When Jay-Z walked onto the stage wearing a John Lennon T-shirt underneath his gleaming white suit, it was a hint of the Grammy Awards' oddest mashup of the night. The rap superstar performed a duet of ''Numb/Encore'' with Linkin Park. Earlier, when it won a Grammy for best rap-song collaboration, Linkin Park singer Mike Shinoda thanked ''everyone in our management and legal teams that made this record possible, because it was a nightmare.''
It certainly looked like a business transaction, because Jay-Z and Linkin Park had zero chemistry, barely acknowledging each other onstage. Toward the end, Shinoda oddly sang a verse of the Beatles' ''Yesterday,'' and that was the second hint. Soon after, Paul McCartney himself walked out to finish the song.
There they stood _ the rock legend, hard rockers from a few generations after and a rap mogul. McCartney and Shinoda sang together, with Jay-Z adding ''that's right'' a few times afterward. They ended the song arm-in-arm, standing under a portrait of the late Coretta Scott King.