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Skin Games

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Eminem and who? While the duet between the rapper and Elton John was all the talk before the 43rd Grammy Awards on Feb. 21, it was the Richard Tyler dress Toni Braxton was 41 almost wearing that had the crowd buzzing afterward. “I’ve always gone a little risqué with all my other awards [show outfits],” explained the singer, who took home best female R&B vocal honors. “I decided that before I got married and had babies, I’d wear this.” Braxton wasn’t the only risqué-taker at the show, held at L.A.’s Staples Center and seen by an estimated 26.7 million viewers. Christina Aguilera took the plunge in a lace-up Trish Summerville dress with a red-rose bouquet tattooed (temporarily) on the small of her back. Destiny’s Child—Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams—arrived in demure champagne-toned Versace gowns but accepted their two awards in sequined teal hot pants designed by Knowles’s mother, Tina. “She’s the only person who knows what we want,” said Knowles. Latin pop diva-in-waiting Shakira knew what she wanted—”I wanted to be in gold tonight”—and accessorized her María Vazquez beaded gown with a best Latin pop album trophy. But for others, like triple-Grammy-winner Faith Hill, comfort won out over shock value. Of her coral Versace dress with black shrug, she g said, “Nothing falling off, [nothing] falling out.”