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Grammy attendees advised to cover up

Jennifer Lopez waits backstage at the 42nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Feb. 23, 2000, wearing a dress that drew a lot of attention. AP/Reed Saxon

Grammy performers have been told to cover up at Sunday’s big music awards show, and keep their buttocks, nipples and genitals under wraps. Their politics can’t show either.

In a “wardrobe advisory,” broadcaster CBS also asked musicians and audience members likely to appear on camera at the Feb. 10 awards ceremony to avoid wearing brand names on T-shirts as well as clothing with political or activist slogans.

“Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare flesh under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack,” said the memo issued by CBS standards and practices department and obtained by entertainment industry website Deadline.com on Wednesday.

“Obscenity or partially seen obscenity on wardrobe is unacceptable for broadcast,” the note added.

The warning follows a lengthy court battle over indecency and obscenity standards on U.S. network television.

CBS, a unit of CBS Corp, was fined US$550,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for airing a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s breast when her costume slipped while singing at the Super Bowl half-time show in 2004.

The fine was later thrown out and that decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012. CBS has expressed “deep regret” for the incident.

The annual Grammy Awards ceremony honours the best   musicians of the year, but is also a major promotional showcase for rising stars and upcoming albums.

In 2010, singer Pink performed upside down in a flesh-colored bodysuit, while Rihanna last year wore a plunging black dress on the red carpet.

Other infamous Grammy looks include Jennifer Lopez’s plunging green Versace dress in 2000, Toni Braxton’s barely-covering cream dress in 2001, Fergie’s see-through orange lace number in 2012, a pregnant M.I.A.’s revealing polka-dotted dress in 2009, and singer Nadeea’s two short frocks, in 2012 and 2010.

Performers at Sunday’s three-hour show in Los Angeles include Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys and Elton John.