LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The show must go on. Despite Whitney Houston's shocking death a day earlier, music stars came out to celebrate Sunday's Grammy Awards with typical red carpet flash and over-the-top fashion.
Several artists exuded glamour, including Carrie Underwood, nominated for best country solo performance, who arrived shimmering in a silver Gomez-Garcia gown with a Swarovski black clutch. Other musicians raised eyebrows, including up-and-coming Russian-born singer Sasha Gradiva, who wore a soft pink mermaid shaped gown that featured a machine-gun adorned sleeve.
"I think in the last five to seven years the Grammys have become a showcase for the most outlandish look in fashion. If an artist comes in couture, it is usually accompanied with a statement," said style expert and TV host Sam Saboura.
And that was exactly what Black Eyed Peas frontwoman Fergie appeared to be going for when she appeared wearing a designer gown that left little to the imagination. The 36-year-old singer wore a blood orange peek-a-boo Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture gown revealing black bra and panties beneath.
She took a page from other pop stars like nominee Katy Perry who famously arrived last year in a Giorgio Armani dress embellished with angel wings.
This year, Perry arrived wearing sky-high blue hair that complemented a full-length baby blue sparkly gown with plunging back.
Hip-hop rapper Nicki Minaj, nominated for best new artist and other awards, arrived sporting a red Versace couture hooded cape on the arm of an escort dressed in a pope outfit.
Lady Gaga strutted into the show in a black Chanel gown adorned with silver chains and dramatic net over her face.
"It's usually one-up game at the Grammys," said Saboura. "Now artists have stylists fixing their trains on the red carpet. It's become as dramatic as the Oscars. We expect craziness."
The death of pop singer Houston, a six-time Grammy winner, on the eve of the awards shook the world. She will be honored during the ceremony by singer Jennifer Hudson according to Grammy organizers, who scrambled to rearrange the show in response to Houston's death.
Grammy awards favorite Adele, known for wearing 60s style dresses and hairstyles, sported a classic look in a long black beaded gown. She wore her hair swept down in a wavy bob.
"Adele does big 60s hair well and always looks a little flirty," said Saboura.
Editing by Doina Chiacu