed a stylist. They looked cool.

TV reporters gossiped that Sting had promised them something good. They seemed disappointed with his navy-blue kilt.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday February 10, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 31 words Type of Material: Correction
"Entertainment" correspondent -- A photo caption accompanying an article in Monday's Calendar about the Grammy Awards misidentified Maria Menounos as an E! TV anchor. Menounos is a correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight."

As it got closer to show time the looks got more outlandish. R. Kelly wore a bandana over his eyes like a mask. Bootsy Collins wore a leopard-print cowboy hat/top hat hybrid and his trademark rhinestone glasses. He was accompanied by Guns N' Roses guitarist Buckethead, who, as is his custom, wore a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head.

"That's Bucket," someone said. This was more like it. By 4:53 the red-jacketed event staff was pushing the musicians down the carpet like cattle. Five minutes, four minutes, three, we are shutting the door, they yelled.

The doors shut.

Then, at 5:03, along came George Clinton, looking like a crazy wizard in a long pink robe and his multicolored hair sprouting from the top of his head.

The reporters milled, the arrivals were over. But wait -- at 5:15, Madonna showed up. Radios crackled, headsets went on again. The reporters pounced on her, in her fuschia Versace dress.

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