wayne brady didn’t hesitate when asked to host this year’s American Music Awards. “It’s kind of obvious,” he tells me days before the big show, which airs live on ABC on Sunday, November 20. it’s not the violin. You don’t take the time and you don’t scratch your head. You say, ‘Yeah, thanks, when is it, where’s my tuxedo?’ »
What are you gonna wear?
I don’t know yet but I want to make a statement. I don’t know if I’ll put on my Björk and wear a swan outfit, but either way, I think I’ll rock it and rise to the occasion.
There’s still Lady Gaga’s meat dress.
Yes, but I will return it. It will be a barbecue and it will be cooked.
Big nominees this year include Bad Bunny, Beyoncé, Drake, Taylor Swift, Adele, Harry Styles and The Weeknd. If you could have dinner with one of them tonight, who would it be?
Beyonce. Will Jay be there? Where is Blue Ivy? Put them in the other room because I just have to focus on being with Beyoncé. If not her, then Drake.
If you could open the AMAs with a performance with Beyoncé, what song would it be?
I would like to do a cover of his cover of “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James.
How would your pitch go?
Hey, Beyoncé, it’s Wayne. I met you many years ago when you were on my talk show, and I know your mom – she had a great line of jeans. I love your rendition of “I’d Rather Be Blind,” and I’m about to hit the stage in about 10 minutes. I think you, myself and [bandleader] Adam Blackstone, we should be working on a version of the song. You take the first verse, of course, and then I step in. We’ll sing a beautiful two-part harmony…but then we’ll freak out. I’m going to start beatboxing.
Are you a Swiftie?
I’m not a Swiftie but I’m a fan. Being Swiftie would mean I’d rock hard with her, but I don’t have time to listen to everything. I’ve heard most of his music that’s been on the radio, and I have to say Taylor Swift will go down in the books as one of the greatest.
Lionel Richie receives the Icon Award this year. I’m going to get very personal here. I’m gay but when I lost my straight virginity we were listening to “Ballerina Girl”.
[Laughs]. There is so much in this sentence. I like this! But it was time for Lionel. He should have won the Icon Award years ago. He’s a global superstar.
What was the first concert you went to?
I was 19 and working at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. I worked as Dracula in the “Beetlejuice” series. So they were doing a summer concert schedule there and C&C Music Factory, Crystal Waters and another band like that that I forget now, they came to play Universal. I’m dressed in my full Dracula costume sitting in the back. I went to the dance floor dressed as Dracula. Maybe they just thought I was that crazy kid from the club.
When you host a show like the AMAs, do you think that’s your path to hosting the Oscars?
I guess it could be there but that’s not an intention I set myself. It wasn’t even in my eyes. I’m just gonna go knock it out of the park. Have fun with it and you know what, if by chance someone thinks, “Wayne Brady is my guy”, then I’m ready. As James Brown said, “If you stay prepared, you don’t have to prepare.” I can host the Oscars tomorrow and that’s a fact. They just don’t know it.