Matt Hubbell Front Row at the Grammys
February 10th, 2008 was probably the most surreal day of my entire life. Somehow I ended up sitting in the front row at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. You may be thinking that a radio station was my ticket in the door to this grand event but actually that's only partially correct. I was working at a radio station in Bakersfield, California at the time, but I owe my gratitude to a listener, just like you, for helping me out.
A week or so prior to the show I received a call on the listener line. I asked the caller what her weekend plans were and she told me she was going to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. When I asked her how she was fortunate enough to get a ticket, she told me she "won a lottery" on a website called seatfillersandmore.com. She suggested I sign up, and so I did. The following day I received an email notifying me that I had been selected to go to the show! My job at the event was to hop around the Staples Center and literally fill an empty seat if a celebrity had to get up to use the rest room or grab a snack.
When I arrived in downtown LA, I was kind of put in a holding tank with all of the other "seat fillers." After about two hours of waiting around, a lot of us started to get a little impatient. One of my new acquaintances suggested we make a dash for the main door and go grab our seats. I thought to myself: "This can't be a smart idea." It turned out to be one of the most awesome decisions I've ever made!
Four of us decided to storm the auditorium all at once. While the other three "seat fillers" decided to find chairs about halfway down the aisle, I figured , what do I have to lose, I'm going down to the front row. I did, and wasn’t asked to move the entire show! Initially one of the ushers told me I would be sitting next to Justin Bateman. It turns out, I ended up sitting next to Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't realize it was Aretha Franklin until she was asked to go up on stage. I recognized Bonnie Raitt right away. She was sweet as can be. She kept accidentally bumping into me throughout the shown and kept saying "I'm sorry sweetie." Prior to the show, Tom Hanks came over to talk to Bonnie. I couldn't believe my stars! Tom Hanks was two feet in front of me! He has freckles by the way.
Chris Brown also came over to acknowledge Aretha Franklin with an obligatory bow and Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift were sitting directly behind me. At one point during the show, her buddy Brad Paisley took the stage and she instructed all us to stand on our feet and cheer him on. Carrie and dozens of others put on excellent live performances that night that left me "Blown Away!"
Prior to the show, we were instructed not to take pictures of anyone. I reluctantly complied so unfortunately I don't have photographs of this momentous occasion. I thought for sure I would see my face all over the internet the next day. Here we are seven years later, and still I can't find any! My mother DVR'd the show and I did make it on TV that night. However, all you can see is the back of my neck. So I guess all I have to show for is my 50th Annual Grammy Award Program.
If you'd ever like to experience a show like I did, check out the website and sign up for free!