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CATCH THE 54TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS SUNDAY, FEB. 12, 8 P.M. EST ON CBS

Adele may have sold more albums (6.7 million!) in the U.S. in 2011 than Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber combined, but the world's top pop star felt out of place at her first Grammys, in 2009. "Jay-Z was there and Diddy ran past," she told PEOPLE then. "I thought, 'What the hell am I doing here?'" Adele, 23, will feel more at home this year-she's up for six awards, including Album of the Year for 21-and she's excited to make a splashy return after throat surgery in November. "I'll be wearing my dream Grammy dress," she says. "And I'm looking forward to seeing Kanye." As for postshow plans, she says, "I'll probably nip into a few parties. But then I'll go to the cinema like last time!"

Kanye's Awards Show Rants

Real or Fake?

1 Everybody wants to know what I would do if I didn't win. I guess we'll never know!

2 I've been working on this thing they told me about—humbleness, humility. I don't like it.

3 Can I first just say, my fellow nominees-Yeezy needs you to turn up the fashion! I got you on rapping and style.

4 Whenever you say, "I want to be Elvis," they say, "What's wrong with you?" But I want to be Elvis.

5 Let me give a warning: If you play the music and cut off my speech, I will not leave the stage for the rest of the night.

ANSWERS: Numbers 3 and 5 are fake

KENNY CHESNEY

ME & TEQUILA

The country star is a huge fan of the Mexican spirit-he is, after all, nominated for "You and Tequila," his hit with rocker Grace Potter. "A little Cabo Wabo [tequila], salt, lime, your girl and your friends add up to a good time," he says. One anejo-filled night he recalls warmly? "After filming the video 'Grace,' the crew and I sat on a cliff at sunset drinking shots. We toasted to how lucky we are to do something we love."

GRAMMY GLOSSARY

DEFINING THE WEIRDEST WORDS THAT LED TO BIG NOMINATIONS

MYLO XYLOTO

(MY-loh ZY-loh-toh), n.

1. A Coldplay album that generated three nods, including Best Rock Song.

2. "It's us starting from scratch," says Chris Martin. "We said, 'Let's come up with words that don't have any other hits on Google!'"

HOLOCENE

(HOLE-uh-seen), n.

1. A Bon Iver song up for two awards, including Song of the Year.

2. The current geological epoch.

3. "A bar where I had a dark night of the soul," singer Justin Vernon has said.

SKRILLEX

(SKRIL-ex), n.

1. Alias of Sonny Moore, a rocker turned deejay who's nominated for Best New Artist.

2. "It's a stupid nickname that came out of social online networking handles," Moore has said.

ZONOSCOPE

(ZONE-oh-skope), n.

1. Aussie band Cut Copy's set nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album.

2. "It's a lens to see into our imaginary world," says drummer Mitchell Scott of the fake term.

TAYLOR SWIFT

WHY I LOVE PAUL McCARTNEY

Paul writes about his life and the things he's learned about love in such a brilliantly simple way. I feel as if I've been let into his heart and his mind. I discovered his music on my own as a child, then bought all of the Beatles and Paul McCartney tapes and CDs I could find.

When I met him backstage at his 2010 concert in Nashville, I remember being excited that he was such a kind person. Seeing him sing "Blackbird" live will always be a moment I won't forget. His music makes me feel there's more good in the world than we think, and maybe love can really exist in a pure form. And isn't that what we want to feel when we listen to music? To see Paul doing what he's doing at 69 is so inspiring. He's out there continuing to make his fans so happy. Any musician could only dream of a legacy like that.

What's Your Favorite McCartney Song?

"'Helter Skelter' because Paul sang it so good-[he has] such great range."

-STEVEN TYLER

"'Eleanor Rigby' has always been a favorite. There's something really haunting about it."

-CORY MONTEITH

"'Let It Be.' I bawl every time I hear it. That lyric is so beautiful."

-KIMBERLY PERRY OF THE BAND PERRY

"'Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me).' I told Paul about Picasso's last words; he put it in a song!"

-DUSTIN HOFFMAN

Grammy FASHION THROUGH THE YEARS WILD STYLE

'80s

Vanessa Williams

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN

'90s

ANNIE LENNOX

MARY J. BLIGE

'00s

SHERYL CROW

CHRISTINA AGUILERA

'10s

CIARA

LADY GAGA

'70s

BETTE MIDLER & STEVIE WONDER