AFP

LOS ANGELES-Music’s biggest stars gather Sunday for the Grammys, with artists ranging from the Beatles and veteran rapper Jay-Z to newcomers like New Zealand’s Lorde and rapper Kendrick Lamar up for honours.

French electro sensation Daft Punk, pop diva Taylor Swift, chart-topper Justin Timberlake and Seattle hip hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are also among those vying for prizes at music’s version of the Oscars in Los Angeles. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will perform as organisers the Recording Academy belatedly bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award on the Fab Four, while preparing to mark 50 years since their famous first US TV appearance.

Performers at the awards show include a who’s who of music’s finest, ranging from Katy Perry and Robin Thicke to veterans Carole King, Chicago and an unlikely duet by rockers Metallica with acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang. The first couple of hip-hop, Jay-Z and Beyonce, are also expected to perform while pop legend Madonna will strut her stuff at the show, brought forward from its usual February date to avoid media conflicts with the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Going into Sunday’s show, Jay-Z tops nominations with nine nods, followed by California hip-hop star Lamar, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Timberlake and Pharrell Williams with seven each, while Canadian rapper Drake scored five. “This year’s nominations reflect the talented community of music makers who represent some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry of the year in their respective fields,” said Recording Academy head Neil Portnow.  Tipped by many for coveted Record Of The Year is Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”.