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Grammys 2017 Opening Number: James Corden Kicks Off Music’s Biggest Night With Impressive Spitfire Rap

He’s taking center stage. James Corden kicked off the 2017 Grammys on Sunday, February 12, with a fun spitfire rap that touched on new artists and veteran musicians alike. Watch the high-energy opener in the video clip above!

The Late Late Show host, 38, pretended to get stuck halfway up his ascent to the stage, but the funnyman looked like he was taking the setback in stride — even when he later fell through the stairs. Corden fully rolled down the steps to the stage, where his backup dancers continued to dance in time to the beat before he finally erupted in a faux meltdown.

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“This is a disaster!” he exclaimed as he called for his dancers to stop amid a burst of confetti. “What has happened to people? We’ve rehearsed this and rehearsed this and rehearsed this.” At that, he dismissed his dancers and stumbled around the stage for a bit with only one shoe on. “Geez, hang on. We cannot allow this sort of mistakes, can we? This is the Grammys, people!”

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From there, Corden launched into a rap that covered everything from Beyoncé and her pregnancy, the musicians we lost this last year and even Donald Trump.

James Corden
James Corden hosted the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017. Jason Bell/CBS via Getty Images

In an interview with Variety earlier this month, Corden said he wanted the focus of the show to be on the musicians themselves, not on him. “This is a show that seven years ago didn’t even have a host,” he said. “The truth is it isn’t about me. It’s about the artists.”

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The British comedian previously hosted the 2016 Tony Awards, a gig that earned him plenty of praise for his ability to balance somber moments, like a tribute to the Orlando shooting victims, with fun elements, like jokes and song and dance.

At the Thursday, February 9, unrolling of the Grammys red carpet, Corden told reporters that he wouldn’t be surprised if some of the night’s big names took a political stance at the awards show, much like Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes or Ashton Kutcher‘s remarks at the SAG Awards.

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“If someone on the show feels like they would like to do something, that’s the beauty of living in this country where freedom of speech is encouraged and accepted,” he told Inside Edition. “I think what’s important in this current climate is to really pick your moments when you would like to let us know how you feel.”

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