The Eight Things You Need to Know About This Year’s Grammy Nominations



Last night, we got an awards-season’s greetings from The Academy: the Grammy nominations, for some of the favorite acts from the last year, were announced. But with 29 different fields and 109 categories within those fields (Best Tropical Latin Album, anyone?), who has time to peruse the whole list? We cut to the chase to bring you the ones to watch from pop’s heavy hitters.

Cee-Lo Green isn’t mad anymore. The first potty-mouth single, “Fuck You,” from Green’s third solo album, The Lady Killer, brought him five Grammy nominations, including Song of the Year. While something of a curveball compared to the obvious frontrunners, there’s no denying the 3 million YouTube views after a week online, and the fact that we still can’t get that song out of our head.

Eminem is definitely going home with some Grammys. With 10 nominations for Recovery (Best Album of the Year, Best Record of the Year, Best Song of the Year, Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, Best Rap Solo, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, and Best Short Form Video), it’s statistically near-impossible that he will walk away from the ceremony without some mantel dressing. But competition is stiff—in some of the top categories, Em faces off against Lady Gaga, Drake, Jay-Z, and himself? Yep, Marshall Mathers is in contest with himself as co-writer of two Best Rap Song nominees, “Love The Way You Lie” and “Not Afraid.” May the best man win.

Katy Perry is no one-hit-wonder. But she may have been called out in the past for her singles-only success. Topping the charts with “I Kissed A Girl,” “Hot N Cold,” “Waking Up In Vegas,” and this year’s “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream” (both nominees), the pop princess seemed to only be hitting one note. Well, this year is different. Perry’s flowery full-length album, Teenage Dream, received a nomination for Album of the Year; she will go up against Arcade Fire, Eminem, Lady Antebellum and Lady Gaga. We wish her luck on her admittance to new categories (though, we admit, we really just want to see what confections she’ll be wearing).

Kanye West was only nominated for one award. This isn’t because the Academy, like George W., doesn’t care about black people. Rather, it’s because My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, released in November, was two months too late to meet the Grammy-eligibility cutoff date. “Power” was an early single, and it’s up for Best Rap Solo. The rest of the album won’t be up for anything until the 2012 ceremony—and who knows what ‘Ye will do between now and then?

We may see blood in the battle for Best Compilation Soundtrack. With both The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Glee: The Music, Volume 1 up for the award, we fear the claws… er, fangs will come out between the Gleeks and Twi-hards watching at home. Twilighters have a lot to fight for, as this is the second year in a row a Twilight Saga soundtrack has been nominated for Best Compilation (the franchise lost out last year to Slumdog Millionaire). But they are competing against some of Glee’s best, including “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “No Air.” It’s a toss up between the two teen sensations—but we can’t discount the “Crazy Heart” soundtrack either. Oh boy.

Michael Jackson is still getting posthumous love. The king of pop has been nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “This Is It,” the title song from the concert documentary of the same name. Jackson is up against a line-up of Michael Bublé, Adam Lambert, Bruno Mars, and John Mayer, all strong contenders—but all a little less likely to win the sympathy vote. If Jackson wins, it will be his 14th Grammy award.

Lady Antebellum is a country group from Nashville. We didn’t know this either, but they’re up for Album of the Year, so you may want to familiarize yourself with their emollient country-pop. Here’s a taste from their hit second album, Need You Tonight, which sold more albums in the US than anyone else this year. The acclaimed trio is up against another “Lady” and we predict she’s taking no prisoners, so: good luck.

Rihanna kind of already won this one. Up against worst case-of-the-ex ever, Chris Brown, for her “Love the Way You Lie” and his “Deuces” for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Rihanna comes out on top just for being one of the most successful singers in pop music (we may be a little biased) while Brown is still trying to revive his career post break-up. The “Love The Way You Lie” video (nominated for Best Short Form Music Video) featured a domestic-abuse narrative, lending it an obvious personal resonance for the singer.