Backstage Report: Taylor on the Run! Colbert on the Sly! Kings of Leon on the Sauce!

    Taylor Swift Michael Caulfield/Getty Images

    Taylor Swift had to fly. Stephen Colbert had to sing. Pink had to be—and was—the talk of the night. Next to the all-new "We Are the World," that is.

    Here's what was shaking backstage at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards:

    5 p.m.: The Lady Gaga show is making our windows rattle. Noneuphemistically.

    Best Comedy Album winner Stephen Colbert was "born for the Grammys." So what else is new? How about him breaking into Barbra Streisand? "Don't tell me how to live…!" he offers in his lovely singing voice.

    Colbert's Justin Timberlake-dissing show-opening monologue seemed to quiet the Staples Center like the Michael Jackson memorial. Nope, it ain't easy to make the Grammys laugh. "It's not exactly a 500-seat comedy club out there," Colbert says.

    Et tu, Colbert? Yup, the faux right-winger has been seduced by Lady Gaga. "She's fantastic," he says. "They're going to spray her with glue and send her through a Build-a-Bear Workshop."

    Stephen Colbert Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    Keith Urban presented right after Pink's "Glitter in the Air" showstopper. So did the country winner have a good seat for the whirling, twirling spectacle? Nope. "I saw it on television."

    • Jason Mraz is chillin'. So what else is new? "They're my first two," Mraz informs us, toting the pair of Grammys he won for his duet with Colbie Caillat, "Lucky." "They're fantastic. Do they play on MP3s?"

    India.Arie ("Pearls") looks like a million sparkly bucks. Credit her designer. "You know my mom made this," she tells us.

    Whatever happened to sex, drugs and hotel-trashing rock 'n' roll? India.Arie's wearing Mother. Colbie Caillat's accompanying Father. "I have my dad here with me as my date," Caillat tells us.

    Spotted: Joe Jonas adjusting his neck during his and his brothers' official Grammy-night portrait sitting. Either it's been a long night, or those new glasses of his are giving him a headache.

    Kings of Leon Steve Granitz/Getty Images

    6:50 p.m.: Record of the Year upset winners Kings Of Leon weren't kidding on the telecast about how they drank spent their Grammy night. "[In] a box suite with some rich guy," lead singer Caleb Followill explains. "Open bar," brother Nathan Followill further explains.

    Oh, geez, even the Kings of Leon dudes are talking about their mom. (They're a family band, three brothers and a cousin, we know, but still...) "My mom's here," Caleb Followill says. "It's pretty special."

    Rock lives! (And Mother Followill rocks!) Updates Caleb Followill: "We're getting my mom wasted!"

    Debauchery lives! The men of Kings are asked about winning a category many thought would be claimed by Beyoncé or Taylor Swift, and spoiling a so-called ladies' night. Says Caleb Followill with eyebrows raised, "Oh, it's going to be a ladies' night."

    Michael Jackson 3-D break! Ooh...Aah...Duck, it's Céline Dion!

    You see the telecast shot of Beyoncé wearing her 3-D specs? We look exactly like that back here in the press room. OK, maybe not exactly.

    Three things to know about Alice Cooper: He's a rock legend; he was a presenter tonight; he's chatty, chatty, chatty. He's back here dishing on Michael Jackson's kids ("The first time I think I've seen them without masks on."), fidelity ("I've been married 34 years now, and I've never cheated on her. Thank you very much.") and Pink ("I thought she stole the show tonight...I would do that maybe if I were on fire. That's the only way to make that better.").

    Michael Jackson friend and tribute performer Smokey Robinson sang on the original "We Are the World." He won't sing on the redo. "There are no veterans on the new [recording]. It's all new people," Robinson tells us.

    Robinson got his scoop from Lionel Richie, who should know—Richie cowrote "We Are the World," and is spearheading the remake. "When we were there, there were 40 of us," Robinson says. "Lionel said they'll be 100." (And from what we hear, Bono and Lady Gaga will be members of the Haiti-helping group.)

    8:45 p.m.: Don't count presenter John Legend among the "We Are the World" 100. "I can't make it, unfortunately," he tells us.  

    It's unanimous. Pink was a hit tonight. "She's kind of underrated as a pop singer," says Legend, her latest fan. "She's really gifted."

    So that's why they call her Taylor Swift. The night's Album of the Year winner is in and out of here like she's got a plane to catch. Um, actually, she's got a plane to catch. "I"m sorry," Swift says. "I have to go to Australia."

    Before Swift runs, she does a good job at the traditional, I've-got-a-lot-of-Grammys balancing act, and an even better job at gushing like a giddy big winner. "I'm gonna carry these for as long as they let me," she says of her golden trophies. "This is the dream come true."

    Guess Lady Gaga had to run, too. Her producer RedOne's here; she's not—kinda like most of the night's marquee winners, to be honest. (Anybody seen Beyoncé? Rihanna? Black Eyed Peas?) At least we lowly reporters don't feel especially ignored this year: We read that people were heading toward the exits during Taylor Swift's Album of the Year acceptance speech. 

    OK, so if we can't bring you Gaga, bringing you RedOne is, like, totally the next best thing! Why, he's seen what she looks like in the studio, when the cameras aren't around! Must be a mind-blower, huh? Eh, not so much. "Honestly, Gaga is always Gaga," RedOne tells us. "She is Gaga all the time."

    More on "We Are the World": RedOne's going to help produce the new single. "It's like the biggest honor in life to get a call from our father in music Quincy Jones," he tells us.

    No, you weren't losing your mind, or your hearing: The audio was dropped a couple of times during Lil Wayne, Eminem and Drake's show-closing rap. Grammy chieftain Neil Portnow tells us it's the only time CBS' censors got bleepin' busy, so to speak, during the telecast.

    Final thought: Maybe everybody cleared out to go to Australia.

    Final discomforting thought: Maybe Australia is the new code word for "killer afterparty you're not invited to."


    Brush up on your history with the 10 Years of Winners: Grammys gallery.