Redfoo and Sky Blu of LMFAO. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
It was only 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Downtown Standard hotel, but Redfoo already had a crisis on his hands. The singer stood shirtless in a corner of his modish hotel room, his black pants hovering mid-thigh to reveal boxer-briefs with "Don't Judge Me" emblazoned in silver sequins across the tuchis.
Searching to complete the ensemble he'd wear to the 52nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony, he rummaged through a pile of accouterments -- gold medallions and tiger-print pocket squares bearing the slogan for his techno-pop band LMFAO: "Party Rock." It's an appropriate mantra for the Los Angeles-based group, which last year released the popular club track "Shots." You might know the chorus. It goes "Shots! Shots! Shots!"
LMFAO were nominated for a Grammy in the best electronic/dance album category and were due to present around a dozen awards at the pre-telecast taking place in the afternoon at the Los Angeles Convention Center. A 20-passenger limo idled downstairs, waiting to whisk the duo to check in. But on the biggest day of his and his bandmate Sky Blu's young career, Redfoo seemed paralyzed with indecision. Should he go shirtless beneath his blazer?
"I could go with a plunging V-neck for sure, maybe I should try purple?" Foo said.
His mother, one of LMFAO's managers, Nancy Leiviska (also known as Momfoo) frowned from across the room. "It looks better without a shirt," she said, adding, "maybe you could put Xs across your nipples with tape."
LMFAO -- Stefan Gordy (Redfoo) and his nephew, Skyler Gordy (Sky Blu), the son and grandson of Motown founder Berry Gordy, and relatives by marriage of the Jackson family -- became pop radio staples last year on the strength of their booze-obsessed, girl-ogling singles like "I'm in Miami Trick" and "La La La" from their debut album "Party Rock." (The band released an EP with the same title in 2008.)
Hustling out of the hotel Sunday, Redfoo and Sky Blu, along with a trio of managers, assorted girlfriends and hype men, hurried downstairs to the limo, stopping to greet Fergie, the Black Eyed Peas singer, who hid behind massive sunglasses in the Standard's lobby.
In the waiting room at the pre-telecast, they snapped pictures with folk-pop singer Colbie Caillat and the Gap Band's Charlie Wilson. "Where are the liquids?" a wan Sky Blu asked. "I need a Red Bull and vodka right now."
One of his managers promised to track down some juice (minus the vodka). Redfoo fiddled with his iPhone until a Grammy representative handed them a nominees list to study for pronunciation, and soon afterward ushered them to stage left for their introduction.
The duo's spry announcements of the more-obscure Grammy categories -- best spoken word album for children, best historical album -- seemed especially droll when they proudly accepted such awards on behalf of absent (and presumably more strait-laced) winners. Remarkably, they handed Neil Young his first Grammy, for best boxed or special limited edition package for his "Neil Young Archives Vol. I (1963-1972)."
Though they lost their own Grammy bid to Lady Gaga, Redfoo and Sky Blu left for Staples Center, the site of the Grammy telecast, undaunted. As they made their way up the red carpet, LMFAO ingratiated themselves to nearly every outlet, be it "Access Hollywood," "Inside Edition" or an overwhelmed Canadian entertainment network. All got sparkly flashes of their "Don't Judge Me" boxers. One even got a duet of "Shots" as performed with Snooki from MTV's "Jersey Shore."
Across the carpet, Gordy gave brief congratulations to his son and nephew. "That's how it's been their whole life," a manager said, watching the exchange. "They give their regards to each other and walk away."
LMFAO's posse removed their considerable jewelry to pass through Staples Center's metal detectors, then tried to bribe a still-closed arena McDonald's to give the ravenous bunch some quarter-pounders (they did, at a price of $50 for four combo meals).
The crew jogged to their aisle as the show's final countdown began, and Redfoo and Sky Blu made it to their floor seats just in time for Lady Gaga's opening duet with Elton John.
After the ceremony in the Staples Center lobby, Sky Blu and Redfoo gamely shouted out to a Fort Myers-based DJ on his flip-cam and signed autographs for a young girl. "She saw you at Jingle Ball and loved you," the girl's mother said, remembering the KIIS-FM showcase. "And she's a cancer survivor too."
"That's amazing," Redfoo said, signing "Follow your dreams" in her Grammy program. A few feet away, a distracted Sky Blu sung the hook to "Miami" -- "Drink all day / Play all night / Let's get it poppin / I'm in Miami, trick."
Outside, another car waited to take them to after-parties hosted by Jamie Foxx, the Peas' will.i.am and Interscope's Jimmy Iovine. They had exactly zero shots so far on their Grammy night, but that was surely about to change.