Leave it to the Grammy folks to maintain the status quo…and also throw in a couple of surprises.
The person with the most nominees this year? Surprising no one-nope not Adele, but Kanye West. Despite shockingly being shut out of the Album of the Year category (perhaps his two entries cancelled one another out?), ‘Ye scored a Song of the Year nom for “All of the Lights” and snagged an additional 6 nods in the rap categories: 2 each for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album. Kanye’s nemesis, Taylor Swift, also got screwed (kind of), scoring no nominations in any of the major categories. She did line up a handful of nominations in the country field, though.
Right behind Kanye with 6 nominations apiece? Adele and Bruno Mars. Both artists, also previous Grammy winners (she has two, he has one), scored six nods. Adele, who has 2011’s top selling album, and Bruno (who wrote just about every song you heard on the radio this year) both got the grand trifecta of nominations, scoring nods in the Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories.
A few mild surprises emerged in the major categories. Indie sensation Bon Iver scored nominations for Record and Song of the Year for his “Holocene”. Perhaps he’ll maintain some of the mojo that led to the Arcade Fire’s surprise Album of The Year win last year? He’s joined in the Record of The Year category by Adele, Mars, Katy Perry’s #1 smash “Firework” and Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave”. Four of the same five are up for Song of the Year (which goes to the songwriter and not the artist-unless they also wrote the song), with Perry switched out for Kanye. FYI-in this case all five artists did have a hand in writing the nominated songs, so the categories are fairly redundant.
Album of The Year nominations go to Adele, plus perennial AOTY nominees Foo Fighters, Mars, and in a bit of a surprise, Lady GaGa’s Born This Way and Rihanna’s Loud. Considering that this is a category that usually goes to old-timey acts, it’s refreshing (if a bit odd) to see such relatively new talent being acknowledged.
I was a bit off in calling the Best New Artist nominees, who are The Band Perry, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver (all of whom I called correctly), plus North Carolina rapper J. Cole and…Skrillex? What the hell’s a Skrillex? Off to Wikipedia I go.
A few surprised…Sum 41 nominated for Best Metal Performance (yes, THAT Sum 41…), El DeBarge’s excellent Second Chance getting an acknowledgment in the Best R&B album category, a surprise no-show for Paul Simon’s So Beautiful Or So What (an omission that just might signal a changing of the guard in the age of the Grammy voter), and a surprisingly low number of nominations for Beyonce (who, strangely, got iced out of the Favorite R&B album category in favor of Chris Brown) and Tony Bennett.
Get a full list of this year’s nominees here.