Grammys 2013 FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Music's Biggest Night

Presenting the skinny on performers, nominees, and CBS' puffy genitalia policy

rihanna, grammys
Rihanna, currently up for three Grammys / Photo by Getty Images
Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards are Sunday, February 10, and with the glut of information that's been reported on the upcoming awards show, it's understandable if you need some basic questions answered. Luckily, we've provided everything you need to know down below.

When and where does the show actually happen?

The Grammys will broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST. The pre-telecast ceremony, which takes place at the Nokia Theatre, starts at 5 p.m. EST and can be seen here.

Where can I find amazing, hilarious, up-to-the-minute coverage of "Music's Biggest Night?"

Right here, at SPIN! We'll start live-blogging the event here at 8 p.m. EST. Tweet along with us, using the hashtag #SPINGrammys. The person with the funniest tweet will win a $100 iTunes gift card!

Who's hosting the awards show?

LL Cool J (yes, again).

Who's performing?

Boom: Rihanna, fun., Mumford & Sons, the Black Keys, Taylor Swift, Jack White, the Lumineers, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert with Dierks Bentley, Ed Sheerhan with Elton John, Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake, Juanes, Alicia Keys with Maroon 5, and Kelly Clarkson.

T Bone Burnett will serve as musical director for a tribute to the late Levon Helm, which will include a joint performance from Mumford & Sons, Elton John, Mavis Staples, Zac Brown, and Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard. Plus, Miguel and Wiz Khalifa will duet, presumably for the Khalifa-featuring remix of our No. 6 Best Song of 2012, "Adorn."

Viewers can also expect an apperance from a rock/rap/EDM supergroup consisting of Tom Morello, Chuck D, Blink-182's Travis Barker, DJ Z-Trip, and host LL Cool J. Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will play live with the Black Keys; jazz musicians Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, and Kenny Garrett will honor the late Dave Brubeck.

Also, Rihanna will be pulling double-duty, chipping in for a "special" performance with Sting and Bruno Mars. What makes it so special, you ask? Hopefully its lack of Chris Brown.

Who got the most nominations?

Six different acts are tied for the most nods, with six apiece: Frank Ocean, fun., Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. Excluding Auerbach's producing nomination, the Black Keys, Miguel, and Chick Corea pulled down five each. Nas, fun. producer Jeff Bhasker, and recording engineer Bob Ludwig each earned four, while 16 different artists scored three.

Who's up for Album of the Year?

The Black Keys' El Camino, fun.'s Some Nights, Mumford & Sons' Babel, Jack White's Blunderbuss, and SPIN's personal pick for Album of the Year, Frank Ocean's channel ORANGE.

Wait, where are the ladies?

Busy dominating the Best Pop Solo Performance category. That trophy could go to Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain (Live)," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," Katy Perry's "Wide Awake," or Rihanna's "Where Have You Been."

Well, what about Record and Song of the Year?

Those are more evenly split between the sexes. Named for Record of the Year (artist award): The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," fun.'s (feat. Janelle Monáe) "We Are Young," Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," Frank Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You," and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

And in the running for Song of the Year (songwriter award): Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," Miguel's "Adorn," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," and fun.'s (feat. Janelle Monáe) "We Are Young."

Any exciting Best New Artist nominees?

Yes! Frank Ocean! He's facing off against the Lumineers, fun., Alabama Shakes, and Hunter Hayes.

Who the hell is Al Walser and how did he get an EDM nomination?

We were wondering that, too. Thankfully, SPIN's Phillip Sherburne uncovered the bizarre truth before everyone else.

Who should win in all the big categories?

Glad you asked. We've picked our personal favorites and laid them out here.

If Frank Ocean manages to sweep, will this be the first time the Recording Academy veered off mainstream's beaten path?

Nope! Remember when Bon Iver took SPIN to last year's Grammys and won Best New Artist? Or what about the other 21 times the Grammys saluted the underground?

What's the eligibility period?

Albums released between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012 were eligible for nominations. That explains why the runner-up in SPIN's 50 Best Albums of 2012 list, Kendrick Lamar's Essential good kid, m.A.A.d city, didn't earn any mentions.

Who picks the winners?

Members of the Recording Academy, which includes professional musicians, vocalists, songwriters, composers, producers, engineers, arrangers, album notes writers, technicians, art directors, and etc.

Who's getting Lifetime Acheivement Awards?

Carole King, the recently departed Ravi Shankar, the Temptations, Glenn Gould, Charlie Haden, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Patti Page. More on that here.

Who's presenting awards?

Beyoncé, Prince, Dave Grohl, Nas, Jennifer Lopez, Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, Pitbull, Ryan Seacrest, Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Bonnie Raitt, Ellen DeGeneres, Johnny Depp, actress Kat Dennings, actor Neil Patrick Harris, Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, and NCIS actress Pauley Perrette.

Will we get to see any "puffy genitalia"?

Not if CBS gets its way.

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