The long-hyped 55th Grammy Awards Nominations presentation aired tonight (Wednesday, December 5) live from Nashville, Tennessee on CBS, where nominations for categories were revealed for the upcoming annual Grammy Awards on February 10, 2013. The concert special was co-hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift, and featured performances of many of the night’s nominees.
There is a six-way tie for artist with the most nominations: Kanye West, Jay Z, Frank Ocean, fun., Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, and Mumford & Sons. Auerbach received five nominations as a member of the Keys but is additionally nominated for Producer Of The Year, earning his sixth and putting him on the list of top nominations.
This year, the rock acts are the minority on that list. The top nominations for Jay Z and West, two of hip hop‘s most dominant figures, is a common scene as both have consistently been at or near the top of the nominations list for the last several years.
Indie pop band fun., a featured performer during the CBS concert special, rode the success of its hit “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae, to sweep the major categories, earning nominations for Best New Artist, Song and Record for “We Are Young,” and Album Of The Year for Some Nights. The band’s producer Jeff Bhasker is also up for four nominations.
“When you call your band fun. with a period at the end of the sentence, you set a very high standard for yourself and for fun itself,” introduced Swift. “Fortunately, this band from New York has lived up to the name in the best possible way.”
R&B singer Frank Ocean had a rocky personal life in the public eye this year, but his sophomore album channel ORANGE stayed strong. The Recording Academy granted him major nominations for Best New Artist, Record for “Thinkin ‘Bout You” and Album Of The Year.
British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, which gave a ground-breaking performance during the 2011 Grammys, joins the Album Of The Year category for Babel, one of 2012’s best-selling releases.
Miguel, who helped Ocean run the R&B world this year, and jazz great Chick Correa join The Black Keys with five nominations each, while Nas and recording engineer Bob Ludwig join Bhasker at four each.
There were no major surprises or snubs among the top nominees this year, as most of 2012’s inescapable hits are represented somewhere or another: Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” is up for Record Of The Year and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” earned a Song Of The Year nod. Drake, Rihanna, and Nashville residents Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Jack White and Best New Artist nominee Hunter Hayes were among 16 nominees with three nomination.
Some may say that this year’s nominations reflect a singles-driven year due to the fact that no album matched the level of acclaim as Adele’s 21 or Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which dominated the Grammys last February. But those albums may be too tough to follow.
Swift appeared shocked as usual when her nod for her hit song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in the Record Of The Year category was announced. She shares the category with fun., Gotye, Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” and Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You.”
“You have no idea how excited I am to have you in Nashville,” Swift exclaimed to her co-host. “This is my town!”
She and Cool J opened the show by collaboratively performing a beat-boxed rendition of her single “Mean.” Hayes displayed his talent and versatility while announcing the Best Pop Vocal Album nominees by singing snippets of each star’s hit song in a medley. Maroon 5 headlined the night, performing a three-song medley mid-show before closing the live broadcast. The group stuck around for an hour-long performance afterward for the live audience in attendance.
Assisted by Monae, fun. gave a magical performance of “We Are Young” with orchestral strings as the crowd sang every word. Ne-Yo, in a wine-colored fedora and dangly earrings, gave the liveliest performance with a cadre of dancers on his new radio banger “Let Me Love You.” The show also honored Nashville with a salute to Johnny Cash by Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry.
The Album Of The Year category includes nominees The Black Keys’ El Camino, fun.’s Some Nights, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, Ocean’s channel ORANGE, and White’s Blunderbuss. fun. and Ocean were joined by Alabama Shakes, Hayes, and The Lumineers for the Best New Artist category.
Record Of The Year nominees included “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Clarkson, “We Are Young” by fun., “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Thinkin’ Bout You” by Ocean, and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Swift.
Song Of The Year nominees consist of Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team,” Miguel’s “Adorn,” Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” and fun.’s “We Are Young.”
The full list of nominees are available at the Grammy Awards’ website.